Saturday, February 01, 2014
Redyip's return: Angsting Thread Spring 2014 edition
So I understand Redyip is still waking up from his dogmatic winter slumber but the commenters on the prior thread are clamoring for him to brush his teeth and be on his way, so if you are an author or law review editor and want to share information about your submission experience to the law reviews, this is the place to do it. 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 Redyip to bring you for Purim, etc. It's the semi-annual angsting thread for the law review submission season. Have at it. And do it reasonably nicely, pretty please.
If you're interested in asking Redyip questions, BDG might come out of the woodwork too to conduct an interview. Here's the last installation of back and forth.
Update: link to final page of comments here.
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I'll start: I submitted to T100 reviews yesterday, Feb. 1. It may appear to be too early, but I've had some success in the past (although I've had to wait six weeks for offers).
Posted by: Steve-o | Feb 2, 2014 12:55:04 PM
Impulse control problems resulted in early submission....probably a bad idea. Dings from Harvard, Washburn & Chicago. One T2 second round review at a T2. Silence from the rest, so still in the game!
Posted by: Justaprof | Feb 2, 2014 1:16:00 PM
Michigan Law Review announced on Jan. 30 that they were already accepting submissions. I know some of the other top flagships are for exclusive submissions. But it is still very, very early. Even the boards that have turned over won't be in rhythm for at least a week. Right?
Posted by: BAG | Feb 2, 2014 1:16:03 PM
I think he's using skype these days. But if there's an open thread for questions I'll see if I can get some answers.
Posted by: BDG | Feb 2, 2014 1:17:35 PM
already got my michigan rejection.
Posted by: anon | Feb 2, 2014 1:46:43 PM
Readers, please be kind enough to forward this link to the editors at *your* school, asking them to post whether they have turned over and are reading or the date on which they will begin to read.
Posted by: anon | Feb 2, 2014 1:47:29 PM
Having created Redyip -- the joke, not the Twitter feed -- I'll weigh in and offer my view: I think it's much too early.
Posted by: Orin Kerr | Feb 2, 2014 2:16:16 PM
What's the "optimal" window for the Spring season - e.g. Feb 10th-March 10th?
Posted by: John Kane | Feb 2, 2014 2:50:15 PM
i am a newcomer, but i have to ask, why would one week in submitting the paper make such a big difference? and if this is the case, shouldn't some reform be done, shouldn't they be evaluating the quality of the papers?
Posted by: anon | Feb 2, 2014 3:13:28 PM
I think the optimal submission time varies between law reviews and it won't be easy to ascertain precisely.
Posted by: Anon | Feb 2, 2014 11:34:04 PM
Many journals switch boards around mid February, so it'd make sense why it's still quiet.
Posted by: Anon | Feb 3, 2014 12:11:03 PM
yup, submitted late jan/early feb hearing nothing
Posted by: anon | Feb 3, 2014 11:38:03 PM
Submitted 2/1, Texas ding today. It's never too early for dings!
Posted by: Steve-o | Feb 4, 2014 5:30:38 PM
two dings from T1 specialty journals, guess they are starting to review
Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2014 9:02:06 AM
Wisconsin and Florida dings.
Posted by: Steve-o | Feb 5, 2014 10:28:31 AM
I got a duke rejection too today, I guess they are doing them in waves.
Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2014 10:35:53 AM
Sorry wrong board for prior post!
Posted by: anon | Feb 5, 2014 10:36:19 AM
Stealth rejection from Georgetown via my expresso "inactive" folder. No email, just shows up as "inactive" on Expresso.
Posted by: Justaprof | Feb 5, 2014 11:07:21 AM
Texas ding 2/5. Submitted 1/30.
Posted by: Freddy | Feb 5, 2014 6:39:52 PM
Texas ding here too. Texas Forever.
Posted by: Tim Riggins | Feb 5, 2014 9:12:28 PM
Submitted to Chicago on 2/3. Ding on 2/6.
