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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Underneath the Law Review Submission Process: Part XIII Fall v. Winter Submissions

In this post, I will follow-up on my last post and show you a comparison between fall submission numbers and winter submission numbers.  As mentioned before, these are submission numbers to BYU law review during weeks where they opened submissions from Expresso.  Unfortunately, I do not have all of the numbers for the entire cycle as BYU (like other law reviews) closes to new submissions from Expresso when their volumes are full.

 I'm not sure if we learn very much that is helpful from the above, but I think there are a few things that were interesting to me.  First, I was surprised by the volume of fall submissions.  Obviously, during some weeks in the fall there are more submissions than in the "primary" submission cycle in February.  However, my guess (though not supported by any of the above) is that the fall window is much shorter.  Second, I think these numbers do explain some of the radio silence I have heard about from colleagues during the fall cycle.  Some who have submitted articles after Labor day or in the middle 0f September have heard nothing (not even rejections) from law reviews.  My sense from these numbers (if they are similar for other law reviews besides BYU) is that some law reviews have probably filled up in August and are maybe dealing with expedite requests (if anything) during September.  So, bottom line, it seems to me that your best chances of getting a read on an article may be by submitting in early to mid-August.  That being said, I've heard of plenty of stories of friends getting calls from top 10-law reviews in mid-October or November and getting the last spot in a certain volume, so there is obviously some luck or possibly advantage to submitting in non-peak times. 

FW Comparison Chart

  Winter Dates Chart

Fall Dates Chart

Posted by Shima Baradaran Baughman on November 14, 2012 at 10:48 AM | Permalink


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Thanks all for the comments. I agree that the most helpful information here would include when offers went out rather than just when articles are submitted. I'll try to get some information on this and follow up in my next post on this.

Posted by: Shima Baradaran | Nov 15, 2012 3:37:42 PM

Thanks Shima, it looks like I've been submitting too early for the Fall cycle (early August). I will try mid-August next year.

Posted by: Sapna Kumar | Nov 15, 2012 3:27:06 PM

@anon 3:29:

See, the problem for me is that there is soooo much anecdotal evidence, and it all seems to conflict. I'm not dismissing your experience, but I've had people tell me that early August is a golden time, because you beat the rush. Obviously, not your experience, but who to believe?

My earlier comment was made in the hoops of actually pinning some of this down. What I care about isn't the # of other pieces being reviewed, but my likelihood of getting offers.

Posted by: Dante | Nov 14, 2012 3:43:21 PM

Having submitted in July and then early August, I can assure you that submitting early is not enough to get read. I have HIGH skepticism that law reviews - even when they insist that they read and make offers in the summer - actually do so. I just cant see how they do the board meetings when the editors are scattered to the wind.

I will avoid the fall cycle as much as possible in the future. It is terrible.

Posted by: anon | Nov 14, 2012 3:29:18 PM

This is interesting, thanks for putting it together.

Is there any data available that correlates acceptance rate with when a piece is submitted? It seems to me that's the factor that's most important to consider when timing these things.

Posted by: Dante | Nov 14, 2012 11:52:23 AM

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