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First Year Legal Research Guide: Law Reviews

This Guide tracks the Fall Basic Legal Research Course at Loyola University Chicago's School of Law

Print Versions of Law Reviews

Law review articles can also be found in the Law Library's extensive collection of law reviews and journals, located on the 4th floor in alphabetical order by title.  To find a particular title in print, check Loyola's online catalog for the journal title.  The catalog's journal record will also indicate whether it is accessible via HeinOnline (see below). If so, a link to the HeinOnline version will be included.  In addition to searching by journal title, you can now search the catalog by the title of the particular article or author you seek. 

Access to Law Review Articles through HeinOnline

HeinOnline provides access to more than 1,700 law and law-related periodicals. For most journals, coverage is from the first issue published through the most current issue. Searching can be conducted by title or author name, and full-text searching of the entire collection or selected periodicals is also an option. A key benefit is the ability to download, print, and e-mail the archived articles in PDF format. For additional assistance, this HeinOnline LibGuide includes an overview of the Law Journal Library's content along with tips on searching and interface navigation.

Access to Law Reviews on Westlaw, Lexis, & Bloomberg Law

Free Electronic Sources for Law Review Articles

While not as comprehensive as HeinOnline, these resources provide links to free versions of published legal scholarship.

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 other legal 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 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.

Finding Law Review Articles - Keyword, Author & Title Indexes, and Search Engines

The most efficient way to locate law journal articles without a citation is to use an index. Fortunately, there are several indexes to law review articles that provide author, subject, and/or title access to the vast array of print and online legal scholarship. While both print and online sources are listed, the online indexes will suffice for most of your research needs. 

Helpful Books on Law Reviews & Academic Writing

Legal Blogs ("Blawgs")

blog is a log or journal of chronological entries (called “posts”) by an individual, group, or institution, made available at a particular site on the WWW.  Note that legal blogs are sometimes referred to as “blawgs.”

Blogs/blawgs may include a variety of types of articles, such as commentary on recent decisions, analyses of legal issues in the news, or lists of the author's favorite websites or links. A consensus is emerging that blawgs are having a transformative impact on the world of legal scholarship, due to their rapid, unfiltered dissemination of legal ideas.  When a "hot topic" legal issue erupts, bloggers are the first to provide reactions, suggest lines of inquiry, and provide perspective.

Subject Guide

Patricia Scott's picture
Patricia Scott
Director, Law Library & Clinical Professor of Law

Philip H. Corboy Law Center

25 E. Pearson St.

Chicago, IL 60611

(312) 915-8515

Additional Info

How to Cite Law Review Articles

Rule B16.1.1 (Bluepages) of The Bluebook (20th edition) explains how to cite to law review articles that appear in consecutively paginated journals (most follow this format). The following examples are provided for citing in non-academic legal documents:

Fred R. Shapiro & Michelle Pearse, The Most-Cited Law Review Article of All Time, 110 Mich. L. Rev. 1483, 1489 (2012).

R.H. Coase, The Problem of Social Cost, 3 J.L. & Econ. 1,1 (1960).

The components of the citation are, in order:  the author's or authors' full name(s); the title of the article; the journal volume number; the abbreviation of the journal name; the page on which the article begins; the pincite (the page number(s) cited); and the year of publication.  The name of the journal should be abbreviated according to table T13 (periodical abbreviations).

The Bluebook notes that the Bluepages retain the tradition of underlining certain text, but italics may be substituted wherever underlining is used in the Bluepages as long as the use is consistent (see p. 3).

For general information on pinpoint citations ("pincites"), see rule B10.1.2 (Bluepages) and rule 3.2 (Whitepages).

For further guidance on citing periodical materials, see rule 16 (Whitepages).