Student-led law reviews: what every UK law school needs?

Murray, C.R.G, Pitsillidou, Lida and Caine, Catherine (2016) Student-led law reviews: what every UK law school needs? The Law Teacher, 51 (2). pp. 170-187. ISSN 0306-9400

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In the United States (US) student-run law reviews have long offered students the opportunity to develop their skills as editors and members of a publication team and to engage with new legal research. With law ordinarily taught as a three-year
postgraduate degree, these reviews are normally staffed by a postgraduate editorial team. Similar efforts in the United Kingdom (UK) have largely been short-lived. Some venerable academic journals, such as the Cambridge Law Journal, started their lives as student-centred projects, but academics soon assumed control of the process because of the variable quality of undergraduate editing. This false start proved difficult to recover from, but a spate of newly founded student law reviews in the last decade suggests that these publications have increasing traction in UK legal education.
This article evaluates the challenges and potential benefits of these efforts to translate US practice into UK law schools in light of the experience of creating and maintaining the North East Law Review, a student-led periodical based at Newcastle
University which publishes student-generated content based on high-quality coursework submissions. This process potentially enhances the assessment process, with the student editorial team preparing essays for publication and student authors reengaging with their work in light of feedback. Publishing such essays furthermore allows all students to benchmark their own work against excellent coursework performance.

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