More on Law Review Article Length

I recently posted on law review article length. On Saturday, I got the following spam from the Cornell Law Review:

Thank you for submitting work to Cornell Law Review in the past. We are excited to let you know about two developments in our article review process for Volume 91 and future volumes.


Second, you will also see a statement on our website from the top law reviews about our commitment to moderating the length of the articles we publish. You will also see Cornell Law Review’s statement expressing our preference for pieces that we believe can be published at under 30,000 words (including text and footnotes). We believe, like many of you, many of your colleagues, and many of our colleagues, that this effort will sharpen the quality of legal scholarship and the efficiency of the publishing process.

Thank you again for submitting your work to Cornell Law Review in the past and we look forward to receiving and reviewing your future work.

Board of Editors

Cornell Law Review

It appears that the journals are making a big push this submission season to enforce their announcement. But already ambiguities are beginning to crop up. Harvard is emphasizing articles under 25,000 words, with a putative cap of 35,000 words, although this leaves open how Harvard will deal with articles in the 25,000-35,000 word range. In partial contrast, Cornell is giving preference to 30,000 words or less. For authors caught by surprise, this submission period could be pretty bumpy. (As for me, I was targeting 30,000 words for my latest article, so I think I’m OK…?).