Image: Capital University Law Review website
Image: Capital University Law Review website

It’s been a historic year for Capital University Law Review. After 45 years of publishing exclusively in print, the journal’s new editorial team decided it was time to take the leap to move the law review online. They launched their publication website in the summer of 2018 with hopes of expanding Capital Law Review’s readership and stimulating online conversations about the articles it publishes on contemporary legal issues at national, state, and local levels.

The Capital Law Review’s new website houses its back articles and issues from the last three years - an archive which the team plans to continue building out - and they’ve announced that the journal will begin its first official online publication in 2019 for its forty-seventh volume. The team chose to use Scholastica’s publishing platform to create the law review’s website because it gave them the ability to quickly establish a modern online presence and to manage their own website appearance and updates. In a recent interview, Editor in Chief Avery Moore discussed their transition to publishing online via Scholastica and how they plan to keep building out Capital Law Review’s digital presence and readership. The law review hopes to become a go-to online research destination for legal scholars.

A modern website at an affordable price

When Moore took on the role of editor in chief of Capital Law Review he said he and his new e-board decided that one of the ways they would leave their mark on the journal was by being the first to publish it online. Having studied marketing in college, Moore knew that having an online presence could help raise the law review’s profile greatly and open up new opportunities to grow its readership and submissions.

“My marketing background has taught and shown me just what online presence can do for a company or organization that is not very publicly known,” said Moore. “Simply publishing another volume is not nearly enough; promoting this product to others is how we will slowly become more recognized.”

With the core aim of raising awareness of their publication in mind, Moore and his team set out looking for a publishing platform that would enable them to produce modern and discoverable digital articles and issues with ease. After researching the different options available, they decided that Scholastica’s online publishing platform was the best fit for their needs. Moore said the choice to use Scholastica came down to “visual appeal of the website, quality, and price. I really liked the appearance of Scholastica’s law review websites and their yearly subscription price was within reason,” he explained. “They were an easy choice for our law review’s search to make the break and go online.”

In addition to the design benefits they found in Scholastica, Moore said he and his team also hope that publishing where there is an active community of legal scholars will boost awareness of the journal. “I am really hoping that Scholastica-based law review websites increase overall readership,” said Moore. “Law reviews are a means of promoting legal education and research to other legal scholars. I believe Scholastica can only help with this goal by making it easier for law reviews to be accessible to the legal community.”

Now that they’ve officially made their online debut, Moore said Capital Law Review’s main focus is spreading the word about their new website. “Our top priority is to simply promote our online presence. Capital has never had any form of online presence in the past so simply creating one is a great accomplishment and start.”

As they develop their online reputation, Moore said he hopes that making all of Capital Law Review’s past articles and issues available online and building out its base of new digital content will allow Capital to become a go-to destination for legal scholars. “Our goal is to have enough resources that someone can simply use our website and articles as a form of research,” he said. “We want attorneys in Columbus to think of Capital Law Review when they need to conduct some legal research. This is how we can get cited more and this is how we can market our law review.”

Encouraging future e-boards to think digital

Moore and his team hope their focus on digital publishing will carry on long after their e-board tenure. They believe that concentrating Capital’s publication efforts online will help them provide the best value to readers and become a greater force in legal scholarship discussions.

“Obtaining an online presence is a start for our school to compete with other law reviews. I want future editors to understand the power of an online presence and how this can reshape our outlook of law review,” said Moore. “Overall, I know my expectations are high, but you have to dream big to become big. As Editor-in-Chief of Capital Law Review, I have a real passion with this program and I want to see it succeed by promoting it through a strong online presence. I hope my successors continue to pass on this goal.”