Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Breaking News: Law Reviews Are Depositories of Worthless Content

The New York Times Wipes Its Ass with Law Reviews:

Adam Liptak’s article, “The Lackluster Reviews That Lawyers Love to Hate,” appeared in the October 21, 2013 edition of the New York Times.  Thank you to the anonymous commenter who posted the hyperlink in the prior TTR entry.  Read the entire piece, but focus on the following portion, in particular:

“Judge Dennis G. Jacobs, of the federal appeals court in New York, was similarly dismissive [as John G. Roberts was back in June 25, 2011].

“I haven’t opened up a law review in years,” he said in 2007. “No one speaks of them. No one relies on them.”

That is only mild hyperbole. About 43 percent of law review articles have never been cited in another article or in a judicial decision.

Law reviews are not really meant to be read. They mostly exist as a way for law schools to evaluate law professors for promotion and tenure, based partly on what they have to say and partly on their success in placing articles in prestigious law reviews.

The judge, lawyer or ordinary reader looking for accessible and timely accounts or critiques of legal developments is much better off turning to the many excellent law blogs.” [Emphasis mine]

I’m sure that several federal pig "judges" see these garbage publications as coming in handy, when they need to line their birds’ cages.  According to the source above, legal blogs provide a better source of relevant material for those interested in legal matters.

Prior Coverage of John Roberts’ Remarks:

On July 7, 2011, the ABA Journal published this piece from Debra Cassens Weiss, under the headline “Law Prof Responds After Chief Justice Roberts Disses Legal Scholarship.”  Check out the excerpt below:

“Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has raised hackles with his suggestion that there is a disconnect between the scholarship of law professors and the work of practitioners.

Roberts knocked law professors and their work while answering questions at the 4th Circuit Judicial Conference in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., at the end of June.

The American Constitution Society blog has Roberts’ quote: “Pick up a copy of any law review that you see, and the first article is likely to be, you know, the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th Century Bulgaria, or something, which I’m sure was of great interest to the academic that wrote it, but isn’t of much help to the bar.” C-SPAN posted the interview.” [Emphasis mine]

Hell, even the chief robed politician in this country views law reviews as worthless dreck.  That speaks volumes!

Would You Pay $100K for a Law Review Article?:

Paul Caron posted a TaxProf blog piece entitled “The $100,000+ Law Review Article,” on May 26, 2010.  Look at this opening:

“As Law Profs nationwide gear up to write law review articles over the summer, Larry Cunningham (George Washington) calculates the economic value of the articles:

What’s the economic value of that scholarly article many law professors will write this summer? For the many schools that award scholars summer research grants, it is at least the value of that allocated to the piece—usually $12,500 to $20,000 at most US law schools.

But an excellent article well-placed also often translates into annual salary increments above a school’s merit pay raise pool. That can bump a raise up anywhere from 1% to 3%, or more, depending on the article and how one’s home-school peers do.

For a mid-career scholar earning a base salary of $200,000, say, that means as much as $6,000 or more. For that person, adding $6,000 a year for life, the article’s economic value gets well into the six figures (even discounting to present value).” [Emphasis mine]

In sum, the only people who benefit from this “legal scholarship” are the overpaid parasites known as “law professors.”  Many federal swine "judges" are more likely to consult Wikipedia than law review articles, when rendering their ideologically-driven, political decisions.  Make sure to remember that fact, when you are strapped down with an additional $135K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt - for a law degree - while making $40K per year.

Conclusion: You have seen how federal politicians in black dresses view the reams of useless toilet paper known as law reviews.  As noted above, strong legal sites are more relevant than these non-peer reviewed publications.  In fact, the ABA Journal reported - on February 29, 2012- that no major law journal had more than 2,000 paying subscribers.  In contrast, Third Tier Reality gets roughly 800-1000 daily visitors.  Yes, a site that regularly features pictures of fecal matter, filthy toilets and piles of horse excrement has a much higher readership than these supposed “academic works.”  For $ome rea$on, the pigs and cockroaches have no qualms about this aspect of the law school scam.


