Legal academics generally publish in student-edited journals that have no sole-submission requirement, and it is common for authors to submit articles to dozens of journals at a time. As a result, law reviews are buried in manuscripts. Most manuscripts cannot even be looked at, much less evaluated, and there’s not much reason for evaluation anyway: a journal has little chance to publish any particular article. In short, the legal publication system is broken. (Indeed, given the ease and trivial cost of electronic submission - why not submit the article on artichoke law to Yale as well as So-So State? - things have worsened since 1989.) This article recommends the creation of a new professional norm: that an author shall submit an article to no more than five journals at a time, thereby (1) forcing authors to be realistic in selecting possible homes for their articles, (2) reducing the glut in law review offices, and (3) giving editors a realistic shot at publishing articles they review.


Legal Scholarship, Professional Norms, Five Journal Rule

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Journal of Legal Education

Publication Information

39 Journal of Legal Education 383 (1989)


COinS Erik M. Jensen Faculty Bio