January 10, 2006
Forced to attend law schools in other states,
student editors publish 80th edition of the South’s oldest legal periodical
Four months after Hurricane Katrina shuttered their school and sent them scrambling to law schools around the country, members of the student-run Tulane Law Review – one the South's oldest and most respected legal journals – have published the first of six issues slated for release this year.
"We have published every year since 1916, and we didn’t want to let down the authors who agreed to publish with us," said Editor in Chief Meredith Byars.
"We completed the first issue in early December,” Byars said. “It's fitting that the Issue appeared from the publisher in the same week that Tulane Law School reopened. We hope this serves as another reminder that this school and this city are coming back."
The law review publishes articles on a wide array of legal topics, ranging from constitutional law to admiralty and maritime to Louisiana's unique civil law. The current Issue focuses on the role of international law and precedent in U.S. Supreme Court decisions – an issue that sharply divides the current Court.
“Other countries have already grappled with many of the same constitutional and civil-rights issues that now divide our nation, such as gay marriage and the death penalty,” Byars said. “The broad question is whether the experiences of other countries should inform how we view our own Constitution.”
When Tulane cancelled classes in the days following Katrina, Byars and a handful of student editors established headquarters at the University of Texas Law School. The Texas Law Review and various law firms provided the Tulane students with the resources they needed to keep the journal running. The rest of the 60-person staff scattered at whatever law schools could take them.
"We coordinated with members at Harvard, Stanford, and everyplace in between," Byars said, “and the FedEx bills were fairly impressive.” She continued, “All of our editors worked very hard, trying to publish the journal while attending class at new schools, struggling to pay rent in two places, and pulling their lives back together after the storm."
Tulane Law Review, whose members are chosen from a select group of Tulane law students, returned to its home offices last week. Tulane Law School classes resumed on January 9.
About Tulane Law Review
The Tulane Law Review, founded in 1916 as the Southern Law Quarterly, is published six times annually and is a student-run, student-edited legal periodical. The Law Review has a sizeable international circulation and is one of few American law reviews on the select list of minimum holdings for law libraries in the United Kingdom.