In what year was the first student-edited law review published, and which institution was it published by?

For this question consider a law review to be:

"[a] periodic publication of most law schools containing lead articles on topical subjects by law professors, judges or attorneys, and case summaries by law review member-students." -- Black's Law Dictionary 887 (6th ed. 1990).


1 Answer 1


The first student-edited law review was The Albany Law School Journal - of Albany Law School - which was published for only one year, in 1875.

The first student-edited law review was the Albany Law School Journal, which lasted only one year, through 1875. This law review contained articles, Moot Court arguments, and a calendar of law school events. The first issue included a student commentary that questioned whether after a lecture it was better for a student to read the cases discussed in the lecture or to read treatises on the topic discussed.

The journal was eventually succeeded by The Albany Law Review (in 1936), which proudly trumpets its heritage:

Albany Law School was the first institution to produce a student edited legal periodical. During the academic year of 1875—1876, a student run group, lead by then Editor-in-Chief Isaac Grant Thompson, published the Albany Law School Journal. Although closer to a legal newspaper than a traditional academic law review, the Albany Law School Journal has been hailed as a precursor to the first academic law review published by Harvard Law School in 1887. Editor-in-Chief Thompson described the journal as a “medium of conveying to the profession of the country the latest intelligence of interest on all subjects pertaining to the law,” and he solicited “brief contributions on legal topics, notes of decisions, and items of general legal news.”

The Albany Law School Journal was published weekly and mainly consisted of law school updates, announcements, and news. There was, however, a substantive component to the Albany Law School Journal. Each publication contained brief summaries of important recent decisions of the New York courts. Also, the journal contained primitive versions of the student note, a major component of many modern law review publications. For example, one student discusses in detail recent arguments on the power of the states under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments “to cut off the right of suffrage of any person for certain reasons.”

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