  1. I read that last hyperlink. No law review had more than 2000 paid subscriptions. Does that count the 200+ ABA law schools who pay for the law reviews?

  2. I happened to read an essay by a Chicago professor the other day, and it contained nothing but twisted syntax and propagandistic trickery. No genuine content whatsoever. Something, I think, about how it's pragmatic to reject pragmatism?

    The thought patterns and behavior of those overpaid and unproductive pigs of the professoriate are shocking and disgusting, even more disgusting than pictures of rear-end emissions.

  3. I wrote a large paper on patent law's best mode requirement in my third year of law school. It was merely recycled dribble. All the other law review articles on the subject were also nothing but recycled dribble.

    Yet my professor STILL told me I should try to get it published. These people live in a circle-jerk bubble.

    1. On the rare occasions that I actually look for law review articles on a topic, they are all pretty much the same and cite one another. The problem is that tens of thousands of professors and students are trying to publish something for the sake of publishing. How many original (and useful) ideas can there really be in the field of law?

      What's really sad is how much money is wasted producing this garbage.

    2. So true. I would not have felt proud putting my name on an article like that, so i never did get it published. Maybe it would have helped me get a job, but I felt my time was better spent learning the law and looking for work, rather than recycling dirge.

  4. There have been a number of blog responses to the NYT article, which you can find collected here:

    As expected, law "professors" generally poo-poo the NYT article, using the usual variety of fabricated justifications: "so what, we already know that"; "whuddya gonna do, there isn't any alternative"; letting law students do the grunt work lets us spend our valuable time doing something else; so what if judges don't read them, public policy makers do; actually more people read them than you think, on Westlaw; sure 90% are crap but 10% is good, it's like separating wheat from chaff; and so on.

    I recommend two responses which you can find here:
    Maybe Nando can quote them in full.

    Also, one factoid and one semi-correction:
    1) there are something 700 student edited law journals. Unbelievable.
    2) I thought I read somewhere that most law journals have a circulation of about 600-700. I would guess that would include about 200 sales to law school libraries, maybe 100-200 to public law libraries and depositories, one copy to each student editor, and multiple copies to each contributor. So that means that almost nobody else reads them - no judges, no law firms and practicing lawyers pay money for them.

  5. My girlfriend during law school was on a secondary journal. Didn't do shit for her career. Big surprise eh?

  6. House Organs I guess, except for maybe at the very top schools.

  7. The only people benefiting from law review articles are the profs. The smart kids doing law review could be busy making money and working on legal matters instead of spending all those hours on editing bullshit articles.

  8. I got lucky and still practice law ten years out. It hasn't been easy. I was let go by a firm and started my own small practice. I even did appeals for a while. In that entire time, I never saw anyone cite to a LR article. Probably because we had to draft concise arguments so we didn't upset the judges or put them to sleep. And not only that, but it was understood that citing to LR articles made you look like you had a weak case. Don't cite to a LR when you can cite to the statute or case law. If the law isn't on your side, you can rely on something better to make a policy argument. These journals don't mean anything to anyone but a professor trying to get tenure. It's a real shame that the students ultimately end up paying for this extravagance.

  9. Law review articles are a tremendous waste of resources.

  10. These things aren't even peer reviewed. What a joke.

  11. Law reviews are not even good to wipe one's ass. I tried it. It did not work well. Toilet paper is far more absorbent.


    This is an article defending law reviews. It's mostly BS. All these defense pieces seem to say "it's fashionable to hate law reviews, and legal academia..." NO it's not fashionable, it's just a fact that legal scholarship is worthless... I'm on a secondary journal, and I understand this. It's all for not. It's a waste of time; students only do it because they're told it'll give them a leg up in finding a job...

    When I get assignments to accept or reject an article, I literally do not read the article, don't care, mostly they're stupid. Sometimes I'll read the intro./conclusion, and if it seems like bullshit I immediately recommend that we reject it.


