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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Submission Angsting Fall 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.

For those wondering "when should I start submitting?", Scholastica has information through 2016. Here is a graph of submission dates as reported to PrawfsBlawg over three recent fall submission cycles. Remember that this information is drawn only from people who participate in PrawfsBlawg, who are not a random sample at all.

Fall Submissions 2015  2016  2018

And here is a graph of submission dates of articles that were reported as accepted.

Submission date of Accepted Articles - Fall 2015  2016  2018

A histogram-ish graph comparing when all reported articles were submitted and when accepted articles were submitted shows that these two groups match up almost exactly. Accepted articles were less than 10% of the total reported articles, so it's not that accepted articles are swamping the data:

Histogram Accepted Submitted

Fall Date of Submission Chart

You can see the data I used for this here.

[Updated 7/26/19 to remove graph with messed up labels; updated 7/27/19 to add graphs with hopefully not-messed-up labels, but please let me know if you see something that looks wonky.]


Posted by Sarah Lawsky on July 23, 2019 at 11:06 AM in Law Review Review | Permalink


Thanks - new thread posted, and closing comments on this one.

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Feb 1, 2020 6:13:45 PM

It's February 1, which means lots of journals are open for the spring. Who's submitting this cycle? When do we get a new post?

Posted by: DTP | Feb 1, 2020 3:04:07 PM

Does anyone know if Northwestern is doing an exclusive submission cycle again?

Posted by: AnonProf | Jan 2, 2020 10:36:20 AM

I just heard from Georgetown. I submitted in August, and just received this message: "We will begin review for our Spring 2020 Issue on Friday, October 4, 2019 and would like to confirm your article . . . is available for review." Hope that helps.

Posted by: Outsider | Sep 30, 2019 10:21:10 AM

Has anyone heard for Georgetown?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 28, 2019 5:47:09 PM

Anyone know if USC has filled its volume?

Posted by: Southern California | Sep 27, 2019 2:53:06 AM

If the "zing" was directed at me, it utterly failed to resonate. I'm not a professor. I would join any well-founded criticism regarding the disregard of entry-level candidates. :o) I also think that requests to expedite based upon an offer significantly reduce the pool of submissions and signal that an article merits at least a cursory glance.

Posted by: Outsider | Sep 24, 2019 11:40:48 AM

aw -> kudos; great zing

Posted by: guest | Sep 24, 2019 9:37:09 AM

I find it a bit ironic that professors complain about not hearing back from journals when they do a very poor job (in general) of rejecting entry-level candidates. Journals have far more submissions than there are entry-level candidates.

Posted by: aw | Sep 24, 2019 8:48:13 AM

I asked about 25 journals to expedite review, having received two offers to publish. Not one of them so much as acknowledged the request, much less responded before the deadline. I think that is a very poor state of affairs. (P.S. A few were long shots, but many were not.)

Posted by: Outsider | Sep 24, 2019 6:50:01 AM

Columbia Articles rejection/closed, w/ask to consider resubmitting in spring cycle

Posted by: Guest | Sep 21, 2019 12:18:43 PM

Columbia articles closed, w/ask to consider resubmitting in Spring cycle

Posted by: Guest | Sep 21, 2019 12:17:29 PM

I got the below in a rejection from Cal:

The California Law Review met recently to consider your article, "[XYZ]," and I regret to inform you that after much deliberation, we are not able to make an offer to publish it. We admired the article very much, but we were simply unable to come to consensus.

Is this the same language everyone got, or does it mean that the paper died after full board review?

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 20, 2019 1:13:17 PM

Has anyone heard from W&L or Yale Jolt?

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 20, 2019 12:19:55 PM

Grrr, I submitted on August 1 (and then added journals as they came online). This was an August 1 submission, though, and I had no notice of a board review. And, as everyone knows, mostly silence -- silence from a lot of places that others heard from.

Posted by: crickets-y | Sep 19, 2019 10:02:37 AM

crickets-y: Congrats! When did you submit?

Posted by: Grrrr | Sep 19, 2019 7:24:06 AM

Congrats, crickets-y! I have had a number of offers come in this week too. Strange cycle!

