/ June 23, 2008

Lawyers Take a Cue from Pop Culture

A new forum is quickly becoming a “fun” new aspect of the legal community. With the brain trust of a few law professors, Criminal Law Conversations was created to increase the accessibility of traditional, overly dense law reviews. Becoming known as the “American Idol” of law reviews was not necessarily the initial goal of these innovators but it is one of their biggest compliments. Aiming to enhance just what the name implies, conversation among lawyers, the professors, Robinson, Ferzan and Garvey, encourage contributors to shorten the typically 40,000 words, roughly 50 pages, down to a mere five. The purpose of this severe editing is to bring the review into its most simple terms, outlining only the specific topic of the paper without as much of the ornate language.

Another bonus to the Criminal Law Conversations site is the ability of peers to vote for the papers they prefer. Although voting papers “in” or “out” may seem juvenile to some, it takes much of the time consuming work out of the typical law review submission process. The professors explain the painstaking amount of work that goes into submitting a law review and waiting for a response which can discourage lawyers from doing it again. This site takes out the years of waiting and allows instant commentary on all published papers submitted. Not only will this type of conversation be encouraged and facilitated, but those deemed most successful will win a highly contested spot in journals with Oxford University Press; just another step in making the law a little more user friendly.

Source: Law.com: Legal Technology

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