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Pritzker Legal Research Center

Writing a Law Journal Note or Comment

This guide is intended to assist members of law journals at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law with writing and publishing Notes or Comments.

Selecting a Topic

You will spend an entire year writing your Note or Comment, so make sure to choose a topic that really interests you. Most Notes or Comments focus on recent cases or developments in the law. This section offers resources to assist you with identifying current, interesting topics. 

One of the best ways to discover uncharted territory is to consult with a professor who is an expert in the area of law. Faculty members can often give you a sense of whether a topic area is well-developed or comparatively unresearched. They may be able to provide suggestions as to particular scholars whose works could be helpful to your research. They might even have a few ideas for research projects that they think have potential but that they themselves have decided not to pursue.

Before you approach a professor, however, we recommend for you to do your homework. Establish some familiarity with the principal cases or statutes in your area of interest. Identify generally or specifically what questions look particularly promising to you. Read some of the most recent articles on the general subject. Do not expect the professor to give you something for nothing.

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Online Companions to Law Reviews

Many law reviews have online companions that publish short, timely pieces of legal scholarship. For instance, the Northwestern University Law Review Online prefers to publish pieces between 5,000-9,000 words. Legal scholarship appearing in online companions are published on a much faster timeline than print journals, so these pieces can offer interesting ideas that you may wish to expand upon and explore in a Note or Comment. Visit the websites for law reviews and journals to see whether they have online companions available.