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Thursday, February 09, 2017

Submission Angsting Spring 2017

We are going old school with the angsting thread -- back to its beginnings, when Redyip, the great bird of the gods of Zarcon, first alighted into the sky to signal the beginning of the law review submission season.  I'm not sure if Redyip has provided the signal to Orin yet; we await further enlightenment. But ye may gather here, on this angsting thread, to provide such news: have journals awakened from their winter slumber to renew their manifold judgments?  Hark, traveler! -- do I see the winged colossus?  

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Posted by Matt Bodie on February 9, 2017 at 12:15 PM in Law Review Review | Permalink


I vote for more unhelpful but self-aggrandizing posts from Scott Dodson! Hurray!

(In fairness, the guy does have the game figured out. Look at the placements he gets for tired and derivative Civ Pro pieces!)

Posted by: Marcus Neff | Feb 10, 2017 4:23:05 PM

Dude. I didn't say anything about an ethics violation.

Posted by: Nana | Feb 10, 2017 4:09:30 PM

Michigan ding on 2/8 (submitted 2/2).

Posted by: dingd | Feb 10, 2017 3:23:52 PM

I second the call for a spreadsheet. If we had that, people could post submission dates and posters wouldn't have to keep asking.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 10, 2017 3:13:02 PM

Angstingagain, could you provide what dates you submitted to SLR and Columbia? Sorry in advance if you already said it and I missed it.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 10, 2017 3:06:23 PM

Cornell started accepting today.

Posted by: anon | Feb 10, 2017 2:50:06 PM

Pretty much all of the top-25 journals are open and reviewing except Cornell and NYU. UCLA won't make any offers until Monday, Feb. 20. My impression is that the season is in full swing at most journals.

A quick note on letting offers lapse to try again in a different cycle, since the issue was raised above and is one on which authors routinely seek advice. Others can (and do) disagree with me about this. But my practice is that I don't submit to journals simply for expedite leverage. Rather, I submit with a good-faith understanding that I would take an offer if it's the only one I get. The reason is that I believe busy student editors (and sometimes faculty members, at some journals) review submissions under the justifiable impression that authors are taking that particular publishing opportunity seriously.

Now, there may be rare exceptions, such as if I get comments on the paper after receiving an offer that lead me to conclude that the piece needs dramatically more work and I am no longer comfortable publishing it in its current state. (In which case, that's my fault, and so I would consider giving the offering journal a right of first refusal on the revised paper.) Another exception, though this is less clear to me, might be an unreasonably short deadline when I am reasonably certain to have other offers coming. For example, a journal once made me an offer over the phone and demanded an answer before I hung up. The editor refused all accommodations. I couldn't even put the editor on hold for five minutes to seek the advice of a senior colleague. I said I had several other final votes scheduled. The editor said that was why he needed an answer on the spot. So I hung up. My rationale was that the terms of the offer were so beyond the expected norm that I could not reasonably have anticipated them when I made the decision to submit to that journal. (The practice was not disclosed on the journal's website.)

On the "exclusive" question, I think the best practice is just to be honest about what you are doing. If you are submitting to only one journal, say that. If you are submitting to only a few, say that. If you are committing in advance to take an offer if one is made, say that. Even journals that have a box to check asking if this is exclusive also have a field for additional comments, where you can explain in more detail.

Some may think that these author practices are disadvantageous in a competitive and often unfair selection marketplace. Perhaps. But my suspicion is that being transparent and considerate can be advantageous in many instances. Some journals reciprocate with useful information, such as indications of final votes. And my experience is that there's more institutional memory of specific authors at some journals than the annual turnover would suggest. Also, independent of any benefits, I just think it's the right way to treat students of our trade, even if some frustrating journal practices persist.

Posted by: Scott Dodson | Feb 10, 2017 2:35:49 PM

Columbia ding after full board read, with very nice email (no prior notice). I seem to be good at near-misses. (Sigh.)

Posted by: Angstingagain | Feb 10, 2017 2:27:51 PM

Thanks, Angstingagain.

Posted by: anon 9:56 | Feb 10, 2017 2:13:21 PM

Submitted to Northwestern on Jan 17. Rejection came yesterday.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 10, 2017 2:07:57 PM

Echoing Westie: Could those already rejected by Northwestern share dates of submission?

Posted by: Rogue1 | Feb 10, 2017 1:56:22 PM

Anon @9:56, yes I had prior notice. Personally I wish journals wouldn't do that, although I understand why they do -- but it creates lots of opportunities for wasted angsting!

Posted by: Angstingagain | Feb 10, 2017 1:34:08 PM

oddly, I dislike the spreadsheet and think it suppresses contributions but others might disagree

Posted by: fellow | Feb 10, 2017 1:01:23 PM

YIKAM - I believe that is generally true. I wasn't really hoping for a quick acceptance. Last year, I received offers on 2/23, 2/24, 2/26, 2/29, and 3/15. So I expect some movement in the next 2 weeks.

Posted by: intlanon | Feb 10, 2017 11:43:48 AM

intlanon, I don't really submit to int.'l law journals, but from what I've read on other angsting threads they are slow-moving at first and pick up as the cycle moves forward.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 10, 2017 11:39:59 AM

Can we please get a spreadsheet? In the past, that has been very helpful, permitting folks to share information without necessarily posting a comment.

Posted by: AnonProf | Feb 10, 2017 11:32:11 AM

I noticed that a number of international law journals were listed as open on Expresso so I submitted to a fair number of them. That was a week ago. I haven't heard anything from any of them yet. I suspect that means that (whatever their status on Expresso) they aren't really reading anything yet.

Posted by: intlanon | Feb 10, 2017 11:25:11 AM

Tone and content off to a strong start! Yay for prawfsblawg angsting!

Posted by: Pollyanna | Feb 10, 2017 11:19:15 AM

Nana, then why did you jump all over me for an ethics violation when that is *exactly* what I advocated above?

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 10, 2017 11:05:48 AM

BDG, and yet hijacking the thread is exactly what happened. Let's be clear. This isn't about "acting badly" in general. This is a specific type of "acting badly". This stopped being about policing norms once you brought my significant other in for a punching bag, even if only for your own humor. Anyone that drags spouses or children into a petty internet dispute should do so under their real name.

I am happy to know who you are. Next time I'm in D.C. I'll try to look you up for coffee (my treat). This is a face-to-face conversation, anyway. Now, let's get back to the point of the thread.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 10, 2017 11:03:22 AM

That's interesting, DC. To me, "exclusive" means you are giving that journal dibs, that is, you are promising that if they accept it, you will publish with them. Period. What you have described is consistent with that, and it has the added advantage of not delaying review by other journals. Pretty clearly you cannot adopt this strategy and do an "exclusive" with two at the same time. I can see the moral case for this but haven't done it.

Posted by: Nana | Feb 10, 2017 11:03:00 AM

I'm curious, how would people consider the ethics of submitting as exclusive when one submits to other papers before and during, but really does intend to give the target paper the exclusive opportunity to accept during the appropriate time period? I.e., if anybody else accepts, you put them off until after the exclusive period ends, and if they won't grant an extension you simply decline their offer?

I haven't done it but I can see a moral case made for that being ok.

Posted by: DC | Feb 10, 2017 10:54:04 AM

Not really interested in hijacking this thread for debate, but I do think we owe it to one another to police our own norms. My last crack was trying to be a little funny, but tone is tough in blog comments. I do think it's a bit rich to accuse someone else of acting badly under an umbra of anonymity when your own handle id's you as a caveman. Here's my web page, as almost everyone who reads here regularly knows: https://www.law.georgetown.edu/faculty/galle-brian.cfm

What's yours?

Posted by: BDG | Feb 10, 2017 10:23:54 AM

Yes, I submitted to UCLA as they opened for submissions; however, after sending them an expedite request, I got an email telling me that the board hadn't turned over yet and thus they couldn't review my article until it does. To quote Donald Trump, "Sad!"

Posted by: Anon | Feb 10, 2017 10:20:18 AM

Angstingagain: did Stanford notify you of the board read? Or just tell you that you'd made it to that level in the rejection email?

Posted by: anon | Feb 10, 2017 9:56:25 AM

To me, the most frustrating aspect of the process is that many
journals accept submissions well in advance of when the editorial boards would be actively considering the submissions. I would suggest to ExpressO and Scholastica that they should require the law journals as a condition of using their service to provide ExpressO and Scholastica a public statement to be posted on the two websites informing authors when each journal will actively start reviewing papers. It is unfair and wasteful for journals to accept papers but to fail to disclose that the papers might sit for weeks before they are actually downloaded. What say you, Scholastica and ExpressO?

Posted by: Non-prof | Feb 10, 2017 9:48:17 AM

Blawprof, the above advice is all sound. I would add that there are a handful of T30 and T50 journals that give out quick early offers with short deadlines because they know it is a good method to nab a great piece since most people do not want to roll the dice. But in general it is hard to get an offer in the journals higher ranked than that and so I would not let this offer lapse. That is a great place for your first piece and with lessons learned you can submit later or in a staggered fashion next time.

Posted by: Westie | Feb 10, 2017 9:33:08 AM

blawprof: 1) congrats! T30 is fantastic, esp. for a first article; 2) ask for one week's extension; and 3) next time, submit later in the process. It's still early.

Posted by: anon | Feb 10, 2017 9:19:39 AM

Blawprof, my sense is that T30 for a first law review publication is very good. Personally, I would not roll the dice and let the offer lapse, but others may disagree. In the future, you might consider submitting to lower ranked schools later in the cycle in order to give the very tippity top law reviews more time with the piece before you start approaching them with expedites. It may not improve your overall placement, but at least you'll have a better sense of where you stand when you start to get offers from lower ranked journals.

Posted by: Facepalm | Feb 10, 2017 8:52:26 AM

I recently started as a tenure-track professor (teaching law) at a business school, after about five years of practice. I'd be happy to continue at the business school for my career, but also would love to have the option of applying for law school positions.

Last week, I submitted an article pretty broadly, and mostly have not heard back. I received three rejections, and three acceptances (two good specialty law journals, and one T30 law review). I have heard nothing from any of the others, though I submitted an expedite. The T30 law review (which I prefer of my three offers) gave me a deadline of next Wednesday. If most of the other law reviews still have not responded by next Wednesday -- which is likely, given how early it is -- should I just let my T30 LR offer lapse and take my chances? Or should I take that offer and be happy?

This process is crazy. I've only published before in peer-reviewed journals, which also are crazy, but in less crazy ways.

Posted by: blawprof | Feb 10, 2017 8:46:08 AM

Ding from Stanford after a full board read.

Posted by: Angstingagain | Feb 10, 2017 8:29:53 AM

Whoops, you're right...email I got from Harvard was an acknowledgement of receipt, not an immediate rejection, as I had assumed.

Posted by: OGESchaub | Feb 10, 2017 12:41:18 AM

For those who submitted exclusively to Northwestern and received rejections, when did you submit? Right around the deadline or earlier? Thank you and best wishes with your submissions.

Posted by: Westie | Feb 9, 2017 11:52:15 PM

If you want to play by the letter of the law in an inherently unfair system, that is, of course, your right. I see no reason to. In any event, perhaps we could table the "ethics" lecture and return to the point of the thread?

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 9, 2017 10:40:39 PM

I assume that YIKAM is the exception and not the rule. I take "exclusive submission" seriously. I think others do as well.

Posted by: NANA | Feb 9, 2017 10:06:38 PM

OGESchaub, when did you get your Harvard reject? I thought they were still waiting to review articles, but maybe the website is misleading/not updated.

Posted by: Anon prof 2 | Feb 9, 2017 10:01:40 PM

Dings from Harvard, Yale, Chicago, and Texas. Submitted to Chicago in late Jan and to the others as soon as they opened (2/2-2/4, I think). Offer from a 30ish school without an expedite -- first time I've ever received an offer in the Top 50 without expediting.

Posted by: OGESchaub | Feb 9, 2017 9:54:17 PM

Just to clarify, I wasn't asking whether folks choose exclusive submission but then don't honor it. I was asking whether folks choose exclusive submission and honor it *instead* of submitting in an acknowledged non-exclusive manner to a journal that offers but doesn't require the exclusive option. Sorry for any miscommunication.

Posted by: anon 7:15 | Feb 9, 2017 9:37:56 PM

Facepalm, but it's ok to accuse each other of cheating on our significant others? That part is totally mature? If you're going to play the morality police and exhort people to grow up, play it both ways. Otherwise, you lose credibility.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 9, 2017 8:31:18 PM

It's not an act, Yesterday. We're supposed to be teaching law students to be ethical. Not skirting the rules for personal advantage. Grow up or get out of the profession.

Posted by: Facepalm | Feb 9, 2017 8:17:00 PM


Cut the act. It's old. And don't bring my romantic partner into your mewling, especially while you're hiding behind anonymity.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 9, 2017 8:09:04 PM

Just for any editors who are reading, please know that most professors actually keep their promises. For example, contrary to the horrifying posts above, everyone I know who grants "exclusive" review for a set period actually waits until that period is over to submit elsewhere. Seriously, YIKAM, does your romantic partner know your interpretation of "exclusive"?

Posted by: BDG | Feb 9, 2017 7:57:05 PM

anon 7:15 I'll typically click the exclusive button simply because there is anecdotal evidence that it increases the chances of actually getting the article looked at. That said, I don't take the exclusive period too seriously. Most only ask for an exclusive period of 7-10 days. So wait a day or two and submit more widely. You likely won't hear back before the exclusive period runs out. If you do, just ask for an extension and expedite after the exclusive period runs out.

The period is mostly just to give the article time to advance far enough into time-consuming processes so that an expedite may actually have a chance.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 9, 2017 7:29:10 PM

Do folks who submit to the the HYS journals with exclusive submission options actually submit exclusively to one and wait before sending to another/Scholastica/ExpressO? It sounds like most people don't, but I would have thought that not taking the exclusive option would hurt your chances. If it doesn't matter, why would authors submit exclusively?

Posted by: anon | Feb 9, 2017 7:15:37 PM

Submitted on 2/2 -- have 6 rejections so far (Michigan, Texas, Columbia, Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, and Notre Dame) and one offer (T50). So they are reviewing.

Posted by: AnonProf | Feb 9, 2017 4:05:01 PM

Redyip says, still too early.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | Feb 9, 2017 3:55:10 PM

I also got the rejection form Northwestern today. On the bright side, I have made it more than 2 hours at SLR which, based on what colleagues have told me, is starting to sound like a bit of an accomplishment in its own right.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 9, 2017 3:46:19 PM

Quite a few are not open yet. I submitted to about 40 journals on Feb 6 and am monitoring about 10 more. (One opened today on Scholastica - Alabama.)

Posted by: Anon. | Feb 9, 2017 3:05:33 PM

I absolutely do not put it into MaroonBook citation form. On ssrn each year, there is document that details the stated format preferences of each law journal. Based on that information, I know a few authors (or secretaries) who produce a different formatted draft for each journal. I strongly urge against this. Chicago may pay the MaroonBook some mind when making their decision, but I cannot imagine many schools do. I would venture to guess that many law reviews have no idea what their stated format preference is. For those with unusual stated preferences, I would venture to guess that when the journal receives an article adhering to those preferences, the editors say "this sure looks strange. What was this professor thinking?"

Posted by: anon | Feb 9, 2017 2:57:58 PM

Anyone gotten an acceptance off of the Northwestern exclusive submission program? (I got a rejection from them earlier today.)

Posted by: Anon | Feb 9, 2017 2:32:16 PM

anon -- a question for you and others: when you submit to Chicago, do you put the piece into MaroonBook citation form?

Posted by: Matt Bodie | Feb 9, 2017 2:28:26 PM

And the thread is up just in time for my first rejection. It came today from Chicago. I submitted on 2/6. I am not joking when I say that I am glad Chicago is back to sending rejections very quickly. It seemed that they were slow in the past two years, which led several of my colleagues to angst over whether they were in serious contention when they probably weren't. I actually take comfort in knowing exactly where I stand.

Posted by: anon | Feb 9, 2017 1:49:09 PM

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