« Judge Leinenweber loves him some universal injunctions | Main | Investigations »

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Submission Angsting Fall 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 July 2018 version). The article now also includes hyperlinks to law review websites.

Comments now appear from newest to oldest.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on July 28, 2018 at 07:07 PM | Permalink


A T-5 journal asked for more time. I have a T-70 offer expiring tomorrow. What should I do?

Posted by: AnonP | Aug 20, 2018 12:02:38 PM

Some like GW open later, they were not closed per se. At this point if it is closed it is doubtful it would be opening up.

Posted by: anon | Aug 20, 2018 12:01:52 PM

Forest, yes.

Posted by: AnonProf---- | Aug 20, 2018 11:59:45 AM

Wake Forest asked for more time on my expedite a while back

Posted by: FourthTierDreaming | Aug 20, 2018 11:43:22 AM

Thanks AnonProf----. Was that in response to an expedite?

Posted by: Forest | Aug 20, 2018 11:41:05 AM

Someone just posted an 8/18 Wake rejection.

Posted by: Anon | Aug 20, 2018 11:40:16 AM

Not very recently, but I was rejected by Wake about a week and a half ago.

Posted by: AnonProf---- | Aug 20, 2018 11:27:51 AM

Anyone hear from Wake Forest lately?

Posted by: Forest | Aug 20, 2018 11:20:24 AM

AnonE: Thanks! I've heard from Northwestern and Richmond but not the others you mentioned.

Posted by: FourthTierDreaming | Aug 20, 2018 10:59:27 AM

So I'm a believer in this theory about the reordering. I could only test this on a manuscript that I withdrew. The journals at the top of the list appeared in reverse alphabetical order (e.g., Yale journal of something first). Since I withdrew the article, it would make sense that the journals at the end of the alphabet had the most recent activity (by microseconds). If a journal is at the top of the list, but you haven't received a decision, it doesn't necessarily mean a rejection is imminent. I'm fairly sure journals can make internal comments besides reject/accept. So it probably does mean that there's been some movement, but it's impossible to say whether that movement is material or not. Anyway, that's how I see it.

Posted by: AnonProf---- | Aug 20, 2018 10:52:30 AM

I think the activity on the Scholastica refresh reflects that journals have assigned your submission to a reader. Apparently, one of the benefits of Scholastica from the journals' perspective is that it helps them manage their assignments. So movement on the list is probably a good reflection of which journals are actively reviewing.

Posted by: Anon | Aug 20, 2018 10:50:10 AM

AnonE, I've heard from Richmond.

Posted by: AnonP | Aug 20, 2018 9:54:18 AM

@FourthTierDreaming: You are a genius! Anyone hear anything from Northwestern, NYU, Washington & Lee, or Richmond lately?

Posted by: AnonE | Aug 20, 2018 9:52:45 AM

If you want to read your pre-refreshed list at leisure, take a phone video of the process, view the video frames, and freeze it at that frame. That said, I'm still trying to figure out what it all means!

Posted by: FourthTierDreaming | Aug 20, 2018 9:40:42 AM

Thanks AnonProf--- I agree that it is a bad look and I probably won't do it.

Regarding any positive spin on the "refresh" list - I wasn't too closely involved with article selection in law school so I can't speak to what the students might be doing right now. Perhaps it is assigning a second reader?

Posted by: anonauthor | Aug 20, 2018 9:31:14 AM

Thanks! For some reason it didn't work with Safari, but did with Google Chrome.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 20, 2018 8:44:34 AM

This cycle a few that were closed have opened up -- like Tulane and GW.

Posted by: AnonE | Aug 20, 2018 8:44:29 AM

Are all of the closed journals permanently closed? Is there any hope of any of them re-opening as the students get back to campus? (Other than the ones that were open and then closed, which are obviously done for good).

Posted by: anxiety | Aug 20, 2018 8:43:33 AM

Go to manage submissions on Scholastica. Assuming you have a sizable list of journals there, hit the circular arrow to refresh the page. For a vexingly brief instant, your list will be reordered. Focus near the top, and you should recognize a journal or two that has sent you rejections recently.

Posted by: AnonE | Aug 20, 2018 8:38:54 AM

I can't seem to get this refresh trick to work, can some tell me exactly how to do it (i.e., what page I need to be looking at when I hit refresh, etc.)?

