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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Angsting Thread (Law Review Edition, Spring 2013)

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. Maybe Redyip will even tweet a little this spring.

Update: here is a link to the last page of comments.

Posted by Administrators on February 13, 2013 at 01:08 PM in Blogging, Law Review Review | Permalink


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@fellowprawf: I don't have "intelligence" on this issue, but I did notice that I got dinged from Harvard and Cornell within hours of getting offer from their speciality journals this round. It caught my attention... could be a coincidence, of course. Who knows.

Posted by: Full_Prof_top30school | Feb 26, 2013 11:08:35 AM

Might as well face it you're addicted to angst . . . .

Posted by: Going Rogue | Feb 26, 2013 11:10:04 AM


Based on my previous years of experience, I can confidently state that nothing can be read into the fact that some journals have dinged others, but have not yet dinged you. In a few cases, that has been the prelude to an offer, but in the vast majority of cases it simply means I haven't yet been (explicitly) rejected.

Posted by: Anonity | Feb 26, 2013 11:11:44 AM

@Anon007, I share your question. Submitted 2/19 and now expedited from T50. Of the journals you mentioned, I've only heard from Illinois (ding) and, additionally, Michigan and Davis both said they'd meet my deadline. I think, though it's obviously wishful, that this suggests a full-board review.

In other queries, where have Cal and Texas been? They seem awfully quiet

Posted by: BG | Feb 26, 2013 11:14:52 AM

Call me crazy, but I think it is super early. I submitted an essay for online publication about a week ago and had not heard anything. In my experience I get really quick responses with submissions for online publication. So I followed up along the lines of, "I'm guessing you guys are in transition, just wanted to confirm that you received my submission." And the response was, "Yes, still transitioning, hoping to review your piece soon." Which is to say that I think there is a significant difference between submitting 2/11 versus 3/11. And if a lot of folks are submitting early, this has to change the larger dynamics of the journals and their process, right? Sort of reminds me of the irrationality of the clerkship application "deadlines"--everything gets pushed up because everyone is so type-A, and things get really wacky as a result.

Posted by: Going Rogue | Feb 26, 2013 11:28:46 AM

Va. Ding. Submitted 2/3. The e-mail said the paper was rejected "after editorial review". Does this mean, in effect, the paper made it past some initial rounds of review but was subsequently rejected?

Posted by: Newbie 2/3 | Feb 26, 2013 11:29:13 AM

Sorry, Newbie. I think that's the form e-mail suggested by Expresso. Many journals use that same language, and I take it as a mere garden-variety rejection.

Posted by: profanon | Feb 26, 2013 11:33:07 AM

T128: Nope, all from journals mentioned here. Some mentioned here have not gotten back to me, but I don't think I can read anything into it. A lot of journals that rejected others more quickly still eventually rejected me (I only recently got rejections from Duke, W&M, UVA, despite submitting in early Feb).

Posted by: Anony | Feb 26, 2013 11:35:30 AM

To help with data collection, here are my stats so far. Submitted to T75 journals on a rolling basis starting around 2/5, along with a handful of specialties. No offers yet, dings from the following (date of rejection follows each):

Harvard (2/25); Yale (2/18); Stanford (2/25); Michigan (2/5); U. Penn (2/23); Texas (2/8); Virginia (2/26); Cornell (2/22); W & M (2/15); Duke (2/16); Chicago (2/7); Indiana (2/20); Pepperdine (2/22); Utah (2/18); Baylor (2/18).

My publishing profile: usually have no problem publishing in a T50 or better journal.

Posted by: Westie | Feb 26, 2013 11:46:57 AM

Ding UVA. Not off expedite. Submitted early Feb.

Posted by: Early Feb | Feb 26, 2013 12:13:12 PM

Submitted yesterday (at last). First ding prize goes to Michigan.

Posted by: anoff | Feb 26, 2013 12:16:01 PM

Here's an expedite question: If you have already requested an expedite from a T50 journal offer and then get an offer (with an extra-day deadline) from a specialty journal that is higher on W&L than the T50 journal, do you send that information along to the journals you are still trying to expedite up to? Particularly if you are not sure which offer you would rather accept?

