Along with newly-admitted first years seeking summer reading ideas, another sign of the impending school year is an uptick of ZiefBrief visitors arriving from the results of Google searches for "law review topics."
Our general advice remains:
- Set aside the 19th-Century mindset of the first year, and spend some time thinking about what drew you to law school in the first place. What aspects of the law are most interesting to you? This is an essential step. You've got to care about your topic because you'll spend an inordinate amount of time working on your comment or note.
- Read the news — general news and legal news — and think about what legal issues underlie the stories you are seeing.
- As soon as you have a glimmer of an idea, sit down with Chapter 2 ("Inspiration: Choosing a Subject & Developing a Thesis") of Elizabeth Fajans & Mary R. Falk, Scholarly Writing for Law Students: Seminar Papers, Law Review Notes, and Law Review Competition Papers, 4th ed. This is the very best and most practical advice we've seen for taking the smallest seed of an idea and growing a full-fledged topic from it.
In the end, while we can't give you the perfect topic, we can suggest places to look for inspiration, and we've collected links to some useful sources in the Zief Library's research guide, Finding a Topic for Your Law School Paper or Law Review Comment/Note.