Academic journal article Houston Journal of International Law

The Journal at 30: An Insider's View

Academic journal article Houston Journal of International Law

The Journal at 30: An Insider's View

Article excerpt

   I. INTRODUCTION
  II. GETTING STARTED
 III. GAINING MOMENTUM
  IV. BUDGETARY AND OTHER CHALLENGES
   V. THE RUSSIAN PETROLEUM LEGISLATION PROJECT
  VI. SPONSORSHIPS
 VII. THE LECTURE SERIES
VIII. INTERNATIONAL ENERGY ISSUE
  IX. ADVISORY BOARD
   X. BOARDS OF EDITORS
  XI. CONCLUSION

I. INTRODUCTION

It has been my good fortune to have been associated with the Houston Journal of International Law (the "Journal") for the past thirty years. Beginning as a contributing author, then a member of the Advisory Board, and now as its Chairman, I have been given opportunities to witness and participate in many of the steps along the road to the growth and maturity of the Journal. The purpose of this Article, therefore, is to share the insights I have gained regarding the establishment of the Journal and its many stages and phases of development and improvement. It is my hope that this process of memorializing the efforts of those many individuals who have devoted their time and energy to make the Journal a success will inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

II. GETTING STARTED

The first volume of the Journal was dated Spring 1978. Volume 1, Number 1, was rather slim, consisting of a mere seventy pages, but it was quite a remarkable achievement. As John Brentin, the first Editor in Chief, predicted in the Editor's Foreword, "Given the phenomenal pattern of growth Houston has been experiencing in international business and commerce, the Journal will become an important medium of communication for practitioners, students, and scholars within the international community." (1) This statement has proven to be a prophetic and accurate reflection of the development of the international legal practice in Houston, in which the Journal has played an active role.

The Introduction to that initial publication was written by the Dean of the College of Law, George W. Hardy III. (2) Dean Hardy revealed some background information about the Journal's humble beginnings as follows: "I think it is extremely important for readers to be aware that this publication is the product of interest, labor, and persistence of a small group of dedicated students. Their industry has produced not only its contents but the major portion of its funding." (3) The Dean was referring to the International Law Society's pivotal role in raising funds and finding publishable articles, especially the efforts of the Society's former president, Walter Wright. I was made aware of the details of those efforts when I met Walter at New York University (N.Y.U.) Law School in September 1977, where we were enrolled in the LL.M. course of study in International Legal Studies. Walter regaled me with tales about the hours he and his fellow members of the International Law Society spent working the hallways of the College of Law in pursuit of financial assistance for the Journal. In fact, John Brentin referred to Walter in the Editor's Foreword, saying that his "vision and determination have brought us to this point." (4) Indeed, Walter Wright made the establishment of the Journal his personal crusade and should be viewed as its founder.

Professor Jordan Paust was the only Faculty Advisor listed in Volume 1, Number 1, in which he contributed a brief but intriguing commentary regarding two jet fighter aircraft incidents between the Soviet Union and the United States. (5) Professor Paust was the first professor who was asked to help create the Journal, and he has continued tirelessly in his advisory role, always making himself available to assist the law students as well as suggesting scholarly articles for the Journal. Being a prolific author, it is not surprising that he has contributed a dozen articles over these thirty years. (6)

III. GAINING MOMENTUM

By the time Volume 1, Number 2, was published in the spring of 1979, Professor Stephen Zamora was on the scene at the College of Law and had become the Journal's second Faculty Advisor. …

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