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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Angsting Thread (Law Review Edition, Spring 2012)

Friends, the time has come when Redyip is visible.  You know what that means. Feel free to use the comments to share your information (and gripes or praise) about which law reviews have turned over, which ones haven't yet, and where you've heard from, and where you've not, and what you'd like Santa to bring you this coming Xmas, etc. It's the semi-annual angsting thread for the law review submission season. Have at it. And do it reasonably nicely, pretty please.

Posted by Administrators on February 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM in Blogging, Law Review Review | Permalink


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Hey, what's with talking about a Great Bird behind its back? You could just check with me directly, you know.

Posted by: Redyip | Feb 10, 2012 2:30:06 PM

Redyip, my sincere apologies! I am a mere monkey-scribe with talents so meager that I could not have been expected to know better. Yours, affectionately and reverently,

Posted by: Dan Markel | Feb 10, 2012 3:36:14 PM

My brief list of petty grievances: (save for Festivas)
1) law reviews that are not accepting submissions not turning off Expresso, thus allowing one to pay for the privilege of learning they do not accept submissions until....well.....for you maybe never.

2) Failure to click the "confirmation of receipt" button. How hard can this be? Literally, its the very least you can do.

3) 24-hour turnarounds: perhaps pretend to read it, next time?

4) Hopelessly outdated submission advice. Trust me when I say that the process is different now than in 1982.

Did I leave any off the list?

Posted by: Anon | Feb 10, 2012 4:06:30 PM

"Did I leave any off the list?"

Email rejections with an ambiguous subject line that totally get your hopes up.

Like "Your Submission to the XYZ Law Review." You think, "Hey, maybe this one will be different and they'll be writing to accept it!". They aren't.

Seriously, Expresso. How hard would it be to put a little button in there so they could just check off "rejected"?

Posted by: Anon, good nurse! | Feb 10, 2012 5:49:51 PM

Just today...from my most recent submission submitted last week:
a major law journal sent me a rejection stating the review was "closed" and would start new submissions on Feb 1. Funny, I submitted via ExpressO only last week. Just be honest - perhaps the topic is not germane to the journal's current interests, perhaps all the slots are filled, whatever. At least get the right rejection letter sent out!

Posted by: T14Author | Feb 11, 2012 1:23:17 PM

Any updates on which journals are actively reviewing pieces?

Posted by: Anonity | Feb 14, 2012 6:43:28 PM

Received on February 15 in response to an expedite request:

"Thank you for contacting the Washington University Law Review. Our current volume is full and we are not accepting submissions at this time.

We will begin accepting submissions for our next volume on February 6, 2012. We accept submissions in electronic format through our e-mail account, review@wulaw.wustl.edu, or through ExpressO. We do not accept paper submissions.

If you have contacted the Washington University Law Review about a topic other than submissions, please be advised that we will be monitoring this account only sporadically until February 2012. If you have contacted us about an urgent matter, please call our publication office at (314) 935-6498."

Posted by: Really? | Feb 15, 2012 10:10:30 AM

I guess it's not "early February" in New Haven. Received today:

Thank you for submitting your work to The Yale Law Journal.

Unfortunately, Volume 121 is no longer accepting submissions. Interested authors are encouraged to re-submit their work starting in early February 2012 for Volume 122. No new articles or essays will be considered until that time.

The Yale Law Journal

Posted by: Really! | Feb 15, 2012 10:32:09 AM

"Your call is important to us. It will be answered in the order it was received. Please continue to hold."

Posted by: Bruce Boyden | Feb 15, 2012 11:09:32 AM

1.) Is there anything wrong with immediately expediting when you submit? I'm thinking of submitting to the mid-tier journals (say in the 50-75 range), and then if I get an offer, submitting to the journals in the 25-50 range with a simultaneous expedite request. But I'm not sure if that's bad form or not.

2.) In the above scenario, would it be bad form to submit a modestly different version of the article to the higher-ranked journals? The long story short is that I'm waiting on a few outside reader comments, and there is a decent chance that they might entail some light-to-moderate revision. The thesis and analysis wouldn't change, of course, but it could be more than just correcting typos.

Posted by: Two Etiquette Questions | Feb 15, 2012 12:26:41 PM

Redyip is basically ready! Check out its twitter feed!

Posted by: Dan Markel | Feb 16, 2012 10:46:53 AM

Dan is right. This Great Bird is go for takeoff. If you have submissions you want carried to Zarcon in the first batch, you need to be in the valley beneath my nest in the next half hour.

