Friday, August 10, 2012
The Angsting Thread (Law Review Edition, Autumn 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.
Update: Here is a link to the last page of comments.
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After three rounds of expediting, finally accepted a top-2 specialty offer. All told, several specialty offers and no T1 flagships. General thoughts are that either this fall submission cycle had more submissions than usual, or, what I believe, that most journals filled their slots in the spring cycle. I am definitely more likely to submit in the spring next time.
Also, this process needs some sort of data clearing house that provides much better data than expresso - for both sides. There should be a way for all the information to be compiled in one central location that keeps track of: how many submissions each journal has received, where each article is in the current stage of review (unread pile, waiting to be read, expedited, board review, etc.), if offers have been made, accepted, rejected, etc., when journals are full, and probably other things that I'm missing off the top of my head.
A final thought, would the process be better in general if we were limited to 20 open submissions at any given time? You could then only submit your article to additional journals once you had received a rejection. If you coupled this requirement with the increased information such as how many submissions any given journal had received, an author could then better estimate where to submit an article, and the journals (especially below the top-20) would have a more manageable workload.
Posted by: anon 8/15 | Sep 21, 2012 12:06:42 PM
I'm in almost the exact same situation as anon 8/15. Likely to take my top 2 specialty offer next week. No T1 flagships (although to their credit, I did end up hearing back from all but a handful of the top 25).
And I agree with the suggestion on 20 submissions. Anything to reduce the flow of articles received by journals would be helpful. I'd like my stuff to actually get read before it gets rejected.
Posted by: Another 8/15 Submitter | Sep 21, 2012 12:22:52 PM
Dings in the past day or so from Boston College and Washington.
I wholeheartedly agree with 8/15's suggestion of a submissions limit. And I agree even more wholeheartedly (if that's logically possible) with the suggestion of a data clearinghouse. It seems absurd to me, particularly in an age when we are accustomed to real-time Twitter/Facebook updates on nearly everything else, that professors are so in the dark and reduced to anonymous rumors about whether law reviews are open, full, responding to or ignoring expedites, and so forth. Some sort of personalized indication of status would be most desirable. But assuming that's not possible due to the volume of submissions, I don't think it's too much to ask for law review editors to provide weekly updates to the public on the number of offers still to be made, the likely time frame necessary for decision, and perhaps a few other basic pieces of information. One would think ExpressO could easily facilitate this, but it doesn't seem to be happening.
To the extent people are concerned about abuses of the process (fake expedites, bad-faith submissions, etc.) greater sharing of information would provide a greater check on that as well.
Posted by: 8/13 | Sep 21, 2012 2:32:36 PM
Does anyone have any personal or anecdotal experience with off-cycle submissions, exclusive submissions (like the exclusive windows Florida State offers), the Peer Review Scholarship Marketplace (PRSM), or any other way of sidestepping this crazy process?
Posted by: Curious | Sep 21, 2012 5:21:26 PM
My cycle has also ended with only one offer, from a top 3 specialty journal, which I accepted. This is my "worst" placement since I joined the academy. Only one offer. Nothing from expediting.
I've never even tried the spring cycle, so I can't compare the fall to the spring. But I can say this was an unusually quiet (and therefore disappointing) fall.
Posted by: Midwest Prof | Sep 23, 2012 12:35:16 AM
Judging by the recent volume of posts on this thread, I'd say this submission season is over. In short, I'm singing.
Posted by: Fat Lady | Sep 23, 2012 12:14:43 PM
Ding - Lewis & Clark - no expedite
Posted by: Anon | Sep 24, 2012 1:59:02 PM
Dings from Texas, Chicago, Georgia.
Posted by: 8/13 | Sep 24, 2012 2:10:08 PM
Accepted Tier 2 flagship offer today. Made it to two HYS specialty board reviews but no offers from them or anyone else. Time to finish another piece and look forward to Redyip's appearance in the Spring!
Posted by: Submitted 8/15 | Sep 24, 2012 7:41:21 PM
Posted by: Thoughts? | Sep 24, 2012 11:20:14 PM
Bepress seems ripe for change, or at least some competition. A more transparent process, where journals set their article expectations, indicate which articles have already been selected, and express how many additional articles they are looking for might be beneficial to authors and journal boards. It is, undoubtedly, a twisted mating dance where effort is often uselessly expended on both sides.
Posted by: Anon | Sep 25, 2012 12:50:11 PM
Northwestern ding, not off expedite. My first communication from a law review in more than 2 weeks.
