The University of Chicago Law Review is a quarterly journal of legal scholarship. Often cited in Supreme Court and other court opinions as well as in other scholarly works, it is among the most influential journals in the field. Students have full responsibility for editing and publishing the Law Review; they also contribute original scholarship of their own. Selected for Law Review membership after the first year of law school, students act as staff members in their second year and may serve as editors in their final year.
The Law Review provides considerable legal training. Its members enjoy a unique opportunity to work with Law School faculty, faculty from other universities, and classmates to produce each issue. Articles, essays, and book reviews by professors, judges, and practitioners comprise approximately two-thirds of each issue, while the remainder of the Law Review is devoted to student-written comments-substantial pieces of legal scholarship addressed to current legal issues. The Law Review's editorial board selects all pieces for publication and, with the assistance of staff members, performs substantive and technical edits on each of these pieces prior to publication.
There are two basic routes to Law Review membership: participation in the summer writing competition and the topic access program. Each summer, the editors choose 28 staff members from the former first-year class through a writing competition. Roughly one-third are selected solely on the quality of their submission in the writing competition (an evaluation of a legal issue chosen by the editors), while two-thirds are selected according to their academic performance during their first year, provided they submit a writing competition entry that reflects the skills necessary to do Law Review work. Alternatively, students can participate in the topic access program. In this program, students are assigned editors to assist them in developing a draft of a comment. Once topic access participants have completed a publishable draft of a comment, they become Law Review members. Although the topic access program is quite rigorous, the program is open to all and there is no limit to the number of students who may become Law Review members in this way.