New Harvard Law Review Policy on Article Length:
Acccording to an e-mail I just received in my inbox, the Harvard Law Review has adopted a new policy on the length of articles it will publish:
  The Harvard Law Review will give preference to articles under 25,000 words in length — the equivalent of 50 law review pages — including text and footnotes. The Review will not publish articles exceeding 35,000 words — the equivalent of 70-75 law review pages — except in extraordinary circumstances.
  Although academic publications from a range of other disciplines regularly use length limitations, we are aware that we are abruptly introducing a constraint to which the legal academy is unaccustomed. Not surprisingly, then, we anticipate growing pains and acknowledge that our approach runs certain risks. Still, we hope the policy we announce today will play a modest role in reversing a trend that has cost legal scholarship dearly. . . .
  We encourage contributors who have submitted articles that exceed the new length limitations to resubmit abbreviated versions of their articles. We are sorry for the inconvenience this mid-year change will cause and the additional work it will surely require. Please understand that these policies, however burdensome, are intended to enhance legal scholarship in the long run. Indeed, the Review conceives of this new policy as a modest first step in a longer process toward substantially shorter articles.
  Fascinating. I don't know how many authors will rewrite their articles just to suit the preferences of the Harvard Law Review — the HLR accepts only a small handful of pieces by non-HLS faculty every year, so serious consideration is a longshot for any individual author — but it will be interesting to see if other law reviews also supplement the recent statement of principles with more explicit length policies. Is this the beginning of something big?

  I have enabled comments.

  UPDATE: Micah Schwartzman notes that the Virginia Law Review is ahead of the game; it adopted the following policy last year:
We strongly prefer Articles under 20,000 words (including footnotes). We will publish manuscripts over 30,000 words only under exceptional circumstances.
More on the Virginia Law Review policy here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: As a commenter points out, the Columbia Law Review has adopted the following policy:
Effective February 28, 2005, the Columbia Law Review will no longer review nor publish articles or essays in excess of 37,000 words in length (including text and footnotes; measured by Microsoft Word's word count feature), barring exceptional circumstances. In addition, we will give preference to articles and essays submitted under 32,000 words in length.