The University of Chicago Law Review was first published in 1933, thirty-one years after the Law School began offering classes. Joseph Beale, the first Dean of the Law School, and William Rainey Harper, the first President of the University, wanted to establish a law review sooner. The reasons for the delay, according to a letter from Professor James Parker Hall, included the small size of the faculty, the work accompanying the organization and early operations of the Law School, and, most significantly, the cost of publication.
By the time Volume 1 of the Law Review was published in 1933, law reviews had already earned an influential place in American jurisprudence. The Supreme Court first cited a law review article in 1917. See Adams v Tanner, 244 US 590, 606, 613–15 (1917) (Brandeis dissenting), citing The American Labor Legislation Review. Student members of Volume 1 included Stanley Kaplan, Edward Levi, and Abraham Ribicoff. Authors of Articles appearing in Volume 1 included Joseph Beale, Charles E. Clark, William O. Douglas, E.W. Hinton, Robert Hutchins, and Charles O. Robory.
Over the next eight years, the Law Review grew in stature. Contributing authors included Harry Bigelow, Roscoe Pound, John Henry Wigmore, and Samuel Williston. Student members included Wally Blum, Albert Ehrenzweig, Harry Kalven, and Bernard Meltzer. It is said that as Editor-in-Chief, Blum edited the Law Review at Jimmy’s, beer in hand. Volume 10 marked the entry of the United States into World War II. A staff of only two students produced the first wartime issue; by the fourth issue of that volume, the faculty had assumed editorship. Volumes 10 through 13, without much student work, averaged fewer than five hundred pages.
After the war, the Law Review returned to the students. Since then the Law Review has continued to serve as a forum for the expression of the ideas of leading professors, judges, and practitioners, and as a training ground for the Law School’s students. Eminent former members include Judges Danny Boggs, Robert Bork, Frank Easterbrook, Douglas Ginsburg, Michael McConnell, Abner Mikva, and David Tatel; Professors Marvin Chirelstein, Daniel Fischel, Lawrence Friedman, Mary Ann Glendon, Randal Picker, and Geoffrey Stone; and prominent businessman David Rubenstein. Recent faculty alumni of the Law Review include Anthony Casey, M. Todd Henderson, William Hubbard, and Anup Malani. The list of authors published includes Supreme Court Justices William Brennan, Tom Clark, William Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, Antonin Scalia, and John Paul Stevens; Judges David Bazelon, Charles Breitel, Guido Calabresi, Frank Easterbrook, Donovan Frank, Henry Friendly, Douglas Ginsburg, Richard Posner, Patricia Wald, Jack Weinstein, Stephen Williams, Ralph Winter, Diane Wood, and Otis Wright; Justice Roger Traynor of the California Supreme Court; and Professors Bruce Ackerman, Brainerd Currie, Ronald Dworkin, H.L.A. Hart, Karl Llewellyn, John Rawls, Cass Sunstein, John Henry Wigmore, and Samuel Williston, to mention only a few names from the list of illustrious scholars. The Law Review has even published an article by J. Edgar Hoover. It has also been the subject of a murder mystery novel, The Law Review, by alumnus Scott Gaille, which was published in 2002.
The University of Chicago Law Review thanks HeinOnline and JSTOR for their kind assistance in the compilation of these materials.