How to write a law review noteworthy of publication

No comments, posted on July 22, 2014
REUTERS/ Arnd Wiegmann

REUTERS/ Arnd Wiegmann

Jonathan G. Burns, a experienced law-reviewer, has written a short article providing you with guidance for writing a law review note that is worthy of publication. Jonathan is a published author, about to embark on a legal career with international law firm Dentons in Saudi Arabia.


I. Introduction

II. Choosing a theme

III. Writing the note
A. Writing the introduction
B. Writing the objective portion
C. Writing the subjective portion
D. Writing the conclusion

IV. Presenting a note worthy of publication
A. Focus on first impressions
B. Focus on organization
C. Focus on research

V. Final notes and “dirty tricks”


Perhaps the most important aspect of a Note is its theme. The main consideration for
the theme of your Note should first and foremost be your personal interests. It is nearly
impossible for an author to disguise a genuine feeling of boredom toward the Note’s topic
with a feigned interest and, thus, if you are not thoroughly fascinated with the theme, the
Selection Committee will immediately realize this and quickly toss your work in the “No
Publish” pile.

While your personal interest in the theme is of utmost importance, there are, however,
some practical considerations that should guide your choice as well. A good theme will be
something that is current; something that pervades the dialogue in the legal community
at the moment. However, keep in mind that your Note will not be judged for publication
until the spring after you are accepted onto the law journal and, further, the Notes chosen
for publication will not be published until the following fall or spring. Thus, your theme
should not only be current, but it should include a degree of permanency…”

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