How to Submit
The Harvard Law Review will continue to review manuscripts submitted after May 15, 2016, but we will not be able to finish our evaluation of these manuscripts or extend offers for publication until our editors return in August. Please understand that we cannot honor requests for expedited review until August.
The Harvard Law Review welcomes submissions of, and proposals for, reviews of recently published or forthcoming books. Pieces should be of fifteen to twenty law-review pages in length, and may address multiple books on a related subject. Decisions on reviews are generally made in March and April for the next volume of the Review, and so authors are encouraged to submit reviews and proposals by the end of February in any given year.
The Harvard Law Review requests that contributors comply with the following standards:
We strongly encourage contributors to submit their manuscripts through our electronic submission system, preferably in Microsoft Word format. Alternatively, you may submit a hard copy by mail; please address all manuscripts to: Articles Office, Harvard Law Review, Gannett House, 1511 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138. Please note that we will not accept articles submitted via email.
The Review strongly prefers articles under 25,000 words in length — the equivalent of 50 law review pages — including text and footnotes. Length in excess of 30,000 words — the equivalent of 60 law review pages — will weigh significantly against selection. For further background regarding the Review’s length policy, please see a joint letter issued by a number of law journals across the country.
To facilitate our anonymous review process, please confine your name, affiliation, biographical information, and acknowledgments to a separate cover page. Please include the manuscript’s title on the first text page.
Please use footnotes rather than endnotes. Footnotes should conform to the 20th edition of The Bluebook.
If you would like to request an expedited review of your submission, please make the request through our electronic expedited review system. You may also contact us by phone at 617-495-7889. Please be prepared to provide: (1) the manuscript’s tracking number; (2) the manuscript’s title; (3) the date by which you need an answer; (4) your phone number; and (5) your email address.
The Harvard Law Review Forum
Please click here for information on the Harvard Law Review Forum, the online companion to the print journal.
Seven-Day Offer Window
On April 19, 2011, the Harvard Law Review and several peer journals released a joint letter committing to give every author at least seven days to decide whether to accept any offer of publication. Eliminating exploding offers will improve the quality of our deliberations and the scholarship that we publish, and we invite all other student-edited law journals to join this letter.
Preference for Exclusivity
We strongly recommend that you submit your manuscript to us exclusively. As described below, our review process is lengthy; unlike many journals, we conduct faculty reviews and a vote of our entire staff before we accept pieces. As a result, we are often unable to make quick decisions when faced with exploding offers from other journals. Accordingly, if your preference is to publish your manuscript in the Review, please consider submitting the manuscript to the Review exclusively at least 10 days before submitting it to other journals.
Authors who choose to give us an exclusive submission should indicate in our electronic submission system the date that they expect to send the manuscript to other journals. We apply the same standards of review to all submissions, but submitting exclusively makes it more likely that we will have time to put the manuscript through all of stages of our review process.
The Harvard Law Review carefully considers all manuscripts that it receives. Our selection process has many steps: each piece is reviewed anonymously, at least two editors review every submission, and many pieces go through substantially more stages of review, including an Articles Committee vote, a preemption check, faculty peer review, and a vote by the body of the Review. Although we make every effort to honor requests for expedited review, we do not omit any of our review stages in response to such requests. When requesting an expedited review, please understand that our selection process takes time.
There is no best time to submit a manuscript to the Review. We will never reject an article for lack of space; rather, we will hold it over for consideration by the next volume. While we encourage contributors to submit articles as soon as they are ready, we do not review articles between mid-May and the beginning of August, so there is no need to rush during this period.
We also review and periodically publish essays. A piece will be considered an essay if it is 25 law review pages or fewer in length, and its primary purpose is to advance an idea, summarize a development, or initiate or engage in discussion. We strongly encourage authors to submit essays for consideration.
We notify authors of our decisions by email. We normally do not inform authors of the status of their manuscripts other than through email. As a matter of policy, we do not discuss the reasons for our publication decisions.