Law Review Article Length Policies

Jim Gibson compiled the stated page length preferences of various law reviews (reposted with his permission—thanks Jim!):

· California Law Review — is rethinking length policy; seems to prefer 40-70 pages

· Columbia Law Review — will not review articles over 37,000 words as measured by Word barring exceptional circumstances; prefers under 32,000 words

· Cornell Law Review — strongly prefers under 30,000 words

· Duke Law Journal — no policy given but did sign joint statement

· Florida Law Review — prefers 40-70 pages (20,000 to 35,000 words)

· Georgetown Law Journal — strongly prefers under 35,000 words (70 pages); will consider over 35,000 only in extraordinary circumstances

· Harvard Law Review — prefers under 25,000 words (50 pages); will not publish over 35,000 words (70-75 pages) except in extraordinary circumstances

· Michigan Law Review — prefers 50 to 70 pages; if piece exceeds 70, a mention in your cover letter explaining why might prove helpful

· New York University Law Review — prefers 40-70 pages (20,000 to 35,000 words)

· Stanford Law Review — prefers under 30,000 words

· Texas Law Review — no cap on length; signed joint statement to remove perception that it prefers long articles

· University of Pennsylvania Law Review — strongly prefers under 35,000 words but will publish over 35,000 if length is merited

· Virginia Law Review — strongly prefers under 20,000 words; will publish over 30,000 words only under exceptional circumstances

· Yale Law Journal — encourages less than 30,000 words (60 pages) and strongly discourages more than 35,000 words (70 pages)

He also lamented that the journals changed their rules mid-stream with surprisingly little warning. I sympathize. For authors who were working on the old rules (like Jim), this rule change had to be brutal.

Personally, I “blame” this quick rule change on the rapid adoption of ExpressO. With the ease of sending articles via ExpressO, there is really zero cost to authors to send everything they write to the top journals. As a result, I have to assume that the volume (both number of articles and total pages) received by these journals looked like it was going to grow exponentially. Pushing down page lengths was a quick defense mechanism against the spamability of ExpressO.

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