Posted by: Wildcat | Sep 25, 2012 1:28:09 PM
Anyone have anecdotes about offers still being given out there? I'm deciding between 1) a low-ranked offer that gives me lots of time and 2) a slightly better offer with a short expiration date. If there is still life in the process, I'll go with #1; otherwise, #2 is a better bet.
Posted by: Is anybody out there? | Sep 25, 2012 2:01:37 PM
Top 50 offer today, off a T2 expedite from last week!
Posted by: West coast anon | Sep 25, 2012 5:17:12 PM
Lewis & Clark Ding.
Posted by: submitted 8/20 | Sep 25, 2012 8:02:34 PM
Apparently the fat lady lost her voice.
Posted by: Thoughts? | Sep 25, 2012 8:05:48 PM
I've submitted three times in early October: 07, 08, 09. Multiple offers each time; two top 50 placements. And I'm not, by any means, a superstar. Maybe things have changed in the last few years or maybe those pieces would have ended up in T14 journals if I submitted earlier. But I doubt it, because people were saying similar things -- it's over, journals are all closed, etc. -- back then too. So for everyone who hasn't been through this, or hasn't published very many pieces, keep all the comments here in perspective.
Posted by: Data | Sep 25, 2012 9:10:55 PM
Ding from Harvard IL J. Shocked!
Posted by: Ding | Sep 26, 2012 10:41:43 AM
Accepted a T2 offer today with 2 days left until expiration. I decided to go ahead because I wanted to let them know that I was pleased with the offer and excited about publishing with them. Maybe stupid, but just felt like it was a good thing to do (not that anything else would have materialized in 2 days). Thanks to all for the great info during the last few weeks.
Posted by: Polyanna | Sep 26, 2012 11:14:03 AM
To those who research in law&econ, how would you rank The Review of Law & Economics as compared with student-edited law reviews? I was contacted by one of their editors, showing an interest in my SSRN manuscript, which is not really an offer but a real possibility. According to my faculty's own ranking it's more or less equivalent to a ~T45 law review, but I wish to hear your own opinions.
Also, Chicago is still considering articles. Iowa and NYU are full.
I got a personal message from an NYU editor (after I contacted him earlier with positive news about my paper), apologizing for not having the opportunity to consider my paper before they closed, which I thought was nice but too bad for them... :)
Posted by: ILLaw | Sep 26, 2012 4:03:55 PM
We enjoyed your article and are delighted to accept it for publication. Please let us know by next week whether you wish to publish with us. Thank you.
The Columbia Law Review
Posted by: Columbia Law Review | Sep 26, 2012 5:02:31 PM
Submitted September 24. Received T100 offer today. T50 journal said they are interested and will decide quickly. It's not over, kids.
Posted by: Data | Sep 26, 2012 8:39:54 PM
Dear T2 Journal,
Posted by: Polyanna | Sep 27, 2012 10:54:30 AM
Just offering more data:
Submitted around 9/5 and received two T50 offers just in the past week In the past two weeks I also received three T75 offers and two good specialty offers on the same piece. I'm junior but have a good publishing record (multiple T50s; a few T20s). I accepted one of the T50 offers and am done for the season, but I don't think it's nearly over yet, particularly at the 50-100 range.
I also know several colleagues who are still in expedites at various T100 journals.
Posted by: juniorprof | Sep 27, 2012 11:18:32 AM
Has anyone heard a peep out of Arizona State, Emory, George Mason, Hastings, USC, SMU, or Wake Forest? Hearsay is admissible.
Posted by: Listkeeper | Sep 27, 2012 12:11:10 PM
Is there anybody out there still reading?
Posted by: Anon | Sep 28, 2012 12:15:07 PM
Posted by: anon | Sep 28, 2012 12:26:50 PM
Posted by: Another anon | Sep 28, 2012 12:58:12 PM
Standing strong with 70 journals, no offers, 10 acknowledgements, 5 rejections
Posted by: JohnBaker | Sep 28, 2012 4:04:28 PM
I'm just hanging out and looking at these posts periodically hoping someone gets a major offer soon. I'm done for the season, but still greedy to hear others good news.
Posted by: AnonProf | Sep 29, 2012 5:29:08 PM
William & Mary ding.
