The first issue of Právník appeared in 1861. The incentive to found this journal came from a group of intellectuals which included notably Karel J. Erben, the great writer, lawyear and historian; Rudolf, prince of Thurn-Taxis, lawyear and a member of patriotic aristocracy; and Jan Jeřábek, representative of the young lawyers. They intended the journal to restore the prestige of legal scholarship in the Czech language and promote the overall development of Czech legal research and discussion. The creation of Právník thus epitomized the spirit of the Czech national revival. After the editorial board of Právník merged with the Union of Lawyers in 1864, the journal was gradually transformed into the leading forum for Czech legal scholarship reflecting the contemporary approaches to law and jurisprudence. The rise of the journal was due especially to its new editors, primarily to Antonín Randa, one of the great personalities of Central European private law doctrine at the time, professor of the Charles University School of Law, and later a member of the Czech Academy of Sciences and Arts, and to Jakub Škarda, famous legal practicioner and a skillful organizer of legal and cultural life. It was no coincidence that the first general Congress of the Czech lawyers held in Prague in 1904 praised Právník for its profound contribution to the advancement of the Czech legal doctrine and Czech legal terminology.
The journal´s history did not cease with the new century, even though it faced substantial changes in Czech jurisprudence and competing journals. Much more serious was the fact, that the 20th century brought unexpected events with deep political and social consequences, namely two world wars and the ascent of totalitarian regimes. These events affected the pages of Právník that in the 1950th ceased to be published by the Union of Lawyears and passed to the Ministry of Justice that subsequently handed over the editing to the Institute. The pages of Právník, nevertheless, also gave testimony to periods of reconstruction and a return to principles of democracy and the rule of law.