Saturday, May 7, 2011

Legal Scholarship for 100k

Given the high cost, one may well question whether the price is justified by the output. Personally, I appreciate legal scholarship for its own sake. Most people seem to have different expectations. Professor Neumann at Hofstra University School of Law, for example, seems to assess legal scholarship's worth by reference to citations:
Neumann also pointed to research suggesting that 43% of law review articles are never cited by anyone. "At least a third of these things have no value," he said. "Who is paying for that? Students who will graduate with six figures of debt."
While counting citations strikes me as an imperfect measure of "value," there can be little doubt that legal scholarship is failing to the extent its goal is to effectuate change in the law.

5 comments:

  1. "[T]here can be little doubt that legal scholarship is failing to the extent its goal is to effectuate change in the law."

    I don't necessarily think that this is the goal of most legal scholarship. Nonetheless, in my opinion, Dr. Neumann's opinion is well-taken, but applicable in a much wider context than law school. Most policital science depts are a case in point.

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  2. I've practiced for 4 years, and I have only read footnotes in articles for research.

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  3. @ 11:24--

    I agree that it's not necessarily the goal, or at least shouldn't be, but for many it is at least an aspiration.

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  4. @ 9:33--

    I'm sure many practitioners never even use the JLR database in Westlaw/Lexis. But maybe I'm wrong.

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