    No peer review.... What? Academic? Should that be respected or trusted by any profession?

    Student edited? What? Why? Would we trust other academic/scientific journals that were put together by students? Students editing articles on subjects they have NO KNOWLEDGE OF? Students editing and compiling articles when they are too busy to focus on the content and worth of such articles given their other obligations, i.e., FINDING-A-FUCKING-JOB?

  13. Take a look at Dan Slater’s February 11, 2008 piece for the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. It was entitled “Law Reviews Get a Bad Review.” From the opening:

    “The institution of law reviews has always been a great source of puzzlement to the Law Blog. As a 2L, the sunny afternoons we labored away blue-booking articles were — we’re pretty certain — among the most ill-spent hours of our law-school career. And yet we can’t deny the symbolic importance of law-review membership. Just look at the on-campus interview guide of any non-tier-one law school. Many employers are clear: No law review? No thanks.

    So opening up our February issue of The National Jurist we were relieved to discover that these questions plague others, too. The article, entitled “100 Best Law Reviews,” focuses mostly on two methods of ranking reviews. Robert Jarvis, a professor at Nova Southeastern University Law Center, does his ranking based on prominence of the authors. John Doyle, a librarian at Washington & Lee University School of Law, uses number of citations in other articles and judicial opinions as the main metric of importance. Not surprisingly, both methods get you to the same result: the law reviews at Columbia, Harvard and Yale rule the law review roost.

    But here’s the commentary that caught our eye: Jarvis said that most law reviews are so desperate that he could publish his grocery list. “The writing in law reviews is atrocious. The question is: Why does this institution continue even if it’s a product no one wants and no one needs?”

    Well, why does it continue? Jarvis explains: “Many schools won’t have just one. They have five or six. That’s because they’re relatively cheap to operate and some people believe working on any law review will enhance a student’s job prospects. These days, you look with great suspicion on a student without a journal on their resume.”

    These journals are ostensibly justified as helping make law students better writers. Hell, if you have weak-ass written communication skills – with a four year college degree - you have no business in law school. Plus, those students who end up on these garbage publications already have decent to strong grades.

    In the last analysis, these journals exist so that academic cockroaches/thieves can attain tenure, fatten up their curriculum vitae, and to show that they are “productive.” In reality, the typical house cat is more prolific and useful than these bitches and hags. At least, the feline will keep mice out of your home or apartment.

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone. After all, we are well aware that law schools exist, in order to provide thousands of socially inept, academic pigs with outrageous salaries – for minimal “work.” These in$titution$ of “higher education” do not put the students’ interests first. Those kids are a mere means to an end, i.e. the spigot of federally-backed student loans.

  14. Look at this July 8, 2011 entry for Adjunct Law Prof Blog, by Mitchell H. Rubinstein. The piece was labeled “Chief Justice Roberts Comments On Legal Scholarship Today.” Take a moment to read the following excerpt:

    “Chief Justice remarks are right on point. The legal academy focus on theory and is largely composed of professors who never practiced law. Law schools look to hire someone with a JD/Ph.d from Ivy league school and give little weight to litigation or other legal experience. My own law review scholarship has been crticized by some as "practice orientated." Law review scholars often cite each other and some do not even cite cases.

    Everyone I talk with about this agrees that there is too much focus on theory. But when are the law schools going to change? Unfortunately, I do not see change happening.”

    Check out the comment below, from user “Tarquin the Meek” – posted on July 9, 2011 at 7:16:28 pm:

    “The bottom line is, legal scholarship is phony scholarship by phony lawyers. Law "professors" would probably wet their pants if confronted with having to master Ugaritic or Brownian motion or something else requiring effort and intellect instead of sonorous gibberish and applied politics.”

    Take a look at this response from someone using the handle “Jack” – posted on July 10, 2011 at 5:08:25 am:

    “I have been a practicing lawyer since 1980. I almost never find law review articles helpful. I quit reading them long ago because it was largely a waste of time. As an aside, I have litigated against law professors, who took high profile constitutional cases, and in every instance they were poor litigators: lacking in judgment, using cookie cutter approaches to complex problems, lots of inside the box thinking -- sort of like the Department of Justice, now that I think about it.”

