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December 17, 2008

An innovative legal magazine ... which some law schools might emulate?

337_SueI keep getting e-mail telling me about the soon-to-be published new magazine pictured here.  The magazine's website provides this information about the publication: 

Introducing a brand new publication designed specifically for women professionals in the litigation practice specialty.

Demolishing stereotypes. Acknowledging strengths.

A publication for women, not of a certain experience level — but of a certain attitude.

Here is what now appears on the Suewebsite concerning the cover story and some feature stories to appear in the Inaugural January 2009 issue:

If Women Wrote the Laws : What would our world look like if women wrote the laws? What would your life be like? Noted Professor Laurie L. Levenson, Professor of Law & William M. Rains Fellow at Loyola Law School and regular contributor to CNN, MSNBC, NBC, & The National Law Journal explores how the Good Samaritan laws, Voluntary Manslaughter and Heat of Passion laws and Laws of War would have made our society very, very different had they only been written by women.

The Thin Pink Line:.....the fine line women very carefully walk to achieve professional, personal and financial goals. Coined by Dr. Kathleen Reardon, this term describes women who go over the line. Lean in one direction and you are labeled "too aggressive". Move over to the other direction and you're "too girlish"

Where are the Female Litigation Blawgers?Blawging (the latest nomenclature for blogging in the legal field) has caught on to the point that there are over 2,000 legal blogs just in the U.S. Added to that impressive number, social networking, say the pundits, is the way to boost your career, position yourself as an authority and create new avenues for your income. Why, then, are there so few female blawgers?

Though I had thought that print publications were sooo 20th Century, I am pleased to see this innovative new (niche?) publication entering the market.  (I must say, though, that the preview of these article lead me to think that the magazine may reinforce rather than demolish some stereotypes.)  It will be interesting to see if this magazine can persevere in tough economic times (especially given its seemingly considerable annual subscription price for a bi-monthly publication).

Noticing that Professor Levenson wrote the lead article for Sue's first issue, I got to thinking about whether some law schools ought to consider producing specialty legal magazines rather than more specialty law reviews.  I think I am not alone in believing there are far too many law reviews, and also far too few thoughtful legal magazines.  It would be nice to see some law school consider producing more of the latter and fewer of the former.

I suspect there are relatively few thoughtful legal magazines because they not very commercially viable (and the failure of Legal Affairs suggests that ever having lots of big names involved does not ensure success in the marketplace).  But, of course, there are so many law reviews because their viability is sustained by law schools rather than by the marketplace.  Moreover, the potential in-house institutional benefits of producing yet more specialty law review copy is likely limited for many law schools, but the potential in-house institutional benefits of producing a thoughtful specialty legal magazine might be considerable.

Posted by DAB

December 17, 2008 in The mission of law schools | Permalink


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