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Legal Research For Non-Law Courses: Journal Articles / Law Reviews

What is a peer reviewed journal article?

A peer reviewed journal article is an article that has been reviewed and chosen for publication by the author's professional peers. These peers are scholars in the field, who sit on the editorial board of a journal which is usually published by a professional organization or a university press. Peer reviewed articles can also be known as scholarly or refereed articles (e.g. Criminal Justice Review)

Necessary for insight on how some aspect of law has impacted, or might impact, a discipline; branch of government; culture; etc.


Below is a short selection of databases but remember that Criminal Justice is multi-disciplinary and the Library has over 300 databases!

For a list of all databases by subject, Click Here and consider databases in other areas e.g. Sociology; Psychology; Political Science, etc.

What is a law review?

A law review is a student run scholarly journal that publishes articles written by legal professionals, judges, etc. Articles submitted to a law review are reviewed by law students using a scholarly process. The process does NOT include a panel of the author's professional peers.

Law review articles do, however, provide in depth analysis of specific issues and cases. The articles are also well documented, providing relevant citations for the researcher.


To read more about the law review and it's place within legal scholarship, consider reading:

  • Pro: Cotton, N. C. (2006). The Competence of students as editors of law reviews: A response to Judge Posner. University Of Pennsylvania Law Review, 154(4), 951-982.[in Academic Search Complete]
  • Con: Law Reviews Beyond Hope. (2004). Chronicle of Higher Education, 51(12), B2. [in Academic Search Complete]
  • + 1: Nance, J. J. (2008). The law review article selection process: Results from a national study. Albany Law Review, 71(2), 565-621. [in Legal Collection]