The Minnesota Journal of Law & Inequality was founded in 1981 under the direction of Professor Catharine MacKinnon as the law school’s second legal journal. The editors sought to provide a forum for the development of legal scholarship and pedagogy that analyzes how the law perpetuates systemic oppression, exploitation, and discrimination. From the Journal’s inception in 1981 to September of 2020, the Journal was known as “Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice” (ISSN: 2573-0037)
The following is an excerpt from the Introduction of the Journal’s first Issue:
In the spring of 1982, the newly selected board of editors of the University of Minnesota’s “second journal” met to decide what course the new publication would take. After much discussion and some controversy, we decided on the journal’s focus: law and inequality. We felt that existing legal literature did not sufficiently examine problems of inequality, and we felt that a journal with this subject focus would provide valuable service to both the legal and non-legal communities.
In our view, inequality could not adequately be addressed within the confines of existing legal doctrine, nor fully analyzed in traditional legal journal format. With that in mind, we decided to use a broad based theoretical and practical approach to inequality as it exists in law and society, in an effort to achieve a more balanced and comprehensive analysis.
Editors, Introduction, 1 Law & Ineq. 1, v (1983).
The Minnesota Journal of Law & Inequality currently publishes articles by lawyers, law students, and non-lawyers, such as academics, activists, and community organizers, in order to provide the intellectual insight and practical depth necessary for a true understanding of inequality. Some notable authors of articles in JLI include Catharine MacKinnon, Richard Delgado, Cass Sunstein, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Derrick Bell, Jo Freeman, William J. Brennan, Jr., Peter Edelman, and Trina Jones. The Journal welcomes submissions from members of historically underrepresented groups and values submissions that elevate underrepresented groups in source citations.
The Minnesota Journal of Law & Inequality has also been cited numerous times by federal and state courts, including:
- Notable Supreme Court case: United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515, 555-56 n.20 (1996).
- State v. Janes, 822 P.2d 1238, 1242-43 (Wash. Ct. App. 1992).
- Sayers by Sayers v. Beltrami County, 472 N.W.2d 656, 666 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).
- Isabellita S. v. John S, 504 N.Y.S.2d 367, 370 n.1 (N.Y. Fam. Ct. 1986).
- Rio v. Rio, 504 N.Y.S.2d 959, 961 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1986).
- Eastman v. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 939 F.2d 204, 208 n.5 (4th Cir. 1991).
The Journal is consistently recognized for its scholarly impact and holds the following rankings in the 2017 Washington and Lee University law journal rankings:
- #1 in “Immigration Law”
- #3 in “Family Law”
- #3 in "Civil Rights"
- #6 in "Minority, Race, and Ethnic Issues"
- #7 in "Criminal Law and Procedure"
- #10 in "Gender, Women, and Sexuality"
- #24 in “Public Policy, Politics, and the Law”
The Journal is published twice during the academic year: Winter and Summer. Along with many of our peers, including Cornell Law Review, Duke Law Review, and Michigan Law Review, JLI has made the decision to move the Journal to an entirely online format that will likely be effective for Volume 39 and all subsequent volumes. This will not affect our standard practice of ensuring authors receive bound, hard copies of their articles.
The Journal publishes articles on topics that reveal the intersection between the law and various forms of inequality including, but not limited to (in alphabetical order): age, animals, caste, class, disability, the environment, gender identity, geographical areas, healthcare, immigration, incarceration, indignity, industries, labor, mental health, national origin, policies, political participation, poverty, race, regulations, sex, sexual orientation, socioeconomics, and other unique lenses into inequality. Journal articles can be community-based, doctrinal, empirical, experiential, literary, normative, or social. Recognizing the dynamic complexity of inequality, the Journal also welcomes submissions that broaden the scope of inequality-related issues and lenses.
JLI strives to achieve sustainable diversity across membership, authorship, and readership. JLI takes an expansive view of diversity: this includes a non-exclusive list of factors like race, ethnicity, class, caste, disability, economic and geographic upbringing, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, and other characteristics like students who are veterans, domestic partners, care givers, parents, non traditional students, international students, students who work part-time or full-time, LGBTQ+ and GNC students, etc.
For citations, please use the following format: Author name, Article title, Vol. # Law & Ineq. [Large & Small Caps] page # (year) [or] (month. date, year).
Open Access Statement: This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports the greater global exchange of knowledge.
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The Minnesota Journal of Law & Inequality
University of Minnesota Law School
229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455