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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Submission Angsting Fall 2018

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 a few columns and a row (the ones highlighted in yellow) are locked, either because they auto-calculate or because tampering with them has caused a problem in the past. (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.

Entering information in the column entitled "Username" is of course totally optional, but a way to make keeping track easier. For example, if you pick a username, 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.

Rostron & Levit's extremely helpful guide to submitting to law reviews is available here (this is the July 2018 version). The article now also includes hyperlinks to law review websites.

I cannot link to the last page of comments, due to a Typepad change.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on July 28, 2018 at 07:07 PM | Permalink


Has anyone submitted yet, other than to exclusive submissions programs?

Posted by: An0n | Jul 29, 2018 12:02:38 PM

Yeah, I submitted to a few places early on to see if the process had moved up any. Nothing but two quick rejections.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Jul 29, 2018 1:06:24 PM

How did you determine which law reviews to include on the spreadsheet ? Or are people just randomly adding them?

Posted by: just wondering | Jul 30, 2018 2:43:31 PM

As it plainly says in Sarah's initial post, people add the information themselves.

Posted by: AnonProf | Jul 30, 2018 2:56:31 PM

Submitted on July 25 to the few journals that were accepting then-- about 30 T75 journals. I now have an offer from a T75 journal, which would be an average placement for me. Of course, I'm hoping for an above-average placement, but I'm not hopeful that expediting will get me much, because few journals are active right now. So, I think my choices are (a) settle with this mediocre offer and be grateful or (b) let the offer lapse and hope something better comes along. I have a week to decide. Any thoughts are welcome.

Posted by: Midwest Prof | Jul 31, 2018 12:25:39 PM

I know everyone has different thoughts on this, but how late do you consider to be too late to submit? I'm not totally ready to submit yet, but want to make the fall submission season.

Posted by: CaffeinatedCat | Jul 31, 2018 3:52:17 PM

Is it just me or is Stanford Law Review's rejection unusually kind?

Posted by: Surprised | Jul 31, 2018 5:13:32 PM

@ Surprised--I think Stanford took some heat last year because the subject heading of their rejection email was something like "Your Article Has Been Rejected." So I guess they've now swung around to the other side.

Posted by: anon | Jul 31, 2018 5:49:10 PM

Does anyone know whether Virginia, Georgetown, WashU, Arizona State, BC, Washington, and Colorado are just open on Scholastica or are actually reviewing?

Posted by: anon | Jul 31, 2018 6:25:22 PM

@Surprised - did you receive a recent rejection from SLR? If so, could you please add it to the spreadsheet?

Posted by: Anon | Jul 31, 2018 6:48:11 PM

Is anyone else not getting rejections by email? I'm mostly submitting on Scholastica, and I learned about my two rejections by viewing the Scholastica submission section. In previous cycles, I received emails for both rejections and acceptances.

Posted by: anon | Aug 1, 2018 12:25:47 AM

So ... another year, another angsty situation. Last year I submitted on 8/7 and ultimately -- more than two weeks later -- landed in a good place (for me). This year, I am not in a position to submit before 8/13. (Writing away). Thoughts on whether it's too late at that point? Thank you.

Posted by: AnonE | Aug 1, 2018 7:13:13 PM

I'm pretty sure most places don't start reviewing in earnest until 8/15ish. A lot of journals opened today, but many of them just accumulate submissions until the students return to school in mid-August. Good luck!

Posted by: anon | Aug 1, 2018 7:21:19 PM

anon @7:21 thank you. I am pushing myself like a crazy person towards that date, and it will be so crushing if it's too late. And I think, realistically, it will be that date, not before. I know I didn't hear from the journal that ultimately published me until late August. But lots more were full, and I got lots of rejections before that, and yeah. I wish I were a week ahead of where I am. :(

Posted by: AnonE | Aug 1, 2018 7:46:56 PM


I think you'll be ok. My early submissions were just a really unscientific test to see if the cycle (actual decision-making) had indeed moved up as some had predicted. The early returns seem to suggest not. So I think you're ok

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Aug 1, 2018 9:41:36 PM

AnonE: I have a colleague who submits on purpose in mid-Sept...said the submission gets more attention that way, and resulted in good offers. So, while I never have the impulse control to make it that long, I don't think you are too late.

Posted by: notmyrealname | Aug 1, 2018 10:01:52 PM

Thank you. I need the push to get it done by my self-imposed 8/13 submission deadline (13000 words and working, really!), and this helps so much. I was new to the process and submitted a week earlier last year, and I am getting anxious.

Posted by: AnonE | Aug 1, 2018 11:06:21 PM

Not to be a downer here, but in the past when I have submitted in the August cycle, I've always submitted on August 1, and many of my best offers usually arrive by August 8, some around Aug. 4-5. So while I am sure that it still is possible to get good offers if you submit in mid-late August or September, I wouldn't assume that law journals are waiting around until then to start making offers.

