Harvard Law School Professors J. Mark Ramseyer ’82 and Steven Shavell are launching what will be the nation’s first faculty-edited journal with a broad legal focus. Entitled the Journal of Legal Analysis, the first issue is slated to be published in fall 2008.
“There are a lot of faculty-edited journals for subfields like law and economics, law and society, or legal history,” Ramseyer said. “So far there hasn’t been any that covers the broader field of law, and we hope to change that.”
In starting this publication, Ramseyer and Shavell hope to make peer-editing more universal for legal scholarship. “Having articles edited by peers is helpful because it draws on the judgment of scholars in the field,” added Ramseyer.
Ramseyer will be the chief editor and will have the help of four co-editors, including law and economics expert Shavell, along with a larger board of editors. Ramseyer is currently accepting submissions and hopes that scholars will send the Journal essays on which they are currently working.
Scholars from various fields have signed on to be members of the editorial board, including HLS Professors Louis Kaplow ’81, Frederick Schauer, Kathryn Spier, and Adrian Vermeule ’93. Judge Richard Posner '62; Professors Steven Levitt, an economist at the University of Chicago; Jonathan Baron, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania; Andrei Shleifer, an economist at Harvard University; and Richard Craswell from Stanford Law School will also join the editorial board.
While legal journals are typically edited by students, organizers say having faculty edit this journal is important due to the interdisciplinary nature of the articles that will be published. The journal is funded by Terence Considine ’71 and the HLS John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business, and is currently negotiating a publication agreement with the Harvard University Press.
Ramseyer is the Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Legal Studies. A leading scholar on Japanese law, he is the author of several books, including “The Fable of the Keiretsu: Urban Legends of the Japanese Economy” and “Odd Markets in Japanese History: Law and Economic Approach.”
The director of the Olin Center, Shavell is the Samuel R. Rosenthal Professor of Law and Economics. He is the author of “Foundations of Economic Analysis of Law” and “Economic Analysis of Accident Law.”