December 17, 2019
The Rutgers Business Law Journal hosted a mixer this fall for students who participate in law school journals.

Rutgers Law School has accredited two student journals—the Rutgers Business Law Review and the Rutgers International Law & Human Rights Journal—formally adding to the law school's impressive list of existing journals.

The faculty at Rutgers Law School voted to approve the journals in early December after accreditation was recommended to them by the law school’s Budget and Planning Committee. 

Though the Rutgers Business Law Review began in 2002, its recent accreditation means that students working on the journal will get class credit for participation, and a faculty advisor. The Rutgers International Law and Human Rights Journal is a new journal created to meet the growing student interest in international law. 

Tom Lahey RLAW'20, the Editor-in-Chief of the Rutgers Business Law Review, said his journal addresses topics that include general corporate law, international trade, cryptocurrency, mergers and acquisitions, SEC regulations, and other topics. “We believe that we are the best outlet for academic scholarship for students who are interested in business and corporate law,” he said.

He said prior to the accreditation, students could still work on the journal, but did not receive credit for it unless they had a directed research project with a professor and the school did not advertise the Rutgers Business Law Review as an official journal that represented the law school. 

Lahey said students have been aggressively fundraising and seeking advertisements from law firms and solo practitioners to be financially self-sufficient. “It’s a proud moment for us,” he said. “Members going forward will get the institutional recognition they deserve, and we will have greater access to resources and it will enable us to get better scholarship to publication.”

Benjamin Ashmore, RLAW'20 the current Editor-in-Chief of the Rutgers International Law and Human Rights Journal, said the idea for the journal started two years ago by students M’Ballou Sanogho RLAW'20, who is now the Managing Editor, and Vivian Isaboke RLAW'20, who is this year’s Senior Commentary Editor, because they were interested in international law.

In the journal’s petition to the faculty, its leaders said, “Accreditation and recognition of this journal will enhance and cement Rutgers’ role as a leading institution for global learning, helping Rutgers attract an ethically and internationally diverse body of students, faculty, and staff that will contribute valuable scholarship in the field of international law.”

Members of the Rutgers International Law and Human Rights Journal at their fall kick-off with faculty advisor Professor Jorge Contesse, leaning against the mast

He added that the journal’s founders made rigorous by-laws, including that participants must agree to take an International Law Research and Writing class and that the top editors must transition onto and stay on the journal’s executive advisory board two years after graduation.

Ashmore said the journal will distinguish itself by publishing only double-blind peer-reviewed articles.  By using a peer-review process, rather than approval by students, the journal will also attract scholarly articles by international academicians who need to publish in a peer-reviewed journal to gain tenure and grant funding.

The journal’s editors will begin soliciting for articles early next year, are holding the inaugural symposium in the spring of 2020, and publishing the first issue in the fall of 2020 with the students selected in the 2019 Write-On competition, looking forward to expanding participation in Camden now that the accreditation process is complete.

He said over two dozen people participated in the journal’s launch from both the Newark and Camden law school locations. “It helps attract good scholarship and it also aligned with the fact that Rutgers is a brand-name institution,” Ashmore said. “International law and human rights are issues that are gaining a lot of attention within the practice of law, and now intersect with many domestic legal issues.

“I am very glad that the Rutgers Law School accredited and launched a new international law and human rights journal through which scholars and students can contribute to the scholarly promotion of principles of international law and human rights,” said Jootaek Lee, the International Law Journal’s Law and Research Advisor. “In the absence of global leadership in the current world, I have confidence in that lots of creative, qualitative solutions to many human rights issues will be produced through this journal.”

Professor Jorge Contesse, the journal’s faculty advisor, said, "I couldn't be prouder of the students who made this idea possible. With this new journal, Rutgers will position itself as a hub for world-class scholarship on international law and human rights.  It's a demonstration of our commitment to seriously engage with global affairs."

The other law journals are the Rutgers University Law Review, Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal, Rutgers Journal of Law & Public Policy, Rutgers Journal of Law & Religion, Rutgers Law Record, Rutgers Race and Law Review, and the Women’s Rights Law Reporter.

Rutgers Law Media Contacts:
Mike Sepanic (Camden); Elizabeth Moore (Newark)

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