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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Angsting Thread (Law Review Edition, Spring 2012)

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.

Posted by Administrators on February 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM in Blogging, Law Review Review | Permalink


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I just received my first offer (ranked in the 90s). So there is definitely activity still going on.

Posted by: Yet Another Anon | Apr 27, 2012 7:27:03 PM

I just got an offer from a 90ish journal after I had already withdrawn due to accepting another offer. (I felt bad about that actually; I hope I didn't use Expresso wrong). So things are still moving for sure.

Posted by: VAPlications | Apr 27, 2012 12:26:33 PM

John Doe, congrats on the offers! In my mind, no doubt: I would definitely take South Carolina. USNWR rankings dominate W&L rankings in this situation.

Posted by: anon | Apr 27, 2012 12:01:22 AM

Received offer from S. Carolina law review (W&L rank 137), expedited and received an offer from Akron LR (67). Although Akron is significantly higher in W&L rankings, S Carolina is significantly higher as a school in USNWR rankings. Confused as to which offer I should accept. Thoughts?

Posted by: John Doe | Apr 26, 2012 9:00:40 PM

The process is not yet over. I and one other person I know have both gotten offers from top-30 journals (different ones) in the last two days.

Posted by: anon | Apr 24, 2012 7:40:24 PM

Maybe my late timing makes my experience irrelevant to others, but in the past few days I've had three more offers, probably off of expedites, from schools in the 20-50 range (averaging USN & W&L). Just thought some people might like to know there's still some activity. I've withdrawn from 40-50 journals in recent days, including three from which I had offers. So they have space.

Posted by: A n o n | Apr 19, 2012 5:43:56 PM

I submitted mid March, and while there is no doubt that hurt me and won't be repeated, I did get some action lately from specialty journals. Too soon to say if the expedite route is closed off to the general journals (if it is, for this piece my current best acceptance is really quite appropriate for this particular piece). By the time I started expediting, most of the top 20 had retired from the field.

Live and learn. If I have just one good article in me, this is the wrong job anyhow.

Posted by: Hay Anon | Apr 14, 2012 2:12:46 AM

My expedite deadline expires today. I sent 22 expedite requests (to most of the journals remaining open, from the top down, to about #40 or so), and I received four acknowledgments and eight rejections. Only one of the rejections was from a school that acknowledged the request. I am guessing this is a lower response rate than others are seeing, but I don't know that for sure. Have other folks received more by way of response recently?

Posted by: former optimist | Apr 13, 2012 7:43:58 PM

I too have expedited only through ExpressO, would be curious to hear whether anyone thinks that is a mistake.

It's true about Iowa. They emailed recently to say they're full.

Posted by: A n o n | Apr 13, 2012 12:04:46 PM

I've just gone through ExpressO, but maybe that's a mistake.

Posted by: former optimist | Apr 13, 2012 9:16:25 AM

When people expedite, do you just do so through ExpressO, or do you e-mail the journals directly?

Also, I heard through the grapevine that Iowa was finished for the season.

Posted by: Noodle | Apr 13, 2012 8:49:49 AM

I wish I had an answer for you. This process is so hard to understand; I can never predict which of my efforts (if any) will get a response of any kind, and placement doesn't seem to match peer assessment of my work. For my part, I am not receiving much response this spring to my requests for expedited review. I'm very happy to have an offer, but it came out of the blue, didn't result from any of my several efforts to get editors to look at my piece.

Posted by: former optimist | Apr 12, 2012 3:04:02 PM

Anyone have any thoughts about whether there is anything one can do at this stage to get an editor to pick your piece out of the pile, aside from an expedite request? I submitted to what in hindsight appears to have been too few journals back in late February and early March. I've only heard from around 1/3rd of the journals I submitted to, and have only gotten on average one rejection per week the last 3 weeks.

I realize that some of the silent journals have likely tacitly rejected the piece, but fear that it also just got buried at some other journals, and hasn't even seen the light of day. I have generally been a pretty good judge in the past of how well my work should place, and I can safely say that this piece, while not my best, should be competitive at some of the journals I've submitted to but have yet to hear back from.

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: Anonymoose | Apr 12, 2012 12:10:48 PM

Top 15 mid-March, then about 70 more early April.

Posted by: A n o n | Apr 12, 2012 11:59:56 AM

A n o n - when did you submit? I ask as someone who submitted in late February and who has given up hope. It would be interesting to see if anyone who submitted 6-8 weeks ago is getting any action.

Posted by: anon | Apr 12, 2012 11:53:11 AM

I mean some form of non-first-round-and-possibly-final-round review. One of the emails said "second level," or something like that, and one said something about consideration at a meeting where the board would vote on articles. The other mentioned review by all of the articles editors and the EIC. These things seem to me like what people are referring to when they mention "board review," but I'm not sure. It's all pretty mysterious.

