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Law 792-GRD: Legal Research and Writing for LLMs: Legal Periodicals

Legal Periodicals: LAW REVIEWS

Illinois Law Review volumes

Law Reviews, also called Law Journals (Harvard Law Review; Yale Law Journal) are schoolarly periodicals edited by law students.

Articles are typically written by tenured and tenure-track law school professors.  The articles are often theoretical and often propose reforms.

Notes and Comments are written by law reivew students. A Note, or Case Note, analyzes a single case, where a Comment addresses a narrow legal topic.  Originally Notes and Comments were published anonymously, but more recenlty the author is included.

Symposium Issues collect articles on a single topic, and may or may not correspond to a conference held at that law school.

Law review articles are often heavily footnoted.  Here is an example:

Law Review page showing many footnotes

Legal Periodicals: BAR JOURNALS

Bar Journal example - The Alabama Lawyer   Bar Journal Example - Illinois Bar Journal   

Confusingly, Bar associations also publish journals.  But you should be able to tell the difference as the title will also contain the word BAR or LAWYER.

Bar Journal articles are aimed at practitioners and and cover practical topics.

Here's an example:

Bar Journal Article: Building Your Case with Social Media

Video - Legal Periodicals



LegalTrac is an index of law reviews and bar journals.  It also contains some legal newspapers and newsletters.

Coverage goes back to 1980.

Use the Subject Guide Search to find articles on a topic.

LegalTrac Subject Headings

Legal Resource Index is available on Westlaw and Lexis

You can search law reviews directly on LEXIS and Westlaw and some of the Practice Areas on BloombergLaw, but we recommend starting in an index.


Hein Online Logo

Once you have the citation you need, Hein Online will provide the full text of the article for pdf download.

The primary function of this system is to serve as a permanent digital repository, so the search engine feature is weak.


Journal articles are written to be complete and up to date at the time of writing, and so have no formal updating.

Look up the citatation to your article in a citator to see if it has been cited by a later publication.

Additional Resources

Legal Research in a Nutshell, pp. 44-51.

Test Yourself: Legal Periodicals

Secondary Sources Quiz

Test Yourself on Secondary Sources

Test Yourself on Secondary Sources

Secondary Sources Quiz