Supreme Court Review reigns supreme among legal journalsBy Josh Schonwald
There are thousands of English law journals in the world on topics ranging from international property law to environmental law to human rights law, but the single most cited law journal in the English language is the Law School’s Supreme Court Review. That is according to the Most-Cited Legal Periodicals List published by the Washington and Lee University School of Law.
The list ranked legal journals by the number of citations in the two most frequently used legal databases: Lexis and Westlaw.
It has long been known that the Supreme Court Review, which aims to provide authoritative scholarship on the implications of the high court’s most significant decisions, is a highly influential and widely read journal, said Dennis Hutchinson, the William Rainey Harper Professor in the College, Senior Lecturer in the Law School and an editor of the Supreme Court Review. But this longitudinal survey is the first quantitative index of the journal’s citations.
“It’s always hard to say precisely what kind of impact you’re having,” said Hutchinson, who co-edits the journal with Geoffrey Stone, the Harry Kalven Jr. Distinguished Service Professor in the Law School and the College, and David Strauss, the Harry N. Wyatt Professor in the Law School. “What the Washington and Lee survey suggests is just how much of an impact we’re having.”
Established in 1960, the Supreme Court Review seeks not only to provide an in-depth annual critique of the Supreme Court and its work, but also to be at the forefront of research on the origins, reforms and interpretations of American law.
Hutchinson said part of the reason for the journal’s influence is likely the quality and diversity of the scholarship it publishes. The publication, which also received accolades from a Florida State University law school survey of specialized legal journals, has built a reputation as a forum for scholarship from a wide range of disciplines. Works in the journal are written not only by legal academics and judges but also by political scientists, journalists, historians, economists, policy planners and sociologists.
To view past issues of the Supreme Court Review, visit its Web site at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/supremecourt/supremecourt.html.