ABA Jnl Article – Why law professors should co-author academic articles with law students

I started writing law review articles in mid-career, after many years of publishing academic articles in STEM journals. Arriving to academic law with an outsider’s perspective (my PhD is in engineering; I have a faculty appointment at UCLA in both engineering and law), I was surprised to learn that law is an exception among academic disciplines in relation to authorship of scholarly works. In most other disciplines, it is routine—and in fact expected—for faculty to co-author scholarly publications with graduate students.

By contrast, in legal academia, the hiring and promotion process places strong pressure on faculty not to co-author with the JD and LLM students who comprise the overwhelming majority of students at most U.S. law schools. While law faculty do sometimes co-author academic publications, they typically do so with other professional academics.

This is despite the fact that today’s law students are particularly well suited to tackle challenging, interdisciplinary problems. They are part of the first generation of law students to be digital natives and are often far better than their professors at navigating and engaging with information obtained from sources spanning multiple academic fields. In addition, many students arrive at law school with academic training and professional experience that, when combined with faculty mentoring, places them in a particularly strong position to conduct interdisciplinary research. Faculty who recognize this and who invite law students to be research collaborators and co-authors will find that publications will be stronger than if the faculty had written alone.

Read more at  https://www.abajournal.com/voice/article/law-professors-should-co-author-academic-articles-with-law-students