Notes

The Notes Department of the California Law Review selects student pieces for publication. In each annual volume, the California Law Review publishes approximately twelve student notes.

Submission Requirements

Students should e-mail their submissions to the California Law Review‘s Administrator, Maro Vidal-Manou. Please include:

  1. A double-spaced PDF file of your piece, including title and abstract
  2. A cover sheet with the following information:
    The title of your piece
    Your class year
    Your contact information (telephone, email, address)
  3. A demographic information sheet, available only to Maro Vidal-Manou. Please note that this sheet will be kept completely separate from the submission and the cover sheet. This sheet is anonymous and will be used for informational purposes only. It will not affect the Department’s publishing decisions.

Because of the strictly anonymous process that Notes uses to select student notes for publication, please do not include any information on your piece that would explicitly or implicitly identify you. For the same reason, submitting authors are prohibited from inquiring into the status of their notes of any Notes Editor and may only communicate with the California Law Review‘s Administrator.

Submission Timeline

The Notes Department has two submissions cycles. The submissions deadline for the spring semester is March 1st at 5 p.m. The submissions deadline for the fall semester is September 1st at 5 p.m.  For recent graduates, the submission deadline for non-members is the first September 1 deadline after the date of their graduation. For CLR member graduates, the final submission deadline is the first March 1 deadline after the date of their graduation. Any submission received after either deadline will not be considered until the next submissions cycle. Please note, we only accept submissions from Berkeley Law JD or concurrent degree students. The deadlines are summarized below.

Current Student Recent Graduate
CLR member Spring: Mar. 1
Fall: Sept. 1
The first March 1 after date of graduation
non-member Spring: March 1
Fall: Sept. 1
The first September 1 after date of graduation

Berkeley Law students wishing to submit their student notes to CLR outside of their eligibility dates must submit their notes to the Articles Department.

Publishing and CLR Membership

Non-member student authors who are “publishing on” to the California Law Review may become members of the California Law Review so long as: (1) those authors submit their pieces by September 1 in the fall semester of their 3L years; (2) those authors are selected for publication by the March 1 of their 3L years; and (3) those authors fulfill the adjusted member work requirements as determined by the Managing Editor and relevant California Law Review personnel.

Review Process

Notes employs an anonymous, consensus-based system for determining the student notes that will be selected for publication. We recognize that we have a responsibility to ensure that student authors should receive neutral, unbiased, and fair consideration of their pieces, without political or personal considerations infecting the slotting process. As a result, the Notes Department employs a very strict anonymous process whereby no Notes Editor knows the identities of the authors being considered—and only those authors selected for publication are “identified” at the time of selection. Notes Editors may inadvertently discover the identities of authors during the review process, but they are expressly prohibited from using the author’s identity as a factor weighing for or against publication. If a Notes Editor becomes aware of an author’s identity and that awareness creates a real or perceived conflict of interest, that editor will recuse himself or herself from consideration of that piece.

Criteria

The California Law Review primarily publishes student notes. The California Law Review also occasionally publishes student “comments.”

A note is an academic analysis of a legal issue, debate, or problem. A note’s classical format is a three-part structure in which the author will provide background for the analysis, the analysis itself, and then a legal or policy recommendation as to how to resolve the legal issue. A note can comprise many different kinds of pieces, so long as they are somehow “legal” in nature (though we do welcome interdisciplinary pieces). For example, a note could address a circuit split on an interpretation of a rule or a statute, or it could reference a recent political or legal debate and explore the implications and concerns around that debate. It could discuss novel legal theories for resolving social problems, or it could address the nature of legal education or legal institutions. Pieces may be geared toward theoretical legal philosophy or pragmatic, on-the-ground lawyering. The California Law Review has chosen to set loose parameters on what counts as a sufficiently “legal” note. The notes that the Notes Department selects for publication are, in general, 40-60 page papers that provide in-depth analyses of political and legal issues or legal scholarship. While many of the notes that we review are written through writing seminars or independent studies with professors, Berkeley Law students may submit any paper to be considered for publication so long as it has a sufficiently legal focus.

A “comment” is a particular form of legal writing that analyzes the background and implications of one (usually recent) landmark decision. Comments tend to be shorter and more confined in their analyses than regular notes because they focus their discussions solely around single cases rather than bodies of laws. Comments are, in general, very rarely published by law reviews, and CLR has for some time elected not to publish comments.

The California Law Review will not publish any note that has been selected for publication by any other law review, journal, or magazine. Authors should under no circumstance submit notes to the California Law Review that have already been accepted by another publication.

The Notes Department considers the merits of the individual notes as well as other broader concerns, such as the department’s ability to publish notes that are best suited to the California Law Review publication process and that allow the department to publish on a wide range of legal fields and critical methodologies. As a result, if we have recently selected three international law pieces for publication, we may hold on a fourth so that we may have a breadth of scholarship. As to the merits of the pieces themselves, we tend to select pieces that are extremely well-researched; pieces that have a tight, focused topic; pieces that are careful to provide balanced analysis with arguments and counterarguments, without conclusory claims; and pieces that are written in a clear, engaging manner that would be appropriate for the broad-based readership of a general law review. We do not select notes on the basis for our own individual legal passions or our individual political orientations.

All submissions must be double spaced with one-inch margins and 12 point font. Submissions may not exceed 80 pages.

For tips on how to adapt a student seminar paper into a Comment, please consider the Tip Sheet.

Notification

We strive to notify students of some determination within several weeks of an initial submission. If a piece is selected for publication, students will be notified by telephone call or e-mail. The California Law Review sends out letters to authors who have not yet been selected for publication. Those letters inform authors that Notes Department either declines to publish their pieces, that the Notes Department encourages the authors to make specific revisions to their pieces and resubmit them, or that Notes Department is still considering their pieces and that the pieces are being “held” pending decision. This is an anonymous process throughout and the Notes Editors do not know the identities of the authors unless a piece is selected for publication. Consequently, the Notes Department will not respond to inquiries about or invitations to discuss individual pieces. If you have any questions about the Notes Department, please contact the California Law Review Administrator Maro Vidal-Manou.