Posted by: anon | Feb 6, 2014 9:12:12 AM
any offers yet? none here.
Posted by: anon | Feb 6, 2014 12:28:16 PM
submitted 2/3. texas ding. no offers--but one email re going to second round of review at tier 2 journal.
Posted by: onanonanon | Feb 6, 2014 12:44:12 PM
No offers--second round review at T2. Submitted mostly 2/1 and some before that. Question for those who are more seasoned: by what time are most offers made? Are most made in February? Are many made after that? Thank you for any thoughts on this.
Posted by: justaprof | Feb 6, 2014 1:05:12 PM
I got an email from a T100 school, saying my article had been "pulled for review," which is, the journal claims, the "first step in the selection process." I've never received an email like this. Has anyone else? What might it mean?
Posted by: Tim Riggins | Feb 6, 2014 4:57:32 PM
chicago and michigan dings.
Posted by: annon | Feb 7, 2014 10:07:41 AM
1. If one were to submit in mid-to-late March, would one have significantly more difficulty placing well this cycle than if one were to submit earlier? Should I hold off until the next cycle if I can't get this out before Spring Break?
2. My article is pretty short; I'm estimating 20-25 law review pages. Do I need to market it as an essay? Right now it's not written in what I consider the style of an essay. It's a challenging read due to the nature of the topic (it probably takes about as long to read as a 40 page paper). Actually expanding it to the usual 40 pages would hurt the paper, I think.
Suggestions very welcome.
Posted by: anon | Feb 7, 2014 1:27:19 PM
1. I don't think that is too late. A few journals will have filled their books by that time. But there will still be many (likely most) journals actively reviewing.
2. I've heard that the sweet stop for articles is between 20-30K--with some journals emphasizing the 20-25K range. I submitted an article that was 15K a few cycles back and some journal responded to my expedite request by saying that is was too short to be considered an article by their standards.
Posted by: anon | Feb 7, 2014 1:41:50 PM
What about the other side of the equation? What are peoples' thoughts on articles that exceed 45K words?
Posted by: Pan | Feb 7, 2014 1:49:15 PM
FYI, the students at the Notre Dame Law Review inform me that they've begun reviewing articles.
Posted by: Randy Kozel | Feb 7, 2014 1:58:14 PM
offer from a T14 specialty
Posted by: anon | Feb 7, 2014 2:07:52 PM
on the length issue, I had a really strong paper that was 15k words and ended up getting an offer, but after a while, a 20k paper next cycle not as strong got more/better offers and more quickly. this is one thing i think is too bad about legal scholarship... should be rewarding brevity not penalizing
Posted by: anon | Feb 7, 2014 2:11:41 PM
This discussion of length reminded me of this blogpost:
Posted by: anon | Feb 7, 2014 2:30:40 PM
BYU ding. Submitted 2/1.
Posted by: Second Year Prof | Feb 7, 2014 6:19:01 PM
Me too. Submitted 2/1 and ding this afternoon.
Posted by: Justaprof | Feb 7, 2014 6:30:43 PM
Posted by: dinged | Feb 8, 2014 9:49:50 AM
Florida and William & Mary dings.
Posted by: Second Year Prof | Feb 8, 2014 4:36:25 PM
Stealth dings from Washburn and W&M secondary journal. Check your inactive folders!
Posted by: CP | Feb 9, 2014 11:13:41 AM
Texas and Florida dings.
Posted by: dinged | Feb 9, 2014 11:37:08 PM
Another rejection from Texas here.
Posted by: anon | Feb 10, 2014 12:09:13 AM
Arizona State ding
Posted by: Anon | Feb 10, 2014 2:15:05 AM
Posted by: anotheranon | Feb 10, 2014 7:39:34 AM
The dings seem to be mostly from top 20 schools--does this mean that these are the only schools reviewing right now? Or are these schools just very efficient at clearing their stack?