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 20, 2018 8:34:45 AM

I agree re rejections in reverse chron order on the list. What do you think about a review that shows up amid the rejections (like 3rd or 4th from top) but has not yet rejected? Is there some "activity" that would show up on Scholastica that might be spun positively? In other words, let's say a journal wants to give you a hard look. Would there be some possible manifestation of that in Scholastica activity?

Posted by: AnonE | Aug 20, 2018 8:29:25 AM

anonauthor, there's no hard and fixed rule about this. You have the most amount of "cover" if you have a pending board review that doesn't fit within the deadline. I've only asked for more time without a board review when the offering journal has given me a grand total of 48 or 72 hours. I think it is a bad look to have received 5 or 7 days, then to ask for more time on the day of the deadline with no material expectation that you may soon receive another offer. That said, I doubt there would be any repercussions, and the journal can say no (I've been told no). But I, personally, would not ask for more time in your situation.

Posted by: AnonProf---- | Aug 20, 2018 8:23:12 AM

So based on the refresh thing, I expected 3-4 new rejections during this morning's witching hour and got nothing. Does this mean I'll get them over the course of the day?

Posted by: anon | Aug 20, 2018 8:18:58 AM

It’s my best guess but it’s based on the rejections being in chronological order, and the fact that my “under review”journals have all had reported activity on the spreadsheet on the same day ( as it fits into my rejection timeline.)

To clarify my question - is it a bad look to ask for an extension on the same day as the deadline? Is there a specific timeline that you should ask for? I have no correspondence from schools still reviewing regarding a decision timeline.

Posted by: anonauthor | Aug 20, 2018 7:57:45 AM

I got a rejection letter last night from the second journal from the top, so it seems like a plausible explanation

Posted by: ANONNN | Aug 20, 2018 7:46:16 AM

anonauthor, I noticed it too, but what makes you think that it has to do something with recent activity on the journal side?

Posted by: anon | Aug 20, 2018 7:25:14 AM

I'm completely new to this process. Are there certain ethics of asking for an extension? My deadline is about to expire for an offer - I thought a week would be adequate to hear from a bunch of journals but that appears to be very naive.

Not to add to anybody's angst, but it appears that Scholastica reorders your journal list when you first hit refresh in the order of recent activity on the journal side before quickly reverting to alphabetical order. I have a couple journals under review that have done something with my article.

Posted by: anonauthor | Aug 20, 2018 1:30:34 AM

I've appreciated this forum - I had a rough season and placed dramatically lower this time than the last two articles - and I thought this was the better article! Discouraging but I've been grateful for the advice and shared angst.

Posted by: anonA | Aug 19, 2018 11:26:43 PM

BU bloodbath this evening.

Posted by: anon | Aug 19, 2018 10:06:51 PM

Arizona State sent a truckload of rejections today, but I don't know of U of AZ

Posted by: angster | Aug 19, 2018 9:46:51 PM

Does anyone know if Arizona is reviewing?

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 19, 2018 9:40:33 PM

I agree with the others who roll their eyes at seeing "lead article" on a CV. Most of the time, the journal makes no indication that an article was the made the lead due to superior quality. Further, even if the journal intentionally makes it a lead article, it just means that it's the best out of 2, 3, or 4 similarly situated articles. It's just such a minuscule indication of quality that it comes off poorly.

Posted by: AnonProf---- | Aug 19, 2018 9:03:10 PM

I know we've heavily discussed this topic, but let me add last thing re: when to accept the specialty journal at a top school. I'm more inclined to take the specialty journal over a general law review ranked in the 60s or 70s, or perhaps even 50s, if my last 4 or 5 articles have placed in general law reviews. If you've had four good hits in a row, then seeing Harvard, Penn, Chicago or something like that show up on your CV, despite being a specialty, looks a ton better than if you regularly publish in specialties. So how adverse or accepting I am of specialty journals depends on my recent record. That's just my thinking, never heard anyone else echo this sentiment.

Posted by: AnonProf---- | Aug 19, 2018 8:15:37 PM

angster: If the journal published you in year 1, why would your lack of name recognition prevent it from publishing you in year 2? You were good enough for the journal a year ago, so I don't think it would matter. But beware: profs are always looking for "signaling mechanisms," and someone might think you've got a connection at that school / journal and may therefore "discount" the placement if you've published there more than once. Previous threads have suggested that given a choice of two offers, in close cases it is preferable for the author to publish somewhere new.

anon: re: your question on essays. I suspect that essays and symposium articles are "discounted" somewhat, as profs are always looking for quick rules of thumb to judge the quality of a placement. Of course, specialty journals and online journals are discounted even more. (A comment above suggests a method for ranking specialties.) The biggest "discount," from what I can tell, is for publishing in your own school's journal. But that makes sense. Many profs have made the case that you should never submit to your own school's journal.

Finally, I thought anon1's comment, above, was interesting: having a "lead article" is somewhat impressive, unless the author points it out on the resume in which case the harm of having done so outweighs the benefit. This sort of adds a new layer to the analysis: some signaling mechanisms need to be communicated more subtly, or the signaling mechanism itself will be "discounted" or even reversed! Great stuff!

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Aug 19, 2018 8:13:13 PM

Thank you. I needed to hear that!

Posted by: angster | Aug 19, 2018 7:56:43 PM

Yup. Save the $6.50 on Scholastica. They won't be offended.

Posted by: anon | Aug 19, 2018 7:56:18 PM

@anon - totally valid. But do you just bypass the journal altogether (even if it's a decent journal) in the submissions process? That's what I did. Feels weird.

Posted by: angster | Aug 19, 2018 7:52:58 PM

In reading tea leaves, we obviously lack a bunch of inputs. Like what other articles the journals have already committed to. Like whether all of us are showing up with 4th Amendment, or immigration, or civil liberties articles. This part is just hard. I sort of wish that journals could advertise -- looking for a great Fed Courts piece! Or whatever. Not knowing whether rejection is because my piece sucks or because they have committed to publish another piece in the same general area is tough.

Posted by: anon | Aug 19, 2018 7:50:55 PM

angster - I think the bigger issue is that you probably don't want to load your CV with the same journal. hiring or tenure committees might wonder if you have some sort of connection with that journal.

Posted by: anon | Aug 19, 2018 7:50:25 PM

Just curious: If you publish in a journal in year 1, do you even bother applying to that journal in year 2? I mean, unless you are a huge, amazing name, they aren't going to touch you, right?

Posted by: angster | Aug 19, 2018 7:47:20 PM

Kayfabe, is it empirical or theoretical? My sense is that empirical work can usually be adapted to law reviews. With theoretical models, you usually can't go beyond game theory 101.

In terms of journals, I would go for JLEO, JLS, JLA, ALER, JLE or JELS (if an empirical piece). If that does not work out / does not fit, then IRLE and RLE are also an option, though much less prestigious.

Posted by: LE_Anon | Aug 19, 2018 6:00:01 PM

Well done, Rogue 1! Happy for you.

Posted by: FourthTierDreaming | Aug 19, 2018 5:39:08 PM

Rogue 1 - post on the spreadsheet please!

Posted by: Anon | Aug 19, 2018 5:27:28 PM

Agree with AnonProf. But even with offers from the Virginia and Berkeley secondary journals (and a few others like Yale Regulation), I'd always recommend taking a T50 flagship offer.

Posted by: anon | Aug 19, 2018 3:34:16 PM

Agreed with Anotherlawprof. One thought to add: I think the competitiveness of a journal is a great yardstick, however, I think certain specialty journals do provide excellent exposure within one's field. In most fields, we're talking one or two journals max. As examples, the Virginia International Law Journal and the Berkeley Tech Law Journal. Until you have a very good grasp of your field's journals, it's a very good ideas to error with the general law review. In addition, we all have good incentives NOT to compile a list of notable secondary journals.

Posted by: AnonProf---- | Aug 19, 2018 3:29:07 PM

I'm a recent JD/PhD submitting some work in law and economics. The work isn't technical by economic department standards, but I suspect it's too technical for many second year law students. My string of rejections supports that theory, though it's possible the article is just crap as well. Anyway, does anyone have recommendations for journals that specialize in law and econ? I'm familiar with JLE and JLEO, but it's too specialized for JLEO and JLE is very tough to get into.

Posted by: Kayfabe | Aug 19, 2018 3:29:07 PM

Hope is alive, friends. Just received a T20 offer (USN T20) out of the blue. No expedite.

