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Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Submission Angsting Spring 2019

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.)

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 and Levit's extremely helpful guide to submitting to law reviews is available here (this is the January 2019 version). The article now also includes hyperlinks to law review websites.

Comments now appear from newest to oldest.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on February 5, 2019 at 09:00 AM | Permalink


A quick update re active boards: Columbia, UCLA, Chicago, Virginia, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Iowa and Florida are actively reviewing.

Posted by: OR | Feb 11, 2019 11:37:34 PM

they take a quick break from their SCOTUS clerkship applications, chuckle, and proceed with their day.

Posted by: anon | Feb 11, 2019 4:59:05 PM

What happens when you ask Harvard Law Review to update you on the status of your submission? If it was rejected, wouldn't there be an email?

Posted by: anon | Feb 11, 2019 1:28:42 PM

A plea to faculty (and any editors who happen to read this): Please advise your student editors to ignore any faculty suggestions of specific papers. Or better yet tell them to make that a factor weighing against any paper recommended. The decisions should be made on the merits, not based on an old boys network. I think this happens rarely in practice, but even every once in a while taints the whole process. And teaches students bad lessons.

Posted by: jr3 | Feb 11, 2019 12:50:48 PM

Has anybody heard anything from Hastings LJ?

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Feb 11, 2019 12:06:40 PM

One addendum: I would sort on W&L by impact factor if you are looking at comparing specialties to flagships, as specialties often have fewer issues (and fewer articles) per year, so that their overall citations may not indicate their clout.

Posted by: anon | Feb 11, 2019 11:41:43 AM

Thanks so much for your thoughtful advice, [email protected]:23. Extremely helpful! Surprisingly, in my case, the journals are ranked very similarly.

Posted by: anolita | Feb 11, 2019 11:35:24 AM

Here's how to figure out what weight to give a speciality. Go to Washington and Lee and do a complete ranking of all journals. Then find the speciality you have an offer from. Look to see what general journals are ranked similarly. Does it have a ranking that is equal to journals in the T100, T75, T50, etc? That'll put you in a better position to compare it to offers from general journals that you might receive.

Posted by: AnonProf | Feb 11, 2019 11:23:39 AM

Any thoughts on how to weigh in a law and gender speciality in a T5 school and a T90 flagship? I heard that in general, the law and journal specialties are not as highly regarded as other specialties in T5 schools. Thanks in advance!

Posted by: anolita | Feb 11, 2019 11:05:02 AM

Any one have a sense of how to weigh a Northeastern offer in terms of expedite? They rank in the 80s for US News but they don't come up in the wash & lee ranking (or it appears that a former online only version comes up).

Posted by: anon | Feb 11, 2019 10:40:15 AM

Guys in my high school chose Yale Law Journal over Harvard Law Review all the time.

Posted by: anon | Feb 11, 2019 10:22:36 AM

I think of HYS flagships as equal, especially given that their selection processes are similarly rigorous. I’ve heard some say Harvard is #1, some say Yale is, but I think many would agree they are the same.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 11, 2019 10:20:58 AM

And by back I mean I've gotten at least four this year, and I had virtually none last year.

Posted by: jrprof | Feb 11, 2019 9:22:21 AM

Stealth dings are back this year! Don't forget to check your rejections.

Posted by: jrprof | Feb 11, 2019 9:21:52 AM

Regarding Friday's question about whether Columbia, NYU, Georgetown, Texas, or UCLA are reviewing: Columbia turns over its board today, NYU just turned over and has started working, Gtown is doing board reads, have no idea on Texas, and UCLA just started (I think).

Posted by: experienced anon | Feb 11, 2019 7:59:46 AM

Do we generally agree that Harvard, Yale and Stanford are comparable offers?

Posted by: Prof | Feb 10, 2019 10:48:01 PM

How far down the US News rankings do most people submit?

Posted by: anonzee | Feb 10, 2019 8:19:00 PM

Rejections from Iowa and Rutgers this morning

Posted by: Anon | Feb 10, 2019 12:41:25 PM

Resubmitting doesn’t seem to be much of a problem. I submitted late cycle - way too late. This cycle I’ve received severa offers. Also, the submission process is really onerous for those of us who do not have any school reimbursement. Just another example of the way the system benefits those at the top.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 10, 2019 10:42:48 AM

The 30-minute rejections are impressive. though it makes me wonder whether they read the article...

