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Zimmerman's Research Guide


Law Reviews and Law Journals

Law Reviews and Law Journals are scholarly publications sponsored by law schools. The vast majority are managed by law students. The articles are usually written by professors, except the "Notes" and "Comments" at the back of the issues, which are usually written by the students.

Links to law review Web pages are posted by the American Law Sources Online (alphabetical) and FindLaw (by subject).

You can get copies of most law review and law journal articles back to the early 90's at relatively little cost from Lexis or Westlaw or much further back, and at no additional cost, if you have access to HeinOnline. You can locate other sources, sometimes free, using the Washington and Lee Journal Finder, the UNC E-Journal Finder or the Jenkins Journal Portal. If you have access, you can search and print for free from the Index to Legal Periodicals Full Text, which is marketed mostly to large academic libraries.

Otherwise, you can see if the article is posted on the law review's Web site or call the document delivery service of a large law library.

To do a full text search of free online law reviews, you can try the ABA's Free Full-text Online Law Review/Law Journal Search Engine or the University Law Review Project. Otherwise, use Lexis, Westlaw or Hein Online to find what you need.

To find a library with a back issue of a rare law review or journal, your best bet is to search OCLC's WorldCat and/or contact the library of the school that sponsors the review. You can also consult a regional union list, if you have one.

If you need to buy a copy of a law review, call the Review itself. You can get the phone number from the Web page or the front of a back issue.

To see where or whether a law review article has been cited elsewhere, use Shepard's Law Review Citations, in print or through the Shepard's service on Lexis. See also "Shepardizing."

Rankings: The leading source for law review and law journal rankings is Washington & Lee's Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking, which is based on citations in judicial opinions and secondary literature. For another source, see Google Scholar Metrics: Top Publications - Law.

For statistics on the most-cited law reviews, use Google Scholar Metrics , Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking and/or ThomsonReuters' Journal Citation Reports.

Indexes: There are two major law review & law journal article indexes - the Information Access Company's (IAC's) LegalTrac a/k/a Current Law Index a/k/a the Legal Resource Index (available on Lexis and Westlaw) and H.W. Wilson's Index to Legal Periodicals. The CLI and LRI are also available through some academic, bar association and membership library web sites.

You can find articles from 2000 to 2011 using the free Current Law Journal Content from Washington & Lee Law School.

See Also
American Law Reports (ALR)
Law Schools

For comments, questions and suggestions, email the author
Copyright 2015 Andrew Zimmerman