Posted by: question | Feb 10, 2014 7:41:48 AM
Michigan Journal of Int'l Law ding
Posted by: 2/1 | Feb 10, 2014 9:03:16 AM
Michigan ding. Submitted 2/5
Posted by: AnonAnon | Feb 10, 2014 9:08:23 AM
If you choose the option to have Expresso certify an offer when expediting, are you unable to actually *send* the expedite email until the offer is certified? Offer from T50 specialty.
Posted by: Anon | Feb 10, 2014 12:08:46 PM
Posted by: Freddy | Feb 10, 2014 7:58:02 PM
Notre Dame ding
Posted by: Notre Dame | Feb 10, 2014 8:47:37 PM
Notre Dame ding here, too.
Posted by: Anon | Feb 10, 2014 10:23:09 PM
make that 3, for the ND dings.
Posted by: anonnn | Feb 10, 2014 10:24:58 PM
Received something akin to a board review notice from a T20 flagship. Submitted around 2/1.
Posted by: anon | Feb 11, 2014 10:23:23 AM
offer from a T100 flagship. submitted 2/3.
Posted by: annon | Feb 11, 2014 2:34:19 PM
Dinged by Notre Dame, Vanderbilt, BYU, Texas and Florida.
Posted by: annon | Feb 11, 2014 7:32:56 PM
Call me crazy, but all of you submitted WAY too early. All of my best placements have followed submissions during late Feb. through the first week of March. I'll be sending my article out the last week of Feb. this year. I know there's a certain amount of "deadline creep," but I think it makes little sense to fire off an article when a lot of reviews aren't fully up and running. It may be best to let things simmer down a little before submitting.
Posted by: TTS | Feb 11, 2014 8:27:22 PM
And yet, TTS, a number of journals already seem active, with at least one making offers.
Posted by: Tim Riggins | Feb 12, 2014 12:15:55 AM
Well, I could be wrong.
Posted by: TTS | Feb 12, 2014 12:51:34 AM
I think the "best time to submit" really depends on who you ask. Some people believe that submitting earlier in the cycle increases the chances that journals will actually read your submission. Once the cycle heats up, journals are typically overwhelmed with submissions and cannot come possibly read each one. Others believe that it makes sense to submit later in the cycle, after journals have had a chance to see what is out there. I don't think there is a right answer.
It also appears that most journals are just sending out rejections for now. I'm sure we will start seeing the first significant wave of offers the next week or two. By then, journals should have had enough time to seriously review the first batch of submissions.
Posted by: anon | Feb 12, 2014 9:05:17 AM
Posted by: Anon | Feb 13, 2014 7:08:06 AM
Submitted to the top 50 journals that appeared to be reviewing. Dings so far from Texas, Michigan, and Notre Dame. Silence everywhere else. Anon @ Feb. 13, 7:08 AM, did you submit to Penn exclusively? When did you submit?
Posted by: Submitted 2/1 to 2/5 | Feb 13, 2014 9:28:16 AM
Submitted 2/1 to 2/5: I submitted at the same time you did to roughly 70 journals (mostly Top 50 or T14 specialty). I've been dinged at many of the schools already identified in this thread. I mentioned Penn only because no one else had.
Posted by: Anon | Feb 13, 2014 9:46:00 AM
Texas ding in <36 hours! Impressive. :)
Posted by: anon1 | Feb 13, 2014 11:24:09 AM
Wisconsin ding. Submitted 2/5
Posted by: AnonAnon | Feb 13, 2014 11:37:02 AM
Submitted 2/9: Offer from an non-ranked international journal, Immediate ding from Columbia specialty journal, stealth ding from W&M specialty (sneaky inactive folder). Silence from the rest...
Re: length, I've heard many journals actually prefer submissions around the 15000 word mark, so I think it depends. Mine is 15000, so, yeah.
Posted by: fingerscrossed | Feb 13, 2014 12:06:05 PM
Posted by: 2/1 | Feb 13, 2014 12:06:35 PM
Michigan State ding.
