The overarching theme of Volume 19 of Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD is how legal communication shapes the law, and how doers of legal writing can use their resources to make it better. The volume begins with a fascinating article from Aaron Kirschenfeld and Alexa Chew, “Citation Stickiness, Computer-Assisted Legal Research, and the Universe of Thinkable Thoughts.” In their article, Professors Kirschenfeld and Chew shed light on whether the switch from print research to digital research has changed the way that law students and lawyers conduct research. To do so, the article uses the “citation stickiness” metric, which analyzes whether a citation appears in at least one party’s brief and again in the court’s opinion. Professors Kirschenfeld and Chew used citation stickiness to study how often parties to an appeal and judges hearing that appeal agreed on the relevant cases to resolve the issues presented, focusing on cases from 1957, 1987, and 2017. Their research shows, surprisingly, that citation stickiness increased over time, meaning that there was less coherence and agreement between advocates and courts in the pre-digital era, not more, as predicted by earlier scholarship.
Hannon, Margaret C. and Ruth Anne Robbins. Preface to Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD 19 (2022): vii-x.