Notes or Comments are works of legal scholarship written by law students, generally during their 2L year and the first year they are a member of a law journal. A Note or Comment may be selected for publication in the law journal for which the author is a member. Articles, in contrast, typically are written by non-students, such as law professors or experts in certain subject areas.
Law schools differ in what they consider to be a Note versus a Comment. Law journals at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law view Notes as works of legal scholarship that primarily analyze recent court decisions, whereas they define Comments as works of legal scholarship that "more broadly consider an issue of law."
Other law journals, such as the Yale Law Journal, defines a Note as a work of legal scholarship that "should advance a particular area of legal scholarship beyond its current state, make a detailed argument, and provide persuasive evidence for each of its conclusions" and defines a Comment as a piece of legal scholarship that "should present a concise yet still original argument and have minimal literature review. Comments often (but need not necessarily) respond to a recent development in the law, such as cases, legislation, law review articles, lawsuits, administrative rulings, and executive orders."
Your Note or Comment must follow your law journal's formatting specifications regarding margins, spacing, font, font size, and number of required pages.
Northwestern Law publishes six student-edited journals. Each journal publishes the works of scholars as well as a select number of student-written Notes and Comments.
This research guide was last revised and updated on 9/9/2020.