Further tweets here.

Posted by: Redyip | Feb 16, 2012 11:12:40 AM

Submitted early this week. About 6 rejections from top 20 schools. Total radio silence otherwise. Anyone else in the same boat?

Posted by: anon | Feb 17, 2012 11:43:09 AM

Anon @ 11:43: If you don't mind sharing, how many journals did you submit to? I'm just curious if anyone outside of the top 20 is actively reviewing and rejecting yet.

Posted by: Anonity | Feb 17, 2012 12:17:36 PM

Anonity--I submitted to top 75. I've heard from a reliable source that a few non-top-50 journals are reviewing.

Posted by: anon | Feb 17, 2012 12:23:18 PM

It seems like the top 20 is mostly in full swing now but the lower 30 contiguous states have been pretty quiet. So far only 2 rejections from that group (Wisconsin, Colorado).

Posted by: A Non Nym | Feb 17, 2012 10:09:42 PM

The consensus on here seems to be that the best time to submit is around Feb. 15. How quickly does this window close? I'm still editing a paper and am trying to determine whether it makes a material difference to have it submitted by Feb. 20 compared to, say, Feb. 25. I may be over thinking this, but it does sound like the journals get flooded/overwhelmed with submissions pretty quickly.

Posted by: Matt | Feb 17, 2012 10:13:27 PM

Thanks Anon and A Non Nym for the info.

Matt: I think that the traditional peak submission window is from around Feb. 20 through March 10, although some will begin as early as January, and some will wait as late as early April. I don't think you need to hurry, personally.

Posted by: Anonity | Feb 18, 2012 8:53:08 AM

In case anyone is wondering, I received offline answers to my above posted questions (2/15/12, 12:26:41).

1.) No.

2.) Probably not, but this answer could be different if the thesis changes.

So the plan now is to submit next weekend to mid-tier places with whatever comments I have at that point, then incorporate newly-received comments into submissions up the chain, hopefully with a simultaneous expedite request.

Posted by: Two etiquette questions | Feb 18, 2012 10:53:42 AM

FWIW, one potential issue with submitting with a simultaneous expedite request is that you may not give the higher ranked journals enough time to fully complete their expedited review. For example, if you submit to all the journals at the same time, then there is a possibility that a top 25 journal will have begun its consideration of your article even prior to receiving the expedite request, thus making it more likely they can fully evaluate your article by the deadline. Some of the top journals simply can't complete their evaluation process in a week or less.

Posted by: Anonity | Feb 18, 2012 12:36:13 PM

I agree with Anonity - top journals often require more time to expedite than a week, so if you expedite immediately you may be hurting your chances. This would seem to suggest that perhaps it would be better to submit to the top 25 or 50 a week or so earlier than everywhere else, so that if you get a sudden 1 week offer, the expedite will actually be feasible. But what do others do about this? I have always submitted to all at once but am wondering whether there is a better approach.

Posted by: anon | Feb 18, 2012 2:27:15 PM

Michigan and Stanford law reviews are extending offers

Posted by: annon | Feb 18, 2012 3:39:45 PM

Has anyone else gotten decisions (one way or another) from the top 14?

Posted by: anon | Feb 19, 2012 12:14:28 PM

I've had rejects from Harvard, Stanford, Chicago, Penn, Berkeley, Virginia, Duke, Northwestern, and Texas. Yeah, I'm doing *real* well.

Posted by: sigh | Feb 19, 2012 4:32:27 PM

I've had two rejections from the top 20, one top 20 get back to me with a "we're reviewing your article...", and silence from the rest. I submitted on Feb. 14. Votes on what this means???

Posted by: ??? | Feb 19, 2012 4:40:39 PM

Anyone heard from Cornell, NYU, or Columbia?

Posted by: anon | Feb 19, 2012 5:02:33 PM

Yes, I have been rejected by Cornell. Also Minnesota (in addition to the ones listed above).

Posted by: blurgh | Feb 19, 2012 8:44:01 PM

In addition to some of those listed above, I've received dings from Georgetown, Illinois, Michigan, and Vanderbilt.

Posted by: Anons | Feb 20, 2012 12:31:57 AM

Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. A thought: in past years, people have mentioned date of submission and all the reviews from which they've had news (good or bad). This gives everyone a sense, even if an imperfect one, of the timelines for decisions at the reviews. Could those who have posted news of decisions so far inform us of the date of submission?

