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JELS Journal

The Journal of Empirical Legal Studies is a peer-edited, peer-refereed, interdisciplinary journal that publishes high-quality, empirically-oriented articles of interest to scholars in a diverse range of law and law-related fields, including civil justice, corporate law, criminal justice, domestic relations, economic, finance, health care, political science, psychology, public policy, securities regulation, and sociology. Both experimental and nonexperimental data analysis are welcome, as are law-related empirical studies from around the world.

JELS Information

Author Guidelines For Manuscript Submission:

What to submit: 2 copies of your manuscript, one with all identifying references removed. These may be Microsoft Word or PDF files, and should be sent via email to All tables and figures should be included and not submitted as separate documents. Authors who prefer to submit by mail should contact for instructions.

Manuscript format: Authors of accepted papers are asked to format their work according to the following guidelines. Manuscripts may employ either the reference and citation style used in standard social science practice (e.g., Law &Society Review format) with most references in text in parentheticals and a bibliography at the end of the article, or the style common in legal periodicals, as set forth in the 'Bluebook' (available from the Harvard Law Review), with full citations in the footnotes and no bibliography. Detailed style information is available from JELS.

Specific editorial conventions of which authors should be aware are:


  • Headings in the body of an article follow the style of Roman numeral, capital letter, numeral, lower case letter.
  • The first footnote is unnumbered, contains author information, and any thank you messages, etc.

Table and Figures

  • Initial caps and italics are used for each major word in table column headings.
  • Only the first word is capitalized in table rows.
  • Horizontal lines separate the table heading from the table body and are also used at the end of a table.
  • Initial caps are used for each major word in the title of tables:
    E.g., "Table 1: Number of Verdicts in Tort Trials by Jurisdiction by Decade"
  • Only the first word of a figure title is capitalized. 
    E.g., "Figure 1: Average and median damage awards in tort verdicts by year."
  • Authors should strive to use a font in figures that is compatible with JELS's text font. Times Roman is acceptable.
  • Tables and figures should stand on their own. When appropriate, authors should include an explanatory note for a table or figure. The goal is to have the table or figure "stand on its own" so that a busy reader can understand the table without reading the whole article.

Please see Headings and Tables for further reference.

Also, please note that there are three preferred formats for digital artwork submission: Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), and Tagged Image Format (TIFF). We suggest that line art be saved as EPS files. Alternately, these may be saved as PDF files at 600 dots per inch (dpi) or better at final size. Tone art, or photographic images, should be saved as TIFF files with a resolution of 300 dpi at final size. For combination figures, or artwork that contains both photographs and labeling, we recommend saving figures as EPS files, or as PDF files with a resolution of 600 dpi or better at final size. More detailed information on the submission of electronic artwork can be found at

Simultaneous submission policy: Simultaneous submission of papers to JELS and other journals is permitted.  JELS, however, requires that if a submission is accepted for publication inJELS before acceptance by another journal, the author commits to publishing the article in JELS. Thus, if JELS accepts an article before other journals have acted, the author must publish inJELS. If an author receives an acceptance before JELS has acted, the author is free to withdraw the submission from JELS, or to request an expedited review from JELS. Please contact JELS for details.

Send manuscripts and inquiries about editorial matters to:

Journal of Empirical Legal Studies
Cornell Law School
Myron Taylor Hall
Ithaca, New York 14853

or electronically:

NEW: Online production tracking is now available for your article through Blackwell's Author Services.

Author Services enables authors to track their article - once it has been accepted - through the production process to publication online and in print. Authors can check the status of their articles online and choose to receive automated e-mails at key stages of production so they don't need to contact the production editor to check on progress. Visit for more details on online production tracking and for a wealth of resources including FAQs and tips on article preparation, submission and more.

Conflict of Interest:
Authors are expected to disclose any commercial or other associations that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with a submitted article. All funding sources supporting the work, and institutional or corporate affiliations of the authors, should be acknowledged in a * footnote on the first page of the article. Articles are considered for publication on the understanding that neither the article nor its essential substance has been or will be published elsewhere before appearing in the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies. Abstracts, online working papers, and press reports are not considered as publications for purposes of this policy.