By the way, none of those emails came off an expedite request. Sorry if this is more confusing than helpful!

Posted by: A n o n | Apr 11, 2012 9:45:33 PM

What does it mean to say they emailed to 'inform of board review'? I am assuming that is something more than a journal saying they have an expedite request and will endeavor to respond in time. Do they actually say, 'board review'? Sorry to be so slow witted, but I haven't even figured out yet what Redyip means.

Posted by: Hay Nonn | Apr 11, 2012 9:20:40 PM

Offer from a top 60 today. Also, in the past week, a top 30, a top 80, and a top 100 emailed to inform of board review. Apparently the process is indeed ongoing. Been lurking here for a while, benefiting a lot from the advice and information. Finally have something to contribute!

Posted by: A n o n | Apr 11, 2012 5:06:05 PM

Thanks all -- love the wisdom of crowds.

I contacted the other person yesterday. S/he said that s/he is not pursuing the project, and I should feel free to do so. I think I can give a bit different gloss than what is in the presentation (though I'll definitely cite it and ask the other person to be a reader), so I'll probably press ahead. I'd love to have something in the 40ish page range ready to submit in August.

Posted by: Two etiquette questions | Apr 11, 2012 11:28:30 AM

Writing an article informed by someone else's work in progress as reported on a CV feels a bit sketchy. Sometimes the idea is not divisible and people are boxed out. For a variety of reasons (they beat you to finished article, other people have the same itchy skin feel at the story I did, someone can construct a trail from the presentation to your 'original' idea, etc.) I would consider moving on to another project if you can't rethink your project in a way that's not so similar.

Posted by: Nonoroonie | Apr 11, 2012 8:31:13 AM

Two quick acceptances in thoroughly acceptable specialty journals this week - one direct, one overnight on an expedite. The process is still ongoing.

Posted by: Hay Nonn | Apr 11, 2012 2:40:57 AM

2e, not enough information to really answer your question. It completely depends on what the work-in-progress says, not whether you can beat it into "publication" as such. Even if the work in progress is a blog post that is never going to be put in a law review, it is still plagiarism if you are simply repeating another person's point. But, it is pretty rare that you would have absolutely nothing new to say on an issue -- and if you have a novel gloss, even if there is considerable overlap with the other work, it is entirely appropriate to cross-cite each other. In fact, the other author would probably be flattered that the two of you think alike.

Posted by: anonprof | Apr 11, 2012 12:06:05 AM

Speaking personally, I would go ahead and write the article if I was confident I'd have it finished by August. It's unlikely the other piece comes out before then, and even if it does it is hard to believe it will completely preempt your own article (i.e., you likely will have slightly different glosses on some issues, even if you reach the same conclusion). Alternatively, though, I don't think it is inappropriate to reach out to the other author to gauge the scope of their project and what approach they are taking.

Posted by: Anonymoose | Apr 10, 2012 3:10:39 PM

Quick question while this thread is still active: I've got an idea for a quick-hitting piece that (I think) I could have ready by August. I was doing a preemption check yesterday, and an unpublished presentation led to a CV which led to a work-in-progress that seems more or less on point.

What's the proper etiquette in that situation? Should I contact the person? I don't want to step on any toes, and I don't want to start down a road on a project that is going to be preempted.

Posted by: Two etiquette questions | Apr 10, 2012 12:02:01 PM

I turned down the best regarded specialty journal in my field for a mainline law journal in the 80s because I'm going on the market next year. The advice I got was for the hiring committee, mainline is much better. It is sad that my two goals: getting a job and having my article make a difference suggested divergent paths for placing my article. However, I'm more interested in the job (for now).

Posted by: hopeful | Apr 9, 2012 4:21:22 PM

My take is different than Two etiquette’s. The answer is fact-and-circumstances dependent. In this cycle I declined an offer from a top-30 main law review in favor of a much lower ranked (W&L-wise) specialty journal (though the school is a top-10 school). The reason was that in my filed everyone skim (at the minimum) every single issue of the specialty journal that comes out. If I placed in the top-30 one, no one in my field would see the paper unless they actively looked for it or happened to attend a conference where I presented the paper. My decision was also supported by advice from some leading scholars in the field.

Here is another rule of thumb suggested to me by someone in respect of specialty journals: take a look at the last three or four volumes. Look at who are the authors that publish there. Then decide if this is a company you want to be a part of, or stay away from. In my case, professors from top schools regularly publish in the specialty journal where I placed the article

Posted by: Anonx | Apr 9, 2012 2:24:28 PM

The best advice I got in comparing specialty and non-specialty offers is to go to the W&L rankings. If the specialty journal is ranked substantially better than the main law review (20 places or more), go with the specialty journal. If it ranked within 20 places or is ranked worse, go with the main law review.

