Northwestern University Law Review

Northwestern University Law Review  
Edited byAdam Sopko
Publication details
Former name(s)
Illinois Law Review
Standard abbreviations
BluebookNw. U. L. Rev.
ISO 4Northwest. Univ. Law Rev.
OCLC no.46542348

The Northwestern University Law Review is a law review and student organization at Northwestern University School of Law. The Law Review's primary purpose is to publish a journal of broad legal scholarship. The Law Review publishes six issues each year. Student editors make the editorial and organizational decisions and select articles submitted by professors, judges, and practitioners, as well as student pieces.[1] The Law Review extended its presence onto the web in 2006 and regularly publishes scholarly pieces on Northwestern University Law Review Online (NULR Online).[2]


The Northwestern University Law Review was founded in 1906 by a faculty vote as the Illinois Law Review.[3] It is the seventh oldest surviving law review in the United States[A], and only the second notable law review established outside the Northeast[4] (Michigan Law Review having been established in 1902[5]). Initially, the Law Review was run by the faculty with students only allowed limited roles as associate editors. By 1932, full editorial control of Northwestern's law review had been handed over to the students.[6]

At the journal's founding John Henry Wigmore, the first full-time Dean of Northwestern Law School, was a frequent contributor. Wigmore penned "adversarial editorials that directly addressed the U.S. Supreme Court of the United States and the 'cowardly' members of the Chicago Bar Association."[3] It has been suggested that Wigmore was motivated to help found a journal after his experience "at Harvard Law School during 1887 and [as a member] of the first editorial board of the Harvard Law Review."[7]

In 1952, the journal was renamed to Northwestern University Law Review although the existing volume number was retained.[8]


The Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy is a scholarly legal journal that is the online companion to the Northwestern University Law Review located at the Northwestern University School of Law. Although the Colloquy is published online, its scholarly and journalistic standards are equal to that of the print Law Review.[citation needed]

The Colloquy is the first scholarly weblog to be operated by a major law review. It features legal commentary in the form of essays, debates, series, book reviews, and responses to print Law Review pieces. The format of the Colloquy allows scholars to publish their thoughts within weeks of an emerging legal development anywhere within the field of legal inquiry, and provides a convenient forum for scholars to exchange ideas in the wake of such developments in the form of debates or multi-contributor series. Readers can rely upon the Law Review editors and staff to ensure that citations in these pieces support the assertions made in the posts. The Colloquy also provides for commenting on the essays and posts in a moderated forum.

Notable alumniEdit

The Law Review has been staffed and managed by numerous individuals who went on to become well-known legal scholars and practitioners. [1]

Former Editors-in-ChiefEdit

Other Editorial OfficersEdit

Specified contributors[1]Edit

The Law Review History specifically notes a "distinguished list" of contributors as well.

Beyond the Law Review's traditional legal scholarship, it has published contributions from noted philosopher F. S. C. Northrop, the Right Reverend James A. Pike, Erle Stanley Gardner, and J. Edgar Hoover.[1]

The Law Review has a history of special symposium issues on a broad range of topics. Recent symposium issues have included: The Law-Stem Alliance and Next Generation Innovation (2016); Democratizing Criminal Law (2016); McCleskey v. Kemp (2017); and Originalism (2018).[1]


  1. ^ Michigan directly refers to itself as the 6th oldest (see: ", and Northwestern was the next one established, thus 7th - although no direct statement to this effect is available


  1. ^ a b c d e "History: Northwestern University Law Review". Northwestern University Law Review. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  2. ^ "NULR Online". Northwestern University Law Review.
  3. ^ a b "History". Northwestern Law School.
  4. ^ Swygert, Michael L.; Bruce, Jon W. (1985). "The Historical Origins, Founding, and Early Development of Student-Edited Law Reviews". Hastings Law Journal. 36: 783.
  5. ^ "History". Michigan Law Review.
  6. ^ Swygert & Bruce 1985, p. 785-786.
  7. ^ Swygert & Bruce 1985, p. 748.
  8. ^ "Northwestern University Law Review archives". The Online Books Page.

External linksEdit