Posted by: submitted 8/20 | Sep 29, 2012 8:37:57 PM
Time for some Sunsteinian wisdom of the crowding: I started submitting to journals on Aug. 7, and submitted to the last of them on Aug. 29, going down the line from top 20 to basically the top 100 journals. My article was objectively good (as good as my last article, which placed top 60) and had big name reviewers who liked it. No offers yet. I promised myself I'd take the power back by withdrawing my article from all journals on Oct. 1. I could then revise it, get more reviewers, and submit it again in February. I gain peace of mind, a sense of control, and lose probably nothing at this point. Of course, Columbia L. Rev. still hasn't dinged me (haha). Ok, crowd, what say you: take the power back, hold on for Jake like Molly Ringwald in Sixteen Candles, or do something else?
Posted by: Thoughts? | Sep 30, 2012 10:02:54 PM
I'd withdraw from all but the top 40 or 50.
Posted by: AnonProf | Sep 30, 2012 10:23:15 PM
I have a similar situation. From what I've heard, offers can come until mid-October. Also, it seems that at least 20 of the top 50 journals are not full yet. So I'm going to wait a little longer on the top 50.
Posted by: Another anon | Oct 1, 2012 10:43:14 AM
Jake was a total jerk. We would learn the truth if they made the sequel, "Forty-Three Candles."
Posted by: Dude, Where's My Offer? | Oct 1, 2012 3:00:21 PM
I'm OK with my T30 offer, although I think my manuscript is good for a T10 journal. So I'd probably get out tomorrow, when my expedite ends.
But let me offer my two cents for the junior prawfs here: Stop deluding yourselves. I wish all of you good luck, but mid October is far too late to start with the first offer. Sorry to break the bad news guys, but there's simply no way around it: If you submitted to T100 but received no offer at all until now - your manuscript is just not good enough for the T50. Unless you're perfectly OK with a T100 offer, it's time to withdraw and revise your manuscript for the Spring, or--if you think the student just didn't "get it,"--for a peer review journal.
Posted by: T25 prawf | Oct 1, 2012 4:15:13 PM
Demonstrably untrue. I've received T25 offers in mid-October. It is rare and the odds are against you, but it does happen. As long as any top journal is still making offers, lower-ranked journals will have openings. And it has nothing to do with whether your article is "good enough" - if you haven't expedited your article and they haven't rejected it at this point, it's likely that they haven't looked at it at all.
But late offers, while they happen, are rare, and by 10/1 or 10/15, it's unlikely (though not impossible) that you're missing out on much by withdrawing if you want.
Posted by: 8/13 | Oct 1, 2012 5:14:34 PM
T25 Prof: I'm comfortable with the possibility that my article isn't "good enough," but do you really think this is an absolute meritocracy? That's delusional. I guess your article isn't in fact "good enough" for a T10 journal?
Jake wasn't a jerk, but he was boring. Anthony Michael Hall--now there's a mensch.
Posted by: Thoughts? | Oct 1, 2012 9:53:01 PM
Peer review in regular journals isn't an "absolute meritocracy." To say the same about this process is extreme understatement. And I say that mostly without the taste of sour grapes in my mouth, as someone with a decent offer in this, my first submission cycle.
Posted by: anon | Oct 1, 2012 10:45:51 PM
In response to "Thoughts?"--how can you say Jake wasn't a jerk? He completely used the girl he dumped before he decided he wanted Molly Ringwald. Eventually, he'd have dumped Molly, too--leopards don't change their spots. I do agree, however, that AMH was a mensch.
Posted by: Dude, Where's My Offer? | Oct 1, 2012 11:33:49 PM
Good point, Dude. Jake did kind of pimp her out. Upon review, my original call is reversed.
Posted by: Thoughts? | Oct 1, 2012 11:41:30 PM
Need some advice.
I am not faculty but a visiting fellow at a top 6 law school and have no prior publications. I submitted an article to 60 IL journals on 5 September, it had a couple of big name reviewers, got selected for an important conference and the paper, while not amazing, was decent enough to have placed somewhere in the secondaries. Till now - 3.5 weeks later, however, received 10 acknowledgements (without further rejections or acceptances), 5 clear rejections and heard nothing from the remainder of the journals. Funnily enough, most of the top journals have responded with rejections or acknowledgements whereas none of the bottom one have got back. Should I withdraw the piece now with the hope of revising and resubmitting in March or wait a bit longer?
