How to Write a Law Review Article: A Step-by-Step Guide + Effective Tips

law review article

What Is a Law Review Article?

A law review article is a scholarly essay written by legal experts, often law professors or practicing attorneys, on a specific topic or issue. These articles are typically published in law review journals and academic publications produced by law schools or professional legal organizations. Unlike news articles or opinion pieces, law reviews are characterized by their in-depth analysis, rigorous research, and adherence to academic standards.

Law review articles are like the gold standard in the world of legal studies. They're well-researched, carefully written pieces that dive deep into all kinds of topics. They aren't just about regurgitating facts; they're about digging into the why and how behind legal issues, offering fresh perspectives, and sparking important conversations among scholars.

In this guide, we will break down what exactly makes a law review tick – what they're all about, how they're put together, and why they matter so much in the legal world. So, if you've ever wondered how to write a law review article, buckle up – we're about to take a closer look.

Law Review Article Format

The structure typically includes several key components: an introduction that outlines the scope and purpose, a comprehensive literature review to provide context and highlight existing scholarship on the topic, a detailed analysis of relevant principles and case law, and a conclusion that synthesizes the findings and offers insights or recommendations.

Additionally, if you want to learn how to format a law review article, always incorporate footnotes or citations extensively to support your arguments and provide readers with access to the sources consulted by the author. These articles are key in advancing scholarship, shaping discourse, and informing practitioners and policymakers on complex issues. If you want this assignment to be done fast without your intervention, use our article review writing service.

General Formatting

In law review articles, specific guidelines govern the overall appearance of the document. For instance, the text is typically set in a legible serif font such as Times New Roman, with a font size of 12 points for the main body and 10 or 11 points for footnotes. Margins are uniformly set at one inch on all sides of the page to ensure ample white space and accommodate annotations or comments. Additionally, page numbers are consistently placed either at the bottom center or bottom right corner of each page to aid in navigation.

Line Spacing and Indenting

Line spacing and indentation are crucial elements of formatting that contribute to readability and organization. Double spacing, including the main text, footnotes, and references, is typically used throughout the document. This spacing enhances legibility and provides ample space for editors, reviewers, and readers to make annotations or comments. Additionally, paragraphs are often indented to separate distinct ideas or arguments within the text visually. This indentation helps readers navigate the article more easily and understand the structure of the author's reasoning.


Footnotes are integral to law reviews, serving multiple purposes, such as providing additional context, citing sources, or elaborating on complex principles. They allow authors to include relevant information without disrupting the flow of the main text. Regarding formatting, footnotes are typically numbered consecutively throughout the article, and they often follow specific citation styles such as The Bluebook or the Harvard Law Review Association's style guide. Proper formatting of footnotes ensures consistency and facilitates readers' access to the sources cited. Keep in mind that punctuation is also very important.

Tables and Graphs

Law reviews often incorporate tables, graphs, or other visual aids to present data, statistics, or complex information in a clear and organized manner. These visual elements can enhance readers' understanding of the material and provide valuable insights. When including tables or graphs, authors should ensure that they are properly formatted and labeled. Each table or graph should be numbered consecutively and accompanied by a descriptive title that summarizes its contents. Moreover, authors should reference tables and graphs within the text to direct readers to relevant information and provide context for their inclusion.


While mathematics may not be as prevalent in law review articles as in scientific or technical publications, it still plays a significant role in certain areas of legal analysis, such as economics, finance, or quantitative studies. When mathematical equations or formulas are utilized, they should be presented clearly and accurately. Authors should use proper notation and formatting conventions to ensure readability and comprehension. Additionally, explanations or interpretations of mathematical concepts should be provided to assist readers in understanding their relevance within the legal context.

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Where to Find Information and Sources for a Law Review Article?

The selection of sources is paramount to establishing credibility, supporting arguments, and contributing to the scholarly discourse of a law review article.

  • Legal Databases and Libraries

Legal databases such as Westlaw, LexisNexis, and HeinOnline offer access to various materials, including case law, statutes, regulations, and commentary. These databases are indispensable for scholars seeking authoritative, up-to-date sources to support their arguments.

  • Law Reviews and Journals

Law reviews and journals publish scholarly articles written by legal experts on various topics. These publications provide valuable insights, analyses, and discussions on recent legal developments and academic debates. Consulting articles from reputable law reviews can offer perspectives, arguments, and citations to enrich one's research.

  • Court Opinions and Legal Documents

Primary sources such as court opinions, judicial decisions, statutes, and regulations are the foundation for scholarship. Analyzing and citing relevant court opinions and legal documents lend credibility and authority to the arguments presented in a law review.

  • Books and Treatises

Legal treatises, textbooks, and monographs written by leading scholars and practitioners offer in-depth analyses and comprehensive coverage of specific areas of law. These resources provide valuable background information, theoretical frameworks, and historical perspectives that can inform and strengthen the arguments.

  • Scholarly Articles and Citations

Academic databases like JSTOR, Google Scholar, and academic libraries house many scholarly articles, conference papers, and dissertations across various disciplines, including law. Reviewing these sources can provide additional insights, empirical data, and theoretical frameworks relevant to the topic under investigation.

  • Government Publications and Reports

Government agencies, legislative and administrative bodies produce reports, white papers, and policy documents on legal issues and public policy matters. These publications often contain valuable statistics, research findings, and policy recommendations that can bolster the arguments advanced in a law review article.

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How to Write a Law Review Article?

Writing a law review requires a systematic approach, attention to detail, and adherence to scholarly standards. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to write this assignment:

STEP 1 – Select a Focused Legal Issue

Identify a narrow and well-defined legal issue or question relevant and significant within the legal field. This could involve analyzing a recent court decision, exploring a legal doctrine's application in a specific context, or examining the implications of legislative changes. Ensure the topic is suitable for scholarly inquiry and offers original analysis and insights opportunities. Need hands-on help writing an article review from legal experts? Click on the link to learn more!

STEP 2 – Conduct Exhaustive Legal Research

Dive deep into legal databases, scholarly journals, primary legal sources, and relevant interdisciplinary literature to gather comprehensive information and insights about your chosen legal issue. Carefully analyze statutes, regulations, case law, and scholarly commentary to understand the legal framework, relevant precedents, and existing arguments surrounding the topic. Pay attention to recent developments, conflicting viewpoints, and gaps in the literature that your article can address.

STEP 3 – Craft a Clear and Coherent Argument

Develop a well-structured argument articulating and supporting your thesis with evidence, analysis, and critical reasoning. Organize your article into sections with clear headings, subheadings, and transitions to guide the reader through your analysis. Present your arguments logically, addressing counterarguments where necessary, and provide citations to support your assertions. Aim to contribute new insights, interpretations, or solutions to the legal issue under consideration.

STEP 4 – Draft and Revise Meticulously

Write a first draft, focusing on clarity, precision, and scholarly rigor. Pay attention to citation formatting, grammar, and style conventions consistent with the publication's requirements or citation guidelines. Revise your draft iteratively, refining your arguments, strengthening your analysis, and ensuring coherence and persuasiveness. Solicit feedback from peers, mentors, or colleagues familiar with legal scholarship to identify areas for improvement and fine-tune your article before submission.

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