    Scroll down to this anonymous comment, from July 9, 2011 at 12:16:32 pm;

    “It is time that law school focused on training students to be LAWYERS - not LEGAL ACADEMICS. As a first change, only practicing attorneys should be allowed to be law professors. It is ridiculous that academics who have no experience (or minimal experience) in the practice of law are teaching students. It's the blind leading the blind. Follow the medical school excample - only doctors that perform surgery on a regular basis teach medical students surgery. You don't have a non-surgeon teaching "theory of surgery" to students. It is equally ridiculous to have a non-practicing lawyer trying to teach the practice of law.”

    Do you see how practitioners and “judges” – i.e. revenue collectors in black dresses – view law reviews? As the TTR commenter at 7:55 noted, law journals are not even useful for wiping one’s ass with, people. For that purpose, you might be better off using sandpaper or your gigantic TTT law degree.

  15. Liberal arts professors are leeches, too.

    1. At least your liberal arts farts profs aren't making $180K a year for their bullshit. I don't think department heads make that much in undergrad.

    2. That's true, but "Feminism in 19th Century Ukrainian Poetry" probably won't become a best-seller. But I agree, law professors are worse.

    3. Is this a joke? Law professors ARE liberal arts professors.

    4. They're all producing a lot of "scholarly" nonsense that nobody reads.

  16. Roberts is being kind. The usual bile that fills up law reviews is pure drivel involving mindless tripe that affects less than 1% of the legal community. Transgender dog law in Indonesia comes to mind as the likely subject of an upcoming article.

    Law Review consist primarily of the byproduct the a far left circle jerk.

  17. Roberts was kind because of his position as the man. But it was still strongly worded. It was a professional way of saying 'law reviews are complete shit.'

  18. "About 43 percent of law review articles have never been cited in another article or in a judicial decision."

    As to the other 57%-- who cares if they have ever been cited in another worthless law review article? That is just law professor backscratching. I would like to know how many have been cited in actual judicial opinions or in administrative guidance (to use Westlaw parlance). The proportion is shockingly small.

    Something else-- the few law review articles that practitioners use often have this positive quality: in reviewing the development of a point of law, they are very comprehensive in their citation to authority. I once thought that at least these "scholars" are thorough. Then I released that they had underpaid research assistants who did most of the work.

  19. Thank you to the anonymous commenter, who posted the hyperlink to the Simple Justice response. Three days ago, Scott H. Greenfield wrote an entry entitled "Liptak To Law Reviews: Snort My Taint." Take a look at this excerpt:

    “[T]he arguments of irrelevance have been said before, as have the defenses by academics who need law reviews to justify their claim to being scholars. As much as I never tire of naked lawprof mudwrestling, so much flailing and hand-wringing about how much scholarship matters, as if they’re saying so will change any judges’ or practitioners’ mind, it’s not as if the same prawfs haven’t made the same arguments before to the applause of their own. That’s the funny part about it, that so many smart former law review editors will murder too many words that are only persuasive to themselves.

    But the law review, as an institution, serves purposes. The problem is that it’s not quite the purposes the prawfs would like us to believe they serve. Let’s cut to the quick:

    1. Every law school has a law review, and likely a few other journals of inconsequence as well, so that the school’s top students have a role to fulfill that they can put on their resume. If there is no law review, they can’t go to job interviews and say they were an editor of the law review. The more journals, the more students can claim to have participated, though everyone knows that the law review is the top dog, and the other journals are for the second tier students who didn’t make law review. Still, it’s better to have something to put on the resume than nothing.

    2. Every aspiring tenured professor needs to publish law review articles. Sure, they all want to be in the top tier law reviews, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, but they only take so many articles and so the aspirants for tenure are forced to keep spiraling toward lower tier law reviews if they want to get published. And they want to get published. Better in a bottom tier law review than not published at all.

