The University of Illinois Law Review is an academic publication published five times per year by the students of the University of Illinois College of Law. The Law Review provides practitioners, judges, professors, and law students with cogent analyses of important topics in the law.

The history of the Law Review publication dates back to 1917 when a group of high-ranking students began to publish the Illinois Law Bulletin. The publication later appeared as the Illinois Law Quarterly from 1922 until 1924. The student editors then joined with editors from the Northwestern and University of Chicago law schools to publish the Illinois Law Review, which ran from 1924 to 1932. Following the end of the Illinois Law Review, Illinois College of Law students began publishing a “current law section” in the Illinois Bar Journal; they continued to publish it until 1949. That same year, students established the University of Illinois Law Forum as a quarterly under the guidance of then-Professor John E. Cribbet.

From 1949–1968, a faculty editor and faculty committee published the lead section, while the Board of Student Editors prepared the student section. The editor policy and control of the Law Review changed during the 1968–1969 school year, with the student board assuming control of the entire publication. In the three decades following its inception, the Law Forum became one of the twenty most-widely circulated law reviews in the country. In 1980, in an effort to more accurately reflect the contents of the journal, the members voted to change its name from Law Forum to Law Review. In 2001, the Board of Editors increased the number of issues per volume from four to five, and it remains that way to this day. The Law Review Online was founded in 2014, and publishes throughout the year.


There are two ways to become a member of the University of Illinois Law Review—participation in the Joint Writing Competition or selection for publication after submitting a note.

Joint Writing Competition

The Joint Writing Competition (“JWC”) is a collaboration between the Law Review and two other journals at the College of Law—the Elder Law Journal and the Journal of Law, Technology & Policy. The competition is for rising 2Ls and 3Ls and takes place during the summer. Students receive offers to join the Law Review before the fall semester starts.

The Board will invite a minimum of 30 participants for membership. If there are three first-year sections, the top five ranking applicants (based on class rank) from each first-year section will receive invitations if they have also made a good-faith effort in the writing competition. If there are four first-year sections, the top four ranking applicants (based on class rank) from each first-year section will receive invitations if they have also made a good-faith effort in the writing competition. “Good faith effort” is defined as a paper that falls within the top 50% of the papers submitted. The Board will fill the remaining needs of the membership by selecting applicants with the highest scores on the writing competition who have at least two remaining semesters and are in good academic standing. Transfer Students are eligible and encouraged to participate in the writing competition.


Students may also be invited to join the Law Review if they submit a note that the Board selects for publication. The note cannot have been written for another journal or published elsewhere. Students must also show a good-faith reason for not participating in the JWC and must be in good academic standing. Without affecting any student’s right to submit a note for the Board’s consideration, no first-year student at the College of Law shall be eligible to receive an invitation for membership under this “Note-On” procedure.

All College of Law students in good standing will have equal opportunity to have their submissions evaluated without prejudice under the blind-grading scheme established by the Board to review note submissions. Non-member submissions shall be allowed at any time the Board accepts submissions from Law Review Members. All submissions must comply with the student note submission guidelines set forth below.

If the Board selects and decides to publish a note written by a student who is not already a member of the Law Review, the Board will invite the student to join as a member beginning the subsequent semester. Any member invited under the note-on provision will, upon becoming a member, assume all privileges and obligations of membership.

Notes are due mid-March of each year, with publication offers extended in April. For submission guidelines, please go to Submissions. For more information about the Note-On process, please email the Editor-in-Chief at law-review@illinois.edu.