The Stanford Undergraduate Law Review has a plan to reshape campus discourse

Sept. 26, 2022, 10:05 p.m.

The Stanford Undergraduate Law Review (SULR) released a wide range of pieces this past May in their debut issue of the academic journal, with topics extending from government theory to the meaning of life.

According to Avi Gupta ’23, SULR’s founding editor-in-chief, this new journal branched from the Stanford American Civil Liberties Union chapter, which also informed a recurring theme seen in the SULR’s Spring 2022 edition.

“The idea of SULR emerged from the pandemic in early 2021, which inspired me to create a law review,” Gupta said. “This debut in May 2022 took about a year and a half to build from scratch.”

Gupta further shared that the theme gave him “exposure to different social justice issues” and gave him “a deeper interest in using the law to make the government work for the betterment of the people.” 

While the SULR is a law journal, however, publications will not revolve around legal technicalities and specific procedures to remain understandable to a wide audience, Gupta said.

Nicole Domingo ’24, SULR’s director of content and senior editor, spoke about how her editing process revolves around detailed analysis of the writer’s topic and how to best present it to a wide audience, rather than focusing on stylistic editing. 

“Stanford’s undergraduate community lacked a space where students could highlight their perspectives to help other students gain a deeper understanding of niche topics,” Domingo said. “At SULR, we always start with content-related edits that may take the piece in a different direction to eventually create an impactful piece for publication.” 

The work of Grace Carter ’24 exemplifies SULR’s mission. Her article, “‘This land is your land. This land is my land… This land was taken from you and me’: A Case for Tribal Sovereignty in America,” discusses the McGirt v. Oklahoma case and its economic impacts on Native Americans in Oklahoma and beyond. 

“My writing process started with a blog post and ended with a comprehensive research paper,” Carter said. “I analyzed dozens of court cases as well as inserting my own voice.” 

Carter recalled that her most meaningful experience in crafting her article was engaging with Native American attorneys, some of whom successfully argued for Indigenous self-government privileges before the Supreme Court. She added how impactful she found the unified Indigenous movement to pressure Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt into recognizing these Supreme Court-granted freedoms.

“It was really inspiring to see how the tribes united to support one another, and it made me even more excited to one day work as a tribal attorney,” Carter said.

Gupta hopes to ensure the SULR continues to produce pieces as rich in culture and perspective as Carter’s by maintaining an open venue to cover diverse topics.

Publication of their next issue is planned for the end of 2022. “We try to avoid prescribing a theme in advance,” Gupta said. “We want to hear about what’s important to our classmates.”

SULR is accepting submissions for their fall issue until Sept. 30.

Jewels Powell is a high schooler writing as part of the Daily's Summer Journalism Workshop. Contact them at workshop 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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