Journal of Appellate Practice and Process to transfer from University of Arkansas at Little Rock to University of Arizona

June 23, 2020

Scholarly publication will go digital

students exiting building

After 20 years at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law, The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process is moving to the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona, which already publishes the Arizona Law Review, the Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, the Arizona Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, and the Arizona Law Journal of Emerging Technologies.

“The University of Arizona is well positioned to shepherd The Journal through the next stage of its development,” said Nancy Bellhouse May, who joined The Journal in 2001 and has been its editor since 2004. “With the resources of a great public research university behind it, University of Arizona Law has the reach and the reputation to keep The Journal at the forefront of the national discussion about appellate courts and appellate law.” Those strengths, she added, “will enable The Journal to continue as an important forum for creative thought and dialogue about the operation of appellate courts and their influence on the development of the law.”

Tessa Dysart, assistant director of legal writing and clinical professor of law at University of Arizona Law, is the publication’s new editor in chief, and members of the college’s legal writing faculty will be involved as editors.

“We are excited to welcome The Journal to University of Arizona Law and grateful to the Bowen School of Law for all the work they have invested in it,” said Dysart. “The Journal will complement our existing strengths in legal writing and advocacy and our faculty's ongoing contributions to the national conversation on appellate practice issues. And we look forward to leveraging University of Arizona Law's global focus and connections to expand The Journal's reach and coverage of appellate practice.”

Submissions and questions regarding The Journal may be sent to

Since its founding at the Bowen School of Law in 1999, The Journal has published scores of important articles. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices John Paul Stevens and Stephen G. Breyer of the United States Supreme Court have written for The Journal, as have prominent federal and state appellate judges including Judge Frank M. Coffin of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the Second Circuit, Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert of the Third Circuit, Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit, Judge Richard S. Arnold of the Eighth Circuit, Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard of Indiana, Chief Justice Vincent L. McKusick of Maine, Chief Justice Charles B. Blackmar of Missouri, and Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye of New York. The Journal has also published the work of leading legal scholars from law schools across the country that include the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, the University of Michigan, New York University, Northwestern, the University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, the University of Virginia, and Yale.

Courts often refer to The Journal in their opinions, citing it over 100 times in 2019 alone. Bowen Professor J. Thomas Sullivan, who founded The Journal and was its first editor, noted that “The Journal attracted important scholarship right from the start.” He mentioned as an example an article by Judge Arnold published more than 15 years ago that is still being cited today. Adding that articles like Judge Arnold’s “played a major role in establishing The Journal’s position as a scholarly, yet pragmatic, publication,” he also credited the appellate bar. “Appellate lawyers were happy to see a law journal that addressed their practical concerns while furthering scholarly discussion about the future of the appellate process,” he said. “The Journal has been pleased to play a part in supporting that dialogue as appellate law and procedure have developed in new ways.”

Continuing The Journal’s practice of addressing a wide variety of appellate concerns, issue 2 of its volume 20, the last to be published by the Bowen School of Law, includes a rhetorical analysis of Justice Scalia’s majority opinions, a roadmap for appellate judges’ use of social media, a report on appellate judges’ preferences about appellate lawyers’ approach to oral argument, a history of the abstract requirement for appellate briefs, and a review of Justice John Paul Stevens’s autobiography. It will reach subscribers later this summer. Issue 1 of The Journal’s volume 21, the first to be published by University of Arizona Law, will include a comprehensive assessment of the reasonableness standard, a scholarly review of the United States Supreme Court’s grant-vacate-and-remand practice, advice on structuring appellate briefs, a plea for shorter appellate opinions, and a look at the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected appellate courts and appellate practice. That issue and those to follow will be published in electronic form on a schedule to be set by University of Arizona Law.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock, established in 1927, is a metropolitan research university that provides accessibility to a quality education through flexible learning and unparalleled internship opportunities. The University of Arizona, established in 1885 and recognized for its student-centric environment, is one of the nation's top public universities.

Tracy Mueller
Assistant Dean, External Communications and Marketing