Posted by: Curious | Sep 19, 2019 1:26:29 AM

HALLELUJAH, I have an offer. School is T40. Not off expedite.

Posted by: crickets-y | Sep 18, 2019 4:42:12 PM

Just got a ding fron Northwestern, saying:"The piece provoked a great deal of discussion among our editors". Is it standard?

Posted by: Grttt | Sep 18, 2019 3:13:18 PM

William and Mary is full

Posted by: guest | Sep 18, 2019 3:01:06 PM

Grrr, my Vandy stealths are the same as yours.

Posted by: crickets-y | Sep 16, 2019 7:27:09 PM

Cal is listed as closed in Scholastica but I haven't received a ding.

Posted by: anonh | Sep 16, 2019 4:45:53 PM

Update: Virginia is closed.

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 16, 2019 2:08:19 PM

What about William and Mary?

Posted by: anon | Sep 16, 2019 12:45:13 PM

George Washington announced they are no longer accepting submissions.

Posted by: anony | Sep 16, 2019 11:22:35 AM

Have we heard if Columbia or Virginia are full?

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 16, 2019 10:47:30 AM

I only now got a stealth ding from Vandy. It does not say that they are full, rather that they decided not to publish my article. I wonder what it means that they say to some that they are full while others get rejections.

Posted by: Grrrr | Sep 13, 2019 12:51:35 PM

UCLA shows as closed on scholastica, and I got a message from Vandy that they are closed. Not sure about Chicago.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 13, 2019 8:46:01 AM

Anyone still waiting to hear from Chicago, Vanderbilt, or UCLA? Any hope if they are sending messages to others that they're full if you're still in play?

Posted by: anon | Sep 13, 2019 1:33:31 AM

I've received several offers in the past week. I've released most of them. I would expect continued activity through the next few weeks. Some top journals are not yet closed.

Posted by: anon | Sep 12, 2019 1:31:53 PM

Oh, Glimmer, that is good news indeed. I submitted two things on August 1, basically to roughly 55 journals or so, and I am sitting at 44 under review and 41 under review, still.

Posted by: crickets-y | Sep 11, 2019 9:46:29 PM

A glimmer of hope: Submitted 8/1 to T50. Many rejections, though nothing for the past couple weeks. Offer today.

Posted by: Glimmer | Sep 11, 2019 9:28:27 PM

I wonder whether there is a major disadvantage to submitting by email rather than through Scholastica. I suspect that editors pay closer attention to submissions through Scholastica, even when they say they accept by email. Any feedback welcome (for those of us without a subsidized Scholastica account who submit by email whenever possible).

Posted by: Outsider | Sep 11, 2019 7:53:52 AM

Vanderbilt is closed today, after "very recently" filling its volume.

Posted by: The Corpse of Redyip | Sep 10, 2019 5:09:44 PM

Anon - With no disrespect, I only submitted to T50. I never published outside T50 (well, maybe twelve years ago, first piece). Thus, yes, I suspect that maybe one of these journals are still open. Maybe they will offer me, Maybe not. But in Spring cycles, I never have had a month without any offers. That is why I feel i' done for now.

Posted by: Grrrr | Sep 10, 2019 4:04:20 PM

It is definitely not over, but your definition of “over” probably depends on what you’re looking for. The T20 placements seem to be wrapping up. But there is enormous activity in the 50-150 space. I didn’t submit this cycle but am advising a junior colleague who submitted on Labor Day, and she has a rapidly filling inbox with acceptances and rejections in the T100 range. It is all relative. Also, FWIW, I’ve submitted as late as early October in recent years and gotten a T20 placement, and I’m a nobody (relatively speaking). So, I know it’s been a quieter than normal cycle, but don’t lose hope!

Posted by: Anon | Sep 10, 2019 1:48:45 PM

I am not sure if it's over or not, but I have not heard from most of the journals, and I submitted almost a month ago.

No offers. Silence mostly. Journals closing. Desperation.

