2. Again, I think people most commonly cross reference USNews in measuring journals. Thus, it's not unusual to hear someone mention that they've only received an offer from a Tier 3 journal and really want a Top 50 journal, and so on. I think it's generally understood that these references are to the USNews rankings.
This all sounds absurd, but you have to realize that many law review articles are not written for an audience of more than a dozen people or so and likely won't be read by much more than that. Thus, professors cling onto any credential they can get to obtain a sense of validation, and chief among them, insofar as their writing is concerned, is a placement in a Top 10 journal.
I'm of course in the minority in thinking this, and other professors would undoubtedly contend that their scholarship is super important and world changing. You can usually find some good debates on Prawfsblawg or similar blogs about the usefulness of legal scholarship and the differing academic views. As to the view of non-academics, the tables are largely turned -- I think most practitioners/policymakers/judges/legislators agree that most legal scholarship is useless, but there are definitely some in those camps who disagree.
3. "Successful" is a subjective term, but I think a professor who writes one solid article a year would be considered a reasonably productive scholar and would obtain summer grant money. Most professors don't write this much, especially post tenure. Additionally, some professors write books or book chapters (or, in one infamous case, a book about parenting) rather than law review articles. Determining how much these other materials weigh in measuring one's productivity is beyond me.
4. As a student, writing a note should be the main numerical goal, not cranking out 5 different articles. Anything you write as a student will likely be discounted when you apply for teaching gigs, so I don't see much of a point in publishing widely as a 2L or 3L. What would be more important is to make connections with professors, take seminars, read scholarship, etc., such that you can begin to develop your scholarly voice and research agenda. Then, in your first year or two out of law school, you can work hard to publish a full length piece or two and also have another draft to present at the meat market.
Corwin wrote:I've enjoyed this thread very much, thanks a lot for posting.
I have a few research-related questions:
- Does the prestige of publishing in a law review roughly correlate to the prestige of the school?
- Are there "tiers" of law reviews so to speak? In CS conferences tend to be informally divided up into tiers based on a combinations of factors like acceptance rates, the program committee, number of citations, etc.
- How many publications a year does a successful law school professor put out?
- What would be considered a "steller" performance by a law student in terms of research? Coauthoring an article or two?