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Basic Legal Research Guide: Law Reviews

This Guide (formerly known as the First Year Legal Research 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 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, it is possible to search the catalog with a title of a particular article or author. 

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. 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, 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. While both print and online sources are listed below, 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 on a particular website. Note that legal blogs are sometimes referred to as “blawgs.”

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

Subject Guide

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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

CALI LibTour - Law Journals (or Law Reviews)

As part of its LibTour podcast series, CALI created this brief introduction to law journals. Follow the link below to the podcast.

How to Cite Law Review Articles

Rule B16.1.1 (Bluepages) of The Bluebook (21st 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 (see p. 24):

Fred R. Shapiro & Michelle Pearse, The Most-Cited Law Review Articles 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 tables T6 (Common Words in Case Names, Institutional Author Names, and Periodical Titles) (p. 304), T10 (Geographical Terms) (p. 312), and T13 (Institutional Names in Periodical Titles) (p. 320).

The Bluebook notes that the Bluepages retain the tradition of underlining certain text, although italics are considered to be equivalent (see p. 6).

For further guidance on citing periodical materials, see rule 16 (Whitepages) (p. 157). To cite to a law journal article that appears in a consecutively paginated journal, The Bluebook provides these examples for academic works (see pp. 157, 160):

Elizabeth F. Emens, Integrating Accomodation, 156 U. PA. L. REV. 839, 894 (2008). 

Richard A. Epstein, The Supreme Court, 1987 Term—Foreword: Unconstitutional Conditions, State Power, and the Limits of Consent, 102 HARV. L. REV. 4, 44 (1988).

The components are in this order: full name of author(s); title of the article; volume number of the journal; abbreviated title of the journal; the starting page of the article; specific page(s) cited; the date of publication. Consult tables T6, T10, and T13 to abbreviate the titles of periodicals.