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The Most-Cited Law Review Articles Of All Time

Publication Date: 
June 01, 2012
The Wall Street Journal Law Blog
Joe Palazzolo

Professor Mark A. Lemley is mentioned in the following article because of the high degree to which his articles have been cited in academic journals. Joe Palazzolo of the Wall Street Journal Law Blog wrote the story:

The law professor equivalent of career hits is the “number of times cited” in journals. The stat is a measure of influence, not stroke, but a high citation count open doors, just the same. Institutions consider them when doling out grant awards, awarding tenure or making promotion decisions.

“Three thousand hits means you’ve had a great career. I’d say 3,000 citations means you’re one of the all time citation champions,” said Fred Shapiro, an associate librarian at Yale Law School, who recently finished his third study on the most-cited law review articles of all time, with co-author Michelle Pearse, a Harvard librarian.


A standout in the current era is Stanford’s Mark A. Lemley, who has authored or coauthored nine of the top 100 most-cited recent articles. His popularity may reflect his focus: intellectual property.


Professor Lemley, who hadn’t yet seen the study, agreed.

“I think my presence there reflects the coming of age of intellectual property law as a serious area of scholarship. I’d venture to guess there weren’t many IP papers on the more-than-twenty-years-ago list,” he said in an email to Law Blog.