The Future of Law Reviews

An article by Walter Olson in the Atlantic titled Abolish the Law Reviews! adds another chapter to the debate about the value and future of scholarly legal journals.  Membership and publication in a law journal no doubt remains a valued credential.  But will this continue to be the case?  Olson posits that the real future for valuable academic scholarship is the blawgosphere and other virtual forums.

Olson also cites GMUSL’s Professor Ross Davies’s report, Law Review Circulation 2011: More Change, More Same.  Davies finds that diminishing subscriptions “have ranged from near-freefall to mere steep-slide.” He notes that in the last year “no major law review had more than 2,000 paying subscribers.”

One positive aspect of the law review saga is the growth of freely available content. Many journals—including those produced by so-called “top tier” law schools— make at least the most recent issue of their publication available free online.  Here are some resources for locating this content:

  • ABA Legal Technology Resource Center.  Search more than 400 online full-text journal/law reviews and related sources, including Congressional Research Service Reports.  Coverage varies.
  • BePress.  Browse or Search over 90 law journals published in the Digital Commons open access repository.
  • Dragnet. Browse or search approximately 150 law journals that provide free online content, including their most current issue.  Searches may be limited to International or Environmental Law.
  • Google Scholar.  Limits Google search to academic journal articles, conference papers, dissertations, theses, indexes articles and abstracts from major academic publishers.  Coverage and access to full-text varies.
  • Social Science Research Network (SSRN). Widely used by scholars to share papers and articles in several topical networks.  Legal Scholarship Network includes over 130,000 papers searchable by keyword, title, author or date.


Got Fines?

GMUSL Students: If you have library fines above $25.00, a hold will be placed on your account and you will not be able to register for classes. Registration begins tomorrow, so please stop by the library and pay by check or cash (exact change, no credit cards).  Questions? Call the Circulation Desk 703.993.8120.


Congratulations Graduates!

The law library staff congratulates 2012 George Mason University School of Law Graduates!

Please remember that library services continue to be available to you after graduation. Student IDs are valid through October 8, 2012—so recent grads may reserve study rooms, check out books (until Sept. 30), and use the computer labs.

The library is open to the public, so please feel free to use our print resources and publicly available databases (includes in-library access to Keycite, Shepards, Bloomberg Law, and Westlaw Patron Access Terminals).  Reference librarians are also happy to assist you in person, by phone, or via email.

Best of Luck Class of 2012!!



On this Date in 1979

On March 2, 1979, the Virginia General Assembly approved “An Act to authorize the establishment of a Law School at George Mason University”:

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

§ 1.   . . . . [T]he Board of Visitors of George Mason University is authorized to establish a school of law in the University and to confer the Juris Doctor degree from such school.

§ 2.   The authorization for the establishment of such school of law shall be contingent upon the conveyance to the Rector and Visitors of George Mason University the building situated on property owned by the George Mason University Foundation Inc., located at 3401 North Fairfax Drive, in the county of Arlington .  .  .  .

1979 Va. Acts 182, 191.

GMUSL Supreme Court Clinic in the News

The Law School’s Supreme Court Clinic, a partnership with Wiley Rein LLP, has been featured in a recent Associated Press story published in a number of news sources including the Washington Post, Fox, and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.  GMU students worked on the case Wood v. Milyard (No. 10-9995) argued on Monday. 

Briefs for this case, and other Supreme Court cases (October 2003 Term – present), are available on the American Bar Association’s United States Supreme Court Preview page.  An audio recording of the argument will be posted on the Court’s Argument Audio page after tomorrow’s Conference.  The Court website provides access to argument recordings 2010 – present and Argument Transcripts  2000 – present.

Congratulations Graduates!

The library staff congratulates all 2011 George Mason University School of Law Graduates!  

Please remember that GMUSL graduates retain full library privileges through September, including checking out books, reserving study rooms, use of the computer labs etc.  After that, you are welcome to use our resources in the library, including our publicly available electronic databases.

Why not take advantage of your continued library privileges now?  Here are some titles that you might find valuable as you transition from law student to attorney (for others, please consult our catalog): 

Deborah Epstein Henry, Law & Reorder: Legal Industry Solutions for Restructure, Retention, Promotion & Work/Life Balance   KF315 .H46 2010

Ursula Furi-Perry, Your First Year as a Lawyer Revealed: Secrets, Opportunities, and Success!  KF297 .F873 2010

Gerald G. Goldberg, Practical Lawyering: the Skills You Did Not Learn in Law School  KF300 .G64 2009

Carl Horn III, Lawyerlife: Finding a Life and a Higher Calling in the Practice of Law  KF297 .H67 2003

Class of 2011:  We wish you much success in your new endeavors!!

Journal Write-on Meeting

The George Mason Law Review, Civil Rights Law Journal, Journal of Law,Economics & Policy, and Journal of International Commercial Law will host two write-on competition information sessions. Journal editors encourage all students to attend one of the sessions. Pizza and refreshments will be provided.

Date and Times: Tuesday, April 5th. One session will be at 12pm in Room 121. The other will be at 8pm in Room 225.