We only accept electronic submissions (via email or Scholastica), preferably in Microsoft Word format. Please direct all email submissions to our Article Review Board Chair.
WordPerfect users please note: While we strongly prefer Microsoft Word format, we will not disqualify a submission in WordPerfect format. However, our editing process takes place entirely electronically using Microsoft Word; if we accept your article, we will send you edited drafts, and expect you to return revised drafts, in Word.
For a description of how we evaluate articles and the qualities we look for in submissions, please review our Article Selection Process below.
The Stanford Environmental Law Journal begins reviewing submissions in late April, and extends publication offers on a rolling basis until all slots are filled. However, we publish two times per year, and usually finalize our selections for the January issue by mid to late August and for the June issue by mid February. The review process is generally slower during the summer.
Upon submitting your article to the Journal, an Article Review Board Chair will notify you by email that we have received your article. The review process typically takes two to three weeks. If you receive one or more offers from another journal and would like an expedited review of your article, please email the Article Review Board Chair with the name of the other journal and its deadline for your response. Expedited review does not provide any greater likelihood that your article will be accepted – it only speeds up the review process.
Length and Format
The typical length for an Article is fifty to ninety double-spaced pages. The typical length for a student Note is thirty to sixty double-spaced pages. We rarely accept Note submissions outside of these ranges, but may, on rare occasion, be willing to consider student Comments or Essays of shorter length that present an exceptional depth of reasoning and scholarship.
Text and citations should conform to The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (21st ed. 2021). We encourage authors from disciplines other than law, or from other countries, to familiarize themselves with this system of citation.
Please only submit a final copy based on up-to-date research. We do not accept submissions by post.
We accept and encourage papers on a wide variety of topics, not just in traditional environmental or natural resources law, but also climate change and environmental policy, law and economics, international environmental law, animal rights, toxic torts, environmental ethics, and other topics relating to law and the environment. If your submission is at the edge of our core topic areas, please ensure that it is comprehensible to readers not versed in the discipline.
How we classify submissions
A paper submitted by a current student will be considered as a Note. We are only accepting Note submissions from Stanford students at this time.
A paper submitted by an author who has graduated within the past year will be evaluated as a Note if it was primarily written while the author was still a student. A paper submitted by an author who is more than one year out of school will be evaluated as an Article, regardless of when the paper was written.
On rare occasions, we will consider a student submission as a Comment or Essay. These tend to paint with a broader brush, tend to have less particularized or quantified support, tend to be shorter, and tend to be more lightly footnoted.
If we offer to publish your piece, we will send you a contract by which you will transfer copyright to the Stanford Environmental Law Journal. If your piece cites materials that are more than typically difficult to find (unusual, unpublished, foreign, etc.), we will expect you to mail a copy of them to us at your own expense immediately upon your acceptance of our offer. A Lead Article Editor (LAE) is assigned to each article and a team of Member and Associate Editors works with the LAE during each round to check all footnote citations for accuracy, format, clarity, etc.
Our editing process is done entirely electronically, via email, using the Track Changes (formerly known as Revision Marking) feature in Word.
We edit each article extensively. We are known to be particularly aggressive editors, and we look for authors who are looking forward to working closely with us to edit their work tightly. In the past, some authors accustomed to more laissez-faire editing have expected that once their submission was accepted, their work was largely done. Those authors have been surprised at the extent of work required to make a submission publishable in our journal, but in the end have been pleased by the improvements we reached together. We send out our editing calendar in the first week of the process, and the deadlines are hard and fast.