Skip to main content

The University of Pennsylvania Law Review: the oldest and one of the most cited law journals in the country

September 29, 2020

The University of Pennsylvania Law Review was founded in 1852 as the American Law Register and is the oldest published law journal in the United States.

One of the most prestigious opportunities for University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School students is participation in the editorial process of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Continuously published since 1852 when it was known as the American Law Register, the Penn Law Review is the oldest law journal in the country, and its scholarship is among the most cited of all U.S. legal journals, having ranked as the fifth most cited in 2019.

The Law Review has both a professional and an educational mission, serving the legal profession, the bench, the bar, and the academy by providing a forum for the publication of original legal research of the highest quality. For students, the Law Review affords editors training in the performance of all the editorial and administrative tasks associated with the publication of a professional legal journal. Moreover, members receive assistance in preparing an original work of scholarship suitable for professional publication.

The Law Review publishes a print edition as well as University of Pennsylvania Law Review Online, formerly named PENNumbra, as an online supplement that includes debates, essays, case notes, and responses to articles that appeared in the print edition.

Publication in the Penn Law Review is extremely competitive with about 2,000 submissions received annually. Recent articles include “Measuring In Absentia Ruling in Immigration Court” by UCLA Law Professor Ingrid Eagly and Managing Attorney of the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project and Research Associate at UCLA Law’s Empirical Research Group Steven Shafer; “Presidential Laws and the Missing Interpretative Theory” by Charles E. Tweedy, Jr., Endowed Chairholder of Law and Director of the Program in Constitutional Studies of the University of Alabama School of Law Tara Leigh Grove; and “The Imperial Treaty Power” by Columbia Law Research Fellow Brian Richardson.

Law Review Symposium

In addition to its publication schedule, the Law Review also hosts an annual symposium featuring leading scholars, top policymakers, and other stakeholders to explore a timely legal issue.

In October 2019, “The Post-Chicago Antitrust Revolution,” in partnership with James G. Dinan University Professor Herbert Hovenkamp and Theodore Nierenberg Professor at Yale School of Management Fiona Scott Morton, gathered leading scholars in antitrust law and economics to evaluate the fit between the Chicago School of assumptions and modern economic evidence and theory.

The event marked 40 years from the Law Review’s seminal symposium in 1979 on microeconomic analysis in antitrust law, featuring the work of Nobel Prize-winning economist Oliver Williamson, then-Professor Richard Posner, and others.

Law Review Fellowships

In 2007, the Editorial Board of Volume 155 of the Law Review established the George Sharswood Fellowship to encourage scholars who plan to enter legal academia. The Law School has since expanded the program to allow two annual fellowships that each fund two years of research, writing, and teaching. The Law Review continues to fund one of the fellowships.

Past Sharswood Fellows include Penn Carey Law Professor of Law Jean Galbraith, Seaman Family University Professor Karen M. Tani L’07, and Professor of Law and Psychology Tess Wilkinson-Ryan L’05.

The Law Review also sponsors the David Cooper Fellowship to help passionate Law School at Penn graduates launch successful careers in public interest law. Instituted in 2012, the fellowship was renamed after the 2015 death of former senior editor of the Law Review David Cooper L’15 to honor his memory.

The University of Pennsylvania Law Review is one of the Law School’s seven student journals, which provide members an invaluable experience in substantive law as well as skills in research, analysis, and expression.

Read more about all of the Law School’s student journals.