We always thought that the legal scholarship as published in (presumed) prestigious and resume-enhancing law reviews was in general different. After all, the material is based on real-world cases--at least as appeals courts review the "facts"--with real-world application.
So in the spirit (or more particularly, dis-spirit) of the season, is it time to stop believing in Santa Claus as it were?
In yet another compelling blog post at the muckraking Inside the Law School Scam, "LawProf" maintains that law reviews are also bogus and, to make matters worse, lack the peer review that is usually standard in other disciplines:
Legal scholarship is produced under pseudo-academic conditions that form a fertile breeding ground for (very heavily footnoted) bullshit. Consider how legal academic publication almost always takes place. People who generally possess no formal academic training beyond what they received in law school (that is, none) write "law review articles." In the vast majority of cases, these articles consist of "doctrinal analysis," i.e., treating appellate court opinions... as texts that deserve to be taken seriously on their own terms. We are already, in other words, knee-deep in bullshit.
But it gets worse. Who is doing the evaluating of the supposed cogency of this analysis? Law students, that's who. So people who, incredibly enough, are even more ignorant than law professors about the actual legal system are charged with undertaking the equivalent of academic peer review for the purposes of legal scholarship. That contemporary research universities tolerate this charade can best be explained by examining the average law school's balance sheet, which will reveal that a nice chunk of the revenue generated by the school's operations is mulcted by central administrators in an example of what medieval Vikings called "raiding," but contemporary academic bureaucrats refer to as "cross-subsidization."Read the whole posting here.