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Harvard Law Review  
Abbreviated title (ISO 4)
Harv. Law Rev.
Discipline Law
Language English
Publication details
The Harvard Law Review Association (United States)
Publication history
Frequency 8/year
Impact factor
ISSN 0017-811X
LCCN 12032979
OCLC no. 46968396

The Harvard Law Review is a law review published by an independent student group at Harvard Law School.


According to the Journal Citation Reports, the Harvard Law Review's 2011 impact factor of 3.336 placed the journal second out of 134 journals in the category "Law".[1] It is published monthly from November through June, with the November issue dedicated to covering the previous year's term of the Supreme Court of the United States. The journal also publishes the online-only Harvard Law Review Forum, a rolling journal of scholarly responses to the main journal's content.

The Harvard Law Review Association, in conjunction with the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal, publishes the Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation, a widely followed authority for legal citation formats in the United States.


The Harvard Law Review published its first issue on April 15, 1887, making it one of the oldest operating student-edited law reviews in the United States.[2] The establishment of the journal was largely due to the support of Louis Brandeis, then a recent Harvard Law School alumnus and Boston attorney who would later go on to become a Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.

From the 1880s to the 1970s, editors were selected on the basis of their grades; the president of the Review was the student with the highest academic rank. The first female editor of the journal was Priscilla Holmes (1953-1955, Volumes 67-68);[3] the first woman to serve as the journal's president was Susan Estrich (1977), who later was active in Democratic Party politics and became the youngest woman to receive tenure at Harvard Law School; its first minority president was Raj Marphatia (1988, Volume 101), who is now a partner at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray;[4][5][6] its first African-American president was current US President Barack Obama (1991);[7][8] its first openly gay president was Mitchell Reich (2011);[9] its first Asian-American officer was Amy Chua, who served as executive editor (1986);[10][11] its first Latino president was Andrew M. Crespo.[12]

Gannett House, a white building constructed in the Greek Revival style that was popular in New England during the mid-to-late 19th century, has been home to the Harvard Law Review since the 1920s. Before moving into Gannett House, the journal resided in the Law School's Austin Hall.

Since the change of criteria in the 1970s, grades are no longer the primary basis of selection for editors. Membership in the Harvard Law Review is offered to select Harvard law students based on first-year grades and performance in a writing competition held at the end of the first year except for twelve slots that are offered on a discretionary basis.[13][14][15] The writing competition includes two components: an edit of an unpublished article and an analysis of a recent United States Supreme Court or Court of Appeals case.[13] The writing competition submissions are graded blindly to assure anonymity.[15][16] Fourteen editors (two from each 1L section) are selected based on a combination of their first-year grades and their competition scores. Twenty editors are selected based solely on their competition scores. The remaining twelve editors are selected on a discretionary basis. According to the law review's webpage, "Some of these discretionary slots may be used to implement the Review's affirmative action policy."[13] The president of the Harvard Law Review is elected by the other editors.[14][17]


Volume 1 of the Harvard Law Review (1887–1888).

Prominent alumni of the Harvard Law Review include:

United States Presidents[edit]

Supreme Court Justices[edit]

Other jurists[edit]

Cabinet secretaries[edit]

Other U.S. government officials[edit]

Other government officials[edit]


Writers and journalists[edit]

Other alumni/ae[edit]