I submitted on Feb 18th and have had radio silence.

Posted by: Anono | Feb 20, 2012 10:29:11 AM

If someone wants to aggregate the info, I will set up and embed a spreadsheet. Email me at slawsky /at/ law /dot/ uci /dot/ edu if you want to take this on (and let me know your gmail address if you have one).

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Feb 20, 2012 1:00:45 PM

Vsnderbilt dinged me less than 24 hours after I submitted. I was tempted to thank them for their "exceptionally prompt response", but I managed to restrain myself.

Posted by: DS | Feb 21, 2012 2:05:13 PM

I ended up experiencing some activity yesterday after all. As noted earlier, submitted 02/18. Dings from Cornell, BYU and Virginia on 02/20.

Posted by: Anono | Feb 21, 2012 2:41:07 PM

I'm perplexed by why people seem to think that a 24-hour ding -- or even a 3-hour ding -- demonstrates lack of real consideration. I can certainly tell after 10-15 minutes that a particular article isn't very good (or, to put it more gently, isn't what I'm looking for). And even if law review articles editors aren't quite as experienced as we are, surely they can tell within, say, half an hour that the vast majority of articles submitted are not plausible candidates for the 10-20 articles that they'll publish this volume.

Of course, I suspect the real answer is that, since everyone knows that his/her own article is wonderful, those lousy student editors must have made a terrible mistake, and the short timespan is simply a convenient explanation for how they could have been so mistaken.

Posted by: Law Prof | Feb 21, 2012 2:58:16 PM

I submitted 2/18 to the top 50+ and have received some confirmation from about half the journals. Rejections from Texas and BYU came in on 2/20. Rejection from Georgia this afternoon, informing me that they have filled the 46th volume and will begin selecting for the 47th volume in March 2012. It reads a little like a suggestion to re-submit, but why not just hold the submission till March or unambiguously ding it?

Posted by: Steve-o | Feb 21, 2012 3:15:40 PM

I agree with LawProf that it is possible to fairly evaluate an article in a short time frame. However, I think the concern is that given the hundreds of submissions that editors receive, and that editors are still presumably attending classes, that a quick rejection is more likely to be based on something other than the actual merits of the article (e.g., the author's resume, the perceived "sexiness" of the article, etc.,).

Posted by: Anons | Feb 21, 2012 3:35:47 PM

Submitted on 2/8 and 2/15 (to journals that were not open on 2/8). Have a couple acceptances already (yay!). Also have a lot of dings: Yale, Harvard, Chicago, Mich, Penn, Cal, Virginia, Duke, NU, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Minn, Illinois, William & Mary, Georgia, BYU, Maryland, Colorado, Baylor. So most of the top 20 are actively reviewing, below that it looks like radio silence (even if you expedite).

Posted by: anonity | Feb 21, 2012 3:38:36 PM

Looks like Wisconsin won't begin reviewing submissions for a couple more weeks:


Posted by: Anon-y-mouse | Feb 22, 2012 8:27:47 AM

Submitted 2/14 to the T100. Thus far dings from Baylor, BYU, Cal, Cornell and Chicago. Sigh.

Posted by: VAPlications | Feb 22, 2012 10:07:17 AM

Submitted earlier than anonity and have essentially the same top-20 dings, except for Penn and Vandy. Doesn't sound like anyone's heard yet from Columbia, NYU, USC, WashU, or GW?

Posted by: A Non Nym | Feb 22, 2012 4:47:39 PM

A colleague indicated that he'd recently gotten a ding from Columbia, so looks like their process has started.

Posted by: annie mouse | Feb 22, 2012 5:04:41 PM

Dings from BYU and Virginia.

Posted by: anon | Feb 22, 2012 9:16:00 PM

How long does it take for offers to start coming in--two weeks, three weeks? Does it take longer for top 20 schools to make offers, generally?

Posted by: ANON | Feb 23, 2012 5:22:58 AM

Last Spring, I submitted on February 11th or 12th, and received an offer from a top-40ish journal exactly two weeks later. I've heard of folks receiving offers within a day, and also within a couple of months. I think it depends on a million factors.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 23, 2012 11:26:11 AM

Last spring I submitted from 2/24 to 3/2. I submitted to the LR I published in on 3/1. It was accepted on 4/9 (not an expedite). It was a mainline LR in the 50-75 range, and the piece was the lead article in the first issue of the volume, so I'm pretty sure that they liked it.

