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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Angsting Thread (Law Review Edition, Spring 2013)

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. Maybe Redyip will even tweet a little this spring.

Update: here is a link to the last page of comments.

Posted by Administrators on February 13, 2013 at 01:08 PM in Blogging, Law Review Review | Permalink


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Research Fellow--leave them in. (HYS asks you to submit anonymously, but they have their own non-ExpressO, non-Scholastica systems).

Of the top 10, I know that Chicago and NYU are actively reading.

Posted by: anon | Aug 5, 2013 3:36:23 PM

Can someone give me a little advice. When submitting an article via Expresso or Scholastica, should one remove all identifying information from the first page (i.e. author's name and acknowledgements), or should one leave them in? Thanks all.

Posted by: Research Fellow | Aug 5, 2013 2:28:21 PM

Is it time yet? Is anyone submitting and are any boards reading?

Posted by: Anon | Aug 3, 2013 12:44:56 PM

Also got the Columbia email. Any active reviewing going on out there, or will it be summer doldrums for the next 10 days?

Posted by: anon | Aug 2, 2013 10:15:43 AM

To Everyone who hasn't heard from Columbia yet, they sent out an email on 1 Aug saying that:

"Due to limited publication space in our Fall books, many pieces were neither accepted nor rejected by the time piece selection was completed. All such pieces, including your submission to the Review, remain active in our system and will continue to be considered for publication in our Spring books beginning today, August 1st."

Did anyone also get this email?

Posted by: not-a-prof | Aug 1, 2013 10:50:43 PM

Just wanted to write a little story of hope: This was my first submissions cycle. I submitted in February and again in March, heard nothing but rejections and a bit more of nothing until last week. I had assumed the piece was rejected. I got my first acceptance last week. Immediately expedited, and got accepted to a far more prestigious law review today. Moral of the story: Never give up!

Posted by: Newbie | Jul 24, 2013 4:41:26 PM

To any journal Editor who may (still) be reading this thread: if you have decided not to make an offer to publish a submission, please please please remember to let the author know. They may be waiting to submit to journals that require exclusive submission...

Authors don't want to ask for a status update because they don't want to bother you knowing that you must be really busy and all... but it is so sad if their article has already been rejected but the author keeps waiting for the notification that will never come :( and they won't be able to get it to other (exclusive submission) journals...

Posted by: not-a-prof | Jun 25, 2013 3:15:03 AM

AnonProf: Congratulations! I would be temped to accept all of them. Harvard, Yale, Stanford sounds like the most difficult decision in the world. But I wouldn't make my decision based on the amount of expediting time. I would just pick one (somehow???) and then REGRET that I had to turn down all the other ones!

Posted by: not-a-prof | Jun 11, 2013 2:36:11 AM

Wow!!! OMG. Submitted January 30, 2013, dead silence until just a few minutes (except from my mom, though, who after a few coaxing hints told me she loved the article) and then, within 30 minutes (!) offers from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Stanford, NYU, Stanford, and Cooley flag ship law reviews! Still waiting to hear from a couple. How long can I ask from Harvard and Yale before deciding? Should I let go of the Cooley offer or keep it if they give me more expediting time than the others?

Posted by: AnonProf | Jun 6, 2013 11:54:29 AM

The SMU Science and Technology Law Review is currently accepting article and essay submissions for its September 2013 issue. See http://writtendescription.blogspot.com/2013/05/smu-science-technology-law-review-seeks.html for more information.

Posted by: SMU | May 25, 2013 4:30:43 PM

Crucifictorius: Thanks a TON for offering your email and your help! Unfortunately for me, I still would like to remain anonymous, although I know that if I did email you, you would give me very good advice. I might get the courage to disclose my identity someday...

My paper is still being considered by one journal and I assume it will be rejected, so I plan on submitting to more journals afterwards, which all apparently require exclusive submission. So it will be one after another, until they've all rejected me.

