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Writing for & Publishing in Law Reviews

This guide provides information and resources to help students and professionals who want to write scholarly papers and get them published in law reviews.

Look for Legal Developments

Choose a general area that you are interested in (e.g., environmental law, technology and the law, health law and policy), and then spend some time skimming publications to learn about recent developments. Before a case or statute is discussed in law reviews, it is covered in newspapers, legal newsletters, blogs, and other current awareness sources. Coming across a short article about a recent case or proposed legislation may give you an idea for a topic.

The Gallagher guide on Staying Current describes online resources and techniques that UW School of Law faculty and students can use to stay up to date with recent research topics. Includes, for example, information on Legal Scholarship Network (LSN) and SmartCILP.

Use:

  • Legal newsletters
  • Legal newspapers
  • General news sources
  • Industry newsletters and magazines
  • Blogs

Look at New Scholarly Publications

Browsing recent journals can give you ideas about what topics are hot and how issues are presented.

The Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP) is a very useful tool for keeping up. WebCILP for UW users only (last 6 weeks) | Westlaw (last 8 weeks). CILP provides quick access to the contents of more than 550 legal periodicals, either through the Table of Contents or organized within 100 legal subjects. Law review articles are indexed here 4-6 weeks before they are indexed by commercial legal periodical indexes such as LegalTrac or the Index to Legal Periodicals. Note: UW Law faculty and students can subscribe to SmartCILP, a tailored version of CILP that sends you just the articles indexed under the subject headings you choose.

Search or browse new papers (published or unpublished) on SSRN or the Digital Commons Network.

 

Look for Circuit Splits and Novel Cases

United States Law Week. KF105.1.U5 (Bloomberg Law) lists circuit splits in the first issue of each month. When using Bloomberg Law, search for "circuit splits."

Each issue of Seton Hall Circuit Review includes a "Current Circuit Splits" column, summarizing recent cases.

You can also use caselaw databases on LexisNexis, Westlaw, or Bloomberg Law. Sample searches:

  • Westlaw ALLFEDS: sy,di(split conflict /s circuit authority) & da(>2015)
  • Westlaw WA-CS: co(low) & "first impression" & da(>2011)
  • Westlaw SCT-PETITION (database of petitions for certiorari -- includes petitions that were denied as well as those granted): "employment discrimination" & split /p circuit authority

Environmental Law Resources

The following resources are specific to topic selection in the area of environmental law.

E&E Publications

The Library's subscription provides access to a number of publications from Environment & Energy (E&E) Publishing, including the following:

  • Climatewire (Icon) - provides "coverage on climate change from state policies to federal regulations to international agreements, as well as how companies and markets are reacting to these decisions"
  • Energywire (Icon) - covers the "latest news on developments in the electric utility and unconventional energy industries"
  • Greenwire (Icon) - "covers the major regulations, legislation and court cases in play, and explains how the battle over energy policy and climate change is affecting investment trends, technology development, alternative fuels and carbon mitigation strategies."
  • E&E Daily (Icon) - covers the "latest legislation and congressional activity while [providing] insight into the political context of energy and environmental policy"
  • E&E News PM (Icon) - provides "late-breaking news from Capitol Hill, including schedule changes, markup and floor vote results, new bills and amendments and insight into emerging political issues."​

You can sign up for email alerts from one or more of the above here.

Blogs

Blogs are a great way to keep up-to-date on the latest developments in a particular area of law.  One way to find a listing of blogs related to environmental or energy law is by perusing Justia’s topical BlawgSearch: Environmental law and Energy law.  A few particularly notable blogs include:

Newsletters / RSS Feeds / Email Alerts

Many organizations offer newsletters or other current awareness services (RSS feeds, email alerts, etc.) related to environmental law topics. A few of the most popular include the following (but this is by no means comprehensive list):

BNA Law Reports

BNA Law Reports (Icon)

BNA Law Reports - Environment

You can sign up for email alerts for each of the above or any of the other BNA environmental publications here.

Westlaw & Lexis Nexis

Westlaw and LexisNexis Advance both provide legal news services related to environmental law topics. These services are updated frequently to cover the latest developments in the associated area of law.

Westlaw (Icon)

LexisNexis Advance (Icon)

Reviewing New Scholarly Publications

Browsing recent journals can give you ideas about what topics are hot and how issues are presented.

The Current Index to Legal Periodicals (CILP) is a very useful tool for keeping up. WebCILP for UW users only (last 6 weeks) | Westlaw (last 8 weeks). CILP provides quick access to the contents of more than 550 legal periodicals, either through the Table of Contents or organized within 100 legal subjects, including environmental subjects such as Agriculture Law, Disaster Law, Energy & Utilities Law, Environmental Law, Land Use, Natural Resources Law, and Water Law.

UW Law faculty and students can subscribe to SmartCILP, a tailored version of CILP that sends you just the articles indexed under the subject headings you choose. A SmartCILP subscription allows you to receive notifications about articles related to the individual subjects you choose or broader categories such as the Environmental Law Group.

You can also search or browse new papers (published or unpublished) on SSRN's Environmental & Natural Resources Law eJournals. Environmentally-focused eJournals include the following:

The Environmental Law section of the Digital Commons Network also provides access to new publications.

U.S. Federal & State Resources

Many federal and state agencies provide a means of keeping track of their activities.  If you are interested in finding out the latest news from a particular federal or state agency not listed below, check the agency's website to see if there is a way to receive information on new regulations or news highlights.  A listing of the U.S. Federal agencies is available here and a listing of the Washington State agencies is available here.

U.S. Federal

  • Environmental Protection Agency - Can subscribe to newsletters, news releases, blogs and alerts here
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - subscribe to Newsletter
  • Office of Federal Sustainability – Council on Environmental Quality – GreenGov Newsletter
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission – RSS Feeds

Washington State

  • Washington State Bar Association – Environmental and Land Use Section Newsletter
  • Washington State Department of Ecology – News and Blogs
  • Washington State Department of Natural Resources – News Headlines
  • Washington State Department of Agriculture – Blog (Ag Briefs)
  • Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife – Mailing List

International Resources

For international topics, you will need to look beyond those resources that are primarily focused on U.S. law.  Below is a sampling of available websites and publications.  If you are interested in the work of a particular international organization, check its website to see if you can sign up for a related blog or newsletter.

Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals

The Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (available on HeinOnline and linked from the law library's homepage) indexes journals that are not from the U.S., U.K., Canada, or Australia. It also indexes journals from those countries if they focus on international or comparative law.