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Resources for Law Journal Staff Members

A guide to resources for law journal staff members at UNC School of Law.

Topic Selection Resources

Overview

Deciding on a topic for a law journal article is an incredibly important part of the publication process. The topic should be newsworthy and match the journal's publication themes. In general, a good topic focuses on a new legal development, a current issue, or a hot topic. Also important is that you are interested in the topic you select. If your article is chosen for publication, you will spend a lot of time writing and editing your article. Make sure it is a topic that appeals to both you and others!

Begin by identifying a general area of law that you are interested in writing on and/or that your journal publishes on. Then use the resources below to narrow down potential topic ideas.

Hot Topics

Westlaw provides Practitioner Insights into current events and legal developments in a wide variety of practice areas.

Law360 has Expert Analysis for a more in-depth look on a trending legal topic than is provided by a traditional news article.

Bloomberg Law Practice Centers provide In Focus articles that identify and discuss hot legal topics.

Circuit Splits

Bloomberg Law provides a Circuit Splits Chart in the collection of resources dedicated to Law Reviews and Journals. This resource updates every month with the new circuit splits reported in U.S. Law Week. It is organized by area of law and an entry includes both the recent case on the split, the issue, and a brief breakdown of how the circuits are ruling on the issue.

The Seton Hall Circuit Review available through HeinOnline also provides summaries of recent circuit splits. The review is organized by legal subject areas and each summary briefly describes the split.

Legal News

News and blog articles are an excellent resource for new legal developments or issues that can spark an idea for a journal article. Many of the resources included below should be accessed through the legal databases page of the Law Library website to ensure proxy authentication.

Discuss Topic Ideas

Always be sure to discuss your topic idea with others before selecting it. Discuss the topic with a faculty member and/or attorney who is knowledgeable about the area of law to determine whether the topic has potential for a good article.

You can also discuss topics with journal editors to determine their initial interest on publishing an article on the topic and with librarians to gain ideas for the type of research that is available on the topic.