This one journal seems to be the perfect fit for my paper, but I don't know if they would would actually think so. It even fits very specifically with their mission statement, but I did not "sell" it that way to them. I'm just hoping that they would notice that anyhow, but for them to see that, it would require some serious consideration of my paper. But it being such a short paper, and I mean extremely short, it's difficult to get people to take it seriously, although I mean for it to be a very serious paper. (or maybe there's something really really wrong with my argument and I'm stupid enough not to see it)

Whew, it was good to get that out.

Anyway, thank you again!

Posted by: not-a-prof | May 24, 2013 12:32:47 AM

email me, as it would be helpful to know subject matter, etc. . . . [email protected]

Posted by: Crucifictorius | May 23, 2013 11:02:32 AM

Crucifictorius: Do you think 20 downloads on SSRN is worth touting?

Posted by: not-a-prof | May 22, 2013 9:44:11 PM

Crucifictorius: Thanks for the info!

Posted by: not-a-prof | May 22, 2013 7:07:58 PM

not-a-prof, most editors these days fully expect a "draft" to be up on SSRN before the actual publication. Some editors even troll SSRN for recent "working papers" that they might like to publish. Additionally, I would not be afraid to tout downloads, top 10 lists, etc. when you resubmit as a mark of the article's quality/importance. And I have certainly seen SSRN manuscripts cited in other articles, amicus brief, opinions, etc.

Posted by: Crucifictorius | May 22, 2013 1:03:14 PM

fellow: Thank you so much for the encouragement!! I'll try that! Do you think that my paper being on SSRN would have any effect on anything? (because people are reading it already) Like, would journals think that because it's already being read, it's not "new" anymore and it's not as "big" of a thing to publish?

Posted by: not-a-prof | May 22, 2013 2:58:50 AM

not-a-prof, take heart — a friend of mine submitted a paper last cycle and got no offers. He resubmitted it this cycle and got several offers, including a very good law review in the top 50ish.

Posted by: fellow | May 20, 2013 10:55:44 PM

I'm giving up on mine! I guess it will be permanently exhibited at the Museum of SSRN!

So, to all dear profs, please, please feel free to cite SSRN if you see an article you like/dislike on there, it may just be mine!

Posted by: not-a-prof | May 18, 2013 8:04:10 PM

Hi AT, thanks for checking in. I don't know about "standing," but I'm still lurking here from time to time. Any luck on your end? Since April 28, I've received two rejections (May 13 and 16) and nothing else.

I've decided to shop the article as a screenplay now, or perhaps as a corporate mission statement for Toys R Us. Never fear, the unicorns will find a home!

Posted by: Steve | May 17, 2013 10:29:33 PM

Hey, Steve - Are we the last ones standing? In case you decide to check out, I just wanted to thank you for your posts. It has made the angsting much more pleasant. I hope they don't turn off the lights here and lock the doors before you can give us the good news about the fate of the unicorns.

Posted by: Academic tourist | May 17, 2013 10:05:03 AM

Iowa is done reviewing.

Posted by: c2p | May 14, 2013 11:56:46 AM

Cal. L. Rev. ding on a submission more than two months ago.

Posted by: anon | May 10, 2013 8:10:07 PM

lateanon: You have my deepest congratulations/envy! I was hoping I would be able to tell a story like that by now, and I share your assessment that you had a very good outcome.

Posted by: Steve | May 10, 2013 12:52:33 PM

so I thought I'd share my final outcome:

- late march submission
- LOTS of expediting
- ultimately landed in the vicinity of 50 (depending on which year's data you use).

I'm quite happy with where I landed and the student editors seem great -- they wrote an offer letter which substantively addressed the contribution they think my piece makes, which I find (perhaps naively, as I've not worked with this journal before) to be a selling point since it suggested they read the piece thoroughly, understand why it matters, and will (hopefully) give it the same attention during the editing/publication process.

