This is a guide to provide information about legal publishing to students who have an interest in publishing an article in a law journal or other legal periodical. The guide describes where the user can find a publication, and helpful links to assess the status or ranking of a journal. It also has information on how to submit an article and links to open access and copyright resources that will affect your publication.
I. Lists of Legal Periodicals:
One of the first things you want to do is review journals and other legal periodicals. Based on what you find out about the content or submission guidelines you can then decide where you may want to submit your work. The following links are to online lists of reviews and journals.
- Ulrich's Periodicals Directory
- Ulrich's is a database which contains information about periodicals on many subjects including law. It contains information about international periodicals as well as those published in the US.
- Most Cited Legal Periodicals
- Washington and Lee's most cited legal periodicals database
- Law Library of Congress
- The Law Library of Congress provides a list of freely accessible legal periodicals in full-text.
- Washburn University School of Law lists links to law journals, law reviews and law school journals. The list also contains links to international law journals.
- Hieros Gamos Legal and Law Related Journals
- HG provides a list of journals organized alphabetically by publication title. There are links to journal web pages so you can check the character and content of the journal as well as find any specific submission requirements.
- FindLaw Academic Law Reviews and Journals
- FindLaw provides an alphabetical list of legal subjects with links to corresponding law journals.
- AllLaw guide to legal journals
- AllLaw provides an alphabetical list of journals with links to home pages.
II. Finding the Rank and Prestige of a Law School:
Sometimes we want to assess the status of a school by looking at sources that may give us clues to the prestige of an institution. The following sources will also help you determine whether you want to publish in a certain publication based on its national ranking or prestige.
- Law Journals: Submissions and Ranking
- This is a link to a good site to look for the status and prestige of a particular publication. The list includes journals; excludes bar journals, magazines, and publications that are used mostly by non-English speakers. Users can search by peer-edited, student-edited and by ranking as well as other search factors.
- Leiter's Law School Ratings
- Brian Leiter is a Professor of Law, Professor of Philosophy and also the founder of the Law and Philosophy program at the University of Texas at Austin. Professor Leiter ranks law schools in seven categories including faculty, students and job placement.
- ISI Web of Knowledge Journal Citation Reports
- Use this site to determine the “impact” of a publication. From the main page, select “JCR Social Sciences Edition” and “View a group of journals by Subject category”. Choose law from the pull-down subject menu.
- US News & World Report: Best Law Schools
- This national magazine publishes annual rankings of law schools. It is also available in print in Law Reserve at KF273 .L391.Guide to America's Best Graduate Schools.
- SSRN Guide to Top Law Schools
- The Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN) ranks a school by the number of downloads per month its publication receives from the SSRN database and other factors. You need to register and get a password from them but registration is free. Anyone can submit to the network; the basic level is at no cost. SSRN also has 3 other levels of subscription which are fee-based.
- Expresso publishes a list of “The Top 100 Most Popular General Student Law Reviews”. The rankings are based on how many submission requests a certain publication receives through the Expresso submission service.
III. Check for Accessibility
Another important step is to check major databases to see if they hold the journal you are thinking about contacting. If the publication is in one of the databases below then you know that it is accessible to your target audience.
- Search Law Reviews & Bar Journals in JLR & TP-ALL.
- Follow this path: Legal > Secondary Legal > Law Reviews
- Check the “Title List”.
IV. Article Submission Services
The following sites provide writers a place to submit their articles for publication to legal periodicals. The service then forwards the article to various publications for submission consideration. Of course, you can always submit to an individual journal by looking for contact and submission information on the journal's website.
- Law Journal Submission Service
- This site at Washington and Lee provides submission information. The site includes information on what subjects a journal publishes in and whether the publication accepts submission from those who don't professionally work for the publication. Also provides the opportunity to submit an article electronically.
- Social Services Research Network (SSRN)
- This is an independent site that is good to consult when looking at law school status but it also has a submission service. SSRN is a way to publish your paper on the internet for anyone to access. It does send your paper to other legal periodicals. Internet users will have access to your paper on SSRN to read and comment on it.
- This is a fee based submission site from the University of California at Berkeley. The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law has an authorized student account with Expresso. Contact the College of Law Business Office to request being added as an authorized user. Consult the Expresso FAQ section of its website about how to submit articles. There is a delivery fee of $2.00 per law review. Students will be expected to reimburse the College for these costs, unless approval was received from an authorized faculty member or administrator prior to submission of the article(s). The site also maintains a list as to which law reviews allow submission through Expresso.
V. Issues in Open Access and Copyright
These are a few websites to consult about issues concerning free access and copyright. As more and more sites become freely accessible these topics have come to the forefront of online legal publishing. These sites are part of a growing trend to provide access to legal publications without cost or copyright limitations. Some of these sites provide there own licenses and guidelines.
- Creative Commons
- Creative Commons provides licenses and tools for your work.
- Scholars Copyright Project
- This is a link to the Open Access Law program encouraging open access in legal publishing. They provide some links to journals that are open and accessible to anyone without a subscription.
- Social Science Research Network
- This is an open access journal that accepts submissions in a number of social science disciplines.
- United States Copyright Office
- This is the official site of the United State Copyright Office. Everything you need to know about copyright but you didn't know to ask is available on this site.
Other helpful links:
Legal Writing and Research Guides.