Reforming Our Law Reviews

Vol. 39 No. 9

By

Bryan A. Garner (@BryanAGarner) is the president of LawProse Inc. He is the author of many widely used books, including Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (with Justice Antonin Scalia) and Garner’s Modern American Usage. He is the editor in chief of all current editions of Black’s Law Dictionary.

Of all the editorial reforms that a law review might adopt, the most beneficial would be to require line editors to justify their edits with brief notations citing usage guides. This policy would eliminate nearly all edits that introduce errors into manuscripts—a pervasive problem that I witnessed firsthand as an associate editor of Texas Law Review in the mid-1980s. The problem has not abated: Contemporary eyewitness accounts suggest that the problem is as serious today as ever.

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