Bottom line: for a late march submission, as a young(er) scholar, I am thrilled. Most journals were (long) full when I submitted (a fact I later learned through independent sources).

Posted by: lateanon | May 10, 2013 3:00:38 AM

first-time anon: thanks for sharing your story! and Congratulations!

Steve: speaking of goofy, that's exactly my paper. I find that, sometimes, when you try to say something very simple, people might think it's too simple to be published.

Posted by: not-a-prof | May 7, 2013 9:43:36 PM

first-time anon: Congratulations! And thanks very much for sharing your story. I now feel more entitled to the shreds of hope to which I'm clinging. :-)

Posted by: Steve | May 7, 2013 7:59:51 PM

This is my first submission season and I submitted very late in the game (early april). After a dozen rejections in the first ten days and then weeks of radio silence, I was thrilled to receive an offer from a top-100 journal. I'm taking a shot at expediting to journals that I haven't heard from yet. Good luck to everyone--journals are still reviewing!

Posted by: first-time anon | May 7, 2013 10:54:49 AM

not-a-prof: Harvard is the least of my worries. Whatever their review process involves, it is designed to ensure that they will not publish goofy papers from nobodies like me, and I trust their process to filter me out.

I'm more worried about, say, the Kentucky Law Journal. I would be very pleased to hear from them, but no news so far. I assume they're still busy with exams, but I'm not holding my breath to hear from them or other non-Harvard reviews/journals.

To quote my favorite song from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall":

"It's getting kind of hard to believe things are going to get better."

Posted by: Steve | May 6, 2013 8:15:38 PM

What is Harvard doing?? They're taking really long.

Steve: you submitted on 3/30 and I submitted on 4/6. They still haven't gotten back yet. I really can't imagine that they are actually interested in my paper. So why are they taking so long? ANGST.

We can take a look at their review process:

The Harvard Law Review carefully considers all manuscripts that it receives. Our selection process has many steps: each piece is reviewed anonymously, at least two editors review every submission, and many pieces go through substantially more stages of review, including an Articles Committee vote, a preemption check, faculty peer review, and a vote by the body of the Review. Although we make every effort to honor requests for expedited review, we do not omit any of our review stages in response to such requests. When requesting an expedited review, please understand that our selection process takes time.

Posted by: not-a-prof | May 6, 2013 1:00:18 AM

I hadn't thought of that. My lingering question, of course, is as follows:

Did the industrious 2Ls already wrap up all their article-selecting duties in order to have a clean slate for finals, or will they be prepared to give appropriate consideration to my awesome scholarship when they finish their exams?

In any case, thanks for mentioning the exams, pleepleus.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 30, 2013 9:39:47 PM

Oh right! Finals! No wonder they're taking so long.

Posted by: not-a-prof | Apr 30, 2013 7:29:36 PM

Isn't everyone in finals right about now?

Posted by: pleepleus | Apr 30, 2013 1:02:41 PM

Hi, uh, is this thing on?

I imagine there are still some lurkers about, so I'll ask the question that nags at me day and night:

Does anyone have any idea of what's going on out there in journal-editing land?

For example, here's a story I like to tell myself, borrowing heavily from VP's (my favorite) story: Many mid- to lower-tier journals take a while to fill up their pages because people keep expediting up from offers they extend. When the dust settles in early May -- i.e., all the fancy authors and fancy journals have satisfied their needs -- some less-fancy journals might be looking for less-fancy authors/articles to fill up their volumes.

Does this story have any basis in reality? I have reason to think it doesn't, as I've heard from T150 journals that they are full and haven't heard anything from several T10 journals.

If any current or former journal editors or other informed folk could weigh in on these questions, I'd appreciate it.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 30, 2013 10:20:51 AM

am-a-prof: Thanks for your advice!

lateanon: ok, I'll let you know when I get rejections.

