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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


Meanwhile, reporting in from Long Term Parking, . . . I am here to say that I still have not heard from all the journals that others have heard from, such as: California, Chicago, Wisconsin, Columbia, Washington & Lee, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Washington, UCLA, oh, on, and on, and on. Basically, anyone. A few rejections, a tiny little handful of rejections, and otherwise, I am moving into my second weekend of tailgating. Though I've just given up. Probably won't be checking the thread much, anymore.

Posted by: crickets-y | Sep 5, 2019 7:46:13 PM

Trying to hit a bunch of comments at once:

RE: SSRN, Can confirm your wait isn't necessarily abnormal. I know of someone who waited more than two weeks for their piece to post.

Re:CRCL, Haven't heard anything either.

Re:UCLA, They responded to my expedite yesterday afternoon saying they'd get to my piece before my deadline so I don't think they're full.

Posted by: fc22 | Sep 5, 2019 5:49:30 PM

@Anona would you be willing to share a bit of general demographic information about yourself? I hold an endowed chair at a school ranked around 100 and got about a 10% response rate (all rejections) to two expedites. I suspect my e-mail address didn't excite the student editors enough to respond.

Posted by: Prof13 | Sep 5, 2019 5:22:20 PM

Anyone hear from Harv CRCL? Their message promised an update on 9/5

Posted by: Harv CRCL | Sep 5, 2019 5:18:16 PM

For the Chicago poster, how did you hear they were full? I submitted early August and have yet to hear from them . . . Also looks like UCLA is closed. Any word on whether they are full?

Posted by: anon | Sep 5, 2019 2:34:13 PM

@anona- thank you for your insight! Can you give a general timeframe of when you expedited and heard back from the T20 open journals? TIA!

Posted by: Wait2 | Sep 5, 2019 2:33:22 PM

@ New at this: Do not worry about the slowness of SSRN. It happened to me at least 10 times before. They claim to be "reviewing" your submission, which causes the delay in the paper's appearance. Wait patiently a few more days.

Posted by: anona | Sep 5, 2019 1:41:48 PM

Contrary to many others on this forum, complaining about the lack of responses to expedites, I had a completely different experience this cycle. I got a T70 offer, expedited all the way up and received responses from the vast majority of journals. In fact, from all T20 which were open. Unfortunately, they were all dings!!! Yet, I feel that most of these dings were the result of reading my paper and rejecting it on the merits. Hurts, but good to know. I communicated with all journals who responded to my expedite only via Scholastica, and never sent an individual email to editors.

Posted by: anona | Sep 5, 2019 1:37:46 PM

I accepted an offer for my article, and with the journal's permission, I posted on ssrn. That's been almost a week ago, and ssrn hasn't approved it. Should I be concerned? Does it normally take this long?

Posted by: new at this | Sep 5, 2019 8:20:01 AM

Ignoring expedites is the norm. See the below lauding UCLA for consistently responding.

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 5, 2019 8:15:38 AM

Those who have expedited and heard back, did you expedite only via Scholastica? Or did you e-mail the editors separately? I didn't hear anything from a journal I expedited and wonder if they even see it, given that they receive many requests on the platform. Or is ignoring your request conventional??

Posted by: tea bag | Sep 4, 2019 10:10:06 PM

@anon- Vanderbilt asked me today if my article is still available, so I don’t think they’re closed.

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Sep 4, 2019 8:38:32 PM

For the Vandy poster, how did you hear they were full? They are still open on scholastica and haven't sent out a mass reject yet (although maybe it's coming).

Posted by: anon | Sep 4, 2019 8:12:20 PM

As does Florida State.

Posted by: anon | Sep 4, 2019 2:08:49 PM

Colorado Law Review joins the list of law journals that are now full.

Posted by: anona | Sep 4, 2019 1:52:27 PM

To the person below, I am still waiting on Wisc and W&M. No rejection and no offer

Posted by: anon | Sep 4, 2019 12:31:57 PM

This