If there’s one thing that Thomas DiStanislao, editor-in-chief of the University of Richmond Law Review, wants to make clear about the new Online Edition, it’s that it is absolutely not a replacement for the print issue of the book. “Many of the top law reviews around the country are utilizing online companions to their print editions,” DiStanislao explains. And that’s exactly what the University of Richmond Law Review did on Oct. 19, by launching the inaugural Online Edition with a book review by Dean Wendy Collins Perdue and an analysis of firm acquisition strategy by Jennifer E. Wuebker.

The way the Online Edition works is this: the Law Review will continue to publish four print issues each year, including the Annual Survey of Virginia Law in November, the Allen Chair Issue in March, and two general topic books in January and May. But throughout the year, they’ll publish articles online, at lawreview.richmond.edu, on a rolling submission basis. “We envision the Online Edition as a fifth issue that will run through the entire year, complementing our print publications,” said DiStanislao.

The goal is two-fold, according to Carter Nichols, online edition editor, who pitched the idea to start an Online Edition last spring and worked throughout the summer to bring the concept to life. “On the one hand, it’s about bringing Richmond Law Review up-to-date and putting us on a national stage,” he explained. “It’s also meant to provide an outlet for Richmond faculty, Richmond students, and area practitioners to share their scholarship with the world.”

Nichols redesigned the Law Review’s new website to feature articles from the print books as well as web-only content in the Online Edition. “The inspiration came from online magazines and news outlets,” explained Nichols. “News sites are increasingly transforming their websites and the way they put out content in order to be more accessible to subscribers, and for good reason.” The new Law Review site includes eye-catching images as well as rotating posts and recommended reading based on customized categories and tags. And on Friday, Oct. 23, the site will even feature a live web stream of the Law Review’s Allen Chair Symposium on issues of education inequality.

One of the biggest benefits of articles published through the Online Edition is speed. In the printed books, “an author can expect to wait a couple of months” between submission and publication, said DiStanislao, which is a standard turnaround time for journals. For online articles, he explained, that duration could be shaved down to weeks, allowing authors to submit content about more timely topics. Submissions for both the print and online publication can continue to be made online, and the team hopes to look for more ways to integrate social media marketing in the future.

For now, their focus is on refining the editorial process for the Online Edition, and their hopes are high. “Given the Law Review’s reputation in the Richmond legal community, as well as the prevalence of technology and the comfort level that exists in this legal market, we hope the practitioners, academics, and students will embrace the Online Edition,” said Nichols.