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In beginning a new series of THE Southern Law Review, it is, perhaps, proper to say a few words with reference to the plan on which it will in future be conducted.
Convinced that the eminent success which the REVIEW has achieved under the management of its former able editor, FRANK T. REID, Esq., of Nashville, has been chiefly due to the excellent original articles on legal topics which it afforded, from the pens of approved writers, we shall retain this as its leading feature. The digest of English and American decisions will be discontinued. In doing this we proceed upon the theory that a quarterly magazine is not published often enough to serve as a vehicle of news. This field is left to the weekly law journals, to which it legitimately belongs. But there is a ground not occupied by such journals which a quarterly may conveniently and properly fill. This ground covers the indefinite limits which may be supposed to exist between a legal newspaper and a legal treatise. It embraces the publication of original essays on legal topics, of careful and judicious selections from the leading law periodicals published in other countries, and of critical book reviews, written by competent persons. The limited amount of space afforded by the columns of a weekly periodical, the necessity of including in that space a great variety of subjects, and the haste which necessarily attends the preparation and printing of the matters therein embraced, preclude it from occupying this field.
It is designed that the REVIEW shall present, as far as its space will permit, the best legal thought in America and Europe on all prominent matters of interest to the profession. Contributions from members of the profession, on subjects germane to the purposes of such a publication will be thankfully received and carefully considered. Should the character of such contributions or the limits of our space prevent us from printing them, they will be returned to the writer at our expense. The names of writers will, in all cases, unless objection is made, be printed at the end of their contributions. We believe this course preferable to "impersonal journalism" for three reasons: First, because it has been successfully pursued by the REVIEW in its past conduct by Mr. REID; secondly, because it is right that those who contribute to our columns should have the credit which their contributions merit; and, thirdly, because it is right that our readers should know who the authors of the various articles are, in order that they may be able to judge what credit to attach to them beyond their intrinsic value. Where contributors do not wish their names to appear, their articles will be marked with a star. The work of the Editor will be limited chiefly to selection and supervision, and he, of course, will not be chargeable with responsibility for opinions expressed by contributors.
Law books sent to us for that purpose will be critically reviewed by competent judges and practitioners, the services of a sufficient number of whom have been secured for that purpose.