In the fall of 1993, four third-year law students at the University of Michigan Law School resurrected the then-defunct minority scholarship reading group, calling themselves the Critical Race Theory Reading Group. The Reading Group gave its participants, individually and collectively, the opportunity to read many of the authors who inspired them and made meaningful their experiences in law school. The Reading Group also provided a forum—and even a home—in which to explore issues of racial inequality, issues that were pervasive in the minds and lives of the students, but strangely absent in the traditional law school environment.
By the following year, the Reading Group participants had come to recognize the monthly discussions of critical race scholarship as a necessary component of legal education. The students saw the need for a broader forum that would encourage open discussion of issues of race and law at the University of Michigan Law School and beyond. These students started by working with the publication center after-hours, putting in their own time and effort at first without official recognition. Students and staff at the University of Michigan came together to create the Michigan Journal of Race & Law, which officially debuted in the winter of 1996.
Since then, the Michigan Journal of Race & Law has been a platform for the exploration of issues relating to race, law, and Civil Rights. MJR&L is recognized for publishing cutting edge scholarship on a wide range of Civil Rights issues from diverse perspectives. Race and law intersect in endless ways. This has allowed MJR&L to cover a huge number of topics in-depth and with great effect, including topics such as critical race theory, law & economics, immigration, education, criminal law, and beyond. The Michigan Journal of Race & Law takes pride in the many perspectives it embraces, publishing the views of scholars, students, practitioners, and social scientists. Since the inaugural issue, the Journal has become nationally recognized as one of the leading Civil Rights Journals in the country. In 2016, it was ranked second by Washington and Lee University School of Law in the category of Minority, Race and Ethnic Issues Journals.