An Author's Manifesto Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your® ID to access the full text of this article.
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a® ID.
US $22.00 (+ tax)

Copyright (c) 1994 University of Chicago
University of Chicago Law Review

An Author's Manifesto

Spring, 1994

61 U. Chi. L. Rev. 527


James Lindgren *



I. Crimes Against Humanity

Our scholarly journals are in the hands of incompetents. I'm not saying that law review editors are stupid; I wish things were that simple. On the contrary, law review editors are smart--frequently smarter than the authors whose work they edit. But they often select articles without knowing the subject, without knowing the scholarly literature, without understanding what the manuscript says, without consulting expert referees, and without doing blind reads. Then they try to rewrite every sentence.

In short, student editors are grossly unsuited for the jobs they are faced with. Certainly, I was unsuited for my job on the staff of the University of Chicago Law Review. During my first year on the Review, I was appalled by what my fellow students (and I) were doing--selecting faculty articles and rewriting their prose. My response to my own feelings of inadequacy was to read a dozen style books. The following year, I was rewarded for my few months of study by being assigned the job of editing most
articles and student comments for English prose style. Although by law review standards I was a light editor, in retrospect I'm ashamed by my own complicity in war crimes against authors.

This nonsense must stop. We must turn our professional academic journals into professional academic journals. What I propose in this playfully extreme essay 1 is to improve student writing, not to end it. I try to show what's wrong and how ...
If you are interested in obtaining a® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at
Search Documents
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities