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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Submission Angsting Spring 2016

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 the "days to rejection" and "days to acceptance" columns are locked because they auto-calculate. (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.

Rostron & Levit's extremely helpful guide to submitting to law reviews is available here.

Here is the final page of comments.

Update: I have added a column to the spreadsheet entitled "Username" (current column H, after "Days to Acceptance"). This is of course totally optional, but a way to make keeping track easier. For example, if you pick a username (for some reason the sample username "Floop" keeps coming to my mind), 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.


Posted by Sarah Lawsky on February 2, 2016 at 02:06 PM in Law Review Review | Permalink


Hello all -- I couldn't hold out until August 1. New thread is up here:


Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Jul 25, 2016 11:25:24 AM

Emory? -- my apologies, it was the online supplement for Emory's general LR. Not the regular print.

Posted by: So&So | Jul 24, 2016 9:44:04 PM

So&So--how did you submit to Emory? Scholastica says they are closed until August.

Posted by: Emory? | Jul 24, 2016 8:54:19 PM

Shout out to Emory for a quick, personalized, and very polite ding.

Posted by: So&So | Jul 24, 2016 7:00:29 PM

I had been planning to put up the angsting thread on August 1, as journals generally seem to return "in August."

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Jul 22, 2016 1:21:17 PM

BYU ding

Posted by: guestie | Jul 22, 2016 9:59:22 AM


I submitted two articles on July 15, and have offers pending on both. These are from law reviews around T90 and a specialty journal at a T20 school. I suspect that these law reviews are jumping in quickly to secure acceptances before the T50 or so start reviewing in earnest in early August. But my guess is as good as anyone's.


Posted by: Tim Riggins | Jul 21, 2016 11:11:50 PM

What are people's thoughts on the best time to submit articles in the fall cycle? I would imagine that earlier is better, given that many schools only have 1-2 slots remaining. Do schools that claim to review "year-round" really do so?I don't know anyone who has received an offer on an article during June or July.

Posted by: anonygoose | Jul 21, 2016 8:51:34 PM

when can we start angsting about fall submissions? where is the url for that?

Posted by: westcoastprof | Jul 21, 2016 5:07:05 PM

Submitted an article to 9 international law journals on 22/4/2016 (Harvard, UPenn, Stanford, Berkeley, Cornell etc.) and no response from any yet... should I read into this as a good sign?

Posted by: cloud | Apr 30, 2016 12:41:35 PM

I would take Oklahoma.

Posted by: Wanderer | Apr 21, 2016 9:45:43 AM

picking between mainline law reviews, any suggestions appreciated:

Loyola Chicago (middle of the 3 on US News and W&L)
Oklahoma (highest US News, lowest W&L)
Santa Clara (highest W&L, lowest US News)

Posted by: decisions | Apr 20, 2016 2:36:48 PM

I'm finished as well. I submitted to the T50-75 plus a few top specialties on 2/13. I submitted to the T30-50 and to lower-ranked specialties between 2/17 and 3/17 on the "what the heck; the silence is killing me" theory. I got my first T75 offer on 3/30 and expedited all the way up. I got mostly crickets in response, until I received an indication of potential interest from a HYS specialty a day before my offer deadline was to expire. I got an extension, and late in that extension got an "Is your article still available?" email from one of the hits-above-its-weight T75 mainline journals. I got another brief extension so that journal could finish its executive board review. I ultimately accepted that offer.

I submitted to about 100 journals in all and received only about 25 rejections. I found journals on Scholastica to be somewhat more responsive than journals on Expresso. I submitted to a handful of journals via email or on their websites, and I got a response from most of those.

I think I probably submitted too early to my initial journals and too late to others, but-- as others have said-- this was a strange cycle. Best of luck to those still in it, and congratulations to all who came away with offers!

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Apr 18, 2016 1:27:01 PM

While the angsting blog is most helpful, I have rarely, if ever, seen an extended discussion of what is the most important question in obtaining article acceptance-- how to select a proper topic?

