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Researching for Journal Notes, Comments, and Paper Courses: Getting Published

Introduction

After your paper is complete, consider submitting it for publication. Publishing your work is a great way to demonstrate to potential employers your writing ability and knowledge about a particular area of law. Here are some suggestions for places that may publish student work. Keep in mind that you may need to revise your paper for length or tone depending on the audience, but the work you've already done for your class or journal note is a great start.

Suggested Readings

Professor Mark Wojcik offers advice in his October 2008 article, Get Published, that appeared in the ABA's Student Lawyer magazine.

How to Publish While You Are in Law School - suggestions from Lawyerist.com

Academic Law Journals

Students can publish articles as notes or comments in academic law journals. Publishing in law journals outside of UIC Law journals can be done, although it is much more difficult since the publications are highly selective and you will be competing with professors, attorneys, and students from the journal’s school who may be given preference. There is a growing preference by journals for authors to submit their articles using ExpressO.  ExpressO is a paid subscription service that allows you to select and submit your article to multiple journals electronically. An FAQ page about ExpressO can be found at: http://law.bepress.com/expresso/faq_authors.html

Some journals also accept submissions for free via the Washington & Lee Journals System.  This is also the best site to see the full listing of journals. 

The two most popular periods for journal submissions are mid-August through September and mid-March through April.  If you are serious about trying to publish in an academic journal, read the chapter on Publishing & Publicizing in Academic Legal Writing: Law Review Articles, Student Notes, Seminar Papers and Getting on Law Review by Eugene Volokh available in the Academic Success Collection on the 6th floor of the library at KF250 .V6 2010.

Bar Association Publications

All Bar Associations, including the American Bar Association, Chicago Bar Association and the Illinois State Bar Association have journals, magazines and newsletters that are open to publishing pieces by students. Special Interest Sections, Divisions and Committees of bar associations have numerous speciality publications that are read by hundreds of attorneys. Browse through old issues to find a publication or column that you think would be a good fit for your work, then email the editor. Editors are always looking for new pieces and authors to feature in their publications.

Bar association publications tend to be more practice-oriented since they are read by attorneys who are looking for news on how changes in the law will affect their day-to-day work. If your writing was prepared for a course or is more academic in nature, you may consider revising it to be tailored toward practitioners instead of a scholarly audience. 

Writing Contests

Writing contests are another great way to get published, plus there is an added bonus-many contests offer cash prizes. The ABA Law Student Division maintains a list of current writing contests on its site and the Student Lawyer magazine also publishes a list of writing opportunities at the back of every issue in a section called “Division Dialogue – ABA Offerings.” 

Check the bulletin board outside the Writing Resource Center on the 6th floor for notices of new writing contests.

Blogs

Consider looking at blawgs on your topic. Legal blogs will often discuss and link to or cite recent articles that have been written and can give you ideas for other publications that you might contact about publication opportunities. Writing for a blog is less prestigious than having an article published in a recognized journal or magazine, but it could lead to name recognition and networking opportunities with other attorneys in the field. 

To find a blog about your area of law, check these legal blog directories: