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April 06, 2009


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Brian Leiter

Duke University Press should have been included, they wouldn't have been in the top six, but might well have been in the top ten--so that was an oversight. Hopkins and Penn have no real scholarly presence in law, do they?

It is relatively rare that scholars confront the issue of whether to go with a trade book or an academic press. Trade presses do publish some scholarly work, but not a lot, and only when it has a certain marketable angle--all of which makes those presses a wholly different category. And I can't imagine anyone thinks that, e.g., Norton has a better law catalogue than Oxford or Harvard, even if Norton sometimes publishes some scholarly work in law.

U of California Press has cut back its publishing across the boards is my impression, which is why it probably didn't fare better in this survey. But frankly, outside the top 6, I wouldn't invest a lot of confidence in the results.


Agreed all around (except that Hopkins publishes some good work in legal history; Penn has a series in human rights).

Thanks for commenting.


Hopkins also has the constitutional theory series, which is becoming more active again. Kansas publishes substantially more. Partly this is a disciplinary issue, but I'd publish in Kansas before any of the presses below the top 6 (North Carolina excepted, if pure legal history) -- and given my own experience with them, before at least some of the top 6 as well, though I wouldn't contest the relative merits of the top of the catalog.


Keith--yes, of course. How could I have forgotten to mention Kansas?! I read a lot in their legal history series, especially.

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