Yale Law Journal Forum


An objective and generally accepted means of distinguishing reliable producers of accurate information from providers of “fake news” would be an important positive step in combating their spread. Other sectors of our economy are successfully using private accreditation systems to distinguish high-quality products and services from substandard or fraudulent products and services. This essay examines online platforms` current approaches to fake news before examining how a similar non-governmental accreditation system might work to distinguish reliable journalism from disinformation. On April 19, 2011, the Yale Law Journal and several peer-reviewed journals published a joint letter pledging to give each author at least seven days to decide whether or not to accept an offer to publish. Eliminating the explosion of offers will improve the quality of our consultations and the scholarships we publish, and we encourage all other student-issued law journals to adopt this policy. I am asked how the Internet will change what law journals do, but why do we assume there should be a change? Law journals, characterized by depth of scholarship and commitment to detailed and accurate support and citation, occupy a unique niche within the legal profession, and preserving this important tradition can cost law students all the energy you have. But the tide began to turn. In recent years, lawyers have discovered how to resolve disputes effectively and massively. By taking advantage of new technologies, new advertising methods, and arbitration rules that allow workers and consumers to file claims at little or no cost, companies on the plaintiff side have flooded companies that are not used to handling more than one net of claims. With millions of dollars in upfront arbitration fees, companies are under pressure for settlements with thousands of workers filing claims at the same time.7 You now see glittering things that will distract you from this difficult and dignified path.

Law professors seem to be having endless fun with their top-notch blogs, experimental new vlogs, and old mailing lists. And maybe you came to the newspaper with a strong internet habit and maybe even with web design and programming skills. But nothing you can do in the form of temporary innovation can compare to the sacred trust handed down to you by the generations of Jura Journal followers who came before you. The legal journal should survive in its traditional form and maintain a high and sustainable level of jurisprudence. It may be inevitable that the physical volume itself will disappear. But what remains in digital form should be very similar to the previous one. There is something that your law journal editor does that needs to be done that no one else is going to do. (Don`t pay attention to the perpetual whining about journals published by the faculty. That won`t happen.) It is especially important, now that there are so many ephemeral writings, that we respect the long-standing practice of creating sustainable scientific works.

You, the editors of law journals, should be proud and fully empowered to maintain this classic tradition of law journals. Favorite quote: Ann Althouse, Let the Law Journal Be The Law Journal and the Blog Be the Blog, 116 Yale L.J. Pocket Part 8 (2006), yalelawjournal.org/forum/let-the-law-journal-be-the-law-journal-and-the-blog-be-the-blog. For the same reason, I think attempts to do legal journals more like blogs also fail to recognize the great value of the existing institution. Do you want to improve law reviews? Edit articles to be more specific and clear, make sure there are no errors in citations, and take the classic work of publishing a legal journal even more seriously. You can take inspiration from blogging, perhaps by writing with poor acuity and taking into account the real legal issues of the day. But don`t lose your bearings. You no longer need to be like a blog. Be more like the perfect form of a law review. Go back to the essential work that law students did before anyone conceived the Internet. I made an effort to create a faculty blog at my law school, perhaps something like the University of Chicago Law School blog.

But I have little hope that this project will go well, and I see that the Chicago project has never gained much ground. Since the initial revival of attention, which welcomed the announcement of its existence, traffic to the site has decreased. And there`s no blogging energy on the site, with a post — usually long — only appearing every few days. I do not think this is a particular problem of Chicago Law School, but a predictable consequence of the concern to preserve the dignity of the institution they so conspicuously represent. For this reason, I am not confident about the value of law journal blogs. For more than a century, law journals have done important work that the legal profession has relied on, both for the quality of the articles they publish and for the way they have trained students in the rigors of legal research, writing and editing. Of course, we law professors complain about law review articles. They are too long.

They are boring. They are obsessed with arcana. They revel in abstract theories and ignore the issues facing courts and practitioners. The scriptures are obscured. Not all clauses need a footnote. Not every sentence calls for an introductory sentence that reminds us of what we just read in the previous sentence. We do not want to remove divided infinitives and capitalize “Internet”. And can`t I start a sentence with a conjunction, use a contraction, write in the first person, and ask rhetorical questions? We spit out our eccentric complaints, but the truth is that you can translate most of them into modest suggestions for improving the existing review. And, most importantly, we need you to support us and move on. The #MeToo movement sparked a national dialogue on sexual harassment.

This complementary collection, created in partnership with Stanford Law Review, aims to draw lessons from the #MeToo movement for activists, academics, policymakers, lawyers, and judges. In both journals, the collection offers twelve researchers insight into how sexual harassment produces and causes broader forms of inequality. Complementary essays can be found in the Stanford Law Review Online. A law review spends a year creating an eye-catching website, but after what? Harvard Law Review has its forum. The Yale Law Journal has its pocket part, and those pages look good right now. The pocket part is fun to read. I`m glad I have the chance to write for it. But I`m not inside these journals and I don`t see the impact of the web project on the rest of the work that you, the students, have to do. Do you read all the briefs as carefully as you used to? Do you still believe in perfecting support and citation? Are you meeting your deadlines? Are you editing in a way that would satisfy publishers of two generations ago? I say two, not one, because when I was editor of the Law Review a generation ago — at another law school — and I remember laughing at the Yale Law Journal when it was so far behind that it would skip a volume to catch up.

But maybe you, the Yale law students, can do it and establish The Pocket Part as a new tradition. And maybe your future editors will warmly welcome duplication of the Journal plus The Pocket Part. Yale is a special place, and perhaps the Yale Law Journal can maintain both a new and an old tradition. But the question I`ve been asked is how the Internet will change the role of law journals, not what will happen in Yale`s microcosm. Is it seriously expected that many other law journals will turn into a dual project that does not lead to a degradation of the traditional legal journal? I don`t think so. What will the new Board of Student Editors think of these web projects in a year`s time? Exciting and challenging? Chore and distraction? Past blog craving snuggets? Will they be happy to continue on your path or make fun of it as a favorite project? Will the elders care that you have attracted special attention with tricky add-ons? I think the elders have one question that will prevail over all others. Have you continued the classic tradition of legal review or let the standards of science collapse? In this time when younger generations tend to waste a lot of time online, there`s one central achievement you need to pinpoint before anything else counts as positive: preserving tradition! In short, you don`t need to spice up your web presence with new blog-like features. Blogs already exist and are optimized to do things the best way to blog. And law journals already have an important and permanent function that could dilute a side project.

Let the law journal be the legal journal and let the blog be the blog. I think trying to merge them will only make things worse. While much ink has been poured out to dissect Russia`s attempt to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, few have focused on the role of the US media in facilitating Russian cyberattacks. This essay argues that journalists should voluntarily adopt a professional standard against publishing the content of a hack.