Students Launch Academic Business Law Journal

October 6, 2005

Esterhay and O'Hargan

Virginia Law & Business Review

editor-in-chief Jack Esterhay, left, and

managing editor Shawn O'Hargan.

Legal scholarship and the realities of practicing business law don't always mix, but the founders of the Law School's new Virginia Law & Business Review hope incorporating both will brew a potent mix of material that will make it the business law journal of record. The faculty recently approved the journal, which will publish its first issue in the spring of 2006.

"This is something that a lot of students want to participate in, and it fills a gap in the subject matter of the Law School's existing specialized journals," said third-year law student Jack Esterhay, editor-in-chief of the Review. "This is an opportunity for U.Va. to cement its position as a training ground for business lawyers."

Established on the heels of the School's Program in Law & Business, the journal will address a range of business law subjects, from accounting to corporations law to venture capital financing. The Review is just one of a few student-edited business law journals among the top 15 law schools, and brings Virginia's total number of academic journals to nine.

"This has been completely a team effort," Esterhay added. Journal members appreciated the help of faculty advisor Paul G. Mahoney, Brokaw Professor of Corporate Law and Albert C. BeVier Research Professor, who advised them on the journal approval process as well as hot topics in business law they may want to feature.

"I think we have some really exceptionally talented and dedicated students, as evidenced by the enrollment we've been getting in the Law & Business courses, and I think they'll bring that knowledge and energy to bear in editing the journal," said Mahoney. "Many student-run journals are reluctant to accept articles about business law because they don't think it's exciting enough, so it's very nice to have a stand-alone law business journal."

Before the journal was approved, students created a mock copy for the Faculty Curriculum Committee to review and formed a student organization in support of the journal. The Review gathered 20 members from the Class of 2006 during the last school year and filled out its ranks with members of the Class of 2007 during fall journal tryouts.

"Students [who tried out] selected our journal for a reason—because they were interested in business topics. It's a good group to move forward with," said managing editor Shawn O'Hargan. "I think because it's such a young organization, there's a lot of opportunity for people to make a very significant contribution."

The journal modeled its organizational structure on that of most corporate law firms. Just as a partner leads a team of associates to work with each client, the journal has six teams, each led by an articles editor with three staff members, to work exclusively with each author. "Staffing is lean, rather than having a whole bunch of people crowded at the top," said senior articles editor Jen Cleary.

The journal, which is open to submissions from both practitioners and scholars, is currently seeking original articles, essays, book reviews, and notes for future issues. All manuscripts will be reviewed by the journal's Articles Review Board. Publication decisions will be made on a rolling basis, starting this month.

Manuscripts or inquiries may be sent to:


Virginia Law & Business Review

University of Virginia School of Law

580 Massie Road

Charlottesville, VA 22903-1738

Managing Board

Editor-in-Chief:Jack Esterhay

Managing Editor:Shawn O'Hargan

Senior Articles Editor:Jen Cleary

Senior Executive Editor:Pat Wachendorf

Senior Financial Editor:David Rouse

Senior Production Editor:Patrick Dempsey

Special Projects Editor:Karim Merchant

Articles Editors:Jaya Jacob, Jennie Marshall, Read Mortimer, John O'Hale, Eric Wang, Matt Worden

Senior Staff Members:Syed Ali, Hashim Bello, Jamie Calkins, David Feinberg, Mark Oblad, Neil Potts, Pavani Reddy, Frank Rosenblatt, Chris Zhang.

Faculty advisor:Paul G. Mahoney, Brokaw Professor of Corporate Law and Albert C. BeVier Research Professor

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