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Research Guide for Foreign LL.M. Students and Visiting Scholars: Legal Periodicals

About Law Reviews

"Law reviews," or "law journals," (the two terms are functionally equivalent) are the primary forum for legal scholarship in the U.S. academic legal community.  They contain articles and essays ("lead articles") by law professors, judges, and scholars, and student-written "notes" or "comments." Both the lead articles and the student pieces usually contain extensive footnotes citing to primary authority and other secondary sources.  While law review articles themselves can be helpful in legal research, it is the presence of these footnotes that make them so valuable to researchers seeking the most relevant and persuasive primary authority.  Unlike academic journals in most fields, law reviews are generally run by student editors, and participation in a law review can be both a valuable and enjoyable learning experience as well as a respected credential.

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

The Law Library subscribes to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (CDLB), a newspaper published on weekdays that covers Chicago, Illinois, U.S., and some international legal news. The print issues are shelved on the 3rd floor of the Library. 

Another local legal publication is Chicago Lawyer. The monthly print issues are also available on the 3rd floor of the Library.

Other Legal Publications

Many bar associations publish their own magazine or newsletter.  Examples of these are:

American Bar Association:  ABA Journal (current print editions available on the 3rd floor) (also available in HeinOnline)

Illinois Bar Association:  Illinois Bar Journal (current print editions available on the 3rd floor)

The Law Library also subscribes to the National Law Journal, which is published weekly by ALM Media Properties.  The print copies are available on the 3rd floor. The monthly American Lawyer is available in print at K1 .M492 and also in HeinOnline

SSRN (Social Sciences Research Network)

SSRN is an electronic repository for international social sciences scholarship that includes the Legal Scholarship Network (LSN).  Thousands of downloadable abstracts, working papers, and published papers are available without charge.  Set up a free account in order to access all content. 

Loyola University Chicago School of Law Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper Series contains articles authored by LUC Law faculty members.  The series is part of SSRN.


PowerPoint on Researching U.S. and Illinois Law (2019)

Locating Law Review Articles

Law review, or law journal, articles can be found in multiple places, including online databases and print copies within the Law Library's collection. The main online databases useful for locating law review articles are Westlaw, LexisNexis, and HeinOnline. You must have your own password to access Westlaw and LexisNexis, while HeinOnline is a licensed database that is accessible to any user with a valid Loyola ID and password. Most journal articles in Westlaw and LexisNexis are in html format, whereas articles in HeinOnline are PDF files. PDF documents are an exact image of the original print version, so they are useful for cite checking and verifying page numbers. Another advantage to using HeinOnline is that it includes every issue of each journal it indexes, whereas the collections on LexisNexis and Westlaw usually go back only to the early 1980s.

Print versions of law review articles can also be found in the Law Library's collection. Most law reviews and journals are located on the 4th floor of the Library, arranged alphabetically by title. To determine whether the Law Library carries a particular title in print, you can check the online catalog for the journal title. The catalog's journal records will also indicate whether or not we have access to the journal via HeinOnline, and if so, a link to the HeinOnline version will be included.


HeinOnline is the Law Library's premier resource for accessing published legal scholarship.  A key benefit is the ability to download, print, and e-mail the archived articles in PDF format. The Hein interface is available in various languages by clicking on "Account" in the upper righthand corner and then choosing a language of preference.  

Law Journal Databases and Indexes

These indexes and databases provide author, subject, and title access to the vast array of print and online legal scholarship.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar provides a search mechanism to locate scholarly literature across multiple disciplines, including law.  Search results on campus will indicate whether the source is available full text through a Loyola database.  Off campus, users may go to the "Settings" link and then "Library Links" to set up results that show links to LUC full text databases. 

Google Scholar Search

LUC Law Journals

The Loyola School of Law currently publishes six law reviews.  See here for a list.

Legal Research Journals

These journals provide in-depth scholarly treatment of specific legal research issues and trends and topics in legal research and librarianship.  Law Library Journal is available via HeinOnline, and Legal Reference Services Quarterly is available through the LUC Libraries subscription databases.


SmartCILP is a fee-based legal bibliographic service that allows users to set up a profile, based on areas of interest.  Each week, users receive a list of new articles in law reviews and journals that pertain to their profile from the Current Index to Legal Periodicals. This service is available only to Loyola Law School faculty, staff, and students. A list of periodicals indexed in SmartCILP is available here.