One suggestion is for authors to write more state-centered articles and to place the analysis in the broader context of general law. For example, take the topic of ineffective assistance of counsel in criminal cases in the state of New York and compare the treatment of this subject under New York law and federal law. There are numerous solid law reviews in New York worth pursuing--Fordham, Hofstra, Brooklyn, Syracuse, St. John's, and Buffalo, to name just a few.

I also know that many journals give high priority to state law topics because in-state alumni and subscribers often clamor for these type treatments. While state-centered articles might not merit top twenty placement, these articles are more likely to benefit practitioners and judges and end up affecting the marketplace of ideas more than the journals favoring the esoteric and arcane.

Any more ideas??

Posted by: Observer | Apr 17, 2016 5:07:53 PM

Another rollercoaster submission season! I’ve submitted to 97 journals altogether, which was done in tiers, starting with 25 journals on February 1. The final rejection count stands at 37. Absolutely no offers until April 12. On that day, two offers arrived – the first one from a top business law specialty at a T14 school (which was on my “A” list in the February 1 batch) and the second one from a business law specialty at a T25 school. A T100 flagship offer arrived a couple of days later. I decided to go with the T14 specialty, and the journal promised that the article would be in print in late September – early October. I’ve published with this journal before, and the editors were incredibly professional and efficient. Expedites? There were very few open / outstanding journals to expedite it to. In any instance, the main lesson here is how to structure the tiering correctly. It’s really about balancing these two factors: (1) submitting too early to lower-ranking journals so that a lower-ranking offer in hand does not leverage a full-fledged review at a higher-ranking-journal and (2) submitting too late to lower-ranking journals so that the window of opportunity with higher-ranking journals closes. As an illustration, lately I’ve been getting numerous rejections stating that my article wasn’t even reviewed, and I suspect that an expedited review could’ve helped. In any instance, I’m very happy with the placement. Best of luck to everyone else! The wheels are still turning.

Posted by: G-Ice | Apr 17, 2016 9:49:23 AM

According to an email I received from them, Maryland is suspending manuscript review because they're filling up. They will make decisions about manuscripts they haven't reviewed yet "if and when" they begin reviewing again.

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Apr 13, 2016 1:23:27 PM

Rejected by North Carolina J of International LAw

Posted by: Crossed | Apr 12, 2016 5:21:17 AM

Thirded on West Virginia. Theirs was the only offer I received via telephone of a combined dozen or so for my current piece.

Posted by: guestie | Apr 11, 2016 4:18:58 PM

I have also found West Virginia to be unfailingly gracious in their interactions with me over the years

Posted by: anonym | Apr 11, 2016 12:51:20 PM

I want to give a shout-out to West Virginia for quite possibly the nicest rejection email I have ever received. The editor told me my piece had made it through several rounds of review (which I was unaware of), complimented the work overall and the effort I put into it, and then mentioned specific substantive parts of the article that the editors liked. The fact that he took the time to personalize the email to that extent-- and made such an effort to break the news gently-- really impressed me.

So three cheers for a journal that made this process a little nicer!

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Apr 11, 2016 12:16:07 PM

Hello Tired--

In response to your 7 April posting, I was wondering if you could fill us in on whether you have received an offer for your article-- we are all rooting for you!

Posted by: Been There | Apr 10, 2016 11:58:57 AM

Gatekeeper - I saw that email, too. It's tough to believe, though, because I submitted an article more than four weeks ago to some of those journals and haven't heard anything. If they're committed to accepting new pieces, you'd think they would at least respond to the authors who have already gone through the submission process.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 8, 2016 4:00:20 PM

Scholastica just sent out an email reporting 68 law reviews that are still open and looking for articles and suggesting that authors use the "start a discussion" feature if they've submitted to those reviews and haven't yet heard back.

Posted by: thegatekeeper | Apr 8, 2016 3:46:48 PM

Just got an e-mail from Wash. L. Rev. telling me they're full. This is a very frustrating type of e-mails which tells you that the journal concluded its submission cycle for that period of time, but can't tell you directly that they rejected your article. I find it very upsetting that for two months Wash. L. Rev. and the like could not send me a standard rejection e-mail. If you don't like my paper - reject it. Don't tell me to resubmit in July.

Posted by: Anonprof | Apr 7, 2016 7:13:30 PM

I haven't commented on this thread yet, although I've been following it since I applied to law reviews in mid-February. I decided to post today because my experience this cycle was similar to one I've had before, including reading comments each time indicating how "strange" the cycle has been. My experience both times has been mostly silence. My expedite deadline passed this afternoon and I have yet to hear from 45 of the 70 journals I applied to (in waves). Which means I haven't even received a standard rejection email from well over half of the journals my institution paid for me to apply to. Very little indicates that this silence is based on quality -- I've had this piece workshopped numerous times, it's been vetted by scholars in my field, and this isn't my first time at the wheel. But more importantly, I'm not alone -- the silence is a refrain I've read about on this thread and heard about from my colleagues. So the reason I'm writing now is to attempt to alleviate the feeling of being trapped. In particular, given professional norms and expectations imposed on pre-tenured faculty members, one has no option other than to accept the silence, and continue to submit to law reviews, with absolutely no responsibility placed on the journals. I appreciate that it is difficult for 2Ls and 3Ls to engage in this work. I don't think they're to blame -- it's systemic. But there needs to be some accountability at some point. This process is composed of sheer guesswork. Questions on this thread show how opaque the procedure is from start to finish -- when will law reviews open, when will they be reading submissions, when will they be extending offers, when have they reached their limit. I don't have a solution. I'm just writing to say that there's clearly a problem that tends to get swept under the rug in the stress of seeking an offer. But at the very least, faculty advisors to the law reviews should meet across schools and discuss ways to ensure that authors are not so disrespected by the process.

Posted by: Tired | Apr 7, 2016 7:05:12 PM

Quiet, I had trouble posting yesterday, which may explain some of the silence. Has anyone else had problems posting? I tried to upload a comment yesterday and even though the system accepted it, it never showed up on the page.

Posted by: Quieter | Apr 7, 2016 6:32:17 PM

What are we to make of the quietness over the last few days? I've seen some acceptances posted this week, but there seem to be a lack of reporting overall. Have things wrapped up or are journals actively reviewing right now? Last year's spring angsting post seemed to have T50 offers as late as the third week of April, but I don't know whether that was exception or commonplace.

Posted by: Quiet | Apr 7, 2016 4:49:08 PM

I don't ask for extension unless I have a particular reason to do so (at least an indication my piece is being reviewed elsewhere and they need the extra time).

Also, I think which business specialty journals you should take over a T75 mainline depends a lot on your faculty. I'd advise that you ask them instead of us.

Posted by: Bizness | Apr 5, 2016 9:20:14 PM

Missy: I have gotten four or five rejections in the last two days. Yesterday was my initial expedite deadline (which I've since extended). I would expect you'll hear whatever you're going to hear right before the expedite request expires.

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Apr 5, 2016 2:24:24 PM

Missy: I have gotten four or five rejections in the last two days. Yesterday was my initial expedite deadline (which I've since extended). I would expect you'll hear whatever you're going to hear right before the expedite request expires.

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Apr 5, 2016 2:24:24 PM

Does anyone see any movement from journals? I have two more days to my expedite request, and I did not hear anything (not even a single rejection in the past 5 days). Anyone?

Posted by: Missy | Apr 5, 2016 2:15:32 PM

Here's hoping that asking for the extension was worthwhile. I opted to inform the journals that haven't yet responded that I got an extension so they don't ignore my article on the theory that my deadline has already passed. The offering journal was very gracious in granting the extension, so I don't think I burned too many bridges there.

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Apr 5, 2016 10:55:44 AM

As of a few hours ago, I was forced to go back on my opinion. Asking for more time without any other bites is now ok. Hate the game not the player, I suppose.

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Apr 4, 2016 3:45:48 PM

Another journal just asked me for more time to consider, so I think that solves my dilemma (i.e., gives me a reason to ask for an extension). But I would still be interested in people's answer to Tim's question whether asking for an extension is otherwise a no-no.

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Apr 4, 2016 2:53:11 PM

I truly hope I'll be able to release that T50 to you. Now I'm wondering whether I should ask for an extension! It has always seemed in poor taste, but maybe not? Thoughts?

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Apr 4, 2016 12:48:09 PM

Taking care of business: I don't see the harm in seeking an extension (especially if you haven't asked for one already).This cycle moved really slow for me, and my sense has been that editors understand that. If you ask and they give you more time, great. If not, then there's really no harm.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 4, 2016 12:43:11 PM

Thanks, Seriously and Tim. I'm not waiting for any particular journal to get me a decision, which is why I am hesitant to ask for an extension. I think I will just be happy with what I have, unless some higher-ranked journal indicates interest but a need for more time.

Good luck with your deadline, Tim! I'll happily take your T50 if you're able to release it in time. :)

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Apr 4, 2016 12:37:39 PM

Taking Care of Business,

I'm in the same boat with a T50 offer. Both your offer and mine are really good, but we want more! Two suggestions:

First, my practice has been to ask for an extension ONLY when another journal has indicated its interest but needs more time to decide. I don't ask for extensions in the baseless hope of a better offer--seems unseemly and not classy.

Second, for all of you who are holding on to T50 or T75 offers, please release them! TCB and I have a deadline of this evening, so do us a solid and release them now (assuming of course that there is a 0% chance you'll take the offers).

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Apr 4, 2016 12:12:28 PM

Taking care of business: that's a perennial question! My sense is that the cycle is definitely slowing down, but there's still a few folks hanging on to a few offers that may be released soon. So there's no harm in asking for an extension. If they give it to you, you have nothing but time to lose.

Posted by: Seriously | Apr 4, 2016 12:02:23 PM

Advice, please: I have an offer expiring tonight from a T75 mainline journal. I haven't received a response from most of the places I expedited to (no surprise there). Do you think it's worth asking the offering journal for a one-week extension in hopes that a higher offer will shake loose with that extra time? Or is it too late in the cycle to bother asking?

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Apr 4, 2016 11:37:37 AM

Well, Florida is higher in W&L and is a mainline law review, so those are its plusses. U. P. J. Const. L. has a really good name in the con law field and is a from a T20 school. If I had the choice, I'd most likely go with Florida, but I've published with Penn before, and they really do a great job. Very professional, quick, responsive, and all that. So I couldn't say the choice would be easy.

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Apr 1, 2016 11:21:24 PM

Tim Riggins: sounds like you're ranking the choice evenly.

Posted by: tony smith | Apr 1, 2016 4:43:46 PM

If it's U. Pa. J. Const. L., they're a great journal--good folks to work with. Florida's good too, so...

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Apr 1, 2016 4:19:54 PM

Florida Law Review vs. Top 10 Secondary (con law related)?

Posted by: tony smith | Apr 1, 2016 3:55:02 PM

After six weeks languishing on the market, my article just got a T50 offer, and I had a final board review at a T35 last night (no word yet on that). Movement remains!

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Apr 1, 2016 2:42:31 PM

Thanks to everyone who replied. Hastings seems to be the consensus pick among the folks I've talked to.

Tony - yes, my original expedite deadline was today at 5 PM. It had been nothing but silence and rejections for 20 days (I got two extensions on the original offer), and then the floodgates seemed to open with my deadline looming. I hope everyone else sees some movement pretty soon. It looks like journals still have some spots to fill.

Posted by: Anon | Apr 1, 2016 12:51:49 PM

Anon - you got 3 offers in one day. That's awesome. Was yesterday a deadline for you on an expedite?

