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Monday, February 05, 2018

Submission Angsting Spring 2018

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 a few columns and a row (the ones highlighted in yellow) are locked, either because they auto-calculate or because tampering with them has caused a problem in the past. (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.

Entering information in the column entitled "Username" is of course totally optional, but a way to make keeping track easier. For example, if you pick a username, 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.

Rostron & Levit's extremely helpful guide to submitting to law reviews is available here (this is the January 2018 version). Rostron and Levit have also posted a list of links to law review websites.

I cannot link to the last page of comments, due to a Typepad change.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on February 5, 2018 at 10:21 AM in Law Review Review | Permalink


If you haven't noticed that Yale Law Journal is full of the scholarship of recent Yale JDs, you haven't been paying close attention. (Not to say those people don't deserve their placements and publish excellent work). It's been pretty obvious for a while that the current leadership of YLJ has an implicit quid pro quo with the recent graduated leadership to publish their articles, knowing that future YLJ editors will pay it forward. Obviously, YLS faculty plays a key role in recommending and reviewing articles.

Posted by: Also Former Fellow | Mar 28, 2018 2:52:21 PM

I disagree that VAPs/fellows should be given any "benefit of the doubt." The whole point should be to try to evaluate the scholarship on the merits, not with imprecise heuristics. I am now a prof but was in one of those top professor-prep programs. Those fellowships, VAPs, etc., almost all keep people super busy outside of writing. I have about the same amount of time now for writing, and about the same motivation (with tenure, etc.). But I now have a stronger network of peers to read my papers, know the scholarship better, etc. Most lecturer/fellows at Climenko or wherever end up as professors well outside the top-15, so to give them some extra "benefit of the doubt" based on time, imagined future, or whatever, is misplaced. Ideally all of that noise would be thrown out, which I thought (until these recent posts) was happening through Y/S/H "blind review."

Posted by: formerfellowtype | Mar 28, 2018 2:38:10 PM

anon -- from my experience as a HYS articles editor, VAPs/fellows, especially at the top programs (Associate in Law, Climenko, etc) SHOULD receive a lot of benefit of the doubt. I'm not sure that there was a single category of author from which we got uniformly higher quality articles. If article quality is determined at least in part by a combination of (a) innate brilliance and (b) effort, current VAPs/fellow submissions are generally a very strong bet. Hiring standards have gotten so much stricter in the past decade that most current VAPs/fellows in top programs have credentials that would have gotten them strong looks for a T14 tenure track position 10-15 years ago -- so this is not a pool of authors comparatively lacking in brilliance. And unlike tenure track professors (and especially tenured professors), it is a pool of authors uniformly putting enormous effort into each piece.

That said, we did not give VAPs/fellows any preference or advantage, in part because our process was blind(ish).*

*We were strongly discouraged from looking at affiliations, but it was easy to figure it out. I almost always honored this requirement in spirit -- although, out of curiosity, I usually looked *after* making my decision official. There were a surprising number of obviously [email protected] submissions from T14 tenured professors and a surprising number of excellent submissions from the top VAPs/fellows and from young faculty at T1 schools.

Posted by: anonAE | Mar 27, 2018 6:03:23 PM

@LetterheadBiasData: "written by at least one author whose primary affiliation was in the top 15 law schools" reads as rather specific language to me.

Does that include VAPs/fellows? Almost all of them are at top ranked schools, and it seems like a lot of people have been going on the market lately with HYS pieces. Yet by traditional letterhead bias rationales, I'd think VAPs/fellow would be pretty low on the ladder.

Posted by: anon | Mar 27, 2018 5:41:16 PM

Yes, it's difficult to get a job in academia so if it is the case that YLJ is disproportionatelly Yale Law alum, it may be an indirect way of helping alumni on the market who are underplaced so they could move up to better schools.

