Public Law Review

The Saint Louis University Public Law Review was established in 1981 as a "specialty journal" to address legal issues of public interest and public policy. The purpose of the Public Law Review is to provide an open and uncensored forum to legal scholars, practicing attorneys, legislators, and public interest advocates for debating current topics that are significant in the area of public interest law. In the first issue, the creators of the Public Law Review stated:

"Law schools are not paying enough attention to the moral and ethical dilemmas underlying current social issues. If our schools do not debate these issues, where will they be debated? We need to encourage law students to aspire to public service careers, to put their legal talents to work on society's pressing problems of alienation, misallocation of resources, lack of respect for life and for the dignity of the individual."

The Public Law Review is a student-edited publication that publishes two issues per year. One issue is based on a symposium hosted by the Public Law Review and held at the Saint Louis University School of Law. The second issue is a general issue publishing articles on a broad range of legal scholarship and does not limit submissions by any specific topic. Generally, each issue includes several legal articles and comments. The articles are written by legal scholars and practitioners, and the comments are written by Saint Louis University law students who are members of the Public Law Review. Over the years, the Public Law Review has featured prestigious authors such as:

  • Vice President Joseph R. Biden
  • U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg
  • U.S. Congressman Richard A. Gephardt
  • U.S. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft
  • U.S. Senators John C. Danforth and Pete V. Domenici

The Public Law Review’s annual symposia address pressing public policy issues that affect broad segments of society. Recent symposia have featured a wide range of topics including "The Jury's Role in Administering Justice in the United States," "Voting: 45 Years After the Voting Rights Act," and "A New Era for Plea Bargaining and Sentencing?: The Aftermath of Padilla v. Kentucky." Most recently, the Public Law Review hosted a symposium that examined legal, sociological, and professional ways to influence and control police behavior in light of recent speculation that the U.S. Supreme Court could dismantle the exclusionary rule for Fourth Amendment violations. This upcoming March, the Public Law Review will host a symposium entitled “Saving the Cities: How to Make America’s Urban Core Sustainable in the Twenty-First Century.” During the full day symposium, scholars and practitioners will examine the issue of urban development of blighted areas and discuss strategies to promote sustainability of these areas from a variety of perspectives, including education, transportation, employment, and the environment.

If you are interested in publishing with the Public Law Review or attending the annual symposium, please visit our submissions section.