Hastings Law Journal


Most United States law schools publish a student-edited law review. These scholarly periodicals have achieved an influential position in the legal profession. The Article reviews the evolution of early forms of legal writing-doctrinal works and the more casual and informative legal journalism aimed at practitioners-that led to the founding of the first student-edited law reviews in the late nineteenth century. Contrary to popular belief, student efforts at Albany and Columbia predated the founding of the Harvard Law Review in 1887. The early law school reviews imitated the format, style, and content of the more influential commercial publications. These student-edited law periodicals were designed to facilitate academic scholarship and provide extracurricular educational benefits to law students. In addition, they were unique in that they were managed and edited by non-professionals. Following the efforts at Harvard, numerous schools began publishing student-edited legal periodicals. The Article traces the development of student-edited law reviews, noting their early impact on the development of the law in the courts and legislatures. The Article concludes that by the beginning of the twentieth century, the foundation for their present stature had been laid.

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