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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Law Review Submission Tracker

Click here to download a spreadsheet to help you track your law review submissions during the upcoming law review submission cycle, and thus to create an illusion of control over the process.

The spreadsheet has two worksheets. The main sheet, "S12," gives you information about journals and lets you enter your own information. The second sheet, "Data," automatically calculates, based on your entries on the main sheet, the number of journals that have made a decision about your piece (by response), and the number of journals from which there is not yet a final resolution. 

More Details

For the main journal of each school, the spreadsheet lists (1) the name of the school, (2) the date the journal starts accepting submissions (if I could find this information), (3) the most recent US news ranking, (4) the most recent Washington & Lee journal ranking (based on the number of citations to the journal), and (5) the preferred method of submission. (It's Expresso for almost all the journals, except that a few top journals strongly prefer that you submit through their website.) The spreadsheet also includes a handful of specialty journals.

There are blank cells for you to add information such as the date you submitted it, the date the journal acknowledged it received, the date you expedited and the method by which you expedited, and the date it was accepted, rejected, and so forth (If you enter the date in the regular format in those columns, the "Length" column will automatically calculate for you the length of time between when you submitted it and when you heard back from the journal.) There is also a "Notes" column where you can enter things like the ID number some journals assign to entries.


1. This spreadsheet should include more main journals. It lists only the main journals of the top 100 schools by US News ranking (omitting the two schools, Chicago-Kent and Northeastern, that appear from their respective websites to publish only symposia issues). 

2. This spreadsheet should include more specialty journals. It lists only about 15 specialty journals, relevant only to certain kinds of submissions (not mine, actually, to be honest). (The specialty journals are all about civil rights and gender.)

3. This spreadsheet should include more information about when journals open. It includes only the information I could glean from Expresso and from the journal websites about a week ago. 

4. Submitting through Expresso is very expensive if you are not part of a law school that has a subscription, and the spreadsheet does not include information about any other way to contact law schools that prefer Expresso (e.g., email addresses).

5. All rankings are flawed, and the US News rankings are really, really flawed.

More Information

For a far more complete document, consult Nancy Levit and Allen Rostron's amazing law review submission guide, fully updated as of August 31, 2011. They also have a list of links to many law review webpages.

PrawfsBlawg has had a number of posts on the law review submissions process, many of which have very helpful comments sections. 

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on January 28, 2012 at 09:08 AM | Permalink


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Quick Question, I submitted March 17th last year, and got to final read at a top 20 journal, and received offers from top 100 journals. I had the sneaking suspicion that I was too late for some journals, but I still was in play at several good places.

Posted by: Jake Linford | Jan 29, 2012 9:19:49 AM

Thanks Dan. Submission cycles have gotta be the weirdest aspect of law review publication.

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Jan 29, 2012 3:53:22 AM

What is the basic "drop dead" date at which it is advisable to hold an article until August? March 1? March 15?

Assume pre-tenure track. On the market next year and potentially the following out of a clerkship (the judge is very generous about letting clerks stay on for a second year -- or potentially even a third -- or not based on post-clerkship job opportunities). One other recent article published in a top 60-70 mainline law review.

Posted by: Quick question | Jan 28, 2012 9:21:28 PM

All praise be to Sarah.
Paul, Redyip is normally sighted Feb 15 and Aug 15.

Posted by: Dan Markel | Jan 28, 2012 8:46:56 PM

Thanks for sharing this, Sarah.

Posted by: Jake Linford | Jan 28, 2012 3:01:01 PM

So when are the canonical dates for the infamous spring and fall submission cycles these days anyway?

Posted by: Paul Gowder | Jan 28, 2012 11:23:32 AM

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