Posted by: nonprof | Feb 13, 2014 12:37:26 PM
Ding email from Georgetown
Posted by: Submitted 2/1 to 2/5 | Feb 13, 2014 12:43:22 PM
Offer from a T50 flagship journal.
Posted by: anon | Feb 13, 2014 1:57:48 PM
Anon - Congrats on the T50 offer. When did you submit?
Posted by: anon1 | Feb 13, 2014 2:08:40 PM
Offer from T100 flagship. Submitted 2/1.
Posted by: Tim Riggins | Feb 13, 2014 2:13:46 PM
T3 flagship offer.
Posted by: CP | Feb 13, 2014 2:28:49 PM
@anon1: Got the offer only a couple days after submitting.
Posted by: anon | Feb 13, 2014 3:17:51 PM
How can submitting early hurt your chances of acceptance? The only thing I worry about is being forced to accept an "inferior" offer because I didn't give a better journal enough time to review my piece.
Cornell and Vanderbilt dings on 2/13. Texas ding on 2/12. Submitted 2/10.
Posted by: premature submitter | Feb 13, 2014 5:34:10 PM
Posted by: Anon | Feb 13, 2014 5:35:40 PM
T3 flagship offer
Posted by: a prof | Feb 13, 2014 5:50:01 PM
Cornell ding. submitted 2/5
Posted by: AnonAnon | Feb 13, 2014 7:41:33 PM
Was the T50 offer from a journal mentioned in the dings on this thread?
Posted by: Anon | Feb 13, 2014 8:18:57 PM
How long after submission did the Penn ding come?
Posted by: Anon | Feb 13, 2014 9:49:40 PM
From a newbie: what's a "ding"?
Posted by: anon | Feb 14, 2014 7:44:44 AM
Newbie: A ding is when your article is rejected by a journal...we report them so people can get a sense of which journals are active (and also, speaking personally, to mourn a little . . . ).
Posted by: dinged | Feb 14, 2014 7:52:36 AM
Thanks, dinged. Much appreciated. And, my condolences.
Posted by: anon | Feb 14, 2014 9:36:32 AM
Premature Submitter -
Your concern about being obligated to an "inferior" journal is well placed. I accepted an early-ish offer from a T3 journal a few years ago, only to find out that I was accepted by a T14 non-flagship journal shortly thereafter.
So there is a little anecdote to support your concern. Also - it raises an interesting questions:
All other things being equal, would you accept a T14 non-flagship offer or a T3 law review?
I think I would have taken the T14 non-flagship, if I had an opportunity.
Posted by: anon1 | Feb 14, 2014 10:52:20 AM
I've heard a ton of different formulas for picking between mid-to-lower tier flagship journals and high ranked specialities. I was in a similar predicament last year. I had to choose between a flagship at a T70 school and a speciality journal at H/Y/S. I flagship journal was ranked fairly high in the W&L journal rankings. I eventually went with the flagship journal, since I am early in my career. I was told by most people that was the safer pick, although not everyone agreed with my choice.
Posted by: anon | Feb 14, 2014 11:06:58 AM
Submission strategy is always fun to ponder. As someone with less-than-stellar letterhead, I submitted early to top journals in the hopes that I would be more likely to get a substantive read. I have thusfar held off submissions to lower-ranked journals to avoid the dilemma of a premature offer. But the downside of this strategy is a likely reduction in expedite opportunities, which may have been more valuable than any extended reading/consideration time that may have resulted. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Posted by: anon | Feb 14, 2014 11:09:06 AM
I would take a T14 non-flagship over a Tier 3 flagship every day of the week. I would also have taken the H/Y/S non-flagship over the T70 flagship.
Posted by: Pan | Feb 14, 2014 12:30:51 PM
Has anyone ever had any luck with an exclusive submission to one of the top law reviews that accept them? Do you typically hear back one way or another prior to your exclusive window ending? Thanks.