Posted by: anon | Aug 2, 2018 6:57:23 AM

Does anyone know if Scholastica offers fee waivers? I'm a recent graduate, and while a few law reviews still allow email submissions, the Scholastica exclusives are going to cost around $4-500 at least if I want to cast a wide enough net.

Posted by: JD18 | Aug 2, 2018 9:38:51 AM

scholastica does offer fee waivers but they want you to have an income below the poverty line to get it. you can try though

Posted by: anon | Aug 2, 2018 10:04:24 AM

also look at the ssrn article on law reviews-except for the very top law reviews, many many law reviews accept email submissions; in fact most do. also, some have their own portals, like American has it own portsl you can submit to for free. it's all in the ssrn article on law reviews.

Posted by: anon | Aug 2, 2018 10:05:25 AM

From the Scholastica website: "If you believe that you should be sponsored or would like to encourage your institution to create an account, you can find more information on your school's institutional account here. You may also request an economic fee waiver if you cannot pay the cost of your submissions due to financial hardship. To request a waiver, please email [email protected]"


Also, there is publicly available data to answer questions about when most journals are accepting submissions in the fall cycle. You can review all that data here: https://scholasticahq.com/law-review-submissions-insights

Basically, it looks like submissions peak between August 1 and September 1, with the highest volume of submissions happening around the middle of the month. Expedite due dates peak around the end of August. And very few journals are making decisions in the first week of August, it appears. I doubt much has changed from the time that Scholastica compiled this data a few years ago.

Posted by: random prof | Aug 2, 2018 10:14:26 AM

Thank you both for your helpful responses.

Posted by: JD18 | Aug 2, 2018 10:19:26 AM

Submitted yesterday and got two rejections off the bat. The first journal said the scope of my article was too broad because they only examine country-specific legal issues. The second journal said the scope of my article was too narrow because they only examine general legal issues and mine was too country specific. :) Let the good times roll.

Posted by: DKG | Aug 2, 2018 3:07:29 PM

Submitted yesterday and got two rejections off the bat. The first journal said the scope of my article was too broad because they only examine country-specific legal issues. The second journal said the scope of my article was too narrow because they only examine general legal issues and mine was too country specific. :) Let the good times roll.

Posted by: DKG | Aug 2, 2018 3:07:30 PM

DKG - at least you received some sort of explanation. I've submitted in six different cycles, and my only rejections have been the form letters.

Posted by: anon | Aug 2, 2018 6:20:21 PM

DKG, may I ask if these were flagships or specialty law journals?

Posted by: NewProf | Aug 2, 2018 7:45:54 PM

NewProf - both were specialty int'l law journals. I didn't bother naming them because I know most in this group are more interested in the flagships...I just found it amusing that I received them both instantaneously, for completely contradictory reasons.

anon - yes, I received explanations, but pretty sure they were pre-baked. Not sure which is worse...

Posted by: DKG | Aug 2, 2018 8:01:27 PM

Although WashU is open on Scholastica, it's full.

Posted by: anon | Aug 2, 2018 9:20:41 PM

Well they need to close submissions then! It pisses me off that we're paying $6 for a chance that doesn't exist!!!! It is quite easy to mark your journal as "not accepting" Jesus!

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 2, 2018 9:58:44 PM

Yup. I also just received the Wash U email, also stating the website is accepting submissions. I'm a PhD student who has to pay the submission fees, so I'm not happy about wasting $6.50 on a law review that wasn't even accepting submissions.

Posted by: anon | Aug 2, 2018 10:26:10 PM

I haven't received anything from Wash U. Am I late for the party? Submitted yesterday.

Posted by: NewProf | Aug 2, 2018 11:32:31 PM

Penn is open on scholastica yet on website says closed till february.

Posted by: anon | Aug 3, 2018 10:44:56 AM

What's odd about Penn is that it was closed during the summer on Scholastica, but then "opened" on the portal on August 1. Not sure what that means.

Posted by: anon | Aug 3, 2018 11:20:08 AM

It means that student law review editors don't really care very much about the $6.50 submission fees.

Posted by: anon | Aug 3, 2018 11:25:23 AM

Boston U is also open.

Posted by: NewProf | Aug 3, 2018 11:49:04 AM

Until it re-opened this morning, Boston U also said on Scholastica that it would re-open in 2019. Does anyone know if editors are actually reviewing fall submissions?

Posted by: Wondering | Aug 3, 2018 12:36:01 PM

@Wondering, if you look at the "The Conversation" tab on Scholastica, there's a message from BU saying they're accepting submission for their September 2019 issue. I think they are reviewing - they better be!

Posted by: NewProf | Aug 3, 2018 2:57:47 PM

Ah, thanks @NewProf!