Posted by: BG | Feb 26, 2013 12:25:44 PM

BG, yes. However, you might want to communicate the same deadline, so that you keep both offers open.

Posted by: profanon | Feb 26, 2013 12:28:07 PM

BG - definitely expedite again. But first you also might want to contact the journal with the earlier deadline, tell then you have another offer with an extra day on it, and see if they'll match that in hopes that you'll go with them over the other offer that you have. No guarantee, but then you could expedite up the chain with the later deadline.

Posted by: vapanon | Feb 26, 2013 12:31:53 PM

I've been doing this for 2 years and i didn't even think of doing that. Vapanon is much craftier than profanon.

Posted by: profanon | Feb 26, 2013 12:39:47 PM

Does anyone know what the offer window usually is for T20 law reviews that have not committed, along with Harvard, to a 7-day window (http://harvardlawreview.org/Joint-Letter.pdf)?

Posted by: anon | Feb 26, 2013 12:57:28 PM

Do any profs or editors know if essays typically are reviewed on a different timetable than traditional articles? I know that some journals have separate essay editors while others don't; so, I'm familiar with that difference. What I'm curious about is...Does that translate to a shorter time frame of review? Or, do essays take longer because the journal wants to lock-in its longer pieces first and see how much room is left before considering shorter pieces like essays? FWIW, I submitted a short (6,000 word) essay. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Posted by: 1stTimeEssayist | Feb 26, 2013 1:34:46 PM

Anon at 12:57, my sense is that windows vary widely from in the 7-day range to 1 hour from extension of an offer. FWIW, I believe (based in part on posts on this thread in years past) NYU, Columbia, Penn and Northwestern are all on the shorter end. Some journals will communicate their expected turnaround at the time that they inform you of board review (but not all journals do, or even let you know if the piece is going to board review).

Posted by: Anon | Feb 26, 2013 1:55:41 PM

After reading through some of these comments, now I'm angsting that not enough people have read the Angsting Thread About Angsting Threads. I mean, only two people have commented!

So here's the link: http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2013/02/an-angsting-thread-about-angsting-threads.html

Posted by: Josh Douglas | Feb 26, 2013 2:12:25 PM

Has anyone heard from Yale J. on Reg. this season?

Posted by: Nona | Feb 26, 2013 2:36:49 PM

@Nona: I haven't heard anything from them. I sent an expedite request to them based on an offer from a peer journal. Never got a confirmation or response.

Posted by: Submitted 2/2 | Feb 26, 2013 2:45:31 PM

Nona: I submitted to them in early Feb. and have heard nothing.

Posted by: Early Feb | Feb 26, 2013 3:16:07 PM

@Nona. I have heard from them either. Not one word. Submitted weekend of 2/10.

Posted by: Full_Prof_top30school | Feb 26, 2013 3:20:06 PM

Okay, that's consistent with my experience. I've sent them multiple expedite requests, and no word.

Posted by: Nona | Feb 26, 2013 3:31:02 PM

w/r/t/ JREG, same experience here.

@Submitted 2/2 - which peer journal does not require exclusive submission?

Posted by: ILLaw | Feb 26, 2013 3:51:37 PM

@ILLaw: What I meant to say was that I submitted an expedite request to the Yale J. on Reg. based on an offer from a comparable speciality journal.

Posted by: Submitted 2/2 | Feb 26, 2013 4:06:32 PM

Got an offer today from a well respected specialty journal, this is my first time submitting, any thoughts on how high I should expedite?

Posted by: anon | Feb 26, 2013 4:12:12 PM

Commenter BG ain't me.

That is all.

Posted by: BDG | Feb 26, 2013 5:27:40 PM

Anon at 4:12 - I have received consistently varied opinions about how to choose between a top specialty journal (say, top 5) and a lower ranked school's main law review. I would also be interested in how others approach this, especially from those who have been involved in looking at a cv from the hiring perspective.

Posted by: LJA | Feb 26, 2013 7:52:52 PM

Barring a few notable exceptions (Cardozo, FSU, Brooklyn), I would take a top-5 specialty offer over a main law review ranked below the top-50 (by USNews, not W&L). But that's just my opinion.

