What is the Harvard law review

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Harvard law review origins and explanations

The Harvard Law Review is a student-run organization, with headquarters on its college campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1887 when there were but 200 students and five or six faculty members on campus. Throughout the years, the main purpose of the journal was to present findings of legal scholarship. After the Harvard Law School ended its direct support of the journal some years ago, the Review became self-supporting and independent of the school.

The journal is available in both digital and physical copies for its readers. Downloadable issues can be purchased from retailers such as Amazon Kindle, the B&N Nook, and various Apple platforms. With the jump to the digital age, the journal can expand its reader base of scholars, lawyers, and students.

How Does the Journal Work?

Thanks to student editors and writers, the journal is published on a monthly basis through the months of November to June. There are approximately 2,000 pages per volume published. With the help of a current staff of three -- in addition to the editors/writers -- the journal provides a way for students and practicing lawyers to find helpful and educational articles on the subject matter of legal field. As well, the on-campus journal provides students (and others) with a chance to hone their skill of writing to a fine craft.

Each monthly periodical will contain work done by student editors, as well as outside authors. And these "outside" writers may be professors, judges, or experts within a variety of sub-fields of law. With the journal, though, the reason of publication is mainly to serve and improve upon legal scholarship.

During the years of 1920 through 1930, the circulation of the journal stood at around 10,000, for each issue. More currently, there has been a slight drop to around 8,000 per issue, due to increased subscription fees and other such factors.

How Does the Writing Process Work?

Even the so-called experts within their fields are subjected to their work passing through a fine tooth comb. The editorial process is lengthy and rigorous. In terms of student work, it will mostly consist of:
  • Notes
  • Recent Cases
  • Recent Legislation
  • Book Notes

Third year students will normally participate in the writing of Notes and will generally be along the lines of 22 pages in length. Second years within the law program will assist with Recent Cases and Recent Legislation as these articles will be approximately 8 pages long. Recent Cases will delve into ruling of courts which are not named the Supreme Court. The Recent Legislation will help to further knowledge on new statutes, in both the state and federal levels. For book notes, second years will offer reviews of recently published works of academia.

How to be Selected for the Prestigious Journal

Only second-year and third-year students will be able to submit their writing into the annual writing competition for the Harvard Law Review. Based on their performance in said competition, they may be chosen on merit to join the journal. Once a part of the journal, students' work with remain unsigned. This is due to the fact that many different members will have a hand in shaping the piece in order to prepare it for public consumption.

In the November issue, the Supreme Court Foreword will appear. It will be joined by faculty Case Comments as well as about 20 Leading Cases. These Leading Cases are a mix of third-year student analysis on the many important decisions taken from the previous Supreme Court term. Both the March and November issues are known as "special." For the March issue, second-year editors will be in charge of the annual Developments in the Law project, which is an in-depth look at a specific area of law.


Harvard Law Review: About section.

Harvard Law Review: The Harvard Law Review - Glimpses of Its History as Seen By an Aficionado.

Above photo attributed to rachael voorhees

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