Shorter Law Review Articles

Michael Dorf on shorter law review articles:

The new policy may be a step in the right direction, but there is reason to think that it will not produce all of the benefits its proponents seek. That is because the growth in article length in the first place was not driven primarily by the demands of the law reviews. Rather, it was mainly a supply-side phenomenon–driven by the efforts of the professors writing the articles to make their work comprehensible both to the novice student editors who select which articles to publish and the undifferentiated mass of their colleagues who make tenure decisions.

Restricting article length without addressing the factors that caused articles to grow longer may thus have unwanted consequences. Professors won’t stop catering to law student journal editors, but now they will feel compelled to do so in briefer pieces. And as I explain below, that part of the law review article that will, as a result, get short shrift, may be the most valuable part of all.

Hogwash! If nobody reads the damned things it doesn’t matter how much info you stick in.