Posted by: Wondering | Aug 3, 2018 3:09:41 PM

Do the top journals (say T40 or so) always let you know if you have a full board read, or can an offer just come out of the blue with no notice beforehand? I once had a failed board read from Boston College, but other than that not much info on this personally. Just wondering how that goes, if anyone could share that information.

Posted by: FourthTierDreaming | Aug 3, 2018 5:43:41 PM

I think the practice is pretty unpredictable. In general, the top 14 or so usually (but not always) notify you of board reads. I also think you're more likely to get notice if you have an expedite deadline that's near the date of a particular journal's board meeting. But my general sense is that many (if not most) T20-T40 offers come out of the sheer blue.

Posted by: anon | Aug 3, 2018 6:16:25 PM

Thanks, anon. Fun to think about, even if unlikely to happen!

Posted by: FourthTierDreaming | Aug 3, 2018 6:28:29 PM

I've had two T14 offers. For the first one, I received an email informing me that I was getting a full board read on a particular day, which was one day after my expedite deadline. So that allowed me to get an extension. I got a phone call from the articles editor right after the expedite deadline and accepted on the spot (I was already rejected by the higher-ranked LR's). My second T14 offer was an email in the middle of the night, no advance warning. So it does vary.

Posted by: anon | Aug 3, 2018 7:02:27 PM

Based on past cycles, this will be a big weekend for decisions.

Posted by: anonprof | Aug 4, 2018 6:38:44 AM

Thanks, anon at 7:02. That is interesting, and a nice way to wake up to say the least!

Posted by: FourthTierDreaming | Aug 4, 2018 6:56:53 AM

One thing about the Scholastica data: I barely ever receive acceptances through Scholastica. They usually come via an email outside of Scholastica’s system, and are never marked “accepted” in Scholastica. Last cycle I had six offers but only one was recorded in the system. So I’m not sure how accurate the Scholastica timing data is.

Posted by: anonprof | Aug 4, 2018 8:21:52 AM

That's a good point, nonprof. That has been my experience, too. But I suspect that almost everyone still sends expedites through Scholastica, even if the decision comes outside the platform. So my guess is that, while the decision data for Scholastica may just represent rejections, the submission and expedite data is mostly correct.

Posted by: random prof | Aug 4, 2018 9:02:24 AM

It's funny -- typically when journals let me know I made final review, I end up getting rejected. Also, my last three pieces have all been T25 (one was T14) and none of those journals gave me a head's up that my piece was being reviewed.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 4, 2018 9:22:38 AM

Has anybody noticed the rule (I'd heard years ago) that rejections tend to come in the morning and acceptances tend to come in the afternoon/evening?

Looking back, I'd say this has been generally true in my case.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Aug 4, 2018 11:25:39 AM

Here on the West Coast, there's definitely some kind of a 5:00 a.m. Scholastica rejection dump. I always breathe easier when my inbox is empty in the mornings.

Posted by: anon | Aug 4, 2018 11:28:39 AM

YIKAM, I totally agree. That’s generally been my experience, but silence so far this cycle.

Posted by: Rogue 1 | Aug 4, 2018 12:46:19 PM

my rejections from Michigan, Duke, Virginia, and Penn all seem to arrive within a few minutes of each other on Sunday mornings. bracing for tomorrow

Posted by: anonprof | Aug 4, 2018 12:52:28 PM

The reason why rejections usually come in the morning is because Scholastica doesn't send rejections individually, but rather accumulates them during the day and then dumps them at a specified time the next day (I believe each journal would have a predetermined time slot in the morning).

Since acceptances are more time sensitive and important than rejections, they are received immediately as the decision is made by the journal. I hope that explanation makes things clear :-)

Posted by: NewProf | Aug 4, 2018 3:10:18 PM

With the ridiculous amount of money that Scholastica rakes in, you’d think they could affford a system that emails rejections in real-time.

Posted by: anon | Aug 4, 2018 3:55:00 PM

Radio silence here. Others?

Posted by: anon | Aug 5, 2018 2:11:35 PM

A San Diego ding last night; a T40ish asking for more time on my expedite. Otherwise, nothing this weekend.

Posted by: FourthTierDreaming | Aug 5, 2018 2:22:07 PM

Nothing happening here. I think most journals are either open but not yet reviewing or drowning in the August 1 submission wave.

Posted by: anon | Aug 5, 2018 2:24:54 PM

Radio silence for me other than a lone rejection from UNC.

Posted by: Biz | Aug 5, 2018 2:36:19 PM

Has anyone heard from any of the tech specialty journals? If so, how long did they take between submission and offer/rejection? Thanks!

Posted by: An0n | Aug 5, 2018 2:43:40 PM

Radio silence here, too. Mostly betting on specialty journals this cycle, but I'm not too sure of their turnaround times.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Aug 5, 2018 2:46:44 PM

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