Nearly seventy-five years ago, in May of 1933, Harry Bigelow christened The University of Chicago Law Review with the pronouncement that the journal would contain "leading articles ... by outstanding members of law school faculties and of the bench and bar." The range of topics discussed in these articles, he hoped, would be "broad," "always ... of general interest," and, as in keeping with the dual national and local aims of the journal, often "of particular local interest."'
Now, on the occasion of the demisesquicentennial of The Law Review, Bigelow's pronouncement seems gratifyingly prescient. In the last seventy-four volumes, The Law Review has published articles by Supreme Court justices, illustrious scholars, and famous practitioners. It has grown from its humble beginnings' to become one of the most respected and cited journals in modern legal scholarship. It has published on topics ranging from the insignificant' to the insane, and has proven an effective training ground for future judges, scholars, and practitioners. Perhaps this is because, as Gerhard Casper insightfully remarked on the fiftieth anniversary of The Law Review, "[n]o law school in the country has an environment more challenging to faculty and student productivity than ours."
In honor of the distinguished history of The Law Review, the current volume will include a series of essays commemorating five of the journal's numerous influential articles. Each essay, authored by legal scholars with a connection to The University of Chicago Law School, considers the impact of an influential article on its respective area of law and offers a critique of the article's historical contribution to legal scholarship and practice.
While no limited number of articles can adequately capture the immense technical and theoretical variety published by the journal over its history, the five selected pieces are, by any empirical account, among the most influential ever published by The Law Review. Each has been cited by hundreds of other law reviews and journals; some have been referenced in legal treatises and textbooks; and several have been cited by federal courts of appeals and even the Supreme Court. Every article selected has had a demonstrable impact on the course of legal scholarship. Their authors have been recognized widely for contributions to legal scholarship as practitioners, scholars, and judges. Notably, as if to attest to Casper's remarks in the journal's fiftieth issue, four of the six authors taught at The Law School and three served on The Law Review.