ArticlesVolume 12, Number 3 (2003)

Diversity, Discourse, and the Mission of the Feminist Law Journal

Abstract

Why a feminist law journal? In recent years, there has been a proliferation of law school journals. At present many schools have, in addition to the traditional “law review,” journals which focus on race, environmental law, gay and lesbian issues, or international law. In such a context, there seems little need to feel that one has to offer a specific justification for a feminist law journal.

In some ways, all law school journals serve similar functions. The most obvious purpose is to publish articles aimed at advancing legal theory and practice. A second function for these journals is to provide a context in which students can work together on areas of common interest while they enhance their substantive knowledge, improve their research and writing skills, and enhance their resumes. However, while the prestige of traditional law reviews attracts students without regard to political perspectives, special interest journals may be more likely to attract students who have at least some ideological or political commitment to a substantive area. Thus students with an interest in advancing women’s interests often join journals that address women’s issues. For such students, work on the journal may represent more than an academic exercise or a credential. It can be a context in which the student can act on and affirm a commitment to an area in which he or she hopes to have some long-term involvement. For some women students, the feminist journal may also provide a context that helps them to process gender issues relevant to their law school experience.