Posted by: Rogue_1 | Aug 19, 2018 2:56:34 PM

I cannot agree enough with what Anotherlawprof just posted. Amen.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 19, 2018 12:55:04 PM

Re the Columbia human rights specialty, I would treat it as akin to publishing in approx a t75 main law review. I think most lawprofs rationally assume - as do I - that a specialty like that gets a tiny fraction of the submissions than even, say, San Diego Law Review receives. All the more when the specialty is in a field as narrow as “human rights.” I also think people telling you to treat it like a 40-50 main law review are WAY off. Publishing in columbia’s Human rights specialty journal is in no way like publishing in, say, U Colorado L Rev - and I honestly don’t think anyone (as in zero) would say that Columbia’s specialty is a more competitive placement than, eg, Colorado. You should always consider specific journals in lieu of heuristics, but my general shortcut is to assess the competitiveness of specialties like this: for all specialties, add about 60 or 70 to the rank of the host institution (so 4+70 in the case of Columbia’s human rights) and add 50 in the case of specialties at Harvard and Yale (since the specialty journals at these 2 institutions tend to be much better on avg than other specialties). People will sometimes say really foolish things like t5 specialty is like a t25 flagship but no one actually makes decisions that would demonstrate that opinion. Meaning, I’ve never heard of anyone taking say Yale law and policy review or mich j law reform over Emory or Notre Dame’s general law reviews. Finally, if you are looking to go on the market soon, all the more reason to publish in journals that all committee members will be able to quickly and somewhat consistently assess (ie a main or flagship law review).

Posted by: Anotherlawprof | Aug 19, 2018 12:29:29 PM

USC will only notify you if you get accepted. They're one of the worsts when it comes to keeping authors informed.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 19, 2018 12:27:39 PM

Has anyone heard from Southern California? Does that journal typically get started later in the fall cycle?

Posted by: LegalRealness | Aug 19, 2018 12:16:23 PM

I am marginally more impressed when I see an article published as a lead article than when I don't. This whole rigamarole with publications is about signaling, and lead article status is yet another way that a publication can signal article quality.

That said, I agree with AnonProf and Earlysubmit, however, that you probably shouldn't draw extra attention to it on your CV -- that's obnoxious. Without drawing any extra attention to it, I suspect some people reviewing your CV will notice that your article is a lead article. I suspect many others will not and/or will not care.

Posted by: anon1 | Aug 19, 2018 11:32:42 AM

Re the people who heard from HCRCL, were those both responses to expedites?

Re: the lead article query, I agree that I don't think it means anything and I think it's probably not a good thing to list on your CV. Maybe it was meaningful back in the day when people found journal articles by scanning the TOC of a law review, but very few people do that any more.

Posted by: Earlysubmit | Aug 19, 2018 11:17:49 AM

My honest reaction is 1) I think "lead article" is a meaningless designation and 2) when I see that listed on a person's CV, it makes me think they are, at best, lame and, at worst, a desperate self-promoter.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 19, 2018 11:09:57 AM

How much weight should I give to being offered lead-article status? I have offers from Journal A and B. A is a few spots above B in the various rankings, but B is offering to make my article "lead." I'm on a fellowship and will be going on the job market in Fall 2019.

Posted by: anon | Aug 19, 2018 10:59:02 AM


I applied to cal on 8-1 and sent an expedite last week. Haven’t heard anything.

Posted by: X | Aug 19, 2018 10:53:20 AM

Has anyone heard anything from Cal this cycle or know of people who have?

Posted by: anon | Aug 19, 2018 10:47:07 AM


I got the same email from HCRCL.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 19, 2018 10:38:56 AM

Just heard from Harvard civ rts and civ liberties that they are reviewing article but cannot respond timely to expedite requests. Is that standard email everyone is getting or does that demonstrate some interest?

Posted by: Anon | Aug 19, 2018 9:23:35 AM

@anon: Essays and notes are not the same thing. Essays carry almost the same reputation as articles. From your CV, it will usually not be apparent whether the piece is an article or an essay. Notes and comments are often listed separately.

@IntlLaw2018: Based on advice I got: Trade CHRLR against T40-T50 flagships.

Posted by: ILAnon | Aug 19, 2018 8:59:17 AM

Post a comment