Posted by: Nona | Feb 26, 2013 8:35:12 PM

I've been on appointments, and I think people tend to discount the value of specialty journals (perhaps unjustly). If you're worried about getting hired, I'd err on the side of flagship law reviews. I think Nona is basically correct that a T5 specialty beats a below T50 flagship placement but that a T50 flagship placement generally beats a T5 specialty.

Posted by: anon | Feb 26, 2013 9:36:41 PM

Submitted 2/21. Six dings so far, all T20. Not a peep from anyone else. It must be a fashionable article--it's drawn dings from the finest people.

Posted by: Patience | Feb 26, 2013 11:16:04 PM

Patience- I was wondering whether Michigan was one of your dings? They seem to be pretty speedy. Thanks.

Posted by: anon | Feb 26, 2013 11:42:41 PM

I've also been on appointments and my view is that a t70-80 main journal publication carries more weight than a publication in all but the very best secondary journals (Y/H/S policy, JReg, Umich Reform, some other H's). The best secondaries I would equate to main journals around 50. I make exceptions for tax, IP, and other topics that are beyond the ken of most students, but lack prestigious peer-reviewed publication options (empirical/econ).

That said, I know faculty members at my institution that consider "good" (loosely defined) secondaries to be better than journals outside the top 40. So no matter what you decide to do, you'll be right by some and wrong by others.

Posted by: anonemouse | Feb 26, 2013 11:54:57 PM

anon 11:42, yes. Washington, Michigan, Cornell, Virginia, Chicago, and Yale so far.

Posted by: Patience | Feb 27, 2013 5:06:33 AM

Pepperdine Ding. Scholastica says decision was made on 2/24, but it didn't show in my account (and I didn't get the e-mail) till this morning. Was expecting this one given they're about to publish a symposium issue in my subject matter (tax).

Posted by: Anon | Feb 27, 2013 8:00:05 AM

Anon Feb. 27, 2013: When did you submit? And, was the rejection off an expedite?

Posted by: Early Feb | Feb 27, 2013 8:19:01 AM

I agree with anonemouse. If I were preparing to go on the market, I'd take a top 80 (and maybe even top 100) mainline offer over an offer from all but a small handful of specialty journals. Once you get above the top 100, though, the calculus changes depending on your field and the quality of the specialty journal.

Posted by: Anonity | Feb 27, 2013 8:58:55 AM

My own view is that the specialty v. flagship discussion turns entirely on field. In some fields - IL & crim, for instance - top flight folks publish regularly in the secondary journals. In others - civ pro, maybe- it's pretty rare. So hard to engage with the questions at the level of generality they are posed. I'd ask a mentor in the field for advice - preferably the person who will ultimately be recommending you and pushing your case with a committee.

As for W&L v. USNWR rankings, I personally mix and match, but when using USNWR try to avoid the overall rank and focus on more stable attributes, like faculty rep. and student LSAT. Also of course it doesn't matter much within broad tranches.

Posted by: dave hoffman | Feb 27, 2013 9:38:32 AM

This discussion from two years ago sheds some light on IP specialty journals vs. general law reviews:


Personally, I think there is a big dropoff between the top IP journals and even the lesser-known IP/entertainment journals at other T14 schools.

Posted by: IPanonanon | Feb 27, 2013 9:44:24 AM

NYU ding today (submitted 2/14).

Posted by: PrawfAnon | Feb 27, 2013 9:55:07 AM

@Early Feb - I submitted to Pepperdine on 2/23, so it took them less than a day to reject (which, as I mentioned, is hardly surprising).

Hate to crash your specialty/flagship party, but I doubt there is a generic answer to this question. This is highly field-dependent. In tax, I'd take Va. Tax Rev., Tax L. Rev. (NYU), and Fla. Tax Rev. any day over a T40 (and even most T30s). Hiring/Tenure committees that fail to to realize the superiority of those journals when it comes to tax scholarship, are doing - in my view - disservice to legal academia.

