PEER REVIEW AND THE ASPIRING LAWYER
With the coming of the advanced digital reader, reviews are required to conform to a standard. The concept of ‘Peer review’ is technical and established as a process that accomplishes many ends. It is an intellectual activity that aligns the learner, reader, and critic towards systematic industry discussion. A lawyer or a law student may demonstrate skills in contributing peer reviews within a law community or journal.
OCCASIONS FOR DISCUSSION
Discussions, feedback, likes, ratings, shares, web traffic metrics are aspects of the new internet that indicate the importance of a published case, a judgment, an article or news. Actively supported publications appear on first pages of the internet. They also give credit to the writer, editor, journal, and institution. Ideally, all editors strive for newsworthy content that is also relevant and meritorious. The editor is expected to check content for plagiarism, offensive or disputable statements before publishing. Controversial articles can cause journals to be sued for damages. Many journals have turned bankrupt from lawsuits of such nature. There are safe practices that journals aspire to in cataloging, open access publishing platforms or large banner institutional groups.
Apart from journals, cases must be studied and researched in courts by peers for allocation of lawyers and judges. The peer reviewer loses professional rank, income, and credit if reviewing incorrectly. The peer reviewer must develop skills to document reviews which are put up by legal experts.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT THROUGH PEER REVIEW
Reviewers and critics are generally not known to the authors or cases they are reviewing. This is a standard of practice so that personal friendship does not interfere with the review. Criticism or poor ratings should conform to acceptable practices and reserved judgment which is not too insulting. A language style is adopted that is indirect yet shows the quality of the reviewer. For instance, the reviewer can advise preference of an alternate clause, rather than condemn the existing one. In case the reviewer is assessing a case and wishes to abandon it, he may use alternative methods, delay decisions, or respond in a style that indicates a difficult time to take a decision.
Reviewers must be mentors, advisors, and supporters in the system. Confrontation and directness in inadequate situations are not recommended. The internet and courts are marked to be friendly at a professional level. Facebook critics show a weak level that can provide offensive comments. To prevent this Facebook has developed the emoji sign language international system. The Facebook commenter is tutored by the internet. Law students and reviewers are expected to perform to advanced levels of legal management and must display their rank in their thinking process.
In a recent article, a reviewer commented that my article was no more than ‘copy paste.’ This was a published peer review from a law student to an Intellectual Property owner with statutes. Whereas authors generally ignore reviews, I retorted that I would sue her. The reviewer was suggesting through the comment that the editor had published a plagiarized article, the blog to be qualityless, and the author to be a cheat. This is a punishable offense in the law context. She was risking her career.
Amazon authors of law books may permit the marketplace to react according to marketplace standards. This is different from peer review which is not located in a marketplace. It is located in an intellectual fraternity of qualified experts knowing outcomes of bad practices and bad behavior.
Peer reviewers who show intellectual ability and rationale thinking move forward visibly in their careers and provide support to the management (legal, institutional or editorial). They should develop a systematic criterion for reviewing based on the rank of the author or the case, the variables involved, originality, significance and importance of the larger machinery. Reviewers may not be professionals and can be based on limited experience or expertise to comment far on the item at hand.
Peer reviewers may graduate to become professionals in their management to connect relevant others, share news, support editors and journals and be known for their contribution. Peer reviewers form the basic infrastructure of forums and discussions that grow into webinars, seminars, classroom presentations and certified training courses on reputed institutional platforms.
It is best not to use in-house forums and communities to support articles and cases for personal gain. Facebook has a system of buying likes. This distorted the metrics and values of the digital marketplace. Intellectual property has no value when support is purchased against a vendors stall. Opinion is valueless. Money and marketing are valuable. Amazon reviews were removed if they were ever purchased for books or intellectual properties in the global market.
Peer review is a genuine standard for professionals. It is ethical and aspires towards true quality and decision making.
– Malini Chaudhri
Content Writer at Legal Bites