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Harvard Law Review

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Harvard Law Review
Publication details
The Harvard Law Review Association (United States)
4.680 (2018)
Standard abbreviations
BluebookHarv. L. Rev.
ISO 4Harv. Law Rev.
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 2015 impact factor of 4.979 placed the journal first out of 143 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 law review is one of three honors societies at the law school, along with the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau and the Board of Student Advisors. Students who are selected for more than one of these three organizations may only join one.

The Harvard Law Review Association—in conjunction with the Columbia Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Yale Law Journalpublishes The Bluebook, the primary guide for legal citation formats in the United States.


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

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 of 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 non-white ethnic 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 the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama (1991);[7][8] its first openly gay president was Mitchell Reich (2011);[9] its first Latino president was Andrew M. Crespo, who is now tenured as a professor at Harvard Law School.[10] The first female African-American president, ImeIme Umana, was elected in 2017.[11]

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.[12][7][13] 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.[12] The writing competition submissions are graded blindly to assure anonymity.[13][14] 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."[12] The president of the Harvard Law Review is elected by the other editors.[7][15]

It has been a long tradition since the first issue that the works of students published in the Harvard Law Review are called "notes" and they are unsigned as part of a policy reflecting "the fact that many members of the Review besides the author make a contribution to each published piece."[16]

In 2012, Harvard Law Review had 1,722 paid subscriptions.[17]

In November 2023, the Harvard Law Review stopped the publication of an article written by Rabea Eghbariah, a Palestinian student at Harvard Law.[18][19] The online chairs of the Law Review had asked the Eghbariah to write an essay. The Intercept reported that the president of the Law Review, Apsara Iyer, with the support of a majority of the Law Review leadership, delayed the publication of the essay because of "safety concerns and the desire to deliberate with editors."[19] The Law Review ultimately did not publish the article, and it was later published in The Nation.[20] 25 Law Review editors criticized the decision not to publish the article, calling it an "unprecedented decision [that] threatens academic freedom and perpetuates the suppression of Palestinian voices."[19]


President of the United States[edit]

Barack Obama

Supreme Court Justices[edit]

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Other jurists[edit]

Cabinet secretaries[edit]

Merrick Garland
Mike Pompeo

Other U.S. government officials[edit]

Other government officials[edit]


Other attorneys[edit]

Writers and journalists[edit]

Other alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]