Students at Harvard Law School produce scholarly journals devoted to specific substantive areas of the law and to various approaches to examining legal developments. These student-edited publications offer invaluable practical experience in legal writing, editing, and scholarship.
Please note that the following journals are run independently of the Office of Community Engagement, Equity, and Belonging:
The Harvard Law Review, and the Journal of Law and Public Policy should be contacted directly.
Subscriptions for 2024
The subscription cycle for 2024 is now open and will close on February 7. Subscription agencies please email email@example.com for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a journal, and why should I get involved?
A journal is a student-run organization that selects, edits, and publishes legal scholarship written by scholars and practitioners. At HLS, you might consider joining a journal for many reasons: to learn more about a particular area of law, to find connections with others who have similar academic interests, for career benefits, to gain experience in reading and editing legal scholarship, to influence legal scholarship, and to find a community as HLS.
How can I get involved?
Being a “subciter” is typically the first role you will hold on a journal at HLS. Each semester, journals will recruit subciters to their journal. “Subciting” involves checking each source in a piece for accuracy (does the source support the author’s point?) and Bluebooking (you’ll learn how to do this in Legal Research & Writing, but the Bluebook is the generally accepted style guide for legal writing). You will be supervised by other students in the journal and will have the opportunity to ask questions. Most journals conduct “Subciter Training” where they show you how to subcite.
What is the time commitment?
It depends on the journal, but subciters can typically expect to spend between 3-8 hours per semester on mandatory journal work. Usually the “subcite” is conducted over one single day during the semester. Some journals require subciters to do work in addition to the subcite; for instance, subciters may be required to help with “galleys” at the end of the semester when the piece is checked over for any last minute errors. Note that some journals only conduct one subcite per year, rather than one each semester.
How can transfers/LLMs become involved with a journal?
Journals love transfers and LLMs! Some journals have policies of promoting transfers/LLMs to leadership positions right away. Feel free to email journals you are interested in to inquire about special opportunities.
What leadership positions and promotional opportunities exist within journals?
Although journals use different terminology for their roles, all journals have opportunities for promotion. If you’re excited about getting more involved, journals want to support you and find ways for you to make an impact. Leadership positions include both editorial leadership (for instance, technical editors who supervise subciters) and membership leadership (for instance, events directors).
Are there ways to get more involved as a 1L?
Some journals promote after one semester, and most journals offer volunteer opportunities for staffing events and editing throughout the semester.
What are the benefits (career, social, academic) of joining a journal?
There are plenty of benefits to joining a journal. A journal can be an important line on your resume when applying to summer jobs and judicial clerkships, demonstrating that you have taken the time to learn the Bluebook (the legal editing guide)and develop your skills in legal research and writing. Judges especially love to see journals on resumes, given that the journal experience supplements the legal education that you get through the ordinary classroom experience. Journals also allow you to put a line on your resume to showcase interest in — and an understanding of — a particular field in which you may not have much other experience. Moreover, journals are a great way to meet other law students with similar interests, and students at HLS often meet some of their best friends through journal work. Finally, the editorial process lends itself to careful engagement with academic legal texts and case law, helping you become a better law student.
Can I still be on a journal if I don’t have the Bluebook fully mastered?
Yes! Journal members recognize that you are just learning the Bluebook. Many journal members say their experience on a journal is what helped them successfully navigate through the Bluebook! Journals offer substantive training on the Bluebook and mentorship in the form of journal members in leadership positions who can give you feedback on your editing.
How can I start a new journal?
The Law School is not currently accepting applications for new journals.
Tools for Student Journals
Everything you need to know about working with the Student Journals Office to publish your journal, or start a new journal.