The South Carolina Law Review is the principal legal publication in South Carolina. It is also the oldest legal publication in the state, founded in 1948. The Law Review traces its roots to 1831, during the brief existence of the Carolina Bar Journal, which was published in Columbia, South Carolina, before the Civil War. Today, the Law Review is the flagship legal publication at the University of South Carolina School of Law.
The South Carolina Law Review has two main purposes: (1) to publish an authoritative legal journal and (2) to provide members with practical experience in legal writing and analysis. Additionally, the Law Review hosts an annual legal symposium for practicing lawyers, legal scholars, and the community at large.
Second and third-year law students independently select articles for publication, manage the editorial process from draft to print, and oversee all operational aspects of the Law Review. The Editorial Board is comprised of members in their third year of law school. As part of the Editorial Staff, second-year members gain valuable practical experience in legal writing, research, and analysis through first-level editing and completion of a student work. Law Review members have the opportunity to publish a student note or comment in the Survey of South Carolina Law, an annual special issue of the Law Review addressing recent state and national legal developments and their impact on South Carolina law.
Members of the South Carolina Law Review are anonymously selected from rising second-year students who participate in either the Joint Journal Writing Competition in the spring or the Transfer Student Journal Competition in the fall. Members are selected based on a composite score that includes first-year grade point average and performance in the writing competition. The writing competition generally consists of a written legal memorandum and a set of editing problems.
The following is an excerpt from Eli A. Poliakoff's article, "A Reflection of Scholarship: Sixty-Five Years of the South Carolina Law Review":
For over sixty-five years, the South Carolina Law Review and its predecessor publications have chronicled legal education and scholarship in South Carolina. As the Year Book of the Selden Society, then as the South Carolina Law Quarterly and then the South Carolina Law Review, the publication has mirrored and aided the development of legal scholarship in South Carolina, while reporting the growth of the University of South Carolina School of Law and the South Carolina Bar.
Since 1937, the publication has progressed from a provincial chronicle of law school events to an established academic journal with a worldwide readership. Over time, the publication has gradually gained autonomy from those institutions that supported and funded its creation. Through article selection, issue advocacy, editorial opinion and institutional ambition, student editors at the University of South Carolina School of Law have influenced the last fifty years of legal practice in South Carolina.
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