Thursday, March 1, 2012

Law Review Circulations Drop?

In the last two decades the information explosion has driven many of us to move from paper to data storage so we can keep information organized, searchable, and distributable to others. This concept is not recent, but appears missed in the recent Wall Street Journal article, Law Review Circulation: A New Low. There  Professor Davies calls out law reviews for exaggerating their paid circulations and noting they dropped in 2011. The article does not discuss why the drop. Instead it gives a chart showing the drop is across the board for the top ranked law schools starting with Harvard Law. In particular, Professor Davies notes "The Harvard Law Review remains the top journal, but its paid circulation has declined from more than 10,000 during much of the 1960s and '70s to about 5,000 in the 1990s to 1,896 last year." My initial reaction? Oh too bad as law reviews have impacted the development of the law and influenced courts for decades. And too bad we have become a nation of non-readers. I am not so sure of my initial reactions, however, as the drop appears to coincide with the time frame law review papers became free at websites like Social Science Research Network - see download ranking among top law schools and could be downloaded, searched and emailed to clients and colleagues with a few mouse clicks.

Copyright © 2012 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.