Research Paper Number

41/2009

Title

A Tiny Heart Beating: Student-Edited Legal Periodicals in Good ol'Europe

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2009

Keywords

Law Reviews - Europe; Student newspaper and periodical editors - Europe

Abstract

This paper has a twofold aim: to analyze the possible opportunities disclosed by the observed growth of student-edited law reviews in Europe and to propose an innovative model of student participation to legal publication. The first part explores the phenomenon of student-edited law reviews in the U.S., focusing on its recognized educational benefits. Among others, it is observed that participation in student-edited law reviews might promote greater scholarly maturity among J.D. students, who might in turn be better equipped for a career in the academia after finishing law school, in comparison to their same-age European peers. Hence, there follows an examination of the possible beneficial repercussions that the establishment of student-edited law reviews may yield on the process of faculty education in (continental) Europe, in light of the general practice therein endorsed of academic "apprenticeship" under a mentor. Such benefits may consist, among others, in the enticement of larger numbers of potential academicians and in their possible greater intellectual maturity, providing new meaning to the aforementioned time-honored European practice. The second part of the paper focuses, instead, on the drawbacks brought about by excessive proliferation of student-edited law reviews in the U.S., such as alleged decrease in the quality of published scholarship as a consequence of the superficial quality control that student editors sometimes perform. In view of the foregoing, an innovative model of student publication is proposed, in order to prevent the onset of such drawbacks in Europe, while retaining the above-outlined benefits of early student involvement in academic discourse. It is suggested to complement few, authoritative sources of published scholarship in the form of peer-reviewed journals with student-edited working paper series which, if based on the guideline to provide substantial constructive feedback to authors, could ultimately help foster a quality improvement of published scholarship.

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