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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



Would you call the Stanford Journal of International Law aT3 journal or a much lower ranked journal based on its W&L ranking.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 29, 2017 3:04:52 PM

Another T-10 int'l l. offer a few minutes ago.

Posted by: Arnold | Mar 29, 2017 2:27:15 PM

Had to choose between two T-7 specialties. This was a case where W&L was actually useful, because one journal was in the top 120 and the other in the top 240 (same specialty discipline). It was clear which was the superior journal despite a one-spot difference in US News.

Posted by: rankit | Mar 29, 2017 2:21:14 PM

Duke's done.

Posted by: NCAA served 'em right | Mar 29, 2017 1:50:09 PM

I agree. I would probably not take anything below T-50 in terms of a mainline law journal. I am very happy with the T-3 offer, and will probably end up publishing there. The relationship between specialty v. flagship is somewhat unclear, but I tend to believe that T-3 specialty is an excellent place to publish.

Posted by: Arnold | Mar 29, 2017 12:59:18 PM

While this is not in my self-interest to say as declining it would potentially open up the intl for me...I do not understand why you would decline a T10 intl in factor of a law review unless of course its a T14 or maybe T20 school. If you are considering taking a flagship from a T40 or T50 over the T10 intl I think it is a mistake. Being published in a T10 intl law journal of say UPenn or Cornell or whatever is worth substantially more IMO than the law review of much lower ranked school.
As to the T3 specialty not sure what specialty it is but same there - a business law or intl business journal of a T3 school IMO is worth much more than a T50 flagship.

Posted by: Alabama | Mar 29, 2017 12:54:17 PM


Posted by: Anon | Mar 29, 2017 12:34:18 PM

Anon | Mar 29, 2017 12:22:05 PM --
That's because I have an offer from a T-3 specialty. I am still hoping to receive a flagship offer off expedite, but I only have a few days left until the deadline (April 1).

Posted by: Arnold | Mar 29, 2017 12:23:31 PM


Can I ask why are you going to turn down the T-10 Int'l law offer?

Posted by: Anon | Mar 29, 2017 12:22:05 PM

anon | Mar 29, 2017 10:54:27 AM,
You may be correct, what gives me pause is two studies that tested letterhead bias empirically. One was by Jim Lindgren while he was visiting at U. Chicago L. Rev from Chicago-Kent . He apparently sent the same article using both letterheads and found the response and acceptance rates much better with the U. Chicago letterhead. Another that I know of was of a person who circulated outcomes privately, never, to the best of my knowledge publicly, so I need to keep his identity private: He wrote an article as a faculty member at a T-40 school. His coauthor was a practitioner. They sent half the articles using the T-40 letterhead and half using the practitioner's stationary. Off the law school letterhead they received an offer from and accepted a T-30 journal (don't know if there were any other offers) and no offers on the practitioners stationary.

In addition, editors have told me over the years that they use letterhead as a proxy to weed down the articles to which they give an initial, full read.

All this is anecdotal, certainly unconclusive, but I wanted to through it into the mix.

Posted by: AnnProf1 | Mar 29, 2017 11:43:20 AM

Arnold, thank you for the feedback.

Posted by: Alabama | Mar 29, 2017 10:56:52 AM

AnnProf1 - I did not see a quicker response rate and got probably about the same number of overall responses. I'm used to getting offers right off the bat in the 40-60 range and that really didn't happen this time; I got a few offers from top specialty journals but otherwise pretty quiet, even after I expedited. I wonder if some schools see the elite letterhead and think they don't have a shot at the piece, so don't even make an offer? Hard to know. But it does make me think the "letterhead bias" argument is overstated, so those of us at lower ranked law schools shouldn't be too worried about it.

Posted by: anon | Mar 29, 2017 10:54:27 AM

Alabama - I received an offer from T-10 int'l l. Just a few days ago, which I'm probably gonna turn down.

Posted by: Arnold | Mar 29, 2017 10:40:50 AM

I would just like an offer. Any offer. It's been almost three weeks now. I know I have to be patient, but it's almost April!!!

Posted by: c | Mar 29, 2017 10:26:53 AM

Is there any hope that journals that have previously blown through an expedite deadline will give me an offer once I've extended the deadline, based on a new but not higher-ranked offer? Or am I just tilting at windmills at this point?

Posted by: NOLA | Mar 29, 2017 9:36:24 AM

anon | Mar 28, 2017 8:23:23 AM,
Interesting observations. Thanks.

Did you see any quicker response rate with the letterhead? Did you find more schools replied than when you've used home-institution letterhead?

Posted by: AnnProf1 | Mar 29, 2017 9:20:36 AM

Have people recently received offers from any international law journals?

Posted by: Alabama | Mar 29, 2017 7:06:18 AM

Ding from Columbia. One of the more polite rejections I've accumulated!

Posted by: FoolishOptimist | Mar 29, 2017 3:36:14 AM

Season done. Some data: I submitted to 92 journals in late February, and heard from a grand total of 29 of them, with two offers and 27 rejections. Pitiful response rate.

Posted by: Finishing | Mar 28, 2017 4:37:09 PM

[email protected]:46:40 - it doesn't mean much of anything necessarily. it often means that they decided no without needing a discussion or articles committee vote. for some journals, you could get that wording after having made it to a full board review, but they might also send that same wording as the standard rejection for articles that were rejected more immediately. I wouldn't try to read anything into a rejection beyond what was there. Some have written me an extra paragraph or so about my piece specifically or said something about how close the vote was, etc. and that was pretty nice (but I also knew before the rejection that I was up for a full vote).

Posted by: anonhalffull | Mar 28, 2017 2:02:29 PM

Chapman is getting ready to bat clean-up, with its binding submission offer open through April 3, guaranteeing a decision by April 10. Does this mean the fat lady has sung for the season? http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2017/03/binding-submission-at-chapman-law-review.html

Posted by: Facepalm | Mar 28, 2017 1:49:49 PM

does anyone have any thought about what it means when it says "the article committee has reviewed" your submission? Is that just an off hand reference to review that does not mean anything or does that mean it made it to full board review?

Posted by: anon | Mar 28, 2017 1:46:40 PM

yes, if you should look at Scholastica's list of closed journals- there is a tab if you look up lrsubmissions on twitter that shows which ones are closed. Since Texas closed 2 weeks ago, I doubt they are seriously considering any articles now.

Posted by: anon | Mar 28, 2017 12:57:41 PM

Thanks, anon, that's useful to know!

Posted by: Anon | Mar 28, 2017 11:26:36 AM

texas closed 2 weeks off - i would not hold out hope to hear from them.

Posted by: anon | Mar 28, 2017 11:19:33 AM

Thanks anonanon...I have an offer that I'm ok with, but I kind of want to just get the cycle out of the way so haven't expedited (this might be the first time anyone's made this complaint here, but the accepting journal gave me TOO MUCH time; I don't want to wait until their deadline to get this taken care of).

Right now Texas and a few high-ranked specialty journals are the only ones I haven't heard from yet that I would take over the current offer, so if it looks like the chances are iffy I'd rather just lock it down now.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 28, 2017 10:34:16 AM

Anon: Texas had my piece for over 7 weeks and never responded. Eventually withdrew this week after accepting a T20 offer.

Posted by: anonanon | Mar 28, 2017 9:33:54 AM

Felt like this was a weird cycle. I'm visiting at an "elite institution" this year, so thought I'd benefit from letterhead bias, but I don't think I did. Wound up with a T20 offer that I've accepted, but my last article placed higher, and this placement is pretty consistent with previous ones. Also, I received many fewer overall offers than in previous years.

Posted by: anon | Mar 28, 2017 8:23:23 AM

Does Texas sometimes not respond to non-expedited submissions? The spreadsheet suggests they respond but they've been sitting on something for a few weeks, not sure if I should just assume a rejection.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 28, 2017 7:27:13 AM

anyone else having issues with scholastica not working? I'm trying to access the "my manuscripts" page without success

Posted by: ANON | Mar 28, 2017 3:43:05 AM

Thirdtimer - not just the very top - actually the top two don't want any part of me! They have been in the top third; this year, no dice at all - I haven't bothered submitting to journals that have recently published my work so it limits the pool a bit.

Posted by: c | Mar 27, 2017 6:54:37 PM

Email from Vanderbilt saying they're done.

Posted by: thegatekeeper | Mar 27, 2017 5:15:00 PM

C - do you mind sharing the ballpark ranking of those specialties that are picking up your empirical work? The crux: are they only at the very top?

Posted by: Thirdtimer | Mar 27, 2017 3:21:28 PM

Dear waiting,
This season I got an offer from a journal after it had been marked "Closed," so it is possible. Good luck!

