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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Submission Angsting Spring 2016

This is the post to share information or ask questions about submitting to law reviews.

The comments can be used to share information, complaints, praise, etc. about which journals you have heard from, which you have not, and so forth.

Additionally, a spreadsheet to gather information is here (and embedded below).

I won't update or watch the spreadsheet. You can go ahead and add your own information by going to the spreadsheet here. The spreadsheet is editable by anyone, except that the "days to rejection" and "days to acceptance" columns are locked because they auto-calculate. (If something about them needs to be changed post a comment, and I will change them.) As more information is added, I will do some pointless data calculations on subsequent sheets.

Rostron & Levit's extremely helpful guide to submitting to law reviews is available here.

Here is the final page of comments.

Update: I have added a column to the spreadsheet entitled "Username" (current column H, after "Days to Acceptance"). This is of course totally optional, but a way to make keeping track easier. For example, if you pick a username (for some reason the sample username "Floop" keeps coming to my mind), you will easily be able to sort by your entries and update them, instead of trying to remember what day you submitted and sorting that way. This also adds information -- showing, for example, that all of the entries on the spreadsheet come from one person, or from lots of people, etc. At any rate, totally optional, and simply a way to add more information.


Posted by Sarah Lawsky on February 2, 2016 at 02:06 PM in Law Review Review | Permalink


Has anyone tried exclusive submission at Y/H/S? If you give them the requested 10-14 days do they tend to actually get you a response within that time frame?

Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 2, 2016 3:08:55 PM

The moment has arrived! It's happening. I never do exclusive submission at Y/H/S, but I would love to hear positive stories from those who have successfully used it, if they exist.

Posted by: anon | Feb 2, 2016 4:55:16 PM

Submitting my first piece this cycle and I'm trying to figure out the latest time that's safe to submit. "Safe" being trying to maximize journals that are still actively reviewing articles before they fill the volume. Looking back on previous angsting posts, I'm thinking some time before the end of Feb. Does that sound right to people more familiar with this game? Can people submit across the board into early March?

Posted by: NewToThis | Feb 3, 2016 11:42:18 AM

Up to March 15 there are many journals just starting, but after that they start to fill and close.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 3, 2016 12:25:17 PM

Is the spreadsheet just for rejections? I have submitted to about 18 journals (no rejections yet, but I only submitted the first bolus on January 29), and it seems like the spreadsheet could get unwieldy quickly if each of us lists all of our submissions.

Posted by: anon | Feb 3, 2016 1:23:47 PM

And what is the average number of journals people submit to? I have followed different strategies at different times in the past, with different results. I find myself sometimes hamstrung by offers below where I think the article can place and either short windows to accept or my own failure to effectively execute escalation through expedited review. Curious what people have found most effective in the past.

Posted by: anon | Feb 3, 2016 1:26:46 PM

And what is the average number of journals people submit to? I have followed different strategies at different times in the past, with different results. I find myself sometimes hamstrung by offers below where I think the article can place and either short windows to accept or my own failure to effectively execute escalation through expedited review. Curious what people have found most effective in the past.

Posted by: anon | Feb 3, 2016 1:26:53 PM

@NewtoThis - I think the ideal time to submit is around March 1. Enough journals are actively reviewing so that you can successfully expedite, but it's not so late that volumes are full.

@anon 1:26 - I think this differs by person, but I'll give you the first anecdote. I tend to submit to about 80 journals. That is, most of the top100 that are open and accepting when i submit plus a few specialty journals.

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Feb 3, 2016 1:47:32 PM

@NewtoThis - I think the ideal time to submit is around March 1. Enough journals are actively reviewing so that you can successfully expedite, but it's not so late that volumes are full.

@anon 1:26 - I think this differs by person, but I'll give you the first anecdote. I tend to submit to about 80 journals. That is, most of the top100 that are open and accepting when i submit plus a few specialty journals.

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Feb 3, 2016 1:47:42 PM

Thanks, Matthew Bruckner.

Posted by: anon | Feb 3, 2016 10:43:26 PM

Ah, angsting thread, I just can't quit you. Unless I'm on my ranch--I do need some me time every day.

