The Legal Writing Institute established the Journal in 1988 to showcase the developing discipline of legal writing. The Journal’s mission is to provide a forum for the publication of scholarly articles about the theory, substance, and pedagogy of legal writing. Unlike most law reviews, which are student-edited, the Journal is peer-reviewed. Our Editorial Board is composed of faculty from law schools across the country, and includes some of the leading scholars and academics in the field of legal writing.
The goal of the Legal Writing Institute is to encourage a broader understanding of legal writing and the teaching of it. To further that goal, the Institute publishes Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute, a peer-edited Journal that provides a forum for an exchange of scholarly ideas and opinions about legal writing. Legal Writing publishes articles, empirical research, book reviews, and critical commentary from persons interested in the theory and the practice of legal writing, in composition, rhetoric and linguistic theory, in the design of courses and curricula, and in teaching and learning theory as applied in the classroom and practice.
Board of Editors
We are usually asked about:
It’s hardly an earthshaking observation that scholarship in other fields is increasingly available online, and only online. Legal scholarship has been slower to move in this direction. We think it’s time for that to change. Rather than simply have an e-supplement to a print journal, we’ve decided to make the jump to putting the entire Journal online. We believe that providing our articles online, in a reader-friendly and easily accessible format, is more consistent with how readers of all persuasions increasingly obtain their content today.
As far as substantive content, not a thing. You’ll find the same great collection of LRW scholarship here as you did in the print version. The only difference is the format in which that scholarship is provided. Frankly, we’re pretty psyched about the new format. The site is designed to make the articles as easy to read as possible, whether you’re accessing the site via desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. It’s accessible anywhere you have a web connection. You can download content to a large variety of e-readers for offline review. For new articles, you can easily follow hyperlinks to outside sources. But don’t take our word for it. Play around with the site for a while, and we think you’ll agree.
We liked it, too, and we admit that we shed a collective tear or two for the print version’s demise. But, going forward, the Journal will only be available electronically. For those readers who prefer the “look” of print articles, PDF versions of new articles will be available. Simply click the link in the upper-right corner of each new article.
Yes. The older volumes are available as PDFs on the website now. Either click here or simply navigate to the Volumes link at the top or bottom of each webpage. We’re slowly converting old volumes into the new format, which is searchable with pop-up footnotes.
Yes. Please review them here and here.
Once an article is submitted for consideration, how long can I expect until you decide whether to extend an offer?
We try to make decisions within a month to six weeks of submission. The entire editorial board reviews and comments on each article we receive. This makes expedited review possible, but sometimes the board can’t complete a full review in a short time frame. We aim to meet an author’s needs for expedited review as quickly and completely as possible.
One of the goals of switching the Journal to e-publication is to shorten the turnaround time between acceptance and publication. So, while we can’t promise a set time for publication, we, like you, want the article to be available to our readers as soon as possible.
I have an idea for an article but am not sure whether it’s appropriate for the Journal. Can you give me any advice?
Absolutely. Click here for our page on resources and advice for scholars. Also, please feel free to contact any of the members of our editorial board.
I don’t have a lot of experience writing articles for publications like the Journal. Do you offer a mentoring program?
Click here for our page on resources and advice for scholars, where you’ll find more information on the mentoring programs available through the Legal Writing Institute. Plus, once an article is accepted for publication, it goes through an intensive substantive review by one or more editorial board members and a technical review by several legal writing professors who volunteer as assistant editors. This isn’t a mentoring program per se, but the review process is certainly a way for you to seek guidance from the editorial board about how to make your article as strong as possible.
We view LRW scholarship as an ongoing discussion. We encourage anybody who’s interested in LRW topics to listen to all the voices in that conversation.
We’d love to hear your suggestions. This site is a work in progress, and we hope to continue introducing new features and responding to the needs of our readers. Please send your suggestions to the Editor-in-Chief, who’ll pass them on to the editor(s) in charge of the website.
What do you expect? We’re law profs, not fashion models…
Didn’t find the answer?
Fill out the form below with any questions or concerns you may have. We are open to suggestions from our users.