Information for Prospective Authors

Submissions for Ottawa Law Review volume 50 are closed.

Information regarding volume 51 will be available in Spring 2019.  

Submission Types

A scholarly article must embody compelling legal analysis which is sufficient to make an original contribution to the existing literature on a specific legal topic.

The maximum length of an article is 15,000 words (excluding footnotes).

Case comment
A case comment is a creative and critical discussion of the impact of a noteworthy case.

The maximum length of a case comment is 10,000 words (excluding footnotes).

Book Review
A book review is a formal evaluation of a notable book which was recently published and which goes above and beyond summarizing the contents of the work.

The maximum length of a book review is 2,500 words (excluding footnotes).

Both French and English submissions are accepted.

General Guidelines

Cover Letter

All submissions must be accompanied by a separate cover letter containing:

• Author’s full name;
• Full mailing address;
• Telephone number;
• E-mail address (the primary method of communication);
• Academic credentials;
• Current institution affiliation, if any;
• Names and titles of individuals who have already reviewed the submission or are familiar with it; and
• A 250 word (maximum) summary of the submission which also addresses why it is relevant to the legal community.


• Microsoft Word document (.doc);
• 12 point Times New Roman font;
• Double-spaced text;
• 1.0" margins;
• Arabic numeral page numbers on bottom right corners;
• The full title and a table of contents shall immediately precede the work.

Citation Format

Footnotes must be used (not endnotes), and they must conform to the most recent edition of the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation (Toronto: Carswell), known as the “McGill Guide.”


• Please do not include a bibliography;
• Please include an abstract of 250 words (maximum).

Submissions by Students

Authors who are or have recently been students (within the past 10 months) must include a letter or email from a law professor supporting the publication of the paper in a law journal.

Further requirements upon acceptance

• Any acknowledgements that the author wishes to make and the author’s credentials, including any institutional affiliation (maximum 100 words).

The Ottawa Law Review provides disclaimers, upon request, stating that all opinions expressed are solely the author’s and not the institution’s.


Originality and Exclusivity

The Ottawa Law Review publishes only original material, meaning that a substantially similar version of the work has not been previously published. Authors must inform the Ottawa Law Review if their submissions relate to any prior work.

Additionally, the Ottawa Law Review only considers exclusively submitted material that is not simultaneously under consideration by any other publication.


It is the author’s responsibility to comply with the University of Ottawa’s policy on academic fraud, which is strictly adhered to by the Ottawa Law Review.


The Ottawa Law Review considers submissions anonymously, without regard to the author's identity, institutional affiliation, prior publications, credentials, or previous submissions.

To facilitate an anonymous peer-review process, no identifying information may appear in the submission, including credentials, biographical information, acknowledgements, or references/citations to the author’s previous works, that may identify him or her as the author of the submission.

The Editor-in-Chief (Articles) is the only member of the Editorial Board who has knowledge of the identity of the author. Neither the assessors nor the other Editorial Board members have knowledge of the author's identity during the evaluation process.

Evaluation Process

The Ottawa Law Review obtains a minimum of two independent assessments from peer-reviewers who have expertise on the legal topic before a submission is considered for publication by the Editorial Board.

In addition to style, organization, persuasiveness, coherence, conciseness, clarity, etc., the substance of the submission is evaluated based on the following criteria:

Does the article contain a clear idea or argument as its thesis?
Is the idea or argument discussed in a novel manner?
Does the article make a significant contribution to existing literature in the field?
Does the article seriously consider opposing arguments?
Are the supporting citations current, thorough and accurate?
Is the discussion of relevance to the legal community?
Does the article lay a foundation for further debate?

A majority vote determines the outcome.

Each Senior Board member can vote for one of four possible decisions regarding a submission:
a. Accept
b. Accept with conditions
c. Reject

Articles are generally accepted only if there is no need for the author to make changes. Conditions are usually added. 

Editing Process

Join Us



Associate Editors

The Associate Editor position is a three-credit course for second-year law students. Associate Editors can apply the credits towards the Fall or Winter semester; however, Associate Editors work throughout the Fall and Winter semesters.

Associate Editors are responsible for:

  • Editing the text of publications for grammar, style, and syntax;
  • Ensuring footnote citation conform to the prescribed standards;
  • Verifying primary and secondary source material;
  • Serving on a committee; and
  • Mentoring Assistant Editors.

Candidates are not required to have served as an Assistant Editor to be considered for an Associate Editor position. While the OLR is a bilingual academic journal, we do not require our editors to be bilingual. The OLR seeks students who speak French, English, or both.