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Feb 3, 2016 11:16:01 PM

It seems pretty clear that not much is going on yet. I suspect, however, that general inactivity has almost no effect on the number of times profs check this blog post and scholastica each day. In fact, inactivity may even drive it up. I myself am probably checking each website around 9 times a day and it is only getting worse. Am I in the lead?

Posted by: anon prof | Feb 4, 2016 8:23:56 AM

Assuredly not!

Posted by: So&So | Feb 4, 2016 11:37:24 AM

I find myself checking Scholastica once or twice a day to see if any of the closed journals has opened yet, and checking this thread three or four times a day. Sometimes I miss the dark ages.

Posted by: anon | Feb 4, 2016 12:03:47 PM

@Anon 12:03 - Instead of checking Scholastica to see if journals open, follow Scholastica or #LRSubmissions on twitter. They tweat each time a journal opens. It makes the angsting task much more efficient (it does not reduce angst, however).

Posted by: Anon | Feb 4, 2016 12:42:09 PM

^^ Thanks. But I don't have a smart phone; so twitter requires a browser window open in any case (and is very distracting, because Shatner is a very chatty man).

Posted by: anon | Feb 4, 2016 12:54:51 PM

I'm just here to validate/question my "decision" not to submit until Feb. 15. Also known as, the paper just isn't done yet.

Posted by: anon | Feb 4, 2016 1:13:13 PM

Hi. Has anyone who submitted to Yale received an e-mail confirming receipt? I see "under consideration" on their online submission system but haven't received any e-mails ... Neurosis at its worst, I know ...

Posted by: ots | Feb 4, 2016 2:36:49 PM

@ots -

yes, i submitted 2 pieces and received to confirmation emails. check your spam folder.

Posted by: anon | Feb 4, 2016 2:47:32 PM

If you're a believer in the later-in-February-is-better rule, but have an irrational and itchy submission trigger finger, submitting exclusively to one or two places, and giving them a two-week window, is a great way to force yourself to relax.

Posted by: Jasper | Feb 4, 2016 3:14:40 PM

Regarding the referenced itchy submission trigger finger, I would like to pass along that well in advance of my planned submission date, I caved in early January to the same one or two journal approach and by the time I was done it was up to fifty or sixty. Luckily, I received a number of offers within the week and I am very happy with my final selection. So, I spared myself the angst this season but next time I will have no difficulty in adhering to the original plan.

Posted by: Non-prof | Feb 4, 2016 5:17:24 PM

Can someone explain the later-is-better rule? CW here at my school is earlier-is-better (I was advised to submit on 2/1 this year). Is the idea that they won't make offers until they feel like they have seen the majority of the February submissions, so basically we all collectively push it later by submitting later? Or something else?

Posted by: anon | Feb 4, 2016 6:59:45 PM

Anon @6:59 - Some folks appear to believe that because of letterhead bias (or otherwise), top journals won't consider their piece without some additional nudge. That additional nudge may take the form of a slightly lower ranked journal offering to publish that piece. Thus, some folks want to submit at a time when a lot of journals are considering articles so that they can play the expedite game. If you want to play the expedite game, you have to ensure that enough journals are open and considering pieces that if you expedite, someone will respond. So, you wait to submit until a time when lots of journals are open, but not so late that journals are already full (thus, not making you an offer that you can expedite, or not responding to an expedite offer).

Frankly, though, I like Jasper's suggestion. Send your article to a small group of top places and see what happens.

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Feb 5, 2016 8:29:45 AM

Anyone have any information as to when the boards change over for specific law reviews?

Posted by: Wanderer | Feb 6, 2016 10:24:31 AM

It varies significantly. Many have changed over by mid-January. A lot of t-50 law reviews don't change over until the first or second (and even third) week of February. Sometimes journals start accepting articles before the change over and oftentimes, it takes a board a couple weeks to begin reviewing after the change. So there's really no hard and fast rules.

Posted by: b school prof | Feb 6, 2016 10:52:58 AM

Does Columbia actually require double-spaced submissions? If so, why?

Posted by: Anon | Feb 6, 2016 11:29:36 AM

I've heard that it's good to submit your manuscript in word form, as opposed to PDF, so law reviews can check it's above the line/below the line ratio. If so, what is the appropriate ratio? I've always submitted without paying attention to this.