Posted by: anon | Mar 27, 2018 5:31:09 PM

This is speculation, and things may have changed in the years since my involvement . . . But any YLJ prestige bias might be driven more by a Yale JD (or other degree or appointment) than a T15 affiliation. The number of former-Yale authors seems extraordinarily high. Some mechanisms could explain this, such as the journal's frequent reliance on consultations from Yale faculty who could know the author.

Posted by: formerYLJ | Mar 27, 2018 1:20:32 PM

@formerYLJ or others: Any thoughts on why YLJ might accept a dramatically higher percentage of authors outside the T15 than HLR?

Posted by: LetterheadBiasData | Mar 27, 2018 10:52:32 AM

YLJ is not blind. The first reader always knows the author, and the EIC or Lead Articles editor often knows the author.

Posted by: formerYLJ | Mar 27, 2018 10:35:59 AM

Thanks anonjunior

Posted by: submitTHIS | Mar 27, 2018 8:36:20 AM

Texas is done.

Posted by: anonjunior | Mar 27, 2018 7:30:02 AM

Re 80% of HLR articles by top-15 authors vs. 40% for YLJ: The HLR Articles Chair knows the institutional affiliation from the beginning, but at YLJ it is blind throughout.

Posted by: anon | Mar 27, 2018 7:23:19 AM

UCLA is full.

Posted by: anon | Mar 26, 2018 10:40:37 PM

Anon @ 8:59 (and any other ExpressO users), I emailed the editorial boards of the journals I submitted to on ExpressO. I have confirmations of receipt from ExpressO from 2/22. However, I've received two replies in the hour since I sent the emails saying that they have not received my submissions and asking me to reply to the email with the manuscript. Lesson learned: use Scholastica. I hope this doesn't prevent me from getting something out this cycle.

Posted by: JollyGoodFellow | Mar 26, 2018 8:40:12 PM

NYU is still reviewing, though winding down. On Harvard, let's be clear. Even if the figures above are right and 80% of HLR articles are by top-15 authors, the editors genuinely are still trying to take the best pieces on the merits. Any heavy letterhead bias is subconscicous, and the anonymity process is simply not structured there as thoroughly as Yale.

Posted by: jrprof | Mar 26, 2018 8:01:34 PM

Anyone have current information about journals they know are closed (in addition to ones above)? Helpful especially for the ones that always take long and/or ghost, like Cal, Texas, NYU. Also: Harvard still going?

Posted by: submitTHIS | Mar 26, 2018 6:11:43 PM

My understanding is that HLR only does blind review in the initial stages. After filtering through that round, they review the author information. I think it's to ensure diversity of authorship.

Posted by: JollyGoodFellow | Mar 26, 2018 5:07:42 PM

The % of articles written by authors at top-15 law schools:

Harvard Law Review: 80%
Stanford Law Review: 56%
Yale Law Journal: 40%

So 80% of Harvard Law Review articles for the 1-yr period going back from today through April 2017 were written by at least one author whose primary affiliation was in the top 15 law schools (counting Georgetown, Texas, and UCLA, per last year's rankings).

Posted by: LetterheadBiasData | Mar 26, 2018 4:38:27 PM

Anyone know if Stanford is still reviewing?

Posted by: anon2 | Mar 26, 2018 3:38:27 PM

NewToThis: The question you're asking has been answered many times before on this blog, I recommend going back and seeing the various discussions this year and in previous years.

Posted by: anon | Mar 26, 2018 3:06:00 PM

How should one gauge a difference between the Washington & Lee rankings, the US News & World rankings, and the professor reputation rankings? Where there is a substantial difference between rankings, how do folks weigh that difference?

Posted by: NewToThis | Mar 26, 2018 1:52:05 PM

anon @ 8:59, do you feel comfortable sharing who you've heard from? I've only heard from Northeastern, Montana, and WVU.

