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Journal Resources: Choosing a Note Topic: Finding a Note Topic

This guide identifies resources that will help you identify and define a topic for your journal note.


Often, the most difficult aspect of writing a journal note is finding a topic.  A good note topic focuses on an issue of current legal controversy.  It sets forth an argument that is novel and nonobvious.  The note should identify a problem and propose a solution.  Common topics include circuit splits, new or proposed legislation, gaps in the law, new Supreme Court precedent, and unique court decisions.

The Law Library provides access to several resources that can help you choose your note topic. After choosing your topic, be sure to do a Preemption Check to ensure that your topic and position have not been preempted. 

Current Awareness & Legal News

One of the best resources for identifying current legal issues are current awareness services, which report on recent legal developments. 

Circuit Splits