Posted by: b school prof | Feb 6, 2016 12:47:47 PM

b school prof,
I've heard a 1:1 ratio is best to shoot for (and, given my experience, achievable). That said, if you have a good track record of high-placed publications and/or good letterhead bias, I'm betting law review students care less about the ratio proxy.

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Feb 6, 2016 11:01:24 PM

The whole idea that there's a ratio that plays into the decision making is humiliating for our entire profession.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 7, 2016 12:09:52 AM

This is my first time using Scholastica. Do journals usually send a ding by email, or does it just show up as a reject in the My Manuscripts section? As with Espresso, will many journals never respond one way or the other?

Posted by: Info? | Feb 7, 2016 10:20:57 AM

I agree with Tim Riggins.

Posted by: Wanderer | Feb 7, 2016 10:40:20 AM

A reject in your My Manuscripts section will generate an email. That said, some journals never get back to you. Your article might apparently be under review for a year or more.

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Feb 7, 2016 11:04:02 AM

In previous threads, people mentioned that a 2:1 ratio is best. Is 1:1 the going ratio today? I myself have very little clue. Happy to learn.

Posted by: SL | Feb 7, 2016 1:06:44 PM

Can anyone provide some insight on the various online journal supplements?

Posted by: a | Feb 7, 2016 1:18:04 PM

Do you have a specific question about the online supplements, a? I have published with a few and thought it was a great opportunity to publish some short time sensitive articles with top tier journals. How long is your piece?

Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 7, 2016 4:41:35 PM

a, it seems like they've yet to gain a lot of acceptance. The caveat may be when your article is directly replying to another article previously published in that journal's law review. Then publishing in the online supplement seems much more natural. Anyone else, please feel free to disagree.

And Tim Riggins, thanks for your input.

Posted by: b school prof | Feb 7, 2016 4:41:50 PM

Thanks. My piece is 5k words, give or take.

Posted by: a | Feb 7, 2016 7:00:48 PM

a, Colin Miller has a helpful submission guide for online supplements:


I respectfully disagree with b school prof on their acceptance. There was some initial resistance to them but they are actually quite selective and nearly all of them eventually publish on Westlaw and Lexis. I have received a lot of positive feedback on the articles from colleagues at other schools. I also found the editing process to be excellent. Plus there was about a 2 month lag from acceptance to publication which was awesome!

Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 7, 2016 8:09:31 PM

I would only publish with an online supplement as a last resort. I was on our hiring committee this year, and we refused to count them as publications for those applying to our school.

Posted by: AnonProf | Feb 7, 2016 8:45:24 PM

Well no school would count a piece in an online supplement as equivalent to a piece in the print edition but that is not because of print versus online supplement but rather the size and depth of the piece. If you have a short piece--and a's piece is 5,000 words-- the online supplements are one of the only places to publish such a piece. So I would not publish in the online supplements as a general rule because most of my pieces are full length articles but I would take note of a piece published in the online supplement of a T10-T20 journal over a placement in the print edition of much lower ranked journals.

Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 7, 2016 11:30:11 PM

I endorse the view that it makes sense to start off with a smaller number of preferred journals, which gives them more time to review and justifies subsequent expedites from lower-ranked journals. I typically submit to 25-30 journals first: top flagship law reviews, top specialty journals, and (rather scarce) peer-reviewed journals. To kick off this time, I submitted to 25 journals on February 1, and Duke Law Journal, Harvard Business Law Review, and Wisconsin Law Review have been efficient enough to send out dings. . . Also, what’s happening with Cornell Law Review? I’ve submitted my article there through ExpressO, but it’s *not* accepting articles on Scholastica, and the journal’s webpage itself only mentions Scholastica as a method of submission.

Posted by: G-Ice | Feb 8, 2016 4:15:15 AM

G-ice, that was my strategy this time - 25 journals. I have had only one ding, from Wisconsin. When do you generally add another bolus of journals? After a critical mass of dings or after a particular period of time, such as three weeks?

