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Why Scholarly Publishing Matters for JAs

 

 

 
 
   
   
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Military lawyers often have valuable experiences and original ideas that could make important contributions to the law, the military, and society; but, it takes motivation and—some may argue—knowledge of the inside game to get those ideas published and shared. This article is designed to help you, a military lawyer or a practitioner in the field, to publish your writing—either in our military law journals or in civilian venues. Regardless of your career stage, you have practiced in an exciting area of the law that is relevant to—but sometimes hidden from—the larger discourse of our dual military and legal professions. By writing and publishing your ideas, you can develop, refine, and share your thoughts, as well as add to our professional base of knowledge. The following is a guide to some of the “tricks of the trade” and will give you some insider information about law review placement in civilian journals. This may also be useful to aspiring legal academic authors, regardless of military experience. Your contributions can help polish and expand the thinking behind our practice for judge advocates, scholars, civilian practitioners, and policymakers. We, the authors, offer these observations based on civilian academic experience, and our own efforts to publish. While we believe they are based on the conventional wisdom of legal academia, they are our opinions. We hope this article will help you understand the process of publishing in both civilian and military academic journals.

Why Publish: Because You Can and You Should

Military legal professionals stand at the crossroads of important knowledge and experience in law, the military, and society. There is a great need in the academic community for more practical information and timely analysis of the topics that military lawyers work on. The goal of this article is to encourage you to share your ideas and refine your expertise through research, writing, and publication. Publishing your written work can be professionally and personally rewarding; but—more importantly—it can contribute to the advancement of knowledge and understanding in both of our professions, and with society at large. All military lawyers have both analytical skill and valuable experience, so you should consider publishing your written work. Enhancing military practitioners’ knowledge in the law is one aim, but another distinct goal of academic publication is to mingle our ideas with those of civilian practitioners and scholars on a given legal topic. The Judge Advocate General (TJAG) mandates, “flood the zone,” illustrating our senior leaders’ encouragement to actively participate by contributing to the dialogue pertaining to military and international law. To that end, this article offers a practical guide to publishing in civilian law journals and other venues.1

Purpose

As a military lawyer, you are immersed in one of the many fields of military law and practice, a key contributor to military operations, and also a participant in the real world of applied public policy. You might be a junior or senior in the ranks; you might be in a sister service; you might be on active duty or serving in the reserve component. Perhaps you are an LL.M. student or a full-time professor at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School (TJAGLCS), or a student or scholar at West Point, a branch school, the Command and General Staff College, or a senior service college. Regardless of your level of experience or current assignment, you have experiences and can generate ideas that could be helpful to our dual professions, or to the civilian academic and policy communities at large. You should contribute your knowledge and experience through scholarly research and writing. This article will encourage you to try to refine and share your ideas by publishing and provide an introduction to the publishing process in civilian law journals.

Our colleagues in the military, the policy arena, the practitioner community, and the civilian legal academy, can benefit from your experience and your scholarly writing on the topics in which you have developed unique expertise. The wider world is interested in what you have done, and what you’ve thought about, so you should consider publishing your ideas in our JAG Corps and military publications;2 you should also consider publishing in civilian law journals.

A Long Journey: Why and Where to Publish?

Judge advocates (JAs) should publish because they have the expertise, they will benefit from the experience, and the scholarly discourse needs to hear their voice. There are areas of the law where JAs are among the most experienced practitioners in a specific legal field. National Security law, government contract law, military personnel law, and—of course—military justice are areas of expertise for many practitioners within the JAG Corps; however, most of the scholarly writing is done by those outside the military. At certain points in your career, you will be one of the experts, and you need to develop, organize, and share your knowledge. At that moment, you should take the opportunity to add your expertise and knowledge to legal scholarship. Judge advocates have the knowledge and experience to be effective contributors to the legal scholarship, and the scholarship will benefit from the insights and experiences of JAs.