Posted by: anon | Feb 10, 2019 9:55:21 AM

Bravo to Virginia, Yale, Stanford, Chicago, and the others who are being so good about communicating rejections. Some law reviews don't send rejections (Harvard and USC are notorious, and California has been inconsistent). I would encourage any author torn between comparable offers (say deciding between Harvard and Stanford, or USC and Vanderbilt) to take the offer from the journal that has been most respectful to all authors by having the thoughtfulness to send rejections.

Posted by: jr2 | Feb 10, 2019 9:04:43 AM

What do folks think about Fordham Urban Law Journal as a specialty? While it isn’t from a T10 school, it seems to have quite a strong rating on W&L. Would welcome any input from the folks here, thanks!

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 10, 2019 2:16:42 AM

@Anon (6:17pm) Thank you! Sounds like I might want to submit selectively this cycle, or hold off entirely until August.

Posted by: resubmitter | Feb 9, 2019 7:34:46 PM

@international law, why worry? International law specialty journals are highly regarded. I would undoubtedly take an offer from an International law specialty in the T10 over any offer from a T50-T100 flagship. You are lucky to have these offers!

Posted by: international | Feb 9, 2019 6:54:21 PM

I was wondering whether the international law people here are getting offers from flagship journals. So far I have been getting offers from specialty journals only, and I am slightly worried.

Posted by: international law | Feb 9, 2019 6:45:21 PM

Everyone excited for the flood of Sunday morning rejections?

Posted by: anon | Feb 9, 2019 6:37:46 PM

Re: resubmitting, it depends. Generally resubmitting is not an issue if resubmitting in spring because the board/reviewers are new--they usually haven't seen it before and won't recognize it. Resubmitting in fall is trickier. I noticed a couple of years ago nearing end of the spring cycle (late March/early April) that I got a bundle of "rejects" from law reviews saying nothing more than that they were full but would open again in the fall and looked forward to reviewing my "future" submissions, which I interpreted as not wanting resubmission (so when I got a April HYS specialty offer, I took it). Half or so of the reviews had never responded one way or the other, so I could have resubmitted to them I suppose, but I'd hope that they did not recognize it as something still out there, and you'd have to pay the fees again going through Scholastica, I think.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 9, 2019 6:17:20 PM

Does resubmitting an article to a journal that rejected it in the previous cycle put an author at a disadvantage? I have a piece ready now that I could improve if I waited until August, but I'm tempted to see how it fares this cycle, so long as striking out now wouldn't count against me in August. I've heard conflicting advice on this and would appreciate any input.

Posted by: resubmitter | Feb 9, 2019 5:47:46 PM

Hi everyone, I would be very grateful if anyone could weigh in on the following decision:

I have an offer from a t-75 flagship, and an offer from a specialty journal ranked 7th in its area. This specialty journal is part of a t-8 law school.

The flagship offer expires tomorrow; specialty offer expires in about 3 days. I'm tempted to forego the flagship, especially since it gives me a few extra days for possible expedite decisions. Any thoughts?


Posted by: anon | Feb 9, 2019 4:54:43 PM

What about journals like the Journal of Corporate Law, American Criminal Law Review, or the Administrative Law Review?

Posted by: anon | Feb 9, 2019 1:08:12 PM

If you ask around (and you should always be a little skeptical of what you hear here) you'll learn that the Yale Journal on Regulation is considered by the business law community as a top 20-ish journal, and perhaps by admin law folks too. I once was deciding between a T30 and JREG and the consensus in both communities was JREG.

Posted by: jr2 | Feb 9, 2019 12:44:04 PM

I agree completely with AnonProf @ 10:26.

Posted by: Prof | Feb 9, 2019 11:41:18 AM

I think Harvard CRCL is the best speciality, and I liken it to a T25 (say Iowa or Boston). Outside of it, I'd always go with a T50 general over a speciality, and I'd never go with a speciality that isn't at a T10 institution unless it's a super niche area (like Georgetown Immigration or Ohio State Dispute Resolution).