    3. Within the academic community, there are very few opportunities to make a name for oneself and establish credibility and legitimacy. It’s not like other lawprofs are watching you teach, or even if they did, they would care. Teaching is what academics are forced to do when they aren’t being scholars. Scholarship is what makes them taller, better looking and more adorable. No one gets to speak to a symposium of law profs because they were a really good teacher, and no one who doesn’t get to speak to a symposium is respected by their peers.

    4. The foregoing creates a symbiotic relationship that benefits law students and law professors. There is nothing wrong with that.”

    As Greenfield pointed out, the law school parasites need to publish excrement in order to justify their assertion that they are “scholars.” In the end, it is a cynical game. The “professors” and administrators will do and say anything to keep the $y$tem going for as long as possible.

  20. Let's return to Scott H. Greenfield's October 22, 2013 blog entry, for a moment. Scroll down to look at the following text, from his conclusion:

    "Since lawprofs have a median background in the practice of law of seven minutes, they are strong on theory and weak on everything else. And since they are busy thinking up deep and novel thoughts on theory, even that doesn’t tend to be particularly useful. And they get paid a pretty comfortable living for thinking deep and novel thoughts, on the students’ dime, despite this glaring hole in their skillset.

    The professoriate could fix the problem, for their own benefit and that of their students, but they would rather murder another million words to argue why teaching (is this a trade school?) and practice experience mean nothing, and why they should be allowed to continue on their path to the brilliant scholarship so adored within the Academy and, occasionally, worthwhile to the profession.

    It’s not that the problems are unfixable, but that it’s against the institutional interest of academics to fix them. And so they invite articles like Liptak’s and respond with their self-serving attacks. And law students continue to suffer, given tummy rubs instead of the education they need and for which they became debt-slaves.

    And that’s not even getting into the problem that half of all law schools should be shut down. But if they did, they would take half the law reviews and professor jobs with them. Can you imagine how many words would be murdered then?"

    In the end, the academic pigs will continue to defend this filth - since their "reputations" are determined by how much tripe they can get published in NON-PEER REVIEWED journals. This one aspect of "legal education" is a joke. Then again, this is also the case with the other pedagogic nonsense. The entire law school scam is sickening, and law reviews are one small sliver of the fraud.

    Greenfield is an experienced criminal defense lawyer. It’s clear that he has no respect for the failed attorneys who quickly jump back into the safe confines of academia. As he notes, the bastards are heavy on theory – because this is all they know. The cockroaches NEED to be published, in order to “show” that they are true “scholars.” More to the point, the bitches and hags want to justify their bloated, artificially-inflated salaries.

  21. In the big picture: What goes around comes around sooner or later.

    The artificially inflated salaries will have to be brought in line with a struggling economy, and maybe that is all there is to it?

    A lot of people might have been hurt in the end, but still, all to all the law professors out there I just want to humbly say that all scams must inexorably come to an end, and it is wise to be nice or kind to the people that you have met on the way up, such as your students, because you will meet the same people on the way down:

    1. Three cheers for the Jackie Gleeson reference

  22. @709,


    NO cheers for the chirping YouTube roach.

    It seriously needs to just get off the Internet. Forever and until the rnd of time.

    It also needs to get a fucking job and stop mooching off of its parents and the taxpayers.

  23. I saw a response to the New York Times piece at a blog written by a political science professor here -->

    Apparently law professors are allowed to carpet bomb submissions. When they get accepted somewhere they 'expedite' to the higher ranked law reviews who then decide based mostly on the prestige of the author and their school whether to publish the piece. My favorite quote from the entry comes near the end of the piece, it is reproduced below.

    ---When I was a new faculty member doing work on law and courts, a senior member of my (political science) department who also did work on law and courts told me "If you publish an article in a law review -- even a very good one -- not only will it not count toward tenure, but we'll take it as a sign of your stupidity." As law reviews are currently constituted, that strikes me as good position to take.


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