I try to cover sites here soon after they launch, but every so often I miss one. In this case, I missed a big one. Launched in August 2013, Law Review Commons is the largest open-access law review portal on the web. It provides access to more than 200 law reviews containing more than 150,000 articles. The oldest law reviews in its collection date back to 1852.

World map shows downloads in real time.

The site currently includes law reviews from law schools such as Berkeley, Boston College, Cornell, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Villanova and Yale. Missing from the collection are several top-tier schools such as Harvard, Stanford and Columbia.

A search function enables you to find articles on the site. The search is not full text, but rather searches fields such as title, abstract, subject, author, institution, document type and publication name.

You can also browse and find law reviews in several ways. A master list arranges all law reviews by their law school. You can also browse law reviews alphabetically by title, by the subject they cover, or by specific works and authors within a subject area. The actual articles are in PDF format.

One other feature of the site is a world map showing readership in real time. As articles are downloaded, the location of the downloader is shown on the map and a text box displays the reader’s location in the world and the title of the download.

The site is a project of the BePress Digital Commons Network, which provides free access to full-test scholarly articles and research in a range of subjects from universities and colleges worldwide.



  • Steven Finell

    This is a great resource that I had not heard of. In my opinion, many lawyers overlook how useful a law review article, comment,or case note can be, especially in the early stage of legal research. Thanks for publishing this.

    Representation of the “prestige” law reviews is spotty, in an interesting way. The following shows participation by the 12 original signatories of the 2008 Durham Statement, in which the law reviews committed themselves to make their contents available in electronic form without charge: Yale, yes; Harvard, no; Stanford, no; Cornell, yes; Columbia, no; University of Pennsylvania, yes; NYU, no; Duke, yes; University of Chicago, no; University of Texas, no; Georgetown, no; Northwestern, no. Since these law reviews are all online, why do some (but not others) choose not to make their contents readily accessible through this centralized, open-access repository?