The Yale Law Journal

About the Yale Law Journal


For over a century, the Yale Law Journal has been at the forefront of legal scholarship, sparking conversation and encouraging reflection among scholars and students, as well as practicing lawyers and sitting judges and Justices.

The Journal strives to shape discussion of the most important and relevant legal issues through a rigorous scholarship selection and editing process.

Composition and admission

The Journal is led by nine editors who sit on the Officer Board and is guided by a Board of Directors composed of alumni, faculty, and YLS representatives. 

The Journal selects editors after the spring of their first year at YLS. The admissions process includes an assessment of source and citation skills, as well as an analysis of legal scholarship. Applicants are also asked to submit a diversity statement. Application materials are anonymized throughout our admissions process. 

For transfer students, the Journal provides a parallel admissions process. Students who transfer to YLS have the option to either (1) apply the summer between their first and second years of law school, or (2) opt to defer their application to the Journal until after the spring of their second year. Transfer students who select option (1) and are offered membership on the Journal will join the masthead the fall of their second year and are eligible to slate for upper masthead positions for the subsequent Volume, along with other members of their YLS class year. Transfer students who select option (2) and are offered membership on the Journal serve a single semester as a First-Year Editor during the fall of their third year at YLS; as a result, they are unable to slate for upper masthead positions in subsequent Volumes. Please note that students may only apply to the Journal once, so transfer students selecting option (1) may not then reapply for the Journal the following year with those transfer applicants who selected option (2). Transfer students’ anonymized application materials are reviewed alongside applications from current YLS students. 

For transfer applicants who plan to apply the summer between their first and second years of law school under option (1), Volume 131 plans to adhere to the following schedule: on May 1, 2021, access to training materials opens for prospective YLS transfer applicants (contact the Executive Development Editor, Estrella Lucero for access). June 15, 2021 is the deadline for transfer applications to YLS. By June 25, 2021, transfer applicants who would like to  select option (1) must email the Executive Development Editor, Estrella Lucero. On June 26-27, 2021, transfer applicants who select option (1) will take the sourcecite examination. The critical essay is released for transfer applicants who select option (1) on June 27, 2021 and due on July 11, 2021, and the diversity statement is due on July 16, 2021. Transfer applicants who select option (1) and are selected for membership will receive their offer in late July.

Students may also be offered admission if they write a Note that is accepted for publication in the Journal

If you have any questions about our admissions process, please contact the Executive Development Editor, Estrella Lucero.

Editing Process

The Yale Law Journal’s editing process is extremely intensive. YLJ editors suggest global changes to the piece’s structure and substance, line-edit the piece, ensure that every claim in the piece is fully and accurately supported, and conduct a thorough proofread.  


In 1891, seven students at Yale Law School established the Yale Law Journal. At the time, it was only the third student-administered law review in operation, publishing six times a year at an annual subscription price of $2.00. Today, it is one of the oldest and most widely cited law reviews in the nation. Since the Journal’s founding, more than 120 Boards of Editors have continued the Journal’s original mission of disseminating legal scholarship to the world. The Journal now resides on the fourth-floor wing of the Sterling Law Building

Major Articles

Fred R. Shapiro’s The Most-Cited Articles from The Yale Law Journal (100 Yale L.J. 1449 (1991)), an overview of major articles published by the Yale Law Journal over the years, can be found here. Over the years, the Journal has published groundbreaking scholarship by both established authors and emerging voices in legal academia and practice. 

The Bluebook

The Bluebook is the definitive style guide for legal citation in the United States. The Yale Law Journal is one of the four law reviews responsible for editing and publishing The Bluebook, with assistance from the Law Library of Congress. The Twentieth Edition was released in the summer of 2015.

The Journal Online

In 2005, the Journal became the first leading law review to publish an online companionIn 2014, we relaunched our online component as the YLJ Foruma hub for short-form, timely discussion of ideas about the law and legal scholarship, with a sharper focus on brevity, speed, and relevance to current developments. As has been the case throughout the existence of the Journal’s online companion, the YLJ Forum offers authors the opportunity to publish substantive works that are available in LexisNexis and Westlaw as well as on the Journal’s website.  


The Yale Law Journal is published eight times a year (monthly from October through June, with a joint January-February issue) by The Yale Law Journal Company, Inc. The Journal is printed by Sheridan. Periodicals postage paid at New Haven, Connecticut, and additional mailing offices. Publication number ISSN 0044-0094. Archived PDFs through Volume 110 can be found here; prior volumes can be found on EBSCO, HeinOnline, JSTOR, Lexis, and Westlaw.

Citations in the Journal conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (21st ed. 2021), copyright by the Columbia Law Review, the Harvard Law Review, the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, and the Yale Law JournalThe Bluebook is available in its entirety online at


Copyright © 2020 by The Yale Law Journal Company, Inc. Requests for copyright permissions should be directed to Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400,