Statement of Purpose

The University of South Carolina School of Law plays an integral role in the publication of the Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Journal (Journal), a peer review law journal published by the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law. The Journal is published three times a year, and is the premier scholarly publication in the property and probate fields. It is one of the largest law reviews in the country in terms of numbers of subscribers. The Journal’s 23,000 subscribers include ABA Section members, major law firms and law libraries. Articles in the Journal are written by leading practitioners and academicians from across the United States.

UofSC Law students perform the core editing for the Journal, ensuring that its rigorous scholarly standards are maintained.

UofSC Law’s association with the ABA and the Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Journal brings considerable respect and national attention to our University, and we are committed to maintaining the Journal‘s high standard of excellence. The Student Editorial Board shares the ABA Section’s goal of providing the highest quality scholarly publication covering topics of interest for practitioners and academicians in the areas of real property, probate, estate planning, and trust law.


The ABA originally began publishing the Journal in 1966 as a communication vehicle for the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section committees. In 1989, the ABA determined to reposition the Journal from its status as a reporting arm for RPPT Section committees to a scholarly law review. Professor Alan Medlin was instrumental in bringing the Journal to UofSC Law, and he remains active in the oversight of the Journal‘s operations at UofSC Law.

The Editing Process

The Journal is a peer review law journal, with a Student Editorial Board and Professional Editors selected by the ABA’s RPTE Section. The Professional Editors are responsible for acquiring articles and ensuring a constant flow of relevant scholarly articles.

When an article arrives at UofSC Law, the production assistant formats it for editing. Our student Research Editors are next responsible for reviewing and researching the article, both to ensure that it has not been preempted by an article already in print, and also to prepare it for the in-depth spading that is performed by second-year law students. The spaders are given portions of the article, for which they are responsible for verifying all citations, and performing textual edits required to bring the article into compliance with Journal policies. The Student Editorial Board — at the level of the Articles Editors, Senior Articles Editors, and finally the Editor in Chief — reviews all second-year edits, using their judgment to make decisions in situations where mere mechanical application of policies could be inappropriate. Professional Editors review the final edits to ensure that the author’s substantive meaning has not been harmed. The entire editing cycle at USC takes approximately eight weeks, and each issue of the Journal contains between four to seven articles.

USC School of Law Students interested in obtaining more information regarding membership on the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal should contact Student Editor in Chief Phil Mead via email at propjeic@law.sc.edu.

Persons interested in article submissions for publication or other questions related to publications of the American Bar Association should visit the ABA’s Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Journal website.

Contact Information

University of South Carolina School of Law
1525 Senate Street, Room 278
Columbia, South Carolina, 29208
Office (803) 777-2478 | Facsimile (803) 777-2368