Posted by: Two etiquette questions | Apr 9, 2012 2:00:35 PM

Need advice from the experts. I am finishing my first year as a VAP at school ranked just outside 100. I was in practice for 20 years and submitted my first law review article on March 20. I have 7 offers- 3 from speciality business journals ( 2 from schools ranked 30-45) and the others from main journals from schools ranked from 80-100. My expedite deadline ends tomorrow. My goal is to have the article read by legislators, judges etc and one of the specialty journals has that reputation. But I go on the market this Fall so I know placement is key. Would you recommend I take the specialty journal or go for the main journal ranked in the 80s for my first placement? Other than my Ivy League education, I know I may have some strikes against me on the market with my long time in practice and only one publication by the time I go on the market. I also plan to try to submit something for Fall so I look forward to reading those comments as well.

Posted by: new VAP | Apr 9, 2012 11:40:48 AM

In the last week, I was dinged by Columbia and FSU - otherwise radio silence. Optimism is declining rapidly, especially after reading http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2012/04/underneath-the-law-review-submission-process-part-i-timing.html. I submitted late February.

Posted by: DisgruntledNewbie | Apr 9, 2012 12:16:12 AM

UNC and GW made offers last week. USC was nearly full then. Good luck to everyone!

Posted by: anotheranon | Apr 7, 2012 11:03:55 PM

I haven't heard from any of Noodle's list, either, and I haven't heard of any offers from them. Texas only confirmed receipt of my submission a few days ago (more than a month after I sent it). My first offer came today--I sent out a first batch at the very end of February and a second the first week in March, and this offer came from the second batch. So after about four and a half weeks.

Posted by: former optimist | Apr 7, 2012 4:54:49 PM

Last fall I submitted and got a top 50 placement and offers from 5 journals ranked 50-100. This is after striking out in the spring. Of course, i also noticed that about 20 out of the top 50 weren't even participating.

Posted by: B | Apr 7, 2012 12:52:45 PM

Noodle: no they have been conspicuously silent.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 7, 2012 12:01:36 PM

Has anyone received rejections from Notre Dame, USC, Texas, Emory, GW, Wake Forest, or UNC?

Posted by: Noodle | Apr 7, 2012 8:47:39 AM

I'm guessing this weekend will be quiet on the acceptance front, given the holidays. What's everyone's sense of when things will shut down for finals? And how many journals actively continue to review submissions over the summer, prior to the fall submission season?

Posted by: Anonymoose | Apr 6, 2012 7:29:35 PM

Of course, anyone who gets an article placed in a T5 is by definition an outlier. But at least submitting in the fall did not kill the chances of obtaining such a placement.

Posted by: optimist | Apr 6, 2012 3:49:30 PM

Depends on the journal; some will have 1/3 - 1/2 of their spots reserved for fall submissions, some will only have one or two (and some might be full).

Posted by: AnOn | Apr 6, 2012 3:46:21 PM

I haven't submitted in the fall myself so I hope someone with first-hand experience weighs in.

For what it's worth, I know three people who submitted last fall. One hit it out of the park with a T5 placement, but this person is probably an outlier. The other two got very solid placements. I don't have any information on when they submitted, how fast the process went, how many offers they got, etc.

Posted by: optimist | Apr 6, 2012 3:45:51 PM

This question was raised earlier in the thread but I don't think anyone responded to it. What experiences have people had with submitting in the fall - is it worth submitting pieces in August, or is all the action happening in the spring?

Posted by: anon | Apr 6, 2012 2:44:17 PM

Any realistic hope left in top 100 for articles not yet placed anywhere?

Posted by: former optimist | Apr 6, 2012 1:59:45 PM

This will probably be the last day I'm in the game... The offer in hand is from a very good specialty journal. I have to say, part of me hopes that no serious contender will arrive in my inbox today. I'm happy with this outcome and also very ready to be done with this.

Posted by: optimist | Apr 6, 2012 9:41:06 AM


I submitted first week in March (top 100+ main, and some specialty journals). silence for about 10 days, then a few offers started to trickle in, and a bunch came recently. I have colleagues who have received top 25 offers in the past 10 days, and others who have yet to hear anything (and these are folks who have multiple publications in top 35). My law school is in the 80-110 range (over the past few years). My best guess is that we have 2 more weeks of this (until crunch time for finals), and then will pick back up in the summer.

One last bit of advice - placements matter, but good writing matters more.

Posted by: John | Apr 5, 2012 12:29:14 PM


Congrats on the offers. If you don't mind sharing, when did you submit?

