If you find yourself doing research in a more esoteric area of law, a law review article that expounds on the primary source of your interest may be a better starting point. Those articles are authored by members of the academe, practitioners, and law students. They follow a well-established practice of analyzing and discussing the chosen topic so that the reader can get an accurate view of what the law is in the very specific and often quite narrow area that constitutes the topic of that article. Law review articles, or law journal articles, have the advantage of covering obscure areas in more detail than a treatise. For example, if Prosser’s Law of Torts explains the different standards for concert of action by substantial assistance, it does not explain state law subtleties. To the contrary, a law review article, such as Neacşu’s Concert of Action by Substantial Assistance: What Ever Happened to Unconscious Aiding and Abetting?will devote its entire content to explaining that issue according to a specific state law,New York law. If treatises have the advantage of explaining the law that covers a larger body of legal norms-torts, environmental law, criminal procedure, etc.-then law review articles, have the advantage of advocating a point of view that may be similar to that of the reader, and thus offer ready-made support for an argument.

Treatises mostly refrain from challenging any given status quo.

As expected, law review articles are available both through the fee-based databases, Lexis, Westlaw, and BloombergLaw.com, and through free-of-charge databases, such as the journal’s web site and Google Scholar. For example, if you need to see an article published in The Yale Law Journal, for example, go to their web site and search for the article of your interest. If you are interested in an article on a particular topic, then use Google Scholar (advanced search) and perform your search.