Any question related to the application process can be directed to Mr. Cody Watson, Human Resources Manager at


Application Process

To apply for an Associate Editor position, please submit:

  1. Cover Letter
    1. Maximum of one page
    2. Must indicate:
      1. Why you wish to join the OLR as an Associate Editor;
      2. Core competencies (i.e. research skills, legal writing, etc.);
      3. Interpersonal skills (i.e. leadership, teamwork, etc.); and
      4. Whether you are sufficiently bilingual to edit in French.
  2. Resume
    1. Maximum of two pages
  3. Substantive editing and citation exercise (Download here)
    1. Text edits
      1. Correct all errors in red pen on the document itself.
      2. Where necessary, please justify the correction by indicating the rule from the appropriate authority (McGill Guide, OLR Style Guide, etc.) in the left margin.
      3. Focus on grammar, punctuation, spelling, and other editing guidelines indicated in the OLR Style Guide. Do not focus on editing the author’s stylistic choices, such as word choice or passive voice.
    2. Footnote edits
      1. Correct all footnotes on a separate document (do not edit the footnotes as they appear in the original text)
      2. Highlight all of the errors in yellow then reproduce the full, corrected footnote below. Corrected footnotes should be typed.
      3. Editors must justify all footnote edits using the McGill Guide or the OLR Style Guide.

Please scan your completed exercise and attach it to your application. Please ensure that all corrections and justifications are legible.

Please email your application package as a single PDF document to the attention of Mr. Cody Watson, Human Resources Manager at before 4:00PM on Friday, March 8, 2019.

Reference letters, writing samples, and any additional materials will not be considered.

Method of Evaluation

Weight will be given primarily to the substantive exercise and feedback received from work performed as an Assistant Editor (if applicable), followed by the cover letter, resume, and overall quality of the application.


Senior Editors

The Senior Editor position is a six-credit course for third-year law students (three-credits per semester). Only students who served as Associate Editors will be considered for Senior Editor positions.

Senior Editors are responsible for:

  • Pre-screening submission and voting on which to publish based on peer-review;
  • Attending weekly Senior Board meetings;
  • Editing accepted submissions for grammar, style, and syntax;
  • Ensuring citations conform to the prescribed standards;
  • Researching primary and secondary source material;
  • Mentoring Assistant and Associate Editors; and
  • Managing a committee of Associate Editors throughout the academic year.

Please see the Senior Board positions available for 2019–2020 here.


Application Process

To apply for a Senior Editor position, please submit:

  1. Personal statement, which answers the following questions:
    1. Why you would like to be a member of the OLR Senior Board?
    2. What special qualifications or particular interests do you have that you would bring to the Senior Board (i.e. previous organizational or leadership experience, major research projects, publications, etc.)?
    3. What is one strength and weakness about the OLR?
    4. What are your top three Senior Board positions? (You do not have to describe why).
    5. Please indicated if you are sufficiently bilingual to edit in French.
  2. Resume (maximum of two pages).

Please email your application in PDF format to the attention of Mr. Cody Watson, Human Resources Manager at before 4:00PM on Friday, March 8, 2019.

The 2019–2020 Senior Board will be selected by the outgoing Senior Board on March 11, 2019. Successful candidates will be notified shortly thereafter.


Editor-in-Chief Positions

Candidates can apply either to Editor-in-Chief (Administration) or Editor-in-Chief (Articles), but not both.

To apply for an Editor-in-Chief position, in addition to a Personal Statement and Resume, candidates must:

  • Participate in a substantive exercise during the week of March 18, 2019 (specific times to be scheduled at a later date).
  • Provide a 500-word platform outlining what the candidate would like to accomplish as Editor-in-Chief and outlining his or her strategic vision for the OLR.

Please submit platforms to the attention of Mr. Cody Watson, Human Resources Manager, at before 4:00PM on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

Senior Board Elections

Once the Senior Board has been selected for the 2019–2020 academic year, elections will take place on Saturday, March 30, 2019. Both the incoming and outgoing Senior Boards will elect the three Editors-in-Chief, along with the remaining Senior Board positions. Candidates should prepare a short (three minute) presentation about themselves and why they should be selected for the position. Editor-in-Chief candidates should be prepared to answer two or three interview-style questions.

Method of Evaluation

Weight will be given primarily to editorial and committee work performed as an Associate Editor, followed by the personal statement, resume, and speech.

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