On March 15, 1913, a meeting was held in Minor Hall at the University of Virginia to consider establishing a law journal, to be published by the students of the Law School. On April 23, 1913, the Virginia Law Review was permanently organized. Volume I carries this forward:
With this number the Virginia Law Review begs to introduce itself to an indulgent public. The editorial work is entirely in the hands of . . . students, not one of whom has had previous experience with work of this character. It is hoped that the crudities of this first effort in the line of published comment on the work of the courts may be less glaring in the future numbers when the editors have become more experienced.
In 2005, the Virginia Law Review entered its ninety-first academic year as one of the most respected student legal periodicals in the country. Its objective is to publish a professional periodical devoted to law-related issues that can be of use to judges, practitioners, teachers, legislators, students, and others interested in the law. Only in the legal profession do students have the responsibility for publishing a majority of the contributions to the professional literature. The Law Review currently has a circulation of over 1,700 and, when the pass-along readership rate is added, surpasses 17,000. In addition, the Law Review appears in electronic databases, including Westlaw, LexisNexis, and HeinOnline.
The Virginia Law Review is published eight times a year, in March, April, May, June, September, October, November, and December. Individual issues average between 200 and 300 pages. As may be seen from a quick look through any of its volumes, each issue of the Law Review consists of any combination of Articles, Essays, Notes, Book Reviews, Tributes, and Responses. A typical issue includes two Articles, a Note, and an Essay or Book Review. Once a year, an issue may be devoted to a single legal problem or issueoften generated by a symposium.
Most pieces are devoted to exclusively legal topics, though the Law Review occasionally publishes articles on interrelated topics of more general legal concern, ranging from economics to psychology to urban policy. Nevertheless, the Law Review remains, first and foremost, a technical legal journal, with a focus on legal reasoning. The Virginia Law Review places a premium on accuracy in all respectsin propositions of law, points of grammar and usage, forms of citation, and analytical reasoning.
Generally, the authors of Articles, Essays, and Book Reviews are law professors from various schools across the country. Occasionally, articles or essays are written by judges (past contributors include Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Judge Richard Posner) or, less often, by legal practitioners. Law reviews are read primarily by legal academics, and many of the debates contained in law reviews are essentially scholarly ones. Law review Articles and Notes, however, often are useful to lawyers and judges, and it is not uncommon to see pieces from the Virginia Law Review cited in judicial opinions, including opinions of the Supreme Court.
The Virginia Law Review prides itself on producing a quality publication, publishing on time, and maintaining excellent working relationships with our authors.