History & Mission

The Kentucky Law Journal

Established 1881

The first publication under the title Kentucky Law Journal was released in July of 1881, making the Journal one of the oldest law reviews in the nation.1  George Baber of Louisville, Kentucky served as the first Editor-in-Chief. To this day, the Journal  adheres to its original mission, stated best by Mr. Baber: “The Kentucky Law Journal is presented to the bar of the State with the confidence that its merits will engage the favorable consideration of the profession.”

The Journal has been continuously published since 1913, five years after the founding of the University of Kentucky College of Law. At that time, books were released monthly. Early issues included book reviews, alumni notes, commentaries on recent cases, and articles by such prominent authors as abolitionist Cassius M. Clay and President William Howard Taft.

The Journal began its current practice of quarterly publication in 1919. Over the past century, the Journal has emphasized scholarly, legal analysis of issues of interest to students, practicing attorneys, professors, judges, and government officials. As stated by one Editorial Board: “It is hoped and believed that ensuing years will see the Kentucky Law Journal grow from strength to strength and that it will exert, as it has already begun to do, a helpful influence upon the bar and bench of this Commonwealth.”

Today, the Journal continues its commitment to serve the legal and academic community as a forum for vigorous debate about the law. But the Journal also serves as an indispensable element in the education of the best students at the College of Law. The Journal affords these students the finest form of training in legal research and writing, and, by publishing student works, the Journal also functions as an elegant forum for students’ activism.


1 Depending on the method of measurement, the Kentucky Law Journal is either the second-oldest existing law review in the United States, or the tenth-oldest continuously published law review in the United States.