Do Law Reviews Matter? 
Welcome to the inaugural edition of CONNtemplations, the interactive, online companion of Connecticut Law Review. The site initially features pieces from a number of authors on topics related to the relevance and future of legal periodicals. These pieces flow from the Commentary featured in Issue 1 of Volume 39 of the Law Review, which is available on Connecticut Law Review's website.

Please join the discussion by utilizing the site's blog-like format to submit comments on a piece which piques your interest, or on the topic generally. CONNtemplations promises to generate a lively, scholarly discussion, and we hope you choose to participate.


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Thoughts on the New Era of Law Review Companion Sites (pdf) 
Matthew T. Bodie*

I. Introduction

Some revolutions begin with great fanfare; others start unnoticed. The rise of the blogger is perhaps the most heralded development in the world of legal education since the first rankings of U.S. News & World Report. The number of legal bloggers, as determined in the latest online census, stands at over 300.1 Symposia on the growth of legal blogs have been held, written about, and “live-blogged.”2 The focus on blogging within the law coincides with the larger cultural attention being paid to bloggers across the spectrum. Read More...
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Mrs. Lincoln’s Lawyer’s Cat: The Future of Legal Scholarship (pdf) 
Alfred L. Brophy*

When Judge John Noonan wrote about law reviews in the Stanford Law Review back in 1995, he likened them to cathedrals.1 Just as every self-respecting medieval town had one, every self-respecting law school must have one. Schools that aspire to high rankings need more than one, actually. I might use a different analogy, more closely related to dissemination of written knowledge: every self-respecting 19th century town needed a newspaper—sometimes a lot of them. And just as we look back to newspapers and other literary output to gauge something about the culture of the 19th century, we can judge a school by its law review. In focusing on this theme (of the connections between law review quality and law school ranking), we can help improve legal scholarship and perhaps legal education as well. Read More...
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The Business of Law Reviews (pdf) 
John Doyle*

Even articles that have criticized the institution of the law review tend to note some of the benefits of law reviews such as signaling quality students to employers, imparting rigor to the thought and writing of students via the editing process, and enhancing a law school’s competitiveness. Such functions are the inefficient by-products of law reviews. The core business of law reviews—at least prior to recent years—seems to have been one of filtering article quality toward more or less prestigious journals, distributing subsidized funding throughout the industry, and disseminating for access and archival storage the printed copies of articles. Although filtering via the mechanism of reputation is an interesting one, the focus here is on law review economics and the industry’s movement away from print copies. Read More...
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"Evaluate Me!": Conflicted Thoughts on Gatekeeping in Legal Scholarship’s New Age (pdf) 
Paul Horwitz*

Look at me! Grade me! Evaluate and rank me! I’m good, good, good and oh so smart!”

Lisa Simpson1

As another entrant into the fast-growing ranks of online law review supplements, the Connecticut Law Review has chosen to begin by contemplating—or is that “CONNtemplating?”—an ambiguous phrase: “Law Reviews Matter: Legal Scholarship, Law Reviews, and the Online Age.” We might read that open-ended phrase in several ways. Perhaps most interestingly, it might be read as inviting us to think about the “matter”—the pronouncements, extrusions, eruptions, and, alas, ephemera—contained within the law review format, and its increasing emigration to an infinite online space, on SSRN, Bepress, blogs, and elsewhere. We might also read it as a positive pronouncement: no matter how battered by their many critics or by competition from online sources, law reviews do matter, damn it. But the very act of making that pronouncement, the very need to make the assertion, cannot help but lead readers to supply the question mark the editors have seen fit to omit. In an “online age” in which “legal scholarship,” in its many forms, can be propagated with ease and without the assistance of the law review and its editors, do “Law Reviews Matter?” Read More...
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De Jure [sic] Park (pdf) 
Dr. Ronen Perry*

This Essay, solicited by the Connecticut Law Review for the inauguration of its online companion CONNtemplations, discusses the main structural deficiencies of student-edited general interest paper-based law reviews, namely that they are student-edited, general interest and paper-based.

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The Law Reviews vs. the Courts: Two Thoughts From the Ivory Tower (pdf) 
Stephen I. Vladeck*

I. Introduction

If you’re reading this, you must not be a federal judge.

According to a March 2007 article in the New York Times, legal scholarship has become too ethereal and abstract to be of any practical use to federal judges in their everyday disposition of cases.1 In the words of Dennis G. Jacobs, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, “I haven’t opened up a law review in years. . . . No one speaks of them. No one relies on them.”2 Paraphrasing 19th century Scottish writer Andrew Lang, Second Circuit Judge Robert Sack went even further, suggesting that, even when judges do cite law review articles today, they “use them like drunks use lampposts,” i.e., “more for support than for illumination.”3

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