Becoming a Member

Each year, The University of Chicago Law Review offers membership to around thirty rising second-year students on the basis of their first-year grades and their performance on a writing competition administered at the end of the first year.

The Law Review extends an offer of membership to around twenty students based on their 1L grades and the submission of a "good faith" entry in the writing competition (described below). The remaining members are selected based solely on their performance on the writing competition. Because all members are required to enter the writing competition, neither members nor the board knows whether an individual student has "written on" or "graded on." In previous years, approximately 150 students have participated in the writing competition.

The writing competition has two components. First, participating students are asked to write a "Topic Analysis," a ten-page paper detailing the merits of a particular topic as the basis of a comment. The Law Review, Chicago Journal of International Law, and Legal Forum all use the same writing competition, and students may apply for membership on any of the three journals. The topic is selected by the boards of the various journals, and all relevant materials are provided in a packet that the Law Review provides. No outside research is permitted. Second, participating students must complete an edit of a short sample of legal writing. 

Students interested in entering the writing competition must submit a letter of intent. The writing competition packet is made available after the last 1L exam and must be turned in approximately two weeks after the Monday following the last 1L exam. The board will hold an informational meeting in May at which time the competition will be described in greater detail.

Transfer students are encouraged to participate in the summer writing competition as well. Those interested should contact Jayme McKellop, the Assistant Director of Admissions.

Offers of membership are extended in late July or early August. All members must be able to report back to school for the start of orientation, which will be held in late August.

For more information, see the below letters:

Current 1L Letter
Transfer Student Letter

The Topic Access Program

Second- and third-year students may also join the Law Review through the Topic Access program. Students are accepted to the Law Review on the basis of a student comment deemed publishable by the managing board. For more information, see the Topic Access memo below. For additional questions, please contact Channing Turner, Topic Access & Recruitment Editor, at channing.turner@uchicago.edu.

Download the Topic Access Memo

Download a sample topic proposal
Download a sample topic analysis