Posted by: Mem Fox | Mar 27, 2017 1:45:08 PM


Posted by: anon | Mar 27, 2017 1:18:46 PM

Most of my work is empirical and I have published most of it in law reviews - specialty journals generally. It's both qualitative and quantitative. I will say though that it seems to take me longer to place. Last year, it was over a month before i got my first offer, and I think I've only once got more than one or two offers. So yes, it's tough.

Posted by: c | Mar 27, 2017 1:15:21 PM

It certainly isn't.

Posted by: Today12345 | Mar 27, 2017 12:45:55 PM

Maybe I am subject to confirmation bias, but I sense from all these comments that my sorry luck with getting empirical studies published is not unique.

Posted by: anon | Mar 27, 2017 12:38:58 PM

Does anyone have a sense of whether "Closed" on Scholastica means "full" or just "no more submissions"? I submitted before Cal and Duke closed and haven't heard anything from either. Just wondering if there's a chance I'm still in the running.

Posted by: waiting | Mar 27, 2017 11:35:09 AM

Over the weekend, I was notified of full board reads at a T100 mainline and T3 specialty journals. Late last week, I also received an offer from a very respectable specialty journal in which I'd be happy publishing.

This is after nothing since Feb 22.

Good luck all!

Posted by: Decisions? | Mar 27, 2017 8:45:24 AM

Just got a T-3 specialty offer. There is still hope for those of you waiting. This cycle isn't over just yet.

Posted by: Arnold | Mar 27, 2017 7:40:28 AM

I had trouble with scholastica today too. At first it kept freezing, then it kept declining my various forms of payment. Very frustrating.

Posted by: FoolishOptimist | Mar 27, 2017 7:23:40 AM

anyone else having issues with scholastica not working? have tried multiple browsers, no luck and it has been several hours. I'm trying to access the "my manuscripts" page.

Posted by: sundayproblems | Mar 26, 2017 9:30:18 PM

Mem Fox: Thank you for the insight. Trying not to get hopes up, but this is pretty rad--and probably never gonna happen again. Let's be real. ;) Ok. Back to angsting.

Posted by: FoolishOptimist | Mar 26, 2017 7:57:15 PM

About to publish in a fairly low-ranked journal. If one wants to eventually target humble faculty jobs at local, tier 4 law schools, does starting out in a lower-ranked journal sabotage this goal? (as opposed to not publishing at all this cycle)

For example, looking at the bios of the authors who have published in recent years in this journal and they seem to be a respectably credentialed bunch. I see the other types of authors who have published in this journal before and they all seem to be in respectable positions and respectable institutions. Or is it you need to publish in a highly-ranked journal first, and once you have that kind of job, the calculus changes and you can publish in lower ones?

Posted by: anon | Mar 26, 2017 6:14:24 PM

This is not standard, FoolishOptimist!! Cross all fingers (while still attempting to maintain equanimity). Good luck!

Posted by: Mem Fox | Mar 26, 2017 10:08:28 AM

Stanford just sent me an email stating my article is "under active review by [its] Articles Committee," and asked that I confirm the deadline of my exploding offer. Is this pretty standard? I'm new to the law journal game.

Posted by: FoolishOptimist | Mar 26, 2017 3:20:07 AM

agree with anon.

Posted by: rankit | Mar 25, 2017 1:31:21 PM

I would suggest law reviews and only submit a smaller version to the ABA. In terms of academia no one will care about the ABA journal because that will be seen as practitioner based. I would even ask - just submit a smaller version to ABA and then submit a more detailed version to law review though some law reviews may have a problem w/ it being preempted so you have t make it significantly different enough so that it is its own article.

Posted by: anon | Mar 25, 2017 1:24:30 PM

So I could use some advice, angsting friends. The manuscript I wrote this time around was originally written in response to a call for articles for an ABA Sports & Entertainment Law conference. They were supposed to get back to my co-author and I two weeks ago; when they didn't, we submitted to law journals.

Well, now the ABA wants to publish it for their conference. This will involve being printed for the conference, and possibly being published in whole or in part on the Section website.

What should we do? Is an ABA conference significantly less prestigious than a law journal? Is it reasonable to ask they only publish a part of the article online, which we can represent as an in progress draft? Should we just go with the bird in the hand and not worry about the two in the bush, and upload it to Academia later?

Thank you all for the help. The article is on IP, submitted to T50 (and some 50-60) journals and T10 IP Specialty journals.