Posted by: nana | Feb 8, 2016 9:54:39 AM

Yale Law Journal released a helpful guide on when to submit and historical numbers of submissions: http://www.yalelawjournal.org/news/journal-releases-guidelines-and-data-on-when-to-submit-articles-and-essays

Really helpful, thank you YLJ!

Posted by: anon | Feb 8, 2016 10:00:27 AM

Nana, I usually start sending additional batches after two weeks or so. Since February 1, other A-list journals have started accepting submissions, so my total count stands at 30 now.

Posted by: G-Ice | Feb 8, 2016 10:22:02 AM

Very helpful, G-Ice. I did 19 on February 1 and am up to 27 now, for the same reason. I will re-evaluate on Valentine's Day.

Posted by: nana | Feb 8, 2016 11:00:58 AM

Nana, this sounds like a plan! I don't think there's any use in waiting for a certain number of dings because many (if not most) top journals don't respond anyways (thick "maybe" piles and what not).

Posted by: G-Ice | Feb 8, 2016 11:15:55 AM

i want to submit to YLJ but the website won't send me a password? is this a thing? #rejectedbyrobots

Posted by: tom haverford | Feb 8, 2016 12:08:44 PM

tom haverford, I've had the same problem. Sent them an email, but no reply.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 8, 2016 12:58:24 PM

Serious question: has YLJ's much-ballyhooed blind-reading process ever led to the publication of, say, a practitioner's paper? The most-recent articles all seem to be by "usual suspects," such as Columbia/NYU professors. Assuming, for the moment, that less-"prestigious" folk could produce articles that favorably compare during a blind-reading process, this strikes me as usual. Is it that, say, practitioner articles that actually get a blind-read nod get jettisoned later on?

Posted by: Jasper | Feb 9, 2016 8:27:38 PM

YLJ is publishing at least four nonfaculty articles in the current volume, although most? all? are fellows or PhD candidates. I think this is a sign that they don't jettison pieces based on the past publication record of authors.

Posted by: Re ylj | Feb 9, 2016 8:47:39 PM

At places like YLJ, only the initial stages of the review process are blind. So it's more inclusive in terms of getting people to full-board review (etc.), but still beset by some of the usual biases.

Posted by: 3NT | Feb 9, 2016 8:51:03 PM

for real though has anyone figured out the ylj glitch? i tried two different email addresses and the only way to submit is w/ a password ylj sends you...

Posted by: tom haverford | Feb 9, 2016 11:42:37 PM

Tom Haverford,
I had the same problem, so I just exclusive submitted to Harvard, whose interface is easy and requires no password. I think from here on out I just won't bother with Yale (not that they'd accept my work anyway). But don't feel bad, because tomorrow is Treat Yourself Day!

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Feb 10, 2016 1:26:41 PM

I was curious about where the cutoff lies regarding which journals tell authors if their article is going to face a board vote. It seems like the t40 and down offer acceptances without a board review notice. Does that sound accurate?

Posted by: Farva | Feb 10, 2016 3:30:11 PM

@Farva - I got a very nice ding e-mail from Duke telling me after the fact the piece made it to board review. In the past I also got an offer from a T30 with no notice of a board review (and without expediting). I'm not sure there is a clear cutoff.

Posted by: Wandering Oaken | Feb 10, 2016 3:43:53 PM

FYI, William and Mary are now accepting via Scholastica.

Posted by: AnonProf | Feb 10, 2016 3:44:41 PM

I find the silence deafening, I have to say. Ten days in, and it's mostly crickets.

Posted by: Nana | Feb 10, 2016 4:48:29 PM

Planning to submit an IP piece for the first time, and was curious how people in that field viewed specialty vs. general journals. Specifically, which specialties, if any, would you take of a T40 general?


Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 10, 2016 7:48:06 PM

Nana, I always consider that promising. I mean, there's a process to accept an article. There's very little process to reject an article right out of the gate.

Wandering Oaken, thanks, very helpful.

Posted by: b school prof | Feb 10, 2016 7:49:09 PM

Columbia's website says that you have to submit to them separately, but Scholastica let me add them like any other journal. Have the folks who've heard from Columbia submitted separately? Thanks!

Posted by: anon | Feb 10, 2016 8:48:20 PM

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