Friday, July 16, 2021

Law Review Submission Season

Earlier this week, University of Missouri at Kansas City Law professors Allen Rostron and Nancy Levit updated their long-running guide, Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals, available as a free download on SSRN. The popular document provides links and guidance on submitting articles to the 196 flagship law journals in the U.S.

One recent development for this fall's law review submission cycle is the closure of the former online submission portal ExpressO, announced last year and finalized on June 30. That leaves Scholastica's Law Review Author Submissions Center and email as the main points of contact for manuscript submission and tracking, although some individual journals have developed their own submission portals.

Law review submissions are highly competitive, and if using Scholastica there is also a cost per submission involved. (Law faculty at Duke may join the Law School's group account with Scholastica by registering with their email address; faculty members may also sponsor student manuscripts for coverage of up to 20 submissions for JD and LLM students, or 40 submissions for SJD students.) It's important for submitters to pay careful attention to requirements like formatting and length to avoid a quick rejection; for student authors, it's equally important to ensure that the journal accepts submissions from students who do not belong to the journal and/or attend the school where the journal is published. The Rostron and Levit SSRN guide includes a column of formatting requirements that describes basic formatting, but student authors will need to visit individual journal websites to determine policies about student authors.

Writing competitions present another avenue for law students who wish to pursue academic legal publication. Prizes often include publication as well as a monetary award. The AccessLex Writing Competitions Databank allows users to search and sort by various factors including topic, length requirements, application deadline, and even award amount.

For assistance with turning academic papers into publication-quality manuscripts, try a search of the Duke Libraries Catalog for the subject "Academic writing" with a focus on the Law Library's collection to find various guides to the academic writing process. A title that is particularly relevant to legal writers is Eugene Volokh's text Academic Legal Writing, whose companion website for the 4th edition includes Volokh’s sample Word template for formatting law review articles. Again, though, authors will want to pay close attention to the formatting requirements of their target publications when submitting a manuscript.

Whether you're submitting to law reviews or student writing competitions, good luck with this submission season!