Posted by: Grrrr | Sep 10, 2019 12:37:56 PM

Clarification: Indiana Law Journal (not Review) is closed, though I'm not 100% sure they opened this season!

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 9, 2019 5:10:43 PM

Indiana is closed.

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 9, 2019 5:02:03 PM

Fordham and Seton Hall are listed as closed.

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 9, 2019 7:48:03 AM

I think It's pretty soon to give up. One of the rejection e-mails I got from a top law journal said they had received over 3000 submissions! I think the selection process continues well into mid-September.

Posted by: otter | Sep 8, 2019 5:34:54 PM

This submission cycle seems like a real bust.

Posted by: anony | Sep 8, 2019 9:46:02 AM

I am not Mark Lemley but I have good letterhead and some name recognition. I submitted to 11 journals in late August. (I won't submit to a journal I wouldn't be thrilled to publish in, and there were a lot of closed journals by the time I finished revising my paper). I have heard from only one journal -- a rejection. I have had decent luck in past August cycles but this one seems eerily quiet.

Posted by: anon senior prof | Sep 7, 2019 8:37:35 PM

my deadline ran so I'm out! But nobody has heard anything from GT as far as we know. But GT specifically posted a thing on Scholastica in early August/late July saying they were accepting submissions, so...

Posted by: fc22 | Sep 7, 2019 5:17:35 PM

What about Georgetown? Are they still reviewing? Are they reviewing at all?

Posted by: anon | Sep 7, 2019 3:10:18 PM

For what it is worth, I got the same message from UCLA.

Posted by: Curious | Sep 7, 2019 3:08:28 PM

same thing basically -- they told one person on Scholastica

Posted by: fc22 | Sep 7, 2019 1:32:56 PM

What is the evidence that Chicago is full?

Posted by: Anon | Sep 7, 2019 1:11:23 PM

From UCLA - “Thank you for your interest in our journal. Unfortunately, our selection process this cycle is now complete.”

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 7, 2019 8:57:03 AM

It seems a little strange that UCLA has told exactly one person that they are full, no?

Posted by: Anon2 | Sep 6, 2019 8:58:14 PM

So, from the spreadsheet, it looks like of T20 journals, Chicago, Stanford, UCLA, and (maybe) Cornell are full. Any others? Any that failed to open at all? Thank you.

Posted by: anon | Sep 6, 2019 6:23:33 PM


Rejected 45 minutes ago, had an expedite deadline of tomorrow afternoon. Message didn't indicate whether they were full.

Incidentally, I still haven't heard from UCLA

Posted by: fc22 | Sep 6, 2019 6:09:20 PM

Anyone hear from Northwestern lately (e.g., in response to an expedite)? Are they still reviewing?

Posted by: Northwestern | Sep 6, 2019 5:38:31 PM

I think it depends on what you are shooting for. There will be plenty of 60-100 and specialty journals scrambling for pieces at present. However, the opportunities for higher end journals may be sparse.

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 6, 2019 2:20:31 PM

Sadly can't check the Lemley box. If so, it's a no-go? I'm just a schmo.

Posted by: anon | Sep 6, 2019 1:24:37 PM

Anon, I suppose it depends on whether your name is Mark Lemley.

Posted by: crickets-y | Sep 6, 2019 12:31:07 PM

Is it worth submitting a completed piece this late in the process, or should I wait until February cycle? Any downside to running it up the flagpole at this point with a handful of top journals that haven't checked in as full?

Posted by: anon | Sep 6, 2019 9:30:52 AM

Just got a message that UCLA is officially full. Also a ding from Chicago.

Posted by: Curious | Sep 5, 2019 10:35:19 PM


the deadline on the offer I have is Saturday, I sent expedites last Thursday to those in normal expedite range, sent *everyone* an expedite on Monday, and am still at 33 "Under Reviews," including many of the places you mentioned! So, solidarity.

Posted by: fc22 | Sep 5, 2019 8:35:20 PM

@crickets-y, exactly the same since August 1st (or as soon as journal opened).

Posted by: Same | Sep 5, 2019 8:11:11 PM

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