Publishing your ideas is a key factor in making your mark as a serious scholar in your field. Scholarly writing also gives you an opportunity to take a deep dive into one area of the law and further refine your writing skills. We all recognize the need to be a versatile lawyer with the ability to advise commanders on all the various legal matters they face. Writing a law review article provides an opportunity to focus narrowly, and expertly, on one specific area of the law. Judge advocates can be both versatile in multiple areas of the law, and also expertly focused on a subject matter of our choosing. Writing is also hard. Law reviews require an author to refine and develop writing skills that many of us have not exercised since law school or the U.S. Army’s Graduate Course. Going through the process of scholarly writing will make you a better writer in academic and non-academic environments.

When judge advocates contribute, legal scholarship can also benefit. Often, JAs write while immersed in the subject, living in the area of the law they are writing about. This perspective is a valuable addition to academia, and it is important to continue to add this voice to legal scholarship. No amount of research by a civilian can replicate the total immersion into an area of the law that a judge advocate is sometimes required to experience.

While the above are all valid reasons to publish, the greatest reason to do so is that you want to have tangible proof that you can engage in legal scholarship at its highest levels. You want to be accepted as a legal scholar among your peers, and you want to contribute to the academic discourse on a matter in which you are an expert. So, make the decision to research, write, and publish.

Where to Publish?

Now that you have made the decision to publish, you need to decide what the best forum is for your article. There are many factors to consider when choosing where to submit your article for publication. These include the length and format of your article and the likely or intended audience. Another consideration is the level of “prestige” you hope to achieve with this publication. You must think through these issues to find the right publication for your scholarly writing.

The format and length of your article will play a significant role in deciding where to submit your article for publication. If you have a fifty-page article on a specific area of the law with hundreds of footnotes, you have written a traditional law review article. If your article is part law and part something else (doctrine, policy, or current events), you may want to consider something other than a traditional law review, like a non-legal academic journal, a periodical, magazine, or even a well-respected online publication. If your article is meant to be a useful explanation of an area of the law or designed to help practitioners understand and apply the law in their profession, then you want to look at publications written by practitioners for practitioners. Let’s explore some common publications that are looking for scholarly writing by JAs.

Keeping It in The Military

The Army JAG Corps, and its sister services, have some fantastic scholarly publications that are perfect for a military-focused audience. They are also easy to submit to for consideration. The Military Law Review (MLR) is the U.S. Army’s premiere law journal, and it has a tradition of quality editors and timely articles. Many of the articles come from students in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate Officer Graduate Course, an LL.M. degree-granting program for mid-career military lawyers, but the MLR is always looking for quality writing from others. If you have a well-written article that is timely and designed for an audience of military lawyers, the MLR is a great place to publish.3

The sister services also have a premiere law review. After a short hiatus, the Naval Justice School publishes the Naval Law Review, and the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School publishes the Air Force Law Review. Both accept submissions4 and have detailed guidelines for articles. While there are some topics that are of greater interest to one of these publications than the others, all three accept and publish articles on topics of military interest from all service members and civilians.

There are also military publications for shorter articles. The Army Lawyer and the Air Force’s The Reporter are periodicals that focus on timely, practice-oriented legal articles. There are also military publications that are a good fit for some legal articles written for a broader audience. The Small Wars Journal, the Military Review, and even blogs like Lawfareblog, JustSecurity and Opinio Juris will gladly accept JA writings geared toward international law or national security. There are many other publications—some focused on special operations, some on military contracting, some on military personnel law, and some on other topics. Internal collections of writings, after-action reports, and other collections may not be classified as “publications,” but they are great resources for JAs who may face the same legal, tactical, or operational problems that you successfully managed.

There are several reasons that a JA may choose to publish in a military publication. These publications are looking for authors like you; they are read by your superiors, peers, and subordinates and—more than likely—the subject you are writing on will be of interest to a military audience. They are also easy to submit to, allow free submissions, and you may even know the editors who are working on the publications. Despite this ease of use, JAs should also consider publications outside the military when they are deciding where to place their article. It is not as easy to submit, but with the right article and a little knowledge of the inside game, you can have success publishing outside of the military.

Venturing into the Civilian World

There are several reasons why military lawyers might consider submitting articles for publication in civilian law reviews. First, if an author has already published in the Military Law Review or the Army Lawyer, it is a good idea to add some variety to your publication record. Second, publishing in a civilian journal could widen the potential audience for our professional military legal writing. Many civilian scholars and practitioners out there want to know what you think. Publishing in a civilian law review brings the military experience and perspective to a larger civilian audience. Finally, you might be surprised at how many options you have.