Posted by: JollyGoodFellow | Mar 26, 2018 12:13:23 PM

I love how angsting has become data-oriented. We have Yale releasing submissions timing data, and Scholastica following up with its expedite data. Then we have spreadsheets on this thread with averages for submission response times, etc. Then now people are combing through past issues to show that Yale/Harvard/Stanford have different subject matter preferences for certain categories. I second the call for similar data on letterhead bias. Or other topics. More angsting data, please!

Posted by: anon | Mar 26, 2018 11:32:31 AM

@JollyGoodFellow I couldn't agree more. I submitted to several journals via Expresso and have heard back from only about half. The rest have been entirely radio silence. I'm beginning to agree that journals just aren't checking Expresso anymore.

Posted by: anon | Mar 26, 2018 8:59:51 AM

I submitted broadly on 2/22. My article is somewhat aberrant, so I'm not optimistic. I expected a lot of prompt rejections. I have only received four, but I have 70 journals I still haven't heard from (again, wide net). I have not submitted to any of the T-25 flagships. I'm wondering why I haven't heard back yet from so many of the journals. Then I realized that I used Expresso this cycle instead of Scholastica (#BudgetConstraints). Ordinarily, I use Scholastica and hear back pretty quickly from a good number of journals (especially if I submit kind of late). I'm wondering what the likelihood is that journals with Expresso aren't checking the portal. Also, is there a difference for the journals in posting decisions on Scholastica versus Expresso? I sincerely hope I didn't harm my chances by using the cheaper delivery site. Anyone know of any cons to Expresso (besides the less attractive interface)?

Posted by: JollyGoodFellow | Mar 25, 2018 6:02:16 PM

thanks Anon @3:34. Still wondering if HYS specialties are looking? Tech specifically. Has anyone heard from them?

Posted by: angstrina | Mar 25, 2018 5:33:17 PM

I would take a H/Y specialty over the flagship unless it's a journal that is always ranked in the T40 (e.g., Ohio State, Indiana...).

Posted by: Anony | Mar 25, 2018 10:42:35 AM

[email protected]:53--I have a friend that took a T40 over a HYS specialty a couple years ago, and regrets it. Anecdotally, I have published in both flagships (many) and specialties (many), and I get more citations to the articles published in specialties.

Posted by: Furball | Mar 25, 2018 10:32:06 AM

@angstrina— anon at 3:34 here. I submitted the first week of March.

Posted by: anon | Mar 25, 2018 8:38:44 AM

Depends on the general journal. Probably take Colorado over specialty, but not all T40s

Posted by: Anon | Mar 24, 2018 7:03:35 PM

Hello, between a Harvard specialty and T40 flagship, which one would you choose? Thanks!

Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2018 6:53:36 PM

Anon at 3:34, when did you submit?

Posted by: angstrina | Mar 24, 2018 6:49:52 PM

In the last several days, I’ve received three T50 offers and notice of a board review. So I think there’s still time for expediting.

Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2018 3:34:55 PM

Are people still getting action in the T50 range? I just got an offer and two notices of board reviews from a few T100 schools (very good news!). So, I'm wondering if it's realistic to expect expediting up to work at this late stage in y'all's experience.

Posted by: newprof | Mar 24, 2018 1:59:00 PM

Thank you, Anon 11:28.

Posted by: curious | Mar 23, 2018 2:51:26 PM

The figures from TooMuchTime saying Harvard almost never accepted tech pieces in the last 8 years while Stanford and Yale accepted tons is fascinating. Makes me wonder about civ pro. Also, anyone have similar data about letter-head bias? My sense is the same as anon73, Stanford regularly publishes authors outside the top-15, Yale sometimes, Harvard rarely, even though all are supposedly blind reviews. But I could be wrong.

Posted by: jrprof | Mar 23, 2018 12:06:01 PM

I submitted late. I got one offer from a t100 which i declined. It was obvious to me that many of the journals had never even read the article. I think if you don't submit in february they don't even know.