Posted by: not-a-prof | Apr 28, 2013 7:11:23 PM

@not-a-prof: end of march

Posted by: lateanon | Apr 28, 2013 6:43:35 PM


Viewers won't come to your paper on their own. If you want people to view the paper, you need to do some advertising. Send it to the relevant person on the Law Professor Blogs network and ask them to link it on their blog. Send it to Larry Solum and see if he will link it. Post on Prawfs and other places under your real name and link your name to your SSRN page.

Posted by: am-a-prof | Apr 27, 2013 11:00:51 PM

lateanon: How late did you submit??? I submitted 6 Apr, which I think is very late.

My paper's fate on SSRN is pretty sad. I don't think anyone has even taken a look at the abstract, let alone downloading the paper...

Posted by: not-a-prof | Apr 27, 2013 10:36:12 PM

lateanon: How late did you submit??? I submitted 6 Apr, which I think is very late.

My paper's fate on SSRN is pretty sad. I don't think anyone has even taken a look at the abstract, let alone downloading the paper...

Posted by: not-a-prof | Apr 27, 2013 10:36:10 PM

Stanford rejection today. They didn't say they were full, FYI.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 27, 2013 7:26:06 PM

I expedited up this year from a law review in the lower second tier to a T14 law review, so I'm all about expediting all the way.

Posted by: anon | Apr 27, 2013 3:02:33 PM

I don't think expediting all the way up is "unorthodox." If you read through this thread and those from past years, it seems fairly standard.

Posted by: vaptastic | Apr 26, 2013 3:20:08 PM

lateanon: Thanks for explaining. If I do receive the fabled late-April or early-May offer, I'll have to think about what to do, but I doubt I'll have time to mess around with multiple expedites. I'll consult with my opinionated advisers, but I'd guess I'll just expedite to everyone up the chain and withdraw from everywhere else.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 26, 2013 12:34:32 AM

@Steve -- no. I got hit with a couple of exploding offers, and while the journals were (mostly) very nice about extensions, I expedited all the way up rather than in waves. It was an unorthodox choice, perhaps, but considering I'm a believer in the expedite-as-weak-proxy-for-peer-review hypothesis, I figured at least the journals could track my acceptances with each new expedite and decide for themselves. I also think it helped keep me from getting lost in the proverbial masses.

It's one theory. Editorial staffs, I'm sure, have their varying preferences, as least some of which likely include "sheesh, this person is emailing us again?!?!?" So we'll see if I get any luck from it at the end.

Posted by: lateanon | Apr 25, 2013 5:13:21 AM

anon 2:14, I can't tell you how pleased I am to hear your news. Congratulations to you, and thanks for sharing!

VP's story is still on top, despite the timeless appeal of toy rabbits who become real.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 24, 2013 7:46:37 PM

Steve I just just got a first offer in late april keep hope

Posted by: anon | Apr 24, 2013 2:14:33 PM

Steve I just just got a first offer in late april keep hope

Posted by: anon | Apr 24, 2013 2:14:32 PM

Steve, you're absolutely right, it is comforting to see results other than your own. Maybe to know you're not the only one who was rejected by that particular journal?

I will say, I found this site after I submitted. This was my first US submission, and I had no idea how the whole thing worked. After reading through this thread and going through the Expresso process, I will approach publishing my next article differently (and a bit more strategically). I will say I do enjoy Expresso's ease of use; upload, select, submit, and there you have it! And that's where my enjoyment of Expresso stops. I think this mass-submit system is why the silent treatment has become the standard response. When one pays $2.20/submission out of their own [unemployed or under-employed] pocket, the least the journal can do is send a rejection. I think I mentioned my response rate earlier in this thread - something like a 60% silence rate. I appreciate not every journal will be able to give me personalized feedback (your article sucks; we got a great laugh out of the fact that you thought you could publish this with us, we loved it but you're not pedigreed enough), but at the very least take five minutes out of your time to send me an email stating you don't want to publish my article. A friend told me about Expresso; were it not for her advice, I would have submitted to each journal individually via email and been none the wiser. In the past I have exclusively submitted (journals outside the US); I anticipated following that path again and had I done so, with the ensuing silence I likely would still be waiting for the first journal to get back to me.

