Call for Papers:
The Journal of Law and Courts is a new peer reviewed publication sponsored by the American Political Science Association’s Law and Courts Section, published by the University of Chicago Press. The Journal of Law and Courts invites submissions from all scholars interested in legal institutions, actors, processes, and policy.
The chief aim of the Journal can be expressed simply: to publish outstanding articles that most students of law and courts will want to read, regardless of the theoretical and methodological perspectives from which they approach their own research. The scope of the journal is very broad. We welcome papers about law and legal actors of all types, at all levels, and in all places, from trial courts in Asia to high courts in Latin America, from family law to constitutional law to international law, from litigants to lawyers to jurors to judges. Theoretical and empirical studies are equally welcome. Empirical studies may be descriptive or causal and may employ any rigorous method, qualitative or quantitative.
Submissions will be evaluated on three chief criteria: 1) the substantive importance of the questions or ideas addressed; 2) analytical rigor; and 3) success in crossing boundaries that often divide scholars from different disciplines or even segments of the same discipline. It is this third criterion that will distinguish articles published in JLC most markedly from those published elsewhere. Authors must identify implications that matter to scholars with different perspectives and write in a style that encourages a broad readership, keeping jargon to a minimum and, where appropriate, acknowledging reliance on assumptions that would likely be contested by other scholars. Theoretical clarity is expected of all articles, and methods in empirical pieces will be required to be as transparent as possible.
Articles should be succinct, with theoretical discussions and literature reviews limited to central issues and closely related works. Brief papers – empirical research notes or sharply focused and tightly argued essays – will be looked on favorably. Papers should not exceed 10,000 words, except where extra length is essential to the integrity of the article, as, for instance, in a work of qualitative research where fairly extensive descriptions are required to allow readers to evaluate the evidence. Important materials that cannot fit in the print article may be posted as supplements on the Journal’s website.
With few exceptions, JLC articles will consist of original scholarship. The two types of exceptions that will be seriously considered for publication are theoretically sophisticated “state of the discipline” pieces and papers elucidating little-known empirical methods – qualitative or quantitative –that could be valuable to many researchers in the law and courts community.
In general, papers substantially devoted to advocating a particular approach to research or theory will be disfavored, as inconsistent with the Journal’s aims; that is, the focus of strong submissions will be on what is being studied, not how it is being studied. Furthermore, although empirical or conceptual analyses of the substance of law are highly appropriate subjects for JLC articles, papers whose primary purpose is to describe or evaluate doctrinal developments will not be considered for publication.