Posted by: anon | Mar 23, 2018 11:28:00 AM

Magnolia and [email protected]:38:55:PM:regarding submitting the same paper multiple times, when you say "no hits" the first time, do you mean that you got absolutely zero offers or that you did receive unappealing offers from low ranked journals and decided to decline them? Thank you!

Posted by: curious | Mar 23, 2018 9:44:16 AM

Thanks all. I withdrew from Columbia but not Harvard (BTW, Harvard made a law and tech offer last volume but it is not "published" yet so that will soon be one tech piece in eight years). And maybe Harvard makes offers but authors would rather publish tech in Stanford. But really it's because Yale timely rejected me...

Posted by: anonnewbie | Mar 22, 2018 6:55:43 PM

Washington, TX, Cornell, Duke, Irvine, Northwestern are all closed on Scholastica so if you are waiting around for them it's probably not too likely to hear.

Posted by: anon | Mar 22, 2018 6:48:52 PM

I too submitted my article multiple times, with slightly different title and from different accounts. Sometimes in fall and spring so it's the same group of editors. No hits one time then a T10 another. Go figure.

Posted by: anon | Mar 22, 2018 6:38:55 PM

Anybody know whether Tech specialty journals are still looking/open?

Posted by: angstrina | Mar 22, 2018 6:22:20 PM

I am shocked. Took a gander to dispute Harvard/Columbia slander, but agree with anon73. Facts:

Harvard published 0 law and technology articles in the last 8 years. (since 2010). With their profs I can't believe it.

Stanford published 5 articles in the last 3 years.

Yale published 3 articles in the last 3 years.

Columbia gets award for most difficult website, and I counted (generously) 1 article in the last 3 years.

Did not count IP, Harvard does a lot of that, not sure about Columbia.

Posted by: TooMuchTime | Mar 22, 2018 3:51:49 PM

anonnewbie: I'd say most law and tech friendly of top 5 are Stanford and Yale. Stanford also seems the least letterhead-biased.

Posted by: anon73 | Mar 22, 2018 11:20:50 AM

Which of the top five are more law and technology friendly, and least letterhead-biased? I need to withdraw from all but two to extend an expedite deadline...

Posted by: anonnewbie | Mar 22, 2018 9:53:12 AM

This last week has been my busiest yet, including several offers. Submitted first week of March. Things are still moving!

Posted by: anon | Mar 22, 2018 8:24:20 AM

Yes. I eventually withdrew from places where it was still pending in early April I think. Changed the title. Resubmitted. Top 20 offer in less than a week. Didn’t even change the abstract or intro really. I did do some more work, but it was basically the same article. The journal that took it had rejected it previously. I have multiple articles I’ve had to submit more than once. It’s annoying but it is what it is.

Posted by: Magnolia | Mar 21, 2018 4:39:14 PM

Magnolia- did you resubmit in August when it was snapped up?

Posted by: anon | Mar 21, 2018 4:18:09 PM

Hey KS! I feel better hearing this. I submitted at the end of January and have heard almost nothing but radio silence--especially from specialties.

Posted by: anon | Mar 21, 2018 4:00:57 PM

February 25th is not too late.

I submitted a piece Feb. 24th and ended up with a top 14 placement. I have a friend who submitted early March who received a similar placement. Another friend who submitted around February 21st who also has a similar placement. We are all at top 35 schools and are relatively junior.

That said, I've submitted things in cycles before that just sat and did nothing and then in August were snapped up in a week by a really good journal. This process has no predictability.

In the past week I've had notifications of full board reviews at places in the 50-75 range on a piece I submitted early March. So places are still slowly reviewing things.

Posted by: Magnolia | Mar 21, 2018 3:01:32 PM


I don’t think so? Some LRs only get going in mid-March. I bet it’s just a spring break slowdown (at least what I’m telling myself). Glad to hear I’m not alone-I usually submit earlier.


