The Law Review Article

24 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2016 Last revised: 9 Sep 2016

Pierre Schlag

University of Colorado Law School

Date Written: August 16, 2016


This very brief article explores the genre of the law review article — its characteristic demands and limitations as an artifactual form. The idea is to perform within each section of the article precisely what that section is characteristically supposed to accomplish. The point of “performing” this function (rather than merely describing or analyzing it) lies in getting the reader-author to recognize experientially what the genre qua artifactual form does to him or her — independently of the so-called “substance” of the piece. For good or ill, the law review article as a genre is a particular organization of mind — most topically, yours, mine, etc. It is worth thinking about precisely because so much of the substance of conventional legal scholarship has to be understood not just as a response to its ostensible object (i.e., law) but also as an outgrowth of the stylized aesthetic conditions of its articulation — to wit, the genre of the law review article. The following then is offered as both a guide and a cautionary impetus to junior scholars in the hopes that they do not simply re-enact the genre, but question and struggle with its possibilities and limitations. The essay is also suitable for associate deans for research.

Keywords: theory, scholarship, frames, framing, exit-framing, entry-framing, scope-setting, baselines, flux, form aesthetics, social construction, legal reasoning, legal interpretation

JEL Classification: K10, K20, K30, K40

Suggested Citation

Schlag, Pierre, The Law Review Article (August 16, 2016). U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 16-2. Available at SSRN:

Pierre Schlag (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

Campus Box 401
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303-492-3110 (Phone)
303-492-1200 (Fax)

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