Types of Civilian Law Journals and Prestige Hierarchy

The most common publishing venue is the general-interest primary law review that almost every law school publishes. Next are the specialty-interest law reviews, or “secondary” law school journals, which specialize in certain subject-matter areas (e.g., international law, criminal law, public policy, etc.). Less common, but often more prestigious, are peer-reviewed journals; some of which are at law schools, but they are edited by faculty scholars rather than students. The relative “prestige hierarchy” goes something like this:

  1. Primary law reviews of top twenty ranked law schools,
  2. Leading peer-reviewed journals,
  3. Primary law reviews of top fifty ranked law schools,
  4. Secondary/specialty journals in the top ten ranking in their field,
  5. Primary law reviews of top one hundred ranked law schools, and
  6. All other primary and specialty journals.

There are, of course, some gray areas between these categories, and some academics have different opinions on the relative value of a particular publication. You can get a general sense of the prestige of any primary journal based on the law school’s U.S. News and World Report ranking.5 There is more complex data behind the rankings of specialty journals at the Washington & Lee Law Library’s law journal rankings.6 The higher the ranking, the more prestige you will acquire as an author; this may lead to a higher chance of your article gaining traction. In other words, you may end up attracting the attention of more readers.

Playing the Game: Submissions and Placement

General

Here’s where we move from the noble idea of the intrinsic value of scholarship to the intensely practical side of figuring out the actual system and playing the game. Law review placement is a crazy enterprise, and the process may be slightly uncomfortable for a military lawyer. It involves multiple (dozens or more) simultaneous submissions, followed by an intense jockeying process of expedited reviews, with great attention to timing. It is also likely that you will have to spend money to use the preferred submission system. We want to make sure that you have the chance to learn the “inside game” that civilian academics know and live by. Those who are new to this system sometimes find certain aspects of it to be distasteful, but it is how the academic world works. If you play the game, you will be in good company, and you can generally expect a placement for any well-written article. Get to know this system and, again, don’t be afraid to play the game.

The Submissions Game

To get your work published, you have to submit it to journals in accordance with their publication processes. While each journal is entitled to its own policies, there are some general trends in the submissions process regarding methods, timing, and publication offers. One distinguishing feature is that while most non-law (humanities, social science, and of course science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) academic journals require exclusive submissions subject to scholarly peer review, most law reviews allow multiple simultaneous submissions, and the articles are reviewed and offers extended by the student editors. Another important point is the timing: student-run law reviews tend to operate in “cycles”; other journals have a more open calendar for submissions. A third feature is the acceptance process: law review authors can often “expedite” their articles to other journals during the submissions cycle. Because of these characteristics, even scholars from other disciplines—let alone practicing lawyers—often find the law journal submission process to be disconcerting. But, with a little bit of effort, you can figure out how to succeed in this process.

Most law reviews prefer or require that you use an electronic submission service. Some will allow you to email the digital copy, but most want you to submit through ExpressO7 or Scholastica.8 The best advice is to use these services, and to submit to multiple journals at the same time.9 Most civilian law schools cover these costs for faculty. You could consider asking for reimbursement as a professional expense; but, even if you have to spring for it yourself, it is probably worth the one-time, out-of-pocket cost to have the convenience and efficiency of mass electronic submissions.10 While some publications indicate you may email them your submission directly, they might not accept it; or, more likely, the email may be ignored. The two submission services make it easier on the law review student editors, so your best chance to get the best placement is if you use these services. So, go ahead and splurge for the electronic submission—it will be worth it to have the broadest range of publishing options, and it will become relevant to expediting your article.11

Article Submission Methods and Services

Most journals require electronic submission through a web service. The Berkeley Press ExpressO service was, for years, the leading submission format. It is simple to use. You create an account, upload your article, and submit your curriculum vitae (CV) and cover page (see below). Submitting through ExpressO has the added advantage of being able to track your submission status, request expedited reviews, and withdraw—all on the website. Additionally, once you have an ExpressO account, you can track your downloads and other readership statistics.

