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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.

Search or browse new papers (published or unpublished) on SSRN or the Digital Commons Network.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 (Bloomberg Law) lists circuit splits in the first issue of each month. It will also discuss them in other stories. Search for circuit w/3 split!  Add in a topic of interest: circuit w/3 split! and tax!

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(>2018)
  • Westlaw WA-CS: co(low) & "first impression" & da(>2017)
  • 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:

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 reviewing 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 related to environmental law topics. A few resources include:

  • ABA Environmental and Energy/Resources Committees - committee newsletters
  • Environmental Health News - can subscribe to eLetter at the top of the homepage
  • ELI's Environmental Law Reporter

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.

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

  • 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.