The Writing Competition

The Law Review extends an offer of membership to twenty students based on their 1L grades. Eligibility to "grade on" to the Law Review is conditional on performance in the Writing Competition. The threshold performance for "grading on" is defined as scoring in the top fifty submissions or the top 50 percent of submissions, whichever is more generous. The remaining members are selected based on their performance on the Writing Competition. Because all members are required to enter the Writing Competition, neither journal 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. 

Since the inception of the Writing Competition, the Law Review has handled all aspects of the Writing Competition, which comprises three parts. First, participating students are asked to write a "Topic Analysis," a paper of approximately 3,000 words detailing the merits of a particular topic as the basis of a student Comment. Second, participating students must edit a short sample of legal writing. Third, all participants in the Writing Competition must complete a short personal statement about what they would contribute to a journal. The Law ReviewChicago Journal of International Law, Legal Forum, and University of Chicago Business Law Review all use the same Writing Competition, and students may apply for membership on any of the four journals. The topic is selected by the Law Review, and all relevant materials are provided in a packet that the Law Review provides.

The 2024 Writing Competition will take place June 1–9, 2024. The journals will hold a series of informational sessions during the spring quarter to prepare students for the competition.

Transfer students are encouraged to participate in the Writing Competition as well. Those interested should contact the Office of Admissions. 

Offers of membership are extended in early July. All members must be able to report back to school for the start of Orientation, which occurs before the start of the Autumn Quarter.

For more information about the Law Review, please see the v92 Law Review Fact Sheet. This fact sheet addresses several common questions about the Writing Competition, membership on the Law Review, and the benefits of joining the Law Review.

The Topic Access Program

For information about the Topic Access Program, please contact Brian Huang and Katherine Stanton, Topic Access & Recruitment Editors.