Many law reviews, including many of the top tier law reviews, have moved to a newer service called Scholastica.12 Anecdotal evidence indicates that Scholastica is becoming a requirement for many top journals and is migrating down to a greater number of quality journals below the top tier. You should consider submitting through Scholastica for the journals that indicate that preference. Journals usually list their preference on their website or directly on ExpressO or Scholastica.

A few elite schools require that you submit directly through their law review website portal—NOT by email. Harvard, Yale, and Stanford are among these schools. While these journals are a reach for even the most renowned legal scholars, you might consider keeping this option in mind—especially if you have reasonable success in the expedite process.

Many of the most selective peer-reviewed journals do NOT accept electronic submissions, nor do they consider articles submitted simultaneously to other journals—that is, they expect exclusive review. Authors should go the electronic, mass-submission route. Unless you have a specific reason to send it to an exclusive-submission venue, your chances of an offer are much higher if you go this route.

Keep in mind that most journals will never read your manuscript, and this is increasingly true as you move up the rankings list. Due to the multiple-submission norm, the top general-interest journals receive thousands of submissions per year. Regardless, you should pay careful attention to the journals’ preferred or required procedure, or else you can almost guarantee that the article will never be reviewed. The electronic submission services ensure that your article is in their inbox, so that they can access it if—and when—you contact them with an expedite request.

When to Submit Your Article

Getting a publication offer is easier—and possibly quicker—than you might think, so long as you submit your article on the proper timeline. The bottom line of submission timing is that for student-edited law reviews, there are generally two “windows” or “cycles” where the students will consider articles for publication: spring (February-March) and fall (August-September). You should plan to submit your articles during these windows, with a few exceptions, or else you risk being ignored. Here is another advantage of the electronic submission services, ExpressO and Scholastica will advertise when a particular publication is open to receiving articles, and when they are closed.

The spring window is the main submission cycle, with two-thirds or more of article placements occurring then. This is because the newly-elected student editorial boards take over and begin their task of filling the next volume of books that they will edit and publish during their third year. Traditionally, this window was in March; but, in recent years, it has slowly crept leftward on the calendar into early February. March is still a primary zone, with a small but increasing number of articles accepted in February, and some as late as mid-April. If you want to “shop up” your article, then the earlier you submit, the better your chances are.

There may also be something of a late-spring window. Based on our own anecdotal experience, we believe that there is an under-appreciated late-market aspect to the window. Perhaps this is because some journals lose their pieces to higher-ranks journals on expedited review and then are in a bind to find new, uncommitted pieces before the student editors’ final exams begin in late April and May. In other words, there is a possibility of a late-cycle acceptance. Still, the best advice is to submit early.

The second “window” is the fall submissions cycle. The journals that have not yet filled next years’ slates will accept new article submissions when they return to law school in the fall semester. The fall window starts in early August and extends to mid-September. There are fewer chances in this window, but sometimes there might be an opportunity to fill a slot with a journal that lost a piece on expedited review in the spring. Again, there is the similar possibility of a late-cycle acceptance. But, the best advice is still to submit in early August if you can. This will give you the most opportunities with journals before they fill up and to be able to expedite.

Some journals permit year-round submissions. There are a few law-school journals, and a number of peer-reviewed outlets, that accept submissions year-round or during specially-offered times. You should check with those journals to ascertain whether they will accept or encourage off-cycle submissions. One prominent example of this is our own JAG Corps publications. The Military Law Review and the Army Lawyer both have open, year-round submissions. However, if you’ve been through the Graduate Course, you probably know that at certain times of the year, the editors have a larger batch of LL.M. theses, scholarly papers, or book reviews to consider for publication. Civilian journals may, likewise, have their own internal rhythms and specific considerations that affect their review cycles. Sometimes this information is posted on the journal’s website, or on its submissions policy statement on ExpressO or Scholastica. If you cannot find this information, that is another reason to consider the general-submission route during the primary submission windows.

