Law Reviews: An Overview

If you’re doing legal research, secondary sources are great tools for learning more about a topic or for finding commentary on cases from the experts. They can also be a gateway to other primary or secondary sources of research. One of the most heavily used of these is the law review. Law reviews are scholarly journals with articles written by members of the legal profession and often edited by law students. They can bear the title of the university where they are produced or the subject they cover, such as the Land Use and Environmental Law Review.

According to a legal scholar at West Virginia University, “…a law review supplies a crucial service to the legal profession…by publishing reports and comments on current cases and articles [that] discuss problems of local interest.” Law reviews also provide a “source from which [the legal profession] could regularly glean information on the broader implications of new cases and new legislation.” (111 W. Va. L. Rev. 922)

The Washington State Law Library collection currently contains over 1,000 law review titles available in print or online through the databases HeinOnline, Westlaw, and Lexis. If you are looking for the latest issue of the Gonzaga Law Review or need an article on medical malpractice from 1950, we’ve got you covered.

The State Law Library’s law review collection includes all titles published by Washington law schools as well as international titles and topics ranging from air law to technology law and policy. The library also maintains a copy of the University of Washington’s Current Index to Legal Periodicals — a weekly update of the latest law review publications.

To request a law review article or for assistance searching the law library’s law review collection, contact us at library.requests@courts.wa.gov. (LE)