Two elite law reviews sneer at consumer law

by Jeff Sovern

I have started submitting my article, Six Scandals: Why We Need Consumer Protection Laws Instead of Just Markets, to law reviews and in hopes of winning the law review lottery, decided to try my luck at the Harvard Law Review and Yale Law Journal (as if, as my students said about twenty years ago). Anyway, both ask submitters to identify the subject area of the article and offer a list of legal subjects from which to choose. I am saddened to say that Harvard omits consumer law from the list, though it does include animal rights. Apparently animals have rights worth writing about but not consumers. Et tu, Brute? Yale also leaves out consumer law, though it at least includes a checkbox for "other." At Yale, both cyber law and military law exist but consumer law has been othered. At least I have one consolation: when they reject my submission, I can find comfort in the knowledge that they seem not to know consumer law exists. Oh, and if you are a law school professor, please urge your law review editors to make an offer for my piece, when I get past this blow and resume submitting it. And if the students at the Harvard Law Review or Yale Law Journal want to make it up to me, I can think of a way they could do that.

By the way, law reviews are edited by second and third year law students who cannot possibly be expected to know about the full range of legal subjects. (sob)

0 thoughts on “Two elite law reviews sneer at consumer law

  1. Steve Gardner says:

    Jeff’s post reflects a reality of law schools–the top ones seem to believe that teaching consumer law is somehow beneath them.
    The post also points out the absurdity of law reviews–professors need to publish, but to do so, they must be judged by law students. This is absurd, both because it gives jejune 2Ls and 3Ls far too much unearned and undeserved power and because, while students may be fit to apply Blue Book rules, they are not fit to judge the substance of submitted articles.
    I’ve published a few articles that were requested by law journals. One time, one of the lesser journals at Duke asked me to submit an article, so I did. The students didn’t like the tone of my article and demanded that I tone it down. I didn’t. They then rejected the article.
    Because my job didn’t depend on publication, I never published the article.
    I also retained my tone.

  2. Ed Boltz says:

    This comports with the lower regard that consumer bankruptcy is given compared to corporate cases not just by law reviews, but also the academics that teach the students and the judges that hire them as law clerks.

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