Last Writes? Reassessing the Law Review in the Age of Cyberspace
Bernard J. Hibbitts
Professor Hibbitts reassesses the history and future of the law review in light of changing technological and academic conditions. He analyzes why law reviews developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and shows how three different waves of criticism have reflected shifting professorial, professional, and pedagogical concerns about the genre. Recent editorial reforms and the inauguration of on-line services and electronic law journals appear to solve some of the law review’s traditional problems, but Professor Hibbitts suggests that these procedural and technological modifications leave the basic criticisms of the law review system unmet. In this context, Professor Hibbitts proposes that legal writers self-publish on the World Wide Web, as he did in a previous version of this Article. This strategy, Professor Hibbitts argues, would give legal writers more control over the substance and form of their scholarship, would create more opportunities for spontaneity and creativity, and would promote more direct dialogue among legal thinkers. It would also sound the death knell for law reviews in their present form.