Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DO I JOIN THE JOURNAL?
Positions within the Penn Undergraduate Law Journal are only open to students at the University of Pennsylvania. If you are considering joining our team, please express your interest through our contact form and sign up for our mailing list. Positions will be available on a semester-by-semester basis, so check our website frequently for applications.
WHAT CAN I DO TO MAXIMIZE MY CHANCES OF GETTING PUBLISHED?
Please read over your work for grammatical or syntactical mistakes and factual inaccuracies. Polish your writing before submitting your work. Adhere to the prescribed guidelines and briefly explain the context and nature of your paper. Most papers submitted to the journal are written for a class, but we often receive independent studies and senior theses as well.
SHOULD I SUBMIT MY SENIOR THESIS IN ITS ENTIRETY?
The choice is yours, but we like to see works in their entirety, as parts and sections of longer works tend not to stand on their own unless heavily edited.
HOW DOES PULJ SELECT PAPERS?
Editors convene at several points over the course of the semester to discuss submissions at length, using extensive evaluation forms to guide discussions. A minimum of three editors will have reviewed every submission by the end of the first round, and by the end of the second round, a minimum of four editors will have read the paper. We use a voting system to select pieces.
All submissions are stripped of names and any university affiliation before they are given to our editors. This anonymous editing system ensures due consideration is given to each and every submission. Names and university affiliations are only revealed after final selections have been made.
I AM AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND GO TO SCHOOL IN A COUNTRY OTHER THAN THE UNITED STATES. MAY I SUBMIT MY PAPER?
Yes, we welcome submissions from international students. Please note all papers must be in English.
WHAT CITATION STYLE DOES PULJ USE?
The Penn Undergraduate Law Journal uses Bluebook.
WHY CAN'T I CONTACT JOURNAL MEMBERS DIRECTLY?
If you are interested in speaking to a journal member directly, please reach us through our contact form and request an individual member’s contact information.
SHOULD I CONVERT MY CITATIONS TO THE BLUEBOOK?
No, this is not a requirement and will not increase your paper’s chances of being selected for publication. It is more important to ensure completeness and accuracy in citations regardless of style used. Importantly, do not forget to include page numbers. If your paper is selected for publication, editors are charged with translating citation styles.
WHAT DOES PULJ OFFER THAT OTHER JOURNALS DON'T?
The Penn Undergraduate Law Journal is one of three undergraduate legal publications in the world to be published on HeinOnline, ensuring your paper receives wide exposure and figures among search results on Google Scholar. It also allows your article to be formally cited by others, including undergraduates, graduates, and scholars. In addition, our journal is indexed with the University of Pennsylvania library, and the hard copy is distributed to a number of academic departments on campus.
MY PAPER HAS BEEN SELECTED FOR PUBLICATION ELSEWHERE, BUT I PREFER TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE PULJ. HOW DO I PROCEED?
If you have been selected for publication elsewhere, and would rather publish with us, please contact us immediately through our contact form. In cases where your article has been identified as a likely for publishing, our editorial team may be able to accelerate the selection process. Please prepare to provide a copy of the original email or letter detailing your acceptance in another publication.
I WOULD LIKE TO SUBMIT A POST TO YOUR BLOG, THE ROUNDTABLE. HOW DO I DO THAT?
To pitch or submit a post to The Roundtable, please contact our blog manager at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We welcome submissions from undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals. You need not be presently enrolled or affiliated with the University of Pennsylvania. We ask that submitted articles be exoteric and accessible to an undergraduate audience. Please note The Roundtable is operated separately from the journal.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY PAPER QUALIFIES?
The Penn Undergraduate Law Journal is an interdisciplinary journal, which means we are always looking for papers written from a range of disciplinary perspectives. If you are positively unsure and would like to verify the topic of your paper will be considered, reach us through our contact form. Do note, however, that we have received everything from psychology papers examining witness testimony in courts to biology papers commenting on developments in patent law.
DOES MY PAPER HAVE TO BE ON AMERICAN LAW? IS THERE A PREFERENCE FOR PAPERS WRITTEN ABOUT THE U.S.?
No, absolutely not. We are open to comparative papers examining the legal systems of two or more countries or simply to papers examining the legal codes of another country. The country under discussion need not be English-speaking.
WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF BEING PUBLISHED?
This is a question we receive often, and we understand your interest in having it answered. However, we do not engage in estimating publication chances, as that would be unfair to other writers who have submitted their work.
IF MY PAPER IS SELECTED, WHAT IS EDITING LIKE?
If your paper is selected, you will be assigned to a team of editors with whom you will work closely to streamline, refine, and polish your piece for publication. Selected papers are passed through two plagiarism checkers and all sources are verified by PULJ members for accuracy. Please note that guarantee of publication is contingent on whether your paper successfully passes the source-checking process and our plagiarism detectors.