Posted by: tony smith | Apr 1, 2016 11:59:47 AM


Posted by: tony smith | Apr 1, 2016 11:56:17 AM

Hastings hands down. Congrats!

Posted by: Tim Riggins | Apr 1, 2016 11:34:02 AM

Agree - Hastings has a strong reputation.

Posted by: A | Apr 1, 2016 11:01:40 AM

I would go for Hastings.

Posted by: Advice | Apr 1, 2016 10:48:46 AM

As some good news for the rest of the community, I received multiple offers last night, so there is still hope. In case it's relevant, I am a practitioner who has not published before.

The offers are from Hastings Law Journal, Richmond Law Review, and Utah Law Review. Which one do you think is most impressive?

Posted by: Anon | Apr 1, 2016 10:15:51 AM

Any thoughts on how much worse the fall cycle is, or whether any ranks/kinds of journals are more (or less) likely to accept in the fall? (With the understanding that this cycle has perhaps been unusual and it's all hard to figure out anyway.)

Posted by: Anon | Mar 31, 2016 10:07:46 PM

Thanks, Magnolia!

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Mar 31, 2016 2:27:36 PM

Anon March 30 at 3:15:27 - Spring is the better submission season, but you can try your luck in the fall (and then wait until spring if nothing great pops up). Just make sure to change your title, introduction, and abstract some. To answer some of the other journal-specific questions above: I received a rejection from Virginia on Tuesday (off an expedite), also Vanderbilt. Also heard from GW on March 18 (rejection after board review) in an email that noted that they had filled the first part of their volume more quickly than they anticipated - suggesting they were full or close to it.

For those still angsting, I wanted to offer a little hope and an observation that this year's process has seemed especially strange. I submitted in a couple of waves between February 20-25 and heard nothing for nearly a month (some rejections, but a lot of silence, one T10 board review that ended in rejection). Just when I had started to lose hope, I started to receive offers - three offers came within 10 days starting just about at the one-month mark (a T50, T25, T35) - along with interest / board reviews from a T15, T5, and T30 journal. The T5 journal made an offer a couple of days ago. (The T15 and T30 rejected the article - just to show how non-linear this process is!).

Also, a couple of years ago, I resubmitted an article for the second time in early to mid-February (which I think is too early, actually) and heard nothing but rejections until mid-April, at which point I received offers from two T35 journals. There is still hope - so hang in there all. (And if it does not work out this cycle, you can resubmit unless you absolutely need to place this cycle for some reason - I know many folks who have gotten considerably better placements the second, or even third, time around.) Good luck to everyone.

Posted by: anon7 | Mar 31, 2016 11:20:47 AM

Journal of Corporate Law, Harvard Business Law Review; Yale Journal on Regulation. Last year I had two business prawfs at top ten law schools advise me to take JReg over a top 30 law review. A previous publication was in a top ten law review, so there was already a good main line on my CV.

Posted by: Magnolia | Mar 31, 2016 9:59:34 AM

Business folks: Could someone please weigh in on business specialty journals? What business specialties would you publish in over a T75 mainline journal? Thanks!

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Mar 31, 2016 8:14:31 AM

Thanks, Matt. Since I submitted in the spring, would I have to wait to resubmit next spring (rather than this fall) because the ed boards have not yet changed?

Posted by: Anon | Mar 30, 2016 3:15:27 PM

Anon | Mar 30, 2016 8:37:09 AM

I think that you have two choices: (1) accept your offer; or (2) reject it and hope for better, including possibly reworking and resubmitting next year. You should assume that most journals will not respond to you. At least half (though sometimes more), never do.

Posted by: Matthew Bruckner | Mar 30, 2016 2:35:02 PM

Thanks for letting me know. I've reverted it to the last version. Data is returned. Stay safe out there, spreadsheet. Stay safe.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Mar 30, 2016 2:30:10 PM

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