Other times, a journal might make a special announcement of an off-cycle or “exclusive submissions” window, where they might review articles conditioned upon the author’s promise to accept a publication offer. A law review may be organizing a symposium, where the accepted authors are invited to speak at the symposium and have their article published. These special windows could be a great opportunity for a new author to get a guaranteed publication slot before mastering the expedite game. You might find such announcements on the journal websites, ExpressO, or popular weblogs such as The Legal Scholarship Blog.13

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. It is entirely permissible to decline and resubmit your article the next year if you don’t get an offer, or if you are not satisfied with the offers that you received during the previous year. Student editorial boards typically turn over in the winter, prior to the next spring’s submission cycle. Of course, additional editing and peer review can be helpful during the interim, but you should not be discouraged from holding the article back and then resubmitting it the following year. If there is a turnover window, consider changing the title of the piece—it’s not just a practical strategy, it might also prod you to rethink the utility of the title that you are shopping. Because editors might think that it makes the article seem more relevant to a wider audience, sometimes publication offers might be based on having a catchier or punchy title.

Expedited Review, “Shopping” the Offer, and the Placement Game

“Shopping around” for the best publication is where the process becomes uncomfortable for most JAs. The law journal culture of allowing multiple submissions creates competition on the back end. In other words, if you get one or more offers, you—the author with an offer—are in the driver’s seat; the journals compete with each other to secure your acceptance so that they can fill their books—and permit the student editors to get on with their classes and exams. When you receive an offer, the next step to consider is to “shop it up” to higher-ranked journals. When extending a publication offer, most journals give the authors some time, typically around two weeks, to decide whether to accept their offer. Using ExpressO or Scholastica, you can simultaneously submit “expedited review” requests to other journals with a few clicks. This alerts the other journals that you already have an offer, signaling publishable quality, as well as a deadline. An expedite request tells the other journals with whom you would like to publish that you have an offer; it also tells them that you would still like to publish with them, but they have to act fast.

Generally, once you receive an offer from, say, a fourth-tier journal, you should immediately send an expedite request to journals in the higher tiers; be sure to let them know of your offer and your deadline. They will take your deadline seriously. If they aren’t interested, they may never respond; but, if they are, they will get back to you within the deadline that you have conveyed. If you receive an offer from a higher-ranked journal, you can decline the offer from the lower-ranking school and start the expedited process again, and again, until you get the best offer in light of that journal’s deadline. While this may seem odd to a new author, the editors know that this is the game, and they expect you to play it.

Requesting an expedited review is important because the higher-ranked journals might not bother to read a manuscript, unless they receive a request for an expedited review with a pending offer from another journal. The higher-ranked journals look for these signals of acceptance from other journals before they give serious consideration to a piece. It is not uncommon for a law review editor to lose half of the pieces that they had carefully vetted, argued about, and voted to accept to higher-ranked journals on expedited review. This is where the game shifts to the authors’ benefit.

When you get to the point that you either have the “best” offer you can expect, or you run out of deadlines, then it is time to accept. By all means, you should consider factors other than the journal’s relative prestige ranking; things such as timing of publication, the editorial process, ancillary considerations like themed issues or related articles, or even your gut feeling about the future working relationship with the editors can be imperative considerations in deciding to accept a publication offer. The default norm, though, is to go with the higher-ranked journal.

The placement—and expedite-tournament—is not something that most of us, as military lawyers, are used to doing. It involves constant monitoring, a good bit of flattering, perhaps some self-promotion, and an unseemly gaming of the system. But this placement game is the normal way of doing things in the civilian legal academy, and we all learn to live with it. In fact, it has a strong upside in terms of accessibility—especially for new scholars.14 Despite much criticism, this system has some tangible benefits for the accessible production of a wide scope of informative writing that can contribute to the ongoing discourse in our dual professions. Even if this game strikes a military lawyer as strange, these are the rules of the game; the journals all play by them, and they expect the same from you. So, don’t worry about it and go for it!

