American University Business Law Review Defines Identity and Online Presence in Inaugural Year 

The American University Business Law Review (AUBLR) is wrapping up its inaugural year as an official law journal.

The publication transitioned from the Business Law Brief to a law journal in 2011 in order to increase law review opportunities for students while becoming a reputable business law journal in the region.  Now, after the release of one issue, a successful symposium, and the recent launch of a new website (, the outgoing leaders are reflecting on the progress of the journal in its inaugural year. 

“Our Journal Gets More People Involved in the Process.”

“It’s been a fun year—everything is new and it’s felt very entrepreneurial,” said Averell Sutton, AUBLR editor-in-chief (pictured left).

From determining the content and layout, to determining production processes, the leadership and staff have spent countless hours this year planning and setting the tone for how AUBLR will carry forward.

“Existing journals have institutional knowledge in place to guide new staff members—we started from scratch,” said Sutton.

AUBLR is the only business law journal in the Washington, D.C. area. It also differs from many law journals in that it focuses more broadly on business-related topics instead of exclusively law.

“For example, AUBLR works with those who want to write about business issues related specifically to Washington,” said Sutton. “Our journal strives to get more people involved in the process.” 

AUBLR’s first issue was released in February 2012, with articles spurred from its April 2011 symposium. In addition to articles covering financial regulation and reform, the issue featured a transcript of the remarks from the symposium’s keynote speaker Brooksley Born, former chairperson of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).  The upcoming second issue will focus on a variety of topics ranging from director’s insurance to corporate governance in China to multi-employer pension plans. 

According to Sutton, the group will eventually release four books per year, and would like to increase the size of its staff from approximately 60 people to 90. 

“It’s All Growing—We’re Hoping for Big Things.”

AUBLR has focused on developing an online presence. Earlier this year it launched a new website, which contains the publication’s current issue, information about and photos from symposiums, as well as featured case analyses and articles from leading thinkers and students.

“We are still making changes,” explained Sutton.  “I like that the site includes a reader that allows visitors to flip through the journal online. It’s like flipping through a book. It reads better.”

According to Michael Gonzalez, associate managing editor of AUBLR, the website will be expanded to include student-written pieces that give an analysis and overview of cases on the site.  The new staff is planning to add footage from recent symposiums and post video interviews with members of the business law community on a variety of topics.

“Our hope is to garner a huge presence online that complements what we do in our publication,” explained Gonzalez. “We’ve also incorporated social media—Facebook and Twitter—into our outreach and marketing strategy.”  

“I see the website playing a huge role in the future as I think it will eventually replace our print version… but that will perhaps be a few years down the road.”

“It’s all growing,” added Sutton.  “We’re hoping for big things. We hope to secure big names from various agencies as speakers at our symposia, and that insightful professionals and academics continue to read and contribute articles to our journal.”