Posted by: Lurker | Apr 24, 2013 12:18:58 PM

Thanks, lateanon. I'm not sure why, but it's somehow comforting to see other people's results.

For example, Texas and OSU already got around to rejecting my article, but they're still keeping their options open on yours. Good news? Who knows?

Similarly, several of your rejecters are on my "limbo" list, so maybe they're preparing themselves to make me an offer I won't refuse. Or maybe they just have a huge backlog of rejections to send.

By the way, what do you mean by "weak expedite"? Do they actually write something like, "You're trying to expedite to *us* from *______*?! That's pretty weak."? :-)

Posted by: Steve | Apr 24, 2013 12:01:58 PM

I've mostly lurked this thread, but want to provide some updates on my rejections:

• Yale (4/8, NT)
• Harvard (4/8, NT)
• Stanford (4/15, weak expedite)
• Chicago (4/15, weak expedite)
• Penn (4/3, NT)
• UVA (3/30, NT)
• Michigan (4/3, NT, 25 hours - I was proud of that :))
• Duke (4/7, NT)
• Cornell (4/2, NT)
• Georgetown (4/23, exp from T60)
• Vanderbilt (4/4, NT)
• UCLA (4/5, NT)
• Wash U. (4/5, NT)
• GW (4/20, exp from T60)
• Notre Dame (4/10, weak expedite)
• IU-Bloomington (4/16, less weak expedite)
• Wisconsin (4/10, weak expedite)
• George Mason (4/16, less weak expedite)
• Colorado (4/16, less weak expedite, stated limited scope of articles)
• Florida (4/10, weak expedite)
• Illinois (3/30, NT)
• Houston (4/6, NT)
• Tulane (3/30, NT)
• SMU (4/10, weak expedite)

Radio Silence:

Columbia, Northwestern, Texas, USC, Alabama, Emory, Iowa, W&L, ASU, BC, UNC, UGA, OSU, Arizona, Fordham, Wake Forest, Maryland, FSU, Hastings

Submitted *very* late.

Posted by: lateanon | Apr 24, 2013 3:25:58 AM

c2p: Thanks for angsting in at this late date.

I'm happy to fuel your sick curiosity, and I'd appreciate your willingness to exacerbate my own.

I blanketed the top 100 or so journals plus a bunch of specialty journals. Out of the top 50 (based on US News' execrable but still somehow authoritative rankings):

Rejected: Yale, Chicago, Virginia, Michigan, Duke, Cornell, UCLA, Texas, Vanderbilt, George Washington, Washington (St. Louis), Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio State, Florida.

Limbo: [above list], Arizona State, Iowa, BC, Fordham, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, George Mason, Arizona, Hastings, Wake Forest, Colorado, American, Pepperdine.

Too late to apply: NYU, Cal, Minnesota, Washington (Seattle), UC Davis, William & Mary, BYU, Utah.

Posted by: Steve | Apr 24, 2013 2:24:55 AM


I submitted at a similar time as you did and am still waiting to hear back from a very similar set of journals (although Penn rejected me close to immediately after I submitted, so congrats on avoiding that fate). Like you, I'm sure they've all been enjoying using my article to line their pets' cages too much to get back to me. (Although, incidentally, I think BU is full.) For my own sick curiosity, did you blanket the top 50 and have otherwise heard back, or did you leave other schools you're still waiting to hear from off of your list (I'm also waiting on Chicago, Texas, Iowa, Fordham, UNC, Alabama, Wake Forest, ASU, George Mason, Hastings, and Arizona).

Posted by: c2p | Apr 24, 2013 1:47:00 AM

not-a-prof: That's great about SSRN, I think. Perhaps I should look into putting some papers on there.

