As the newly-elected editorial boards of law reviews prepare to set strategies for the next academic year, they might consider:
First, planning symposia, and symposium issues, on special (such as 25th or 50th) anniversaries of the issuance of key judicial decisions, the enactment of significant statutes, or the promulgation or adoption of notable regulations.
Second, creating an advisory board of alumni (including former editors) to suggest, from practitioners’ perspectives, topics for, and potential contributors to, symposia and/or upcoming volumes.
Third, appointing one or more members to the position of Faculty Liaison(s), to survey every faculty member not only about emerging trends in practice and scholarship, but also, for comparison and useful lessons, about experiences in submitting papers to, and publishing them with, other schools’ reviews. (Respondents could be given the option of requesting anonymity for themselves, and would not be required to name the particular reviews discussed.)
Fourth, designating “Cf. Editors” to monitor, and to report to the board on, developments in the social media postings and Web sites of other law reviews.
Fifth, identifying as Practitioner Liaisons members who could invite submissions (of full-fledged and fully footnoted articles; or, possibly for posting on the review’s own Web site, shorter variations) from: the author(s) of particular posts on law firms’ blogs; speakers at ABA, state bar, or other legal conferences; and members of recently-formed practice groups (such as those involving Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) law, cannabis law, or artificial intelligence law).
Sixth, Practitioner Liaisons might also prepare a page for the review’s site, and even videos for its social media channels, to discuss the preferred form and substance of submissions, describe the editing process and general schedule, and provide contact information for specific inquiries.
Seventh, it might be “noteworthy” for a law review to feature its editors in a series of social media videos that clarify “The Mysteries of The Bluebook” (or, “Citation Matters”). Such videos could identify common misunderstandings, provide rules of thumb, explore stylistic issues and quirks, and even delve into citation esoterica.
Beyond serving as a useful general resource (as well as promotion for, and personalization of, the law review), the series might find a small but devoted following among members of the legal education, and practitioner, communities. (As the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia reportedly said of the band’s appeal, “We’re like licorice. Not everybody likes licorice, but the people who like licorice really like licorice.”)
Eighth, a law review’s editors could, on social media videos and/or podcasts, discuss with contributors to its current and forthcoming volumes the genesis, substance, and evolution of their articles.
Ninth, particularly prolific authors might be invited to offer in such a format their advice and insights on professional productivity.
Tenth, as I recently suggested to and initiated with the American University Law Review, editors, faculty, and guests might post on a review’s Web site videos identifying and discussing “My Favorite Law Review Article.”
Eleventh, Book Review Editors might offer members of the law school’s community the opportunity to submit, for posting on the site, text and/or video reviews of the same specified book; or, more generally, of “A Good Book I’ve Read Lately,” or “Recommendations for Summer Reading.”
Twelfth, a law review might identify, by objective (such as, the number of citations in other articles, or in court decisions) and/or subjective factors, “The [number] Most Influential Law Review Articles in [particular area of law].”
Even if it’s not considered a “bombshell,” a far-reaching symposium and/or symposium issue might be propelled by revisiting one, several, or all elements of this “loose canon.”