Category Archives: Jotwell

We’ve Hired Susan Bandes

Looks like the cat is out of the bag: Brian Leiter reports, accurately, that leading crimlaw scholar (and Jotwell Criminal Law Section Contributing Editor) Susan Bandes is moving from DePaul to Miami Law. I understand she turned out a chaired offer at another law school in favor of us. Yay!

Here’s Susan Bandes’s bio page.

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New Jotwell Section: Legal History

JotstarToday Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots) inaugurates a new section on Legal History.  The Legal History section is edited by Prof. Kunal Parker of the University of Miami School of Law and Christopher Schmidt of the Chicago-Kent College of Law. Together they have recruited a great team of Contributing Editors.

The first posting in the Legal History section is A Global History of Law, Empire, and Geography by Richard Ross.

Jotwell is always open to contributors. See the Call for Papers for details.

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Jotwell Needs Your Help

The ABA Journal is asking for blog recommendations. It would be great if someone or someones could recommend Jotwell.

Here's the promo from the ABA Journal:

We're working on our list of the 100 best legal blogs, and we'd like your advice on which blawgs you think we should include.

Use the Blawg 100 Amici form to tell us about a blawg — not your own — that you read regularly and think other lawyers should know about. If there is more than one blawg you want to support, feel free to send us more amici through the form. We'll be including some of the best comments in our Blawg 100 coverage. But keep your remarks pithy — you have a 500-character limit.

Some additional tips:

  • We're not interested in “occasional” blawgs — blawgs you name should be updated at least weekly.
  • Editors make the final decisions about what's included in the Blawg 100; this isn't a scenario in which the blawgs that receive the most amici are the ones that make the list.

Friend-of-the-blawg briefs are due no later than Friday, Oct. 1.

Thanks in advance for your insight. Keep posting!

I'd do it myself, but that's against the rules.

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Get Notices of Jotwell Articles Via Twitter

You can now follow Jotwell (IReadJotwell) on Twitter. The name “Jotwell” was taken by one Jessica Otwell, so we had to go with “IReadJotwell” instead.

On my to-do list is figuring out how to tell law students and practitioners about Jotwell. My sense is that almost all of our current readers are law professors.

Facebook, here we come…

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Jotwell Reactions

oie_globes_and_books5_sm.gifI've been thrilled by the initial response to Jotwell. Traffic well exceeded my expectations, which is only fair as the initial articles are great, and a large number of friends and strangers have sent me incredibly kind email.

Of all the notes I got, this one from Prof. Bernard Hibbitts of U. Pittsburgh, the creator of JURIST, is my favorite because it not only nicely summarizes a large part of what I am hoping Jotwell will do, but also goes beyond my wilder dreams. Prof. Hibbitts (quoted with permission) wrote,

[T]his is a really great initiative which has tremendous potential to reshape the scholarly publishing process in law, since your focus is much more on what is said than where it is said. You have, in a sense, (re)invented the “law review”, recasting it in the literal/movie sense of the term, and the consequences of this for the traditional players and hierarchy could be enormous, as JOTWELL could end up leapfrogging and superseding them entirely in multiple ways (authoritativeness, timeliness, etc.). Going further, it may not be too much to suggest that you may finally have split the scholarly atom, dividing assessment from placement and unleashing untold intellectual energies and possibilities in the process.

I can only wish.

Meanwhile, we have a new article by Donna Coker up at Jotwell, and two more new pieces in other sections scheduled for next week. Have a look.

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Jotwell Launches Today

Today is the official launch of Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots), a new online law journal that I am editing. At Jotwell you will find leading academics and practitioners providing short reviews of recent scholarship related to the law that the reviewer likes and thinks deserves a wide audience. We launch with a great set of original contributions spanning a wide range of legal topics.

Jotwell is a special type of law review housed on a set of inter-linked blogs. As a law review, Jotwell has only one mission: to bring to readers' attention great recent scholarship related to the law. As a blog, Jotwell invites your comments.

We have an amazing team of superb contributors, whose names are listed in the sections:

On the Jotwell main page you should expect new content once or twice a week, although as we add more sections contributions may become more frequent. Each of the subject-specific sections will have something new at least once a month. In any case, every time a new review appears in any of the subject-specific sections, an excerpt with a link to the full text will also appear there.

There are three ways to read Jotwell.

  1. You can visit the main Jotwell page, which aggregates all the sections; or you can sample just the sections you like, choosing from the list in the right column.
  2. If you use a newsreader, you can sign up for the RSS feed for the main Jotwell section, or select among the feeds for the subject sections by choosing the link to the RSS feed found in each section.
  3. Or, if you prefer to get your updates by e-mail, you can click here to request a message every time we have new article, or click on the email link found in every subject section for a more tailored, and less frequent, reminder.
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Jotwell Call for Papers

Jotwell: The Journal of Things We Like (Lots) seeks short reviews of (very) recent scholarship related to the law that the reviewer likes and thinks deserves a wide audience. The ideal Jotwell review will not merely celebrate scholarly achievement, but situate it in the context of other scholarship in a manner that explains to both specialists and non-specialists why the work is important.

Although critique is welcome, reviewers should choose the subjects they write about with an eye toward identifying and celebrating work that makes an original contribution, and that will be of interest to others. First-time contributors may wish to consult the Jotwell Mission Statement for more information about what Jotwell seeks, and what it seeks to achieve.

Reviews need not be written in a particularly formal manner. Contributors should feel free to write in a manner that will be understandable to scholars, practitioners, and even non-lawyers.

Ordinarily, a Jotwell contribution will

  • be between 500-1000 words;
  • focus on one work, ideally a recent article, but a discussion of a recent book is also welcome;
  • begin with a hyperlink to the original work — in order to make the conversation as inclusive as possible, there is a strong preference for reviews to focus on scholarly works that can be found online without using a subscription service such as Westlaw or Lexis. That said, reviews of articles that are not freely available online, and also of very recent books, are also welcome.

Initially, Jotwell particularly seeks contributions relating to:

We intend to add more sections in the coming months.


Authors are responsible for the content and cite-checking of their own articles. Jotwell editors and staff may make editorial suggestions, and may alter the formatting to conform to the house style, but the author remains the final authority on content appearing under his or her name.

  • Please keep citations to a minimum.
  • Please include a hyperlink, if possible, to any works referenced.
  • Textual citations are preferred. Endnotes, with hyperlinks, are allowed if your HTML skills extend that far.
  • Authors are welcome to follow The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (18th ed. 2005), or the The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (2d Ed.) or indeed to adopt any other citation form which makes it easy to find the work cited.


Jotwell publishes in HTML, which is a very simple text format and which does not lend itself to footnotes; textual citations are much preferred.

Contributors should email their article, in plain text, in HTML, or in a common wordprocessor format (Open Office, WordPerfect, or Word) to and we will forward the article to the appropriate Section Editors. Or you may, if you prefer, contact the appropriate Section Editors directly.

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