I'm waiting on decisions from Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Penn, Northwestern, Georgetown, USC, Notre Dame, Emory, Washington & Lee, and BU. And that's only counting the places that are *definitely* using the pages of my article to line the cages of their magnificent show parakeets.

I'd go on to list the various other reviews/journals who might be affording my article the dignity of being used as scrap paper or to start fires, but that would take up too much space.

But yes, of course, I'm still holding out hope for Harvard. :-)

Posted by: Steve | Apr 24, 2013 1:00:13 AM

Steve: Thanks. I have good news from SSRN, they consider my paper to be scholarly! So it's on! Maybe SSRN is the way to go since not many publishable papers get a chance to be published.

On VP's story: it's a great story. I'm now waiting on Harvard, but they take a long time. I don't think it's a sign of serious consideration. They probably just have too many papers to review. Did you try Harvard?

Posted by: not-a-prof | Apr 24, 2013 12:31:57 AM

not-a-prof: Sorry I can't help you out, but good question. I was hoping somebody else would weigh in.

Here's a story Veteran Publisher once told me:

"On my first submission, I experienced about 1000 different emotions. None was positive. But, suddenly, I started hearing from many schools during late April and May. So, unless you get a response from everyone, don't withdraw. Good luck!"

This is now my *favorite* story, moving into the top spot over "The Velveteen Rabbit." However, my liking of the story depends largely on a background assumption to the effect that I might be able to tell a similar story sometime late next month. Any thoughts on how plausible this assumption is?

Posted by: Steve | Apr 23, 2013 11:51:23 PM

I'm going to angst about SSRN, an unusual thing to do, I guess.

Does anyone know what kind of a paper can be put on SSRN's eLibrary? They say it must be a "scholarly research paper" that is part of the "world-wide scholarly discourse" on an area covered by SSRN. "Opinion Papers", whatever those are, are not allowed.

But from what I can see, there are definitely papers on SSRN's eLibrary that are opinions. I'm starting to wonder if SSRN thinks that the opinions of professors at top schools count as "scholarly discourse" but others don't...

Or does SSRN simply count by the number of sources you cite? If you cite a whole bunch of sources then it counts as "research"?

Posted by: not-a-prof | Apr 21, 2013 10:30:36 PM

anoff: Thanks for your concern. It probably would be good for me if this thread no longer beckoned to me in my current state of mental ill-health, but I don't know that I understand what the original purpose was.

anon: I submitted too late. Most on 3/30, then a smaller second wave on 4/09. Waiting sucks, but I'll just keep doing it. I have beer. ;-)

Posted by: Steve | Apr 21, 2013 4:01:33 PM


When did you submit? I submitted (to roughly the top 50) at the beginning of April and have received the following rejections:

Michigan (4/2)
Penn (4/4)
Yale (4/9)
UVA (4/9)
Illinois (4/10)
Florida (4/10)
Washington (4/15)
Ohio State (4/15)
Wisconsin (4/15)
Cornell (4/17)
Indiana (4/17)
GW (4/20)

No good news.

Posted by: anon | Apr 21, 2013 3:20:19 PM

@Steve: I am simply concerned about your health. Nothing that characterizes an angsting period has happened here for a while. The discussions may be interesting or valuable for some, but have nothing to do with the original purpose of the thread...

Posted by: anoff | Apr 21, 2013 1:26:51 PM

anoff: I beg to differ. I find it even more anxiety- and angst-provoking now that nobody says anything. I check it every 30-45 minutes, and nothing ever changes. Much like my e-mail.

Actually, I've received some more exciting rejections, in case anyone's interested:

4/20: George Washington
4/18: Chicago, Michigan State
4/17: Baylor
4/16: Indiana
4/15: Wisconsin

Posted by: Steve | Apr 21, 2013 8:46:07 AM

This thread no longer serves angsters. In my humble opinion it's time to close.

Posted by: anoff | Apr 21, 2013 7:59:46 AM

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