Periodicals have played an important role in the Virginia legal community, serving as a medium for scholarly legal commentary and debate, for keeping practitioners abreast of developments in the law, and for providing information on current events and activities in the legal community. Although the fundamental purposes of the legal periodical have remained somewhat constant, the number and circulation of Virginia legal periodicals have expanded greatly and, as a result, so has their role in the Virginia legal community. A chronological examination of legal periodicals in twentieth-century Virginia reveals that the role of the legal periodical has significantly increased from the first publications of the Virginia State Bar Association annual reports and the Virginia Law Register at the tum of the century to the present, when dozens of legal periodicals are published monthly, many targeted to very specific audiences in the legal community. Twentieth-century legal periodicals published in Virginia can be classified as commercial ventures, bar association publications, and academic journals. The broad outline of twentieth-century law periodical activity shows that the early commercial ventures lost ground to the law school journals in the first quarter of this century. In the last quarter of the century, even though academic publications increased significantly, there has been a phenomenal surge of bar association periodical and newsletter publishing.
W. H. Bryson & J. N. Jorgensen, Twentieth-Century Virginia Legal Periodicals: A Bibliography and Commentary, 86 Law Libr. J. 541 (1994).