Posted by: Kitchensink | Mar 21, 2018 2:57:03 PM

I submitted the same date as you and I too have seen little action. Not sure if it was too late? It shouldn't be but I wonder if people feel you basically have to submit in early Feb to have any real chance.

Posted by: anon | Mar 21, 2018 2:37:12 PM

This season feels odd, but I wonder if it’s because I submitted a larger mix of T100 journals and fewer specialties? I submitted Feb 25 and have heard very little-some rejections from the usual places. However, I still have 40+ just sitting out there. Any idea if Law reviews are just busy, or if this is a likely flop? Feeling a bit demotivated on what I thought was a pretty compelling topic with decent execution.


Posted by: Kitchensink | Mar 21, 2018 2:17:32 PM

Any reason to prefer Temple to Tulane? The data seems to slightly favor Tulane, but I’m interested in either general impressions, anecdotal experiences, or other wisdom that might not be obvious from the numbers alone.

Posted by: anon | Mar 21, 2018 10:30:45 AM

Like BAA (above), I have also updated my 2018 MetaRanking for flagship US law journals to include the scores from the 2019 edition of the US News rankings. http://bcnewell.com/meta-ranking-of-flagship-us-law-reviews-2018/.

The MetaRank is compiled by averaging journal/school ranks across: 1) US News overall scores averaged over the past 10 years (25%), 2) the US News Peer-Reputation Score Ranking averaged over the past 10 years (25%), 3) the Washington & Lee Law Journal ranking at default weighting (25%), and 4) Google Scholar Metrics Ranking (averaging across Google's two h- scores) (25%).

The MetaRanking table at the link above allows you to sort by any of these 5 individual rankings, as well as the Washington & Lee Impact Factor Ranking (not included in the MetaRank calculation).

Posted by: Bryce Newell | Mar 21, 2018 8:54:53 AM

Iowa is done reviewing for this cycle

Posted by: anon | Mar 20, 2018 6:23:41 PM

BAA, The most striking thing about the 10-yr and 15-yr numbers is how distinct the T50 cluster is, especially, in contrast to the T14, T30, T75, and T100 groupings. There is a distinct jump at T40, too, but almost nobody says "T40," ironically.

That's definitely not the case in the peer rankings. They just slowly move downwards, one tenth at a time, with the exception of a 0.2 swing between Texas and the rest, separating the T15 from others.

Posted by: data | Mar 20, 2018 4:41:55 PM

Thank you, BAA -- your ranking guide is so helpful! I use it every year!

Posted by: AnonProf | Mar 20, 2018 3:33:33 PM

Anyone hear from Vanderbilt or California recently?

Posted by: Magnolia | Mar 20, 2018 2:30:29 PM

In case it is helpful, I wanted to pass along my annual reference guide for the top 100 law reviews, updated as of today with the 2019 USNWR rankings.

The Top 100 Law Reviews: A Reference Guide Based on Historical USNWR Data

Abstract: The best proxy for how other law professors react and respond to publishing in main, or flagship, law reviews is the US News and World Report (USNWR) rankings. This paper utilizes historical USNWR data to rank the top 100 law reviews. The USNWR rankings are important in shaping many – if not most – law professors’ perceptions about the relative strength of a law school (and derivatively, the home law review). This document contains a chart that is sorted by the 10-year rolling average for each school, but it also contains the 5-year and 15-year rolling averages. This paper also describes my methodology and responds to a series of frequently asked questions. The document was updated in March 2018.

Great luck to everyone who is still under submission!

Posted by: BAA | Mar 20, 2018 2:19:45 PM

Unfortunately, your experience with UPenn is just one egregious example and there are so many similar stories. On the bright side, we do have to applaud journals who do communicate with authors in a timely fashion. I am just furious at these 'know it all' students who take advantage of their position to show disrespect to authors and wish there was a way for some repercussions. We all know who the 'serial non-responders are'.

Posted by: anon2018 | Mar 19, 2018 1:04:35 PM

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