Posted by: AnonProf | Feb 9, 2019 10:26:33 AM

Does anybody have a sense of how the very best specialty journals (say, Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties, Yale Journal on Regulation) stack up against flagships at T14 schools? At T25 schools? I've been fortunate enough to get a few good offers but am having a tough time deciding.

Posted by: Anon | Feb 9, 2019 10:00:06 AM

From what I heard from a colleague, Texas and Georgetown are making some decisions.

Posted by: Prof | Feb 9, 2019 9:28:18 AM

The Penn speciality must be better than law reviews in the 80s or 90s, surely.

Posted by: anon | Feb 9, 2019 9:14:55 AM

Hi Anonymous sorry if my post was unclear. Yes what I intended to say was to expedite for now at journals ranked say 51-100 that are general, and if you get a subsequent better offer then you should consider expediting to 1-50. Not an exact science but sometimes if you expedite to 1-50 with a relatively lower ranked offer it can count against you in their eyes which is why I suggest waiting. Not that your offer is a bad one -- that is great this early in the process!

Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 8, 2019 10:52:38 PM

Juniors, unfortunately, have no choice but to play. Seniors, on the other hand, should give it a break from time to time.

Posted by: Prof X | Feb 8, 2019 10:22:51 PM

Why does this process continue? Are law review editors trained in how law professors uses the expedite system. I tend to think they are. I have received offers telling me that I can expedite to only certain journals ranked at certain levels. If everyone is playing g a game whose winners are already those largely at the top, the question is why does everyone keep playing. And a large part of the answer is that the top schools make it matter. In fact there is no clear reason why papers need to be published in journals at all except to signal prestige to other law professprs

Posted by: Anon | Feb 8, 2019 9:33:18 PM

Anonymouse, sorry I meant 50-100?

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 8, 2019 9:30:53 PM

Anonymouse thanks for everything! When you say below the top 50, do you mean 1-50? I'm am fairly new so just want to make sure I understand.

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 8, 2019 9:28:51 PM

Congratulations again on the offer. I would expedite to all other specialty journals and general law reviews below the top 50 for now. Once you get another offer at either a better ranked specialty or a general law review I would expedite to higher ranked general law reviews. Good luck!

Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 8, 2019 8:43:58 PM

Anyone know if Columbia, NYU, Georgetown, Texas, or UCLA are reviewing?

Posted by: anon | Feb 8, 2019 8:25:43 PM

University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law & Social Change

Posted by: anonymous | Feb 8, 2019 7:22:06 PM

Washington and Lee ranks specialties by impact and you can always use the school’s US News ranking as a way to rank. For example, despite impact, many would view a Harvard Yale or Stanford specialty journal very favorably. You could also post journal name here and seek advice.

Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 8, 2019 7:06:51 PM

Washington and Lee ranks specialties by impact and you can always use the school’s US News ranking as a way to rank. For example, despite impact, many would view a Harvard Yale or Stanford specialty journal very favorably. You could also post journal name here and seek advice.

Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 8, 2019 7:06:51 PM

How do I know it's ranking? Is there a list for specialty journals?

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 8, 2019 6:16:08 PM

Congrats on your specialty offer! You can for sure use it to expedite to other journals. If it is a relatively low ranked journal within its specialty you might just expedite for now to higher ranked speciality journals. If it is a high ranked or otherwise well regarded specialty you can expedite to general law reviews, although I would not expedite to the top 30-40 law reviews with a specialty offer unless it is a super well regarded specialty like Harvard CR-CL or it is the top journal in a given specialty.

Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 8, 2019 5:51:06 PM

I just received my first offer. It's from a specialty journal. I know that those are less coveted. Still, is there anything that can be done to expedite other decisions?

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 8, 2019 5:02:28 PM

Here is my daily rant: What really upsets me is that many journals seem to be open on Scholastica, letting us all pay the $6.5, while they are currently not reviewing any submissions. I know for a fact about several journals that use this annoying practice. Ideally, just by looking at the spreadsheet, one could tell which journals are active. But of course, it is only partial. That's why posting any dings/acceptances on the spreadsheet is so beneficial for many, so that we don't waste our money on journals that will only start reviewing in March. For many of us who are not reimbursed by our schools, this is a serious hardship. Please post! Thank you!

Posted by: anona | Feb 8, 2019 11:14:48 AM

I think journals are reviewing a little earlier than in years past. I always submit early (Feb 1) to Harvard, Yale and Stanford as they say they need more time to review. Typically Yale takes 3-4 weeks to reject me and Stanford never responds but both have rejected me already. Either they have started early or my recent submission is that bad!

Posted by: Anonymouse | Feb 8, 2019 8:55:57 AM

Any suggestions for when to submit? I too am lucky enough to have two articles to submit this season. One is ready to be submitted now, the other I probably need another week. Is it a good idea to submit this early in the cycle or are there advantages to waiting?

Posted by: Anon | Feb 7, 2019 6:54:50 PM

Thanks prof for your reply - that's very helpful.

Posted by: anon3 | Feb 7, 2019 3:00:58 PM

I've submitted multiple articles in each of the last few cycles. I can't speak for best practices, but here is what I do. I normally submit one of the articles right at the beginning of the cycle, in hopes of receiving an early offer. Then, once that article has successfully placed in a journal, I immediately send out my second article. Normally this happens by around March 1. That way I avoid any confusion from having two articles under consideration at the same time. I also figure that by doing it this way, journals are more likely to evaluate the articles individually on their own merits relative to articles from other folks, rather than comparing my two submissions to each other.

Then again, I have no idea if I even need to stagger multiple submissions. I know folks who submit them at the same time and seem to do well.

Posted by: prof | Feb 7, 2019 2:34:31 PM

Any guidance for someone in the fortunate position of having more than 1 article ready for submission? Is it inadvisable for an author to submit multiple articles during the same submission season to the same journals?

Posted by: anon3 | Feb 7, 2019 2:25:00 PM

@Michael Yeah, it's the second of the two things you mentioned; I know we legal scholars are lucky not to have exclusive submissions. My spouse has to deal with peer-review exclusive submissions and it sucks. I just don't like instrumentalizing the first law review I get an offer from, even if I end up accepting the offer. I don't feel great about the pressure to "upgrade." It feels icky. As a junior prof I don't really have the freedom to satifice. I have to attempt to maximize even though I'd rather just place my piece and keep it moving. (The people who were going to read it and cite it will do so regardless of where it places, at least among the journals I choose to submit to.) Otherwise I'd literally be hurting my own chances for tenure. I guess the angsting is just constant when you are tenure-track.

Posted by: jrprof | Feb 7, 2019 1:07:12 PM


Not sure where the angst is coming from, particularly if you've already got an offer that suits your needs. If it helps, just imagine having to do exclusive submissions and then waiting, waiting, waiting, only to be rejected and then moving on to the next journal and then waiting, waiting, waiting . . . On the other hand, if you mean you don't like having to reject someone when you get two offers, I understand that. That's the part I hate. For that reason, in the past I've sometimes taken the first offer that comes in just to be done with it.


That's probably a good idea -- using email when possible. I started to do it this year. The first one I tried, though, the journal wrote back and asked me to submit through Scholastica (even though their website indicated email was an option). But they were probably an outlier; I think you're right about many schools still accepting email submissions.

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Feb 7, 2019 11:16:03 AM

The angsting is real. Pretty much immediately after submitting, I got a placement that will be suitable for my needs and would accept for sure. Even though I know this means I am good for the cycle, I am still constantly checking my email because I'm waiting to figure out how all this will hash out, and of course, it would be nice to get a higher ranked offer. *sigh* I can't wait until I'm full and truly can be like, f it.

Posted by: jrprof | Feb 7, 2019 10:50:00 AM

Thank you to those posting on the spreadsheet! I have silence so far, so nothing to report, but really appreciate it.

Posted by: Submitee | Feb 7, 2019 10:47:03 AM

Thanks so much, Brad Areheart. This is very helpful!

Posted by: newprof | Feb 6, 2019 9:27:01 PM

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