Posted by: Anon, good nurse! | Feb 23, 2012 1:06:11 PM

Last year, I submitted on St. Patrick's Day, March 17th. I received my first offer on the March 23, and the offer I finally accepted on April 7. I got to final read through at a top 20 journal, and they let me down easy on March 29. I had offers from mainline journals in the 80-100 range.

Posted by: Gunshy | Feb 23, 2012 10:23:01 PM

Submitted mid-week and ding from Michigan.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 24, 2012 11:09:43 AM

Since we're sharing stories to show a range-- last year I submitted something in February and long after I lost hope in ever publishing it, it was accepted by a t20 law review in June. I never expedited (obviously), but I did ping the relevant editor by email, which seemed like it prompted them to actually take a look at my piece.

Posted by: junior mint | Feb 24, 2012 11:35:57 AM

Submitted early in the week, and dings from Cornell and Duke.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 24, 2012 1:05:45 PM

Submitted to top 75 on 2/17 and dings from Cornell, Michigan, Virginia and BYU.

Posted by: AnonAnon | Feb 24, 2012 1:55:40 PM

I submitted on 2/14, got dings from 6 of the top 21, and from around 4 others.

Posted by: AnotherAnon | Feb 24, 2012 7:54:02 PM

My update: submitted 02/18 and have dings from Harvard, Michigan, Virginia, Duke, Cornell, Vandy, and BYU.

Posted by: Anono | Feb 24, 2012 8:15:05 PM

I am not in the game this season but from friends, I have heard that offers have been made by Louisville and Vanderbilt.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 24, 2012 8:18:30 PM

Out of curiosity, how strong is the bias against non-professors in the selection process? I submitted on 2/22 and have 4 dings, 3 from the top 20.

Posted by: Yet Another Anon | Feb 24, 2012 9:41:16 PM

Just got my Harvard rejection!

Posted by: AnotherAnon | Feb 25, 2012 9:05:21 PM

Submitted on 2/22 to the top 100. So far, rejections from Michigan, Virginia, Duke, BYU, and Baylor.

Posted by: anon | Feb 26, 2012 2:26:29 PM

Anyone try PRSM (Peer Reviewed Scholarship Marketplace)? If so, how did it go?

Posted by: Curious | Feb 26, 2012 4:26:42 PM

Curious about your thoughts on 2 questions

(1) I have 2 articles now in production. Do I submit a new article to those reviews? Neither option feels quite right. (One of the two journals especially I would love to publish in again and is perfect for the new piece)

(2) I've got one article to submit now, will have a second article ready towards the end of the window. Do I lose anything by submitting end of March, hoping for spring decisions but knowing I will probably have to wait until August? I suppose even if there is no effect on likelihood of acceptance I will probably keep revising and would either have to pay Expresso twice (horrible) or resubmit by hand.

Posted by: Anon23 | Feb 26, 2012 11:06:49 PM

On submitting by the end of March, I would say it depends on your realistic expectations for where the article might place regardless of timing. Even a relatively strong article is unlikely to place in the top 50 main journals if submitted at the end of March/beginning of April. Most top journals start working around the clock in early or mid-Feb and have filled most or all of the slots they intend to fill by the end of March. Also, because their decision process takes 2 weeks in most cases, they necessarily would be reviewing your article during finals, which they don't want to do. (see interview with Minnesota EOC on prawfsblawg last summer for more on these details).

If you doubt the article would place in the top 50 anyway, submitting at the end of March is fine. Those journals don't start reviewing as early as the top 50 and many of them have processes that allow the EIC or Article's editors to essentially make unilateral/instaneous offers. Those journals can and will make offers well into April or May.

Posted by: Derek Black | Feb 27, 2012 8:44:49 AM

Prof Black --

I have an article that I'm waiting for comments from outside readers on. They've generally promised to get me feedback by 3/10 or so. I didn't want to wait to start submitting until mid March, so my plan was to submit the current draft to places outside of the top 50 today or tomorrow, and then hopefully expedite up inside the top 50 with reader comments incorporated in a few weeks. Is that a bad idea, at least timing-wise?

Posted by: Two etiquette questions | Feb 27, 2012 10:08:21 AM

Has the last week been deathly quiet or is it just me?

Posted by: A Non Nym | Feb 27, 2012 12:42:51 PM

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