Posted by: HelpMe | Oct 2, 2012 3:39:30 AM
If you don't have any publications, I would send the article to the top 100 at least, and even to the top 200. When you've never published before, the goal is to get published largely anywhere. Given that you're a fellow and had good reviewers, you should be able to get an offer in the T150, which, for your first outing, would be pretty darn good. Even for the best of established profs, consistent placements in the T60 can be difficult, simply because there's so much competition.
Posted by: Thoughts? | Oct 2, 2012 9:21:49 AM
Thoughts: thanks, to be clear I actually sent it to almost all the secondary IL journals. Are you suggesting actually sending it to ALL primary law reviews (which I assume are harder to get into and the piece is primarily an international law piece?) and if the answer is yes, whether I should put off doing that until the next seasons now.
Posted by: HelpMe | Oct 2, 2012 9:26:44 AM
Yes, send the article to all T100 journals per U.S. News categorization, and all T150 to T200 journals per Washington and Lee. When I was starting out, I submitted to nearly every ranked journal on W & L (so the T350 or so). My offers came from all over. At that time, I was either a student or practicing attorney, and I hadn't gotten big name reviewers. So you're in a better position, which means you can probably limit yourself to the T150 or T200. Even if your piece is international law, who knows why flagship law reviews pick up stuff? They might just like your work, or want to take an international law angle for a volume, or the editor plans to go into international law. The point is that for your first couple of articles, be happy with lower ranked journals. If the pieces are good (and it sounds like yours is) and you continue on with getting a good teaching job and putting out good scholarship, your articles will naturally get placed higher.
Also, by this point, you may want to hold off until the spring. In fact, I wouldn't submit to lower tier journals now: most of the top journals have made their selections in this very competitive season and by submitting now to lower ranked journals, you risk getting an offer and taking it, when you might be able to secure a higher ranking offer next spring, when a lot more slots for articles open up. Some people need to get a piece published NOW, for tenure or the job market or whatever. If you can afford to wait until spring, do so. At that point, submit widely. You may want to space your submissions: submit on Feb. 15 to the T20, Feb. 20 to the T50, Feb. 25 to the T100, and so forth. Good luck! By the way, I'm a prof, wrote a great article with top reviewers, and got no offers this round. So don't feel too bad.
Posted by: Thoughts? | Oct 2, 2012 10:46:13 AM
Combination ethical and logistical question: I recently presented a work in progress at a small conference, and the hosting school's specialty journal offered to publish all presenters' papers. I was planning to continue revising the paper and submit in the spring. May I then expedite off of that "offer" or is it not really considered an offer the same way one garnered through Expresso submission would be?
Posted by: ryan lochte's one night stand | Oct 2, 2012 2:09:54 PM
U Va ding.
Posted by: anon | Oct 2, 2012 7:43:17 PM
Help Me - I wouldn't give up hope yet on the IL journals. In my experience they fill much, much later than the flagships. And while it doesn't hurt to send to all the flagships, you're probably more likely to get a bite from an IL journal.
Posted by: anonprof | Oct 2, 2012 8:59:57 PM
Thanks very much, Thoughts and anonprof for your suggestions.
Posted by: HelpMe | Oct 3, 2012 3:20:36 AM
FYI: top 10 journals are still making offers.
Posted by: anon | Oct 3, 2012 10:48:40 AM
Pepperdine and Florida State have now opened up special submission windows. What happens if you submit to one of these journals but then receive an offer from another journal? Will Pepperdine or Florida State feel like you have reneged on your agreement if you withdraw your article during their review process?
Posted by: anon | Oct 3, 2012 10:57:39 AM
It seems to me that, so long as you submit with the clear intention of accepting if the article is selected, you are OK. If you get another offer BEFORE the offer from Pepperdine or FSU, then there is a material change in circumstances, and if you then immediately withdraw then I think you should be OK.
Posted by: Anon | Oct 3, 2012 11:14:00 AM
When people receive offers off of expedites, do these tend to come within last day or two of the (say, 1.5 to 2-week) expedite window (he asks hopefully)? Or does the fact that one is at this point in the window without other offers indicate diminishing odds?
Posted by: anon | Oct 3, 2012 12:48:28 PM
Today brought a ding from Chicago and a T30 acceptance. Things are still happening!
Posted by: midwest | Oct 3, 2012 9:41:46 PM
midwest, when did you submit?
Posted by: submit | Oct 4, 2012 1:53:19 AM
Columbia is full.
Posted by: pleepleus | Oct 5, 2012 11:12:00 AM
BYU rejection, a few weeks after my expedite deadline.
