Until fairly recently, the work of people who thought and wrote about the law in its broadest cultural sense, and the work of those who thought and wrote about the law as it was practiced, did not intersect very much. The broad cultural issues tended to be the province of philosophers or political theorists or other academic social critics, while traditional legal scholarship - as it appeared in law school journals - remained firmly rooted in lawyers' questions. This is not to suggest that legal academics wrote nothing but practice manuals, but it is true that until the last twenty years or so most legal academic effort went into texts that were of direct use to practicing lawyers. Law reviews were a common starting place for lawyers' legal research, and lawyers and judges who subscribed to law reviews could expect to find useful articles that routinely touched on their areas of practice or that influenced their thinking. As Judge Harry Edwards recently complained,1 except for student notes, or an occasional symposium issue, that is no longer the case. Today's journals are filled with a very different kind of scholarship, written by a different species of law professor and targeted at a different audience. Edwards is surely correct that most legal scholarship nowadays has little to offer to practicing lawyers, to judges, or to legislators. 2
Reingold, Paul D. "Harry Edward's Nostalgia." Mich. L. Rev. 91 (1993): 1998-2009.