Marketing Yourself: Tools to Help Publish the Article

Abstracts

Most journals prefer to read abstracts—ExpressO and Scholastica will prompt you to insert one in text form in a special box on their page. This is a significant part of the initial decision about whether to read the article itself. Law review abstracts have averaged around 260 words for the last few years, so an approximately 260-word abstract will look “normal” to editors.15 DO NOT SIMPLY COPY AND PASTE YOUR INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH—editors dislike that—and do not dash off something at the last minute. Take some time to polish your abstract, keeping in mind that editors will read this and may never read your article if they dislike your abstract. A template for an abstract, or something similar, might look like this:

1) “The conventional wisdom in X field of law is ______. 2) Nevertheless, most [scholars/courts] recognize [an unresolved problem with the conventional wisdom], which is ________, despite _______________. 3) This article [offers a novel solution, insight, or empirical evidence to resolve the problem or challenge the prevailing view). 4) Using [your supporting arguments, evidence, surveys, cases, legislative history, etc.], this article will demonstrate that [my thesis is probably true]. 5) Conclusion – “Ultimately, the result is ____” or “In light of this new evidence, I offer some normative proposals and suggestions for further research” [or something like that].16

Cover Letter

Write a one-page cover letter, describing your article in the first paragraph. Do not simply use your abstract or introductory paragraph. Describe your article as you would to a potential publisher over the phone. Your second paragraph can explain why this article is novel, nonobvious, useful to other professors, judges, and practitioners, and timely. Your third paragraph can summarize aspects of your CV you particularly want to bring to the law review’s attention.

Curriculum Vitae

Your CV should feature your areas of expertise or specialization and your best placements and publications. If you do not include a CV, law review staff will just Google you, so there is no reason NOT to include your CV, especially if you don’t have a web presence. If you don’t have a CV, make one. It’s basically an expanded academic resumé. Most professors have their CVs linked on the biography section of their webpage, so you can use those as examples.

Author Footnote

The author footnote on the first page of the article is vital because law review editors know it will be the first thing that potential readers will look at. It signals not just who you are, but what you’ve done. There is, indisputably, an element of snobbery in this; but, again, it’s how the game is played. We strongly recommend that you do not, as is the typical practice for our military legal journals, list a reverse chronological resumé of military assignments. Instead, lead with your current title, whether it’s “Associate Professor, U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School,” “Brigade Judge Advocate,” or whatever your current title is. Trust us, it’s impressive in civilian academia. Then, list your academic credentials. Last, list a few relevant or significant gigs—e.g., deployments or military job assignments that add credibility to your topic—but not your entire career list. Listing your reverse resumé makes perfect sense when you are writing explicitly for the JAG Corps; but, generally, the third year editors of the law review where you want to publish do not care about the six months you did in legal assistance in your first assignment at Fort Hood ten years ago—unless, of course, it is relevant to your article on legal assistance issues. Use your judgment and the author notes of articles in the top journals for examples.

You should mention any conference, workshop, or any other forum where you presented the ideas in the paper—even if it was at an early stage of the research. Use the author footnote to thank (1) every person who read a draft and (2) anyone—especially scholars, and particularly if they are well known—who helped you or with whom you discussed the ideas. This is critical both for the article selection process, and for ultimately persuading potential readers to give your article a look.

This should also encourage you, if you weren’t already doing this, to circulate your article among trusted colleagues and reach out to other scholars in the field. This is also typical in civilian academia, and scholars are normally generous in reading others’ drafts. Start with people you know who work in the area you’re writing about. While some of us are reluctant to “cold call” a person we don’t know, perhaps you can ask someone else to make the introduction. Especially if your paper draws heavily upon their work, many would consider it a proper courtesy for you to let them know about yours, even—or especially—if you’re critiquing theirs. Finally, if you want to thank your spouse, family, or friends for personal support, you can add that to the final published version, but leave it out when shopping the paper.

Polishing and Publicizing the Article

Once you’ve been selected for publication, the editing rounds begin. This can be a varied process, depending on the journal and the individual editor or editing team. In general, you should be familiar with Track Changes. You should consider accepting most, if not all, happy-to-glad changes the editor suggests. Do insist on seeing all edits and keep a copy of previous marked-up drafts—but do these things graciously. If any proposed changes give you pause, make sure you think about and understand why the editor is recommending the edit. Of course, ask editors why they proposed the edit if it’s not clear from comments on the article. Most likely, there won’t be any topic-altering changes you’ll have to consider in this polishing stage. Once polished and about to be published, it’s now time to publicize the article.17

Conclusion

The thoughts and advice contained in this article intend to help military lawyers who might be interested in publishing their research in civilian law reviews. These observations are our own, from our experience in the civilian legal academy and in military service. We are proud to be a part of three professions, as Soldiers, lawyers, and scholars. All three of these experiences are available to you as well. More importantly, the military, legal, and policymaking communities truly need the benefit of your experiences, insights, and advice. We hope that you continue to think about, write about, and publish the original and informative thoughts that you have gained through your practice, experience, and intellectual efforts.