Highly cited articles[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Journals Ranked by Impact: Law". 2011 Journal Citation Reports. Web of Science (Science ed.). Thomson Reuters. 2012. 
  2. ^ Friedman, Lawrence M. (2005). A History of American Law (3rd ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 481. ISBN 0684869888. 
  3. ^ Greenfield, Jill (2011). ""She Rose Above Obstacles With Ease" Priscilla Holmes ’55: 1924-2010". Harvard Law Bulletin. 
  4. ^ Griswold, Erwin N (1987). "The Harvard Law Review — Glimpses of Its History as Seen by an Aficionado". Harvard Law Review: Centennial Album I. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  5. ^ "Women and Law Review: An Historical Overview". Retrieved 2013-07-18. 
  6. ^ "Raj Marphatia: Biography". Ropes & Gray. Retrieved 2012-05-02. 
  7. ^ Butterfield, Fox (February 6, 1990). "First Black Elected to Head Harvard's Law Review". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  8. ^ Kantor, Jodi (January 28, 2007). "In Law School, Obama Found Political Voice". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-04. 
  9. ^ McKay, Caroline. "Harvard Law Review Elects First Openly Gay President". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 13 April 2011. 
  10. ^ "H4A 2014 Summit:What Really Defines and Drives Success? with Amy Chua, Vivian Louie and Jeff Yang". YouTube.com. Retrieved 19 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "Keynote Speakers". Hope Conference. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  12. ^ http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2007/2/6/first-hispanic-to-lead-harvard-law/
  13. ^ a b c "Harvard Law Review Membership Selection Policies". Harvard Law Review. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b Butterfield, Fox (February 6, 1990). "First Black elected to head Harvard's law review". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ a b Obama, Barack. "Review President Explains Affirmative Action Policy (letter)". The Harvard Law Record. Retrieved August 3, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Prospective Transfer Students Applying for Membership". Harvard Law Review. Retrieved July 9, 2014. 
  17. ^ Seo, Jane (February 7, 2012). "Tochilin '06 elected president of Harvard Law Review". The Harvard Crimson. 
  18. ^ Ben Smith & Jeffrey Ressner, Obama Kept Law Review Balanced, CBSNews.com, June 23, 2008
  19. ^ Akhil Reed Amar, Heller, HLR, and Holistic Legal Reasoning, Harvard Law Review 122:145, 182 (2008)
  20. ^ William M. Wiecek, The Birth of the Modern Constitution: The United States Supreme Court, 1941-1953 at 84 (2006)
  21. ^ Akhil Reed Amar, Heller, HLR, and Holistic Legal Reasoning, Harvard Law Review 122:145, 187 (2008)
  22. ^ Elena Kagan, [1], Harvard Law Review 99 (1985)
  23. ^ Akhil Reed Amar, Heller, HLR, and Holistic Legal Reasoning, Harvard Law Review 122:145, 178 (2008)
  24. ^ Akhil Reed Amar, Heller, HLR, and Holistic Legal Reasoning, Harvard Law Review 122:145, 147 (2008)
  25. ^ Akhil Reed Amar, Heller, HLR, and Holistic Legal Reasoning, Harvard Law Review 122:145, 182 n.141 (2008)
  26. ^ Michael Boudin, Judge Henry Friendly and the Mirror of Constitutional Law, New York University Law Review 82:975, 977 (2007)
  27. ^ a b c United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Circuit Judges' Biographical Information
  28. ^ Akhil Reed Amar, Heller, HLR, and Holistic Legal Reasoning, Harvard Law Review 122:145, 184 (2008)
  29. ^ James Chace, Dean Acheson, in Edward S. Mihalkanin, American Statesman 2 (2004)
  30. ^ Jennifer O'Shea, Ten Things You Didn't Know About Michael Chertoff, U.S. News and World Report, Aug. 27, 2007
  31. ^ Harvard Law School, William T. Coleman Shares Stories From His 60-Year Legal Career, Apr. 14, 2007
  32. ^ Neil A. Lewis, Elliot Richardson Dies at 79; Stood Up to Nixon and Resigned in Saturday Night Massacre, New York Times, Jan. 1, 2000
  33. ^ Harvard Law Bulletin
  34. ^ Office of the Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice, Solicitor General Paul D. Clement
  35. ^ Ken Gormley, Archibald Cox: Conscience of a Nation 29-30 (1999)
  36. ^ Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC Biography: Chairman Christopher Cox
  37. ^ Bancroft Associates PLLC, Viet D. Dinh
  38. ^ "Michael Froman '91 joins White House in joint security, economic post" Harvard Law School: New and Events, 2-3-09. Retrieved 2-18-09.
  39. ^ Stephen Labaton, Obama to Select Genachowski to Lead F.C.C., The Caucus, N.Y. Times, Jan. 13, 2009
  40. ^ "First Black Elected to Head Harvard's Law Review" by Fox Butterfield, The New York Times, 2-6-90. Retrieved 2-18-09. Spelling "Irwin."
  41. ^ "Your Witness, Mr. Murphy", Time Magazine, July 4, 1949
  42. ^ NCTC Director Bio
  43. ^ News Makers, [2], Harvard University Gazette, February 19, 1999
  44. ^ Ambassador Barry B. White
  45. ^ Finn, Peter (June 23, 2011). "Pentagon names new Guantanamo prosecutor". The Washington Post. 
  46. ^ Skadden, Arps, Preeta D. Bansal
  47. ^ The Trilateral Commission, Allan E. Gotlieb
  48. ^ Daniel Gross, Eliot Spitzer: How New York's attorney general became the most powerful man on Wall Street, Slate, Oct. 21, 2004
  49. ^ Fraser, Graham (2003-12-18). "The best PM Canada never had". The Toronto Star. p. A10. 
  50. ^ Grimes, William. "Stephen Barnett, a Leading Legal Scholar, Dies at 73", The New York Times, October 21, 2009. Accessed October 22, 2009.
  51. ^ Mark H. Odonoghae, It's Official: Derek Bok, Harvard Crimson, Jan. 11, 1971
  52. ^ Eric Pace, Kingman Brewster Jr., 69, Ex-Yale President and U.S. Envoy, Dies, New York Times, Nov. 9, 1988
  53. ^ "Faculty". Yale Law School. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  54. ^ Cornell Law School, Biography of Charles Hamilton Houston
  55. ^ Yale Law School, Faculty - Harold Hongju Koh
  56. ^ Terry Shepard, Meet David Lebron President-Elect of Rice University, Sallyport, Winter 2004
  57. ^ Office of the President, University of Texas, Biography: William Powers Jr.
  58. ^ Nina J. Easton & Kevin Cullen, To Many, He Is A Quiet Conservative, Boston Globe, July 21, 2005
  59. ^ John Garvey
  60. ^ Library of Congress, Previous Librarians of Congress - Archibald MacLeish
  61. ^ CNN, CNN Programs - Anchors/Reporters - Jeffrey Toobin
  62. ^ New York law School, Nadine Strossen
  63. ^ Eagle Forum

External links[edit]

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