Unfortunately, most students in flagships are simply unqualified (or unwilling) to make smart decisions when it comes to a tax piece. This is not their fault, obviously. It is a systemic problem. Some flagships haven't publish a tax piece for years. Others that do publish tax papers, many times make poor judgments. Exceptions (meaning, good tax articles in flagships) come, based on my impression, from flagships in which peer-review is an inherent part of the process. By inherent part, I mean actual peer-review, and not "skimming and okaying". There are multiple examples of tax articles in T20s that are of less-than-average quality, but I can understand why they looked sexy to 2 and 3Ls.

This is not good. I have met tax scholars that took an intentionally simplistic approach in their papers in order to try an get them into flagships. When tax scholars are starting to play this game, it is bad for tax scholarship.

I think (but may be wrong and interested in hearing different opinions) most tax scholars would agree that, on average, the best tax articles come from the three tax journals I mentioned. in a few years, I believe, Colum. Tax J. will join this fine group. The worst tax articles usually come from flagship journals, but people sometime feel compelled to cite them. There is a Yale L. J. article I feel I have to cite in most of my pieces, even though I think it is a disgrace to tax scholarship. But how can I not cite a Yale L. J. article which is in my filed of tax sub-expertise? The answer: I cannot not cite it.

The bottom line of this unintended manifesto (really - I planned a much shorter answer), is that I wish that non-tax people who make decisions in respect of academic careers of tax-people, will take a more realistic and nuanced view of this filed. Publishing in one of only three (soon four) true scholarly legal tax journals is usually great academic achievement. Publishing a tax piece in a T40 is many times a great marketing achievement, but that is all.

Posted by: TaxNon | Feb 27, 2013 10:15:07 AM

@TaxNon: You wrote quite a lot, and although most of it seemed persuasive, one conundrum remains: If the Yale L.J. article is "a disgrace to tax scholarship," why should a serious scholar, committed to academic integrity, keep citing it again and again?

Posted by: anoff | Feb 27, 2013 10:25:41 AM

Anoff, the answer is pretty simple. I am afraid people would think I got sloppy on research. So I give it a footnote and move on.

Yes, I am also playing the game. I feel compelled because I am not tenured yet. Nothing to be proud of, I know.

Posted by: TaxNon | Feb 27, 2013 10:30:24 AM

Here's what I can't figure out in weighing T50 flagship against top 3 specialty (within a field, not just HYS):

If most, and maybe all, members of a hiring committee do not write in your specialized field, how can they be expected to know that, for instance, Florida Tax Review or Harvard JOLT are better placements for tax and tech, respectively, than Utah Law Review?

Posted by: BG | Feb 27, 2013 10:37:57 AM

Have any other non-prawfs noticed student editors checking out their Linkedin profile? Not sure how I feel about it.

Posted by: Going Rogue | Feb 27, 2013 10:44:38 AM

@BG: They should ask their tax colleagues. If they did, they would learn, for example, that Fla. Tax Rev. is peer edited (effectively almost peer reviewed) by the graduate tax faculty at UFL. Take a look at USNWR law school tax rankings. You may be in for a surprise if your are not familiar with the tax field (not a big fan of USNWR myself, but still).

Second, hiring committees looking for tax people should know. This is their job. They should do their research and figure out what is considered a respectable tax placement.

Finally, committees - as opposed to 2Ls - should not assume that a tax article (or any other specialty-article for that matter) is good or bad based on its placement. They should read it, and also ask their tax colleagues about it.

Posted by: TaxNon | Feb 27, 2013 10:50:56 AM

@Going Rogue: Of course! checking who viewed my LinkedIn profile is an integral part of my daily angsting!

Posted by: AnonAsstProf | Feb 27, 2013 10:53:16 AM

pepperdine ding (submitted 2/24)

Posted by: anne VAPaway | Feb 27, 2013 10:55:45 AM

Should, yes. But do they generally? Proxies matter. (I haven't seen anyone argue otherwise.) So just because hiring committees should know the good tax publications when reviewing tax candidates and should read the publications a candidate lists on the FAR form, that doesn't mean they actually will do so. It's a lot easier to skim an article after seeing Duke L.J. than it is to read 25,000 words carefully.