Posted by: JosephSmith | Oct 5, 2012 3:00:36 PM
BYU has been full for weeks. They are just cleaning their mailbox. I also got a ding today but it means nothing. They have not read the papers.
Posted by: anoff | Oct 5, 2012 6:57:04 PM
Posted by: midwest | Oct 5, 2012 6:58:53 PM
(and this says a lot about the ethics of student editors)
Posted by: anoff | Oct 5, 2012 7:01:47 PM
Couldn't agree more, anoff. Two months later and rejection letters imply they didn't bother to read the submission. Very poor.
Posted by: anonno | Oct 6, 2012 11:41:08 AM
I kindly need your advice: It has now been eleven days since a T20 law review sent me an email that they are taking my paper to a full-board review, and will return with a publication decision in 7-10 days.
Is it rude (or, is it tactically wrong) to inquire as to the status of my manuscript? And also, can I read anything positive/negative into their not coming back to me yet?
Posted by: ILlaw | Oct 7, 2012 11:46:12 AM
You really can't read into what's going on. The students might be rude and forgot to respond; on the other hand, they might be waiting for a decision from another author, interested in your article, but unable to tender you an offer yet. I'll keep my fingers crossed in hopes it's the latter. I think you should contact them with a nice, "Hi, I hope your semester is going well. Have you had a chance to arrive at a decision about my submission? Best wishes, ILlaw". Sound interested but not desperate.
Posted by: AnonProf | Oct 7, 2012 8:25:33 PM
Thank you very much, AnonProf, I appreciate your good asvice very much.
I sent them a message, and a similar one to two other Law Reviews that have promised to get back to me at an earlier date than today.
Posted by: ILlaw | Oct 8, 2012 12:05:58 AM
Posted by: ILlaw | Oct 8, 2012 12:08:30 AM
@ILlaw, I also think you contact the law review editors that promised you a reply by a long-gone date. When you do that, please tell them that to be humane and to understand that prawfs are humans too...
From experience, in contacting T20 law review editors, it helps to casually mention that you know, have worked with, and will work with prawfs at their school, that you remember how nice they were in their previous messages when they gave you the 10-days time limit, and that you'll make sure you mention their names to your friends. I would also mention that you send this message to other law reviews too.
Best of luck.
Posted by: forpnona | Oct 8, 2012 5:16:26 AM
Anyone still waiting or getting offers?
Posted by: anon | Oct 11, 2012 1:19:01 PM
Still waiting for a IL journal offer. While hope is a good thing, it can be criminal though sometimes.
Posted by: Sad | Oct 11, 2012 2:05:28 PM
Just got a top-ten journal offer out of the blue! (No expedite, etc.) The fat lady hasn't sung yet!
Posted by: anonsquared | Oct 12, 2012 12:10:19 AM
I'm out of the game. Thanks.
Posted by: ILlaw | Oct 12, 2012 2:44:56 AM
Anonsquared, when did you submit?
Posted by: When | Oct 12, 2012 4:17:32 AM
I submitted back in mid-August!
Posted by: anonsquared | Oct 15, 2012 12:58:05 AM
sings a sad melody (she got no offers)
Posted by: FatLady | Oct 17, 2012 3:28:10 AM
On a slightly different topic: Has anyone either withdrawn or threatened to withdraw an article because the editing process was in one way or another so unreasonable? What would be the chances that this would somehow get around and have reputational effects (which I cannot afford)? This is more or less my 15th article so I am well aware of the usual annoyances.
Posted by: AnonGuy | Oct 27, 2012 11:52:57 AM
For a bunch of people who can find what is wrong with ANY system, it is shocking that this unconscionable system is allowed to proceed.
Surley we can do better!
Posted by: Irritated | Oct 29, 2012 1:28:04 PM
Just got a top 30 offer also out of the blue (i.e. not from an expedite). Submitted 9/6 to only a handful of journals (26 total--several journals were already full) and until now had gotten several notices that journals were full and a few rejections (3 or 4). So, it can happen even this late in the cycle.
Posted by: anon | Oct 31, 2012 12:50:24 PM
AnonGuy, I haven't threatened to withdraw, but I sent a carefully worded response to some edits basically saying "it's important to me and I believe it's absolutely *crucial* to the piece that I include X. I'm sure we can put our heads together and find some way to ensure that X stays in--here is my suggested compromise and why I think it works."
Posted by: mrs. not sippi | Oct 31, 2012 1:48:19 PM
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