Posted by: Anon | Feb 14, 2014 12:57:03 PM
Anon | Feb 14, 2014 12:57:03 PM - I did an exclusive to a handful of journals last cycle, no response from some, rejection from others, and an offer from one. Prior cycle I did it no offers and mostly silence.
Posted by: anonyprofs | Feb 14, 2014 1:20:05 PM
I would take T14 specialty over T3 flagship. I know that most of us know a T14 specialty isn't necessarily a great placement, but I can't help but feel like in our industry, where the vast majority of us come from T14 schools and are prestige obsessed, I will get more credit by associating with a T14 specialty than a T3 flagship. Or at least the risk of the placement getting discounted is lower with a T14 specialty.
Posted by: Premature Submitter | Feb 14, 2014 1:41:45 PM
Posted by: post | Feb 14, 2014 2:51:03 PM
Posted by: Anonanon | Feb 14, 2014 3:00:47 PM
With an exclusive submission, do you have to agree not to submit to other journals during the exclusive window, or just agree to accept an offer if granted?
Posted by: Anon | Feb 14, 2014 3:16:28 PM
I don't think that we should lump all T14 specialties together - the quality/prestige of different specialty journals varies widely, even when you limit it to H/Y/S specialty journals. There are several T14 specialties that I would take over a T50 flagship, others that I would not even bother submitting to.
Posted by: Anon | Feb 14, 2014 3:20:13 PM
Re specialty versus flagships, how are the various law & policy reviews? I've heard good things about Stanford, Yale, and Mich (slightly differently named), and HLS if you want to associate yourself politically with your submission.
Posted by: aaa | Feb 14, 2014 3:58:11 PM
Posted by: anonsquared | Feb 14, 2014 4:30:38 PM
I'd be interested to hear opinions on which ones are the "good" T14 specialties (or the bad ones, though that may be impolite).
Posted by: Premature Submitter | Feb 14, 2014 4:36:51 PM
Washington & Lee rankings are a decent proxy for assessing the quality of specialty journals, especially the citation rank - a journal that often cited is probably a journal that is well read and respected (obviously, the converse is also true). But I take any and all rankings with a grain of salt - it is always good to ask colleagues in the relevant fields whether or not they read articles in a given specialty journal.
Posted by: Anon | Feb 14, 2014 4:50:22 PM
Two related questions: (1) Does anyone have a sense of how much the cover letter matters? and (2) What do you put into the cover letter?
Posted by: cover letter fatigue | Feb 14, 2014 5:04:03 PM
Thanks anonyprofs for the feedback.
Anon | Feb 14, 2014 3:16:28 PM: Usually you agree not to submit to any other journals during the exclusivity period. I'm not sure how anonyprofs submitted exclusively to so many journals, especially without receiving a definitive rejection.
Posted by: Anon | Feb 14, 2014 7:53:50 PM
Re cover letters: My two cents, for what they're worth. Having less-than-stellar letterhead, I try to make what's below the letterhead as sharp as possible. Maybe the cover letter alone doesn't matter, but I do think an excellent cover letter + tight abstract + compelling title can help an article punch above its weight (if that's the right boxing metaphor). For me, the contents of the letter include a short paragraph that places the topic in context--big picture, why does it matter? Then a short synopsis of the article (short) and a bit of biographical stuff that makes you sound good and and knowledgeable on the topic. One page max. Would be interested to know what others think.
Posted by: cover letters | Feb 14, 2014 9:30:50 PM
Esteemed friends, realistically speaking, what is the latest date I can submit a piece in this cycle to not be "too late" - as it seems I won't have my piece in final shape before 5 March - I'm only submitting to international law journals?
Posted by: John Kane | Feb 14, 2014 11:28:29 PM
John, too late is probably mid-April or later. Early March is still in the peak season.
Posted by: Orin Kerr | Feb 15, 2014 3:16:46 AM