Posted by: BG | Feb 27, 2013 10:58:44 AM

Cal ding, off of an expedite.

Posted by: 2/19 | Feb 27, 2013 11:02:19 AM

Michigan ding, also off expedite.

Posted by: 2/19 also | Feb 27, 2013 11:08:44 AM

Case Western ding. No expedite. The email said they are full...

Posted by: Anon | Feb 27, 2013 11:13:41 AM

The Case Western Reserve editor wrote here a while ago: "The Case Western Reserve Law Review will elect the executive board for Volume 64 on February 22. We will turn on submissions through Expresso and Scholastica at that time. We keep the submissions off until the new board is elected so that you can be sure we are processing submissions as they come in (that is, we avoid turning it on early because that creates a massive backlog). We look forward to receiving submissions."

I submitted on February 23 and got the following e-mail today: "Unfortunately, our volume is now full and we are unable to extend an offer of publication... Submissions will open for our subsequent volume early next spring. We wish you the best of luck and look forward to your next submission."

Well this was, how shall I put it, a very short submission window. Is profanity allowed on this thread? Make the slightest effort and update the automated e-mail responses. Shame.

Posted by: nonanon | Feb 27, 2013 11:20:53 AM

@BG: I agree, and if you're implying you have a Duke L.J. offer you should take it ... :). What I described is a desired, not existing, reality.

As I mentioned, I am also a pawn in this game, and am trying to place in flagships. That said, in the past I have turned down T70 and T40 offers in favor of the tax journals I mentioned. Some non-tax faculty members in my institution think those were both instances of poor decision making. However, I felt comfortable enough in terms of my tenure prospects, so I did it nonetheless. Placing in those journals assured that the the articles would be read. And they indeed were.

Obviously, if I seriously considered lateraling some day (which I don't really do), I might have done something else. The bottom line is that it is not only field-related, it is also an institutional issue and depends on your career goals.

Posted by: TaxNon | Feb 27, 2013 11:21:36 AM

I submitted 2/13-2/23 and have heard very little. I submitted to T-100 and about 25 specialty journals. I'm not hearing from journals where people seem to be getting form emails and batch dings (Pepperdine, Case Western, Indiana, etc.) Is it possible that there was a transmission problem, did my article fall through the cracks at 100 different journals? I got the standard dings right away (Mich/BYU/Texas/Utah) and then everything just went quiet. I've heard nothing now for almost a week. This seems very odd. My angst is through the roof.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 27, 2013 11:28:32 AM

Iowa rejection off an expedite request.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 27, 2013 11:34:19 AM

For those of us who submitted 12+ days ago, I feel like the more interesting question is who we haven't heard from. I submitted on 2/14 and haven't heard from the following top-20 or so schools: Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Duke, Virginia, Cal, Penn, Northwestern, Georgetown, Texas, USC, UCLA. I can't figure out if I should be getting more hopeful as time goes on (especially given that others who submitted around my time seem to have gotten rejections from many of these schools), or if I should be giving up.

Posted by: 2/14 anon | Feb 27, 2013 11:34:55 AM

Great question. I had gotten hopeful about Michigan -- they waited a week, despite expedites -- but then the rejection came. Have you expedited and, if so, when?

I also haven't heard from Stanford, Columbia, NYU, Cal, Northwestern, Georgetown, Texas, USC or UCLA. (However, UCLA's board just turned over and said they won't make any decisions until March 6, and it seems like no one has heard from USC.) Optimism or angst?

Posted by: 2/19 also | Feb 27, 2013 11:39:25 AM

@2/14 anon. There is no harm in asking the journals whether you are still under consideration. did you expedite? if not, then I would be more inclined to take the silence as bad. if you alerted them to an expedite at a good journal, then I would be inclined to be more hopeful. I submitted 2/11 and have several offers, including a top 20. But all the journals on your list dinged me (some right away) except for UCLA and Columbia and USC who I think may have had a late start, from what I hear.

Posted by: westprofs | Feb 27, 2013 11:40:54 AM

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