Yesterday I received my copy of the Spring edition of The Journal Of Appellate Practice and Process.  It's their tenth anniversary (happy birthday).  Unlike most law reviews, they are faculty run.  One interesting article was about law reviews – what is their fate in the new electronic world.  The article notes, among other things, that there are fewer cites in opinions to law reviews, and the perception that they, particularly the most prestigious ones, aren't useful in the real world, because they are so theoretical. 

I personally like a good law review article (I've written some, too), and think that they can be very useful to a practitioner, if it's the right kind.  Of course some academic tome about paradigms, dialectics and other buzz words isn't of any use, but if you can find one on the topic you are dealing with that summarizes the pertinent case law and issues, then it can provide a very useful short cut.

If I ever get the time, here's one I've been thinking about for years:  "Are Stupid Laws Illegal?"

Of course, the answer, since Lochner, is no as a per se concept; but there is a checklist of constitutional and statutory protections in specific areas of stupidity, like discrimination.  Even economic laws are not immune to commerce clause, contract clause, preemption and other limitations – so what's the unifying concept as to what sorts of numbness isn't legally tolerated and what is?  Eastern Enterprise has given an itsy bit more oomph to substantive due process, and the concept of vested rights is still very much with us.  So in the end, the more accurate answer is more "Not all stupid laws, but some."  Figuring out which ones and why is both a very practitioner-oriented task – what's the panoply of possibilities for the lawyer confronted with a new law wrecking havoc on his client's business — and somewhat academic, if you explore the underpinning connectivity of the list of possibilities.

In my spare time.