Posted by: mpark6288 | Mar 24, 2017 9:22:51 PM

yale journal on regulation appears to be closed as the email says they filled their volume. it would be great if people post here when they get rejections saying that places are done. I know some people are still submitting (as I myself might submit next week) and it is good to know what places are done. there's often a week or so lag between being "officially" closed on scholastica and for those of us paying out of pocket it is helpful to know what places are done.

And for those who did not see it CA is closing today and Northwestern is closing for new submissions on Sunday. Notre Dame is closed till next February.

Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2017 8:15:29 PM

Anonhalffull - That's a fair question. I think the piece is ready, but then again who doesn't? I put it through my usual vetting process, though. It's been presented at two conferences and I've had a half-dozen law faculty give it a read (in addition to several others in psychology) and I think I've been pretty good about honoring feedback. Truth be told, I think it's significantly more polished than my first two (non-empirical) law review articles, which both placed extremely well relative to my pedigree (both T-30).


Posted by: Thirdtimer | Mar 24, 2017 7:31:35 PM

Third timer and anon, I have similar experience. I'm beginning to think that law students don't want to deal with empirical research especially coming from a PhD candidate and not a law professor. I'm about to give up and just go the peer review route and hope that when I go on the market it would be okay. It has been so frustrating. I submitted at the end of February and no bite.

Posted by: Today12345 | Mar 24, 2017 6:21:53 PM

i am in the same boat- don't think it is limited to not have a prestigious pedigree- i have a T3 law school and a T5 phd plus fellowship and I am finding it hard to place empirical work. Not sure what to do at this point - i am thinking peer review journals are a better option. the costs for submitting to law reviews are just ridiculous- fortunately most of the schools below 100 take email submissions so i submitted there so to about 125 journals in total. i submitted late however in march so i am not sure if that is the issue or whether it is just really hard to place empirical work unless you are more established.

Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2017 5:53:27 PM

Anonn: I've heard of people being told to expect results of final votes from some T20-40 journals this week.

Thirdtimer: how sure are you that your piece is in great shape for a law review?have you already had a legal scholar prof/mentor or colleague with journal board and editing experience go over your article with you and then you did substantial revisions from that feedback? (I ask that while making no assumptions about your work bc the biggest changes that I've seen in how journals responded was from these types of serious re-workings and re-framings.)

Posted by: anonhalffull | Mar 24, 2017 5:49:59 PM

Anon 4:56 - I basically went as far down as my money would take me. Depending on which ranking system you use, I'm either in the T-200's (USN) or T-300's (W&L), with emails going out to any journal that accepted them. Just anecdotally, though, from my browsing of the various law reviews, it seems that only journals in the top-ish tier are interested in empirical work (which is rough sledding for a non-prof).

Posted by: Thirdtimer | Mar 24, 2017 5:42:07 PM

Are people still getting offers from T-30 schools? or is the movement is mainly in the T40-T100 journals?

Posted by: Anonnn | Mar 24, 2017 5:14:23 PM

Cool, another PhD candidate with a JD and a few years of experience! How low are you aiming in terms of journals?

Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2017 4:56:21 PM

Any advice on getting an initial bite to play the expedite game when (a) you're shopping a fairly sophisticated empirical article that lower-ranked journals are not typically uninterested in, and (b) you don't have the letterhead to get offers from mid- to upper-tier journals (I am PhD candidate at a not-impressive school with a T-20 JD and a few years of practice)?

I'm about $450 into submissions (a significant sum for me right now), with nary a hit and out of ideas.

Posted by: Thirdtimer | Mar 24, 2017 4:25:48 PM

I'll just add that although there are many not good, purely self-regarding reasons for academic going with better ranked journals, there are also some very real real-world impact ones. All other things being equal, people are more likely to read a piece placed in say, Columbia Law Review, than in 100th Ranked Law School's law review or 20th ranked school's journal of law & X. And, given how prevalent prestige biases are in the profession (not just academia, but law practice more generally), this skewing happens even in contexts where it makes no sense, for example for a topical piece published in a good specialty journal. It's silly -- it would be much more efficient for all of us if specialty journals were the norm and attracted all the strongest work in a particular area, but the reality is that that is not so. I'll also note that although I think the current system is bad, in most disciplines people do triage the work they read based on the prestige of the journal -- so even if we didn't have this system, we would almost certain have some other (it's in fact more needed in law given the volume of journals/articles, than in most other disciplines).

Posted by: Angstingagain | Mar 24, 2017 1:53:10 PM

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