Military lawyers who publish help contribute to the scholarly debate, and our voices can shape legal scholarship in ways that have a lasting benefit. If you publish, you have demonstrated that you are a scholar and expert who is willing to share your knowledge and experience and to engage in scholarship at its highest level. You can and should continue to research and write. Then, when you’re ready, “play the game” to publish your work and to contribute to our collective body of knowledge in the law, the military, and society. TAL


Prof. Matthew J. Festa is a Professor of Law at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, Texas.

LTC Walsh is an Adjunct Professor in the Criminal Law Department at The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School. As a civilian, he is the Senior Counsel to the National Criminal Investigations Training Academy.



Notes

1. See Publishing Articles in Law Reviews and Journals, Geo. L. Library, https://guides.ll.georgetown.edu/c.php?g=273426&p=1825109 (last updated Dec. 2, 2019). There is a wealth of information available to authors about publishing articles in law reviews and journals. Googling “publishing in law review” or a similar phrase yields hundreds of pertinent results. Id.

2. See the Military Law Review (MLR), The Army Lawyer, etc.

3. If you want to submit an article for consideration in the MLR, email it to the Editor, Military Law Review, at usarmy.pentagon.hqda-tjaglcs.list.tjaglcs-mlr-editor1@mail.mil. If electronic mail is not available, please forward the submission, double-spaced, to the Military Law Review, Administrative and Civil Law Department, The Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School, U.S. Army, 600 Massie Road, Charlottesville, Virginia 22903-1781.

4. See 64 Navy L. Rev. 1, 187 (2015). Naval Law Review Submission guidelines and contact information is listed in the last page of each Naval Law Rev., Id. See also Submission Guidelines, Air Force L. Review https://www.afjag.af.mil/Portals/77/documents/Law%20Review/Law%20Review%20Submission%20Guidance.pdf?ver=2018-10-10-170004-627 (last updated Oct. 2018).

5. See 2021 Best Law Schools, U.S. News & World Report, https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings (last visited May 26, 2020).

6. W&L Law Journal Rankings, Wash. & Lee Univ. Sch. of L., https://managementtools4.wlu.edu/LawJournals/ (last visited May 8, 2020).

7. ExpressO, Bepress http://law.bepress.com/expresso/ (last visited May 8, 2020). ExpressO also has a guide available for .pdf download with several publishing tips. Id.

8. Scholastica, https://scholasticahq.com/ (last visited May 8, 2020).

9. There is a cost for individuals to use these services that may limit your desire to submit to one hundred journals.

10. See supra notes 7-8. As of this writing, authors without an institutional account are charged $3.10 per submission on ExpressO, and $6.50 per submission on Scholastica. Id.

11. The authors do not endorse either ExpressO or Scholastica.

12. See supra note 8.

13. Legal Scholarship Blog, http://www.legalscholarshipblog.com/ (last visited May 8, 2020).

14. One of the chief benefits of the multiple-submission, student-edited system is—for the purposes of this discussion—the fact that legal writers who are not yet prominent scholars have a fair shot at getting published. This is virtually impossible in the peer-review world of other academic fields, where inside knowledge and predominant schools of thought and scholarly trends tend to dominate in the article selection process within a much smaller range of disciplinary journals.

15. Professor Dru Stevenson has compiled this statistic through surveying and averaging the word counts of top-journal abstracts over several years.

16. 1 John M. Swales & Christine B. Feak, Abstracts & The Writing of Abstracts (2009).

17. Consider creating a free account at www.ssrn.com. You can post all of your published articles as well as your (almost) ready to publish drafts. Scholars can search for, find,and cite your articles. You can also search for articles by other scholars. Tomorrow’s Research Today, SSRN, https://ssrn.com/index.cfm/en/ (last visited June 16, 2020).