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Publishing in Law Reviews and Journals

Publishing in law reviews and journals-Home


Have you thought about trying to publish in a law review or journal?  This guide contains a variety of resources to help you in that process.  

Submit to DASH, Harvard University's open access repository

If you are a current HLS student, deposit your work in DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard).

CC License

Creative Commons License

This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

You may reproduce any part of it for noncommercial purposes as long as credit is included and it is shared in the same manner. 

Deciding where to publish

Comparing Law Journal Impact Factor/Prestige

Over the years, many ranking systems for law journals have evolved, incorporating a variety of methodologies and factors, including frequency of citation, prominence of author, etc..  Although such rankings can be useful for getting an idea of the prestige or "impact factor" of a journal, they should be taken with a grain of salt and in consideration of other factors that might be important to you.  Ranking of journals is frequently a subject of articles and blog postings.  Play close attention to how the data was compiled---e.g. through database searches, opinions of experts in the field, etc..

Law Journal Submissions and Ranking The Washington & Lee Law School Library produces this site that lists law journals by subject, country and other factors, and allows users to rank journals by impact factor or immediacy index. (Both are based on citation counts more or less, see ranking methodology). Provides contact and submission information.

Allen Rostron & Nancy Levit, Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals.

Bridget J. Crawford, Information for Submitting to Online Law Review Companions.

Michael Goodyear, Information for Submitting Articles to Specialty & Non-Flagship Law Journals.

Nancy Levit et al, Submission of Law Student Articles for Publication.

Clarivate Journal Citation Reports (Harvard ID and PIN required)
Ranks journals in a wide range of disciplines including about 100 law journals. Rankings are based on citation counts in thousands of journals in the sciences and social sciences. From the home page, click Categories, then click Social Sciences, General. From the expanded menu, click Law.

Most Cited Journals on HeinOnline This top 100 list is based on HeinOnline's citator feature called ScholarCheck. You can also use ScholarCheck to create your own metric. They also have a collection of most-cited law journals.

Eigenfactor This system ranks journals as Google ranks websites (mapping relationship structures). The coverage of law is not comprehensive, but it is useful for looking at journals in the context of the social sciences generally.

Google Scholar Metrics Google Scholar provides five-year h-index and h-median numbers for ranking purposes.

Bryce Clayton Newell, Law Journal Meta-Ranking 2023 Edition

Measuring Quality - Writing for and Publishing in Law Reviews (Choosing Where to Submit and Publish)  A great guide compiled by the Gallagher Library at the University of Washington Law School, explaining the most common ranking factors, including important an extensive selection of articles and surveys.

Brian T. Detweiler, May It Please the Court: A Longitudinal Study of Judicial Citation to Academic Legal Periodicals


Accessibility of the Content

Is the journal available in places where scholars will find, and hopefully cite to, its contents? Some considerations include:

Is it open access or freely available? Do you encounter a paywall when trying to read an article's full-text? Check the journal's website for contents and the journal's policy. You can also check the Directory of Open Access Journals, but the coverage for law is not extensive. 

Is it in Westlaw, Lexis, and other subscription databases? 

Is it indexed by Legaltrac (a.k.a Legal Resource Index)? See title list (downloads as an Excel file).

Is it indexed by Index to Legal Periodicals and Books? See title list.

Is it included in Tables of Contents Services, such as Current Index to Legal Periodicals? See title list on HeinOnline (Harvard Key required).

Selected Directories of Law Journals

In addition to Washington and Lee's Law Review Submissions and Ranking website, there are several directories that can be used to find out more information about law journals that are currently being published.

Short-Form Publishing

Many law reviews now have blogs and websites that accept shorter submissions. See Information for Submitting to Online Law Review Companions by Bridget J. Crawford. Washington & Lee also lists selected ones on its Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking website.

Article submission services


HLS Student Scholastica Funding

The Harvard Law School subsidizes Scholastica journal submissions for current students with publishable academic work. 


To access this support, you must receive sign-off from your faculty supervisor that your work is ready for submission to law reviews and journals.

Before we activate your account, we ask you to complete a tutorial and quiz about submission strategy. You may also want to set up an appointment with a librarian to discuss strategy and how to select journals for submission. We encourage you to review the Law Library’s Guide to Publishing in Law Reviews and Journals.

How to Participate

Send a request using your Harvard email to Include or separately forward the approval from your faculty supervisor. Your name must be in the body of the email from your faculty supervisor. 

How it Works

When you contact us, we will send you a link to an online tutorial and quiz. Once you have completed the quiz, and we receive your request and faculty approval,  Library staff will add you to our Scholastica account. Once you acknowledge our invitation, you will be free to begin your submissions. Your account will remain active until you reach your maximum number of submissions or expiration after 10 months past your graduation date, whichever comes first.

Submission Levels

  • SJD– up to 50 submissions per academic year during your time at HLS. Unused submissions will roll over to the next year. 
  • LLMs – up to 50 submissions  total during your year at HLS.
  • JDs – up to 50 submissions total during your three years at HLS.
  • Submissions may be used up to 10 months after graduation.

Note:  Please keep track of your journal submissions and notify us when you reach 50, as Scholastica does not limit them automatically. 



Sherpa Services is a searchable database of publisher's general policies regarding copyright and the self-archiving of journal articles on the web and in Open Access repositories.  Each entry provides a summary of the publisher's policy, including what version of an article can be deposited, where it can be deposited, and any conditions that are attached to that deposit. 



How You Can Submit an Article

Journals have different policies for receiving submissions.  Your best starting place is to check the journal's website, which usually provides details about its policy.  We have collected on this page some potential resources that you can use for submitting an article.

Author rights

Learn about Author Rights

If you do get an acceptance for publication, you might be asked to sign an author agreement/contract with the publisher.  Some standard agreements require things such as transferring copyright or prohibiting what you can do with your own work.  See Benjamin J. Keele, Advising Faculty on Law Journal Publication Agreements for a brief basic review of terms to consider.

Scholar's Copyright Addendum Engine

Hosted by Science Commons, you can enter the article information and choose the rights you want to retain and generate a standard addendum on pdf  to provide for the publisher's consideration. 

Keep Your Copyrights

Developed by the Kernochan Center for Law, Media, and the Arts and the Program on Law & Technology at Columbia Law School, this website provides a good introduction to author rights and sample publication agreements categorized by level of creator-friendliness.

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons (CC) provides creators with standardized licenses that describe, in plain language, what actions are and are not allowed with their content.

Resources to Learn about Journal Copyright and Self-Archiving Policies

Journal publication agreements vary widely, but there are some resources that help authors get an idea of what a journal's standard policy has typically been.  While the journal publication agreement itself must always be reviewed, looking at these resources at the time of submission can be helpful, particularly if it is important for you to retain certain rights in your work.  Regardless of what a publisher's standard agreement states, you can always try to negotiate different terms. If the publisher is unwilling to budge from its position, you then need to decide how important it is to you to publish in that particular journal.

Sharing and depositing your papers

Working papers and self-archiving

Regardless of your plans for formal publication of your work, you are encouraged to deposit your student papers with the university's open access repository, DASH. Doing so will enable you to share your work with other members of the Harvard community, as well as the world at large.  If you are concerned about making your content available open on the Internet, you also have the option of submitting only the metadata (e.g. title, your name). See HLS Student Papers Series in DASH for details.

You might also want to deposit your paper (or its metadata) in SSRN or another working paper repository to associate yourself with the work and make it available for feedback from others in the field.  Scholars frequently make their "working papers" or drafts available for early feedback and reaction from colleagues.

The SSRN Legal Scholarship Network hosts research paper series for academic and other research organizations such as the Harvard Law School, Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper Series.  Scholars can publish their work in a large number of law-related e-journals within SSRN's Legal Scholarship Network's four areas including Law & Economics, Public Law & Legal Theory, Legal Studies and Law Research Center Papers. 

Author Identification

Giving the proper author credit for research is the goal of Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) iDs. ORCID is a non-profit, community-driven, Open Access effort to create a registry of unique researcher identifiers.

“ORCID provides a persistent digital identifier that distinguishes you from every other researcher and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between you and your professional activities ensuring that your work is recognized.”

You can create a new ORCID or link your existing ORCID using Harvard ORCID Connect, HarvardKey required.



Conferences and symposia

Conference Alerts

Books, articles and other resources

Selected books

Other Guides

Writing Competitions

Writing Competitions

HLS also offers many prizes for its students papers generally. See Harvard Law School Writing Prizes for more information.

The American Bar Association (ABA) offers a number of writing competitions for young lawyers and law students, view the full list on their website

See also the American University Pence Law Library guide to writing competitions for further resources. 

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