The Stanford Law Review was organized in 1948. Warren Christopher, the Law Review’s first President, opened Volume 1 with a description of the Law Review’s aims:
A dual goal is set for the Review: to publish a journal of worth to lawyers and to provide an educational experience of value to students. Fortunately, these goals are complementary.
These principles shall guide us: care, precision, and impartiality are vital; the economic, political, and social forces which mold the law deserve special emphasis; investigation of developing legal problems in advance of their widespread litigation is to be encouraged; readability is a necessity.
The Stanford Law Review Online was founded in 2011 to supplement to the Law Review’s print editions with short, accessible, and timely pieces of legal scholarship.
To this day, the Law Review has two principal functions: to educate and foster intellectual discourse among the student membership and to contribute to legal scholarship by addressing important legal and social issues. It serves these dual functions each year through the publication of one print volume with six separate issues—published once a month from January through June. These issues contain original scholarship by, among others, Law Review members, other Stanford Law School students, professors, judges, and practicing attorneys.
The Law Review is operated entirely by Stanford Law School students and is fully independent of faculty and administration review or supervision. Student Law Review editors select, edit, and publish articles and notes on the cutting edge of legal scholarship. They are trained to critically and comprehensively evaluate submissions. Through a team-editing process, they address each piece’s analysis, writing style, research, organization, and accuracy and work closely with authors to improve their work. In addition, student authors who submit notes for publication receive extensive editorial assistance.
For a concise account of the beginnings of the Law Review, see John R. McDonough, The Stanford Law Review: In the Beginning, 20 Stan. L. Rev. 401 (1968). If you would like more information, please contact a member of the Stanford Law Review’s Executive Board.
The process for becoming a member of the Stanford Law Review is open to all transfer and first-year Stanford Law School students, and the Law Review strongly encourages all who are eligible to consider becoming a part of the Law Review. Members are selected at the end of their first year through a blind-graded exercise that tests candidates on their editing skills and legal writing ability. This exercise is open to JSD/Joint Degree students, but only during their first year matriculated at the law school, and only if they will spend at least two more years at Stanford. Grades are not a part of the selection process. Around forty to fifty membership offers are extended each year.
Candidates who accept membership offers must serve a two-year commitment to the Law Review. During their first year on the Law Review, members serve on editing teams that substantively edit, bluebook, and proofread the Law Review’s content. In their second year, members lead editing teams and serve on various committees (such as the Articles Committee, the Notes Committee, the Development Committee, and the Online Committee). Alternatively, those in their second year of membership are eligible to serve on the Law Review’s Executive Board.
The Stanford Law Review is committed to diversity in its membership and has demonstrated this commitment in a number of ways:
- Institutionalizing efforts to recruit diverse candidates by adding a focus on diversity to the responsibilities of the Senior Development Editor in charge of membership;
- Hosting information sessions and outreach events for students of color and other underrepresented communities; and
- Reaching out individually to students from typically underrepresented career interests.
Questions about the membership selection process and the candidate exercise for Volume 77 should be directed to Garrett Wen (gmwen [at] stanford [dot] edu).