The Evolving Network of Legal Scholars
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
The law professoriate is a network connected by scholarly interactions of various types, including co-authorship. I study the evolution of the co-authorship network from 1980-2020 and document a sharp increase in the number of scholars, the amount of scholarship, and explosive growth in the network of legal scholars during this period. Despite this growth, the distance between legal scholars has shrunk such that legal scholars inhabit a “small world.” I describe the increase in the number and scholarly contributions of women, minorities, and LGB scholars and the rise of co-authorship, including “mixed” co-authorship. I find that members of the same gender or minority groups tend to coauthor with each other, but this correlation has declined over time. Finally, examining the ordering of author names on coauthored articles, I find that women and minority scholars make up a greater share of first authors than their share of authors in general, while LGB scholars make up a small share of first authors.