Posted by: Anonymoose | Apr 5, 2012 11:21:49 AM

Hay Nonn,

I've recently gotten a confirmation a month after submitting as well. Not sure what you mean by "GVR", but I'm taking it as a sign that they are just now getting to it in the pile. Could be wrong, though.

Posted by: Anonymoose | Apr 5, 2012 11:21:13 AM

Does it mean anything if journals are still confirming receipt several weeks after the Expresso distribution? I am getting some of those and cannot see why this would happen (setting aside the GVR like confirm/reject).

Posted by: Hay Nonn | Apr 5, 2012 4:26:26 AM

I agree with the last post - I've received three offers in the past 5 days, all from journals in 35-60 range. Currently on expedite, and some journals (top 30ish) have indicated that they are actively reviewing. Last year I did not complete the process until late April, and published in a top 30 main law review. Good luck!

Posted by: John | Apr 3, 2012 1:55:16 PM

Journals are definitely still making offers - I just got one from an expedite. So there is good reason to be optimistic!

Posted by: anotheranon | Apr 3, 2012 12:14:35 PM

anotheranon @ April 1, thanks for the datapoint - that does give me some hope.

I followed Two Etiquette's lead and contacted law reviews with a revised version of my manuscript and heard from three journals - a top five specialty, a top 20 specialty, and a tier two journal. I don't know whether they are actively considering my piece, but this does mean they are still in the process of making decisions.

If you haven't placed yet, there is hope. I still haven't received an offer, but remain (cautiously) optimistic.

Posted by: DisgruntledNewbie | Apr 2, 2012 12:47:40 PM

Wow, congratulations!

Posted by: error | Apr 1, 2012 11:47:33 PM

Just to add another datapoint, I submitted on Feb. 17 to the top 50 or so and added another 20 in early March. Tonight I was lucky enough to get my first offer - from a top 30 journal. This is all just to say that there still is hope!

Posted by: anotheranon | Apr 1, 2012 9:06:01 PM

Re: editors failing to read all submissions--as much as I hate it, I kind of get it. I've seen how many submissions our law review gets, and it's just too many to read them all, even if the articles editors did nothing but read. At the T25 level, I suspect that not only do editors not have time to read all the submissions, but that they don't even have time to read all articles for which expedited review is requested. And as far as their responsibility to the journal goes, I think they essentially have a fiduciary duty to ensure that their journal publishes meaningful and interesting scholarship. But again, at the T25 level, there is no shortage of that--they can let a lot of pieces go unread, and still fill the volume with good stuff. On the other hand, my expedite deadline expired on Friday without getting any response from 18 of the top 30 journals, so as much as I'm sympathetic to their workload, I also wish for a more manageable process.

Posted by: CBR | Apr 1, 2012 5:42:01 PM

@ optimist - That seems like a very unprofessional response to me. I get that many law students are stretched thin. But if nothing else, don't make it sound like whether an article gets reviewed depends on the editor's willingness to work hard. Being on a journal is a privilege (especially is you are on the journal at a top 25 school), and you have a responsibility to handle the work that comes along with that position.

Posted by: sp | Apr 1, 2012 11:12:39 AM

I got a rejection from Texas today.

Other dings that came in over the past few days (in addition to the ones I have identified in earlier posts): Northwestern, Georgia, Houston, Case Western.

In response to my expedite request, I also got an email from a T25 telling me that they won't review my piece by the requested deadline (which was already an extension from an earlier request) unless editors volunteer to read submissions above and beyond the assigned ones. I'm hesitant to say which school it was.

Posted by: optimist | Apr 1, 2012 10:53:30 AM

Received my Chicago rejection today.

Posted by: Sleepless | Apr 1, 2012 2:32:00 AM

I think I was the one doing the complaining! Best of luck to you in the home stretch. A new offer for you might mean a spot for one of us...

Posted by: error | Mar 31, 2012 11:58:34 AM

error- you are totally correct. Am fortunate to have an offer. Wasn't complaining, just stating a surprising fact. Sorry if it came across as complaining. Best of luck to you and everyone else.

Posted by: still a chance | Mar 31, 2012 1:43:03 AM

Stupid question: Why do they call it Redyip?

Posted by: Hay Nonn | Mar 30, 2012 11:27:54 PM

Has anyone heard from GW?

Posted by: anotheranon | Mar 30, 2012 8:50:07 PM

you're fortunate to have an offer...things could be worse!

Posted by: error | Mar 30, 2012 7:41:20 PM

Less than 24 hours until the expedite deadline, and still no response from 85% of the schools.

Posted by: still a chance | Mar 30, 2012 5:34:40 PM

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