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Writing for & Publishing in Law Reviews: General Information

Updated June 9, 2015.
Prepared by Mary Whisner.

There are so many aspects of writing for and publishing in law reviews that we have created several guides. This page offers an overview and links to the other guides.

Note: HeinOnline is a UW Restricted database.

Introduction

Law reviews are scholarly journals about law, generally published by law schools and edited by students. More broadly, they can include journals published by professional associations (e.g., Business Lawyer, published by the American Bar Association) and the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, edited by law professors and published by Wiley Publishing in conjunction with the Society for Empirical Legal Studies. Note that submission requirements vary; for instance, professional journals often require authors to submit to one journal at a time, while law reviews accept that authors have multiple simultaneous submissions.

Some journals are published online only. They are called e-journals (or eournals). Many traditional law reviews also provide free online access to some articles via the Internet. You can find lists of online law journals at the sites below.

Because the universe of online journals is growing, it's likely that each list is incomplete.

Advice for Law Students

Jessica L. Clark & Kristen E. Murray, Scholarly Writing: Ideas, Examples, and Execution (2d ed. 2012).
KF250.C528 2012 at Reference Area

Companion website.

Scholarly Writing
Elizabeth Fajans & Mary R. Falk, Scholarly Writing for Law Students: Seminar Papers, Law Review Notes and Law Review Competition Papers (4th ed. 2011).
KF250.F35 2011 at Reference Area
Fajans book jacket

Eugene Volokh, Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminar Papers, and Getting on Law Review (4th ed. 2010).
KF250.V6 2010 at Reference Area

Book website (with links)

(The book evolved from the author's article, Writing a Student Article, 48 J. Legal Ed.246 (1998). HeinOnline)

Volokh book cover

Jill J. Ramsfield, Culture to Culture: A Guide to U.S. Legal Writing (2005).
KF250.R354 2005 at Reference Area

A legal writing text aimed at students trained in other legal systems. Appendix F is called "Writing the Scholarly Paper."

Culture to Culture cover

Patrick Eoghan Murray, Write on! A Guide to Getting on Law Review (2014) (unpublished paper posted on SSRN)

 

Austen L. Parrish & Dennis T. Yokoyama, Effective Lawyering: A Checklist Approach to Legal Writing and Oral Argument.
KF250.P37 2007 at Reference Area

Chapter 7 is on "Academic Writing."

Andrew Yaphe, Taking Note of Notes: Student Legal Scholarship in Theory and Practice, 62 J. Legal Educ. 259 (2012).
HeinOnline | SSRN (draft)

Critiques books by Volokh and by Fajans & Falk above and empirically analyzes published notes.

Advice for New Law Professors

Columbia Law School Careers in Law Teaching Program. Includes discussion of writing and publishing (methodology, field, topics, length) and a sample scholarly agenda.

Christian C. Day, In Search of the Read Footnote: Techniques for Writing Legal Scholarship and Having It Published, 6 Legal Writing: J. Legal Writing Inst. 229 (2000). HeinOnline

Richard Delgado, How to Write a Law Review Article, 20 U.S.F. L. Rev. 445 (1986). HeinOnline | SSRN

Mary Kay Kane, Some Thoughts on Scholarship for Beginning Teachers, 37 J. Legal Educ. 14 (1987). HeinOnline

Nancy Levit, Scholarship Advice for New Law Professors in the Electronic Age, 16 Widener L.J. 947 (2007). HeinOnline | SSRN (draft)

Hiroshi Motomura, Setting a "Scholarly Agenda," 10 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 175 (1991). HeinOnline

Pamela Samuelson, Good Legal Writing: Of Orwell and Window Panes, 46 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 149 (1984). HeinOnline | author's webpage

Donald J. Weidner, A Dean’s Letter to New Law Faculty About Scholarship, 44 J. Legal Educ. 440 (1994). HeinOnline

 

See also Legal Scholarship Blog's Teaching page

Advice for Students or Faculty

Gerald Lebovits, Academic Legal Writing: How to Write and Publish, N.Y. St. B. Ass'n J., Jan. 2006, at 64. HeinOnline

Joseph Michael Moxley, Publish, Don't Perish: The Scholar's Guide to Academic Writing and Publishing (1992).
Z286.S37 M7 1992 at Suzzallo & Allen Libraries Stacks

Moxley founded Writing Commons, "a free, comprehensive, peer-reviewed, award-winning Open Text for students and faculty in college-level courses that require writing and research." See the Open Text section for articles on a variety of topics, including, under Writing Processes, developing effective writing habits, organizing, revising, and editing.

Helen Sword, Stylish Academic Writing (2012).
LB2369.S96 2012 at Reference Area & Good Reads | ebook (UW Libraries)

The author studied hundreds of articles from 10 academic disciplines (including law) and interviewed authors who were recognized by their peers as great writers. The result is a book that offers good advice, backed up by data and illustrated with wonderful examples.

Publisher's page links to the author's TED Ed video on "zombie nouns," as well as other material.

Stylish Academic Writing cover

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A Little Humor about the Process

C. Steven Bradford, As I Lay Writing: How to Write Law Review Articles for Fun and Profit: A Law-and-Economics, Critical, Hermeneutical, Policy Approach and Lots of Other Stuff That Thousands of Readers Will Find Really Interesting and Therefore You Ought to Publish in Your Prestigious, Top-Ten, Totally Excellent1 Law Review: [this space reserved]:, 44 J. Legal Educ. 13 (1994). HeinOnline

Erik M. Jensen, The Shortest Article in Law Review History, 50 J. Legal Educ. 156 (2000). HeinOnline
See also Grant H. Morris, The Shortest Article in Law Review History: A Brief Response to Profesor Jensen, 50 J. Legal Educ. 310 (2000). HeinOnline;  Thomas H. Odom, A Response to Professors Jensen and Morris, 50 J. Legal Educ. 311 (2000). HeinOnline; Erik M. Jensen, Comments in Reply, 50 J. Legal Educ. 312 (2000). HeinOnline;  Erik M. Jensen, The Intellectual History of The Shortest Article in Law Review History, 59 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 445 (2009). HeinOnline | SSRN

J.C. Oleson, You Make Me [Sic]: Confessions of a Sadistic Law Review Editor, 37 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1135 (2004). HeinOnline

Leonard L. Riskin, On Writing a Law Review Article, 49 J. Legal Educ. 150 (1999). HeinOnline (poem)

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Related Guides

Writing for & Publishing in Law Reviews Series

Other Gallagher Guides for Writers & Editors

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Guide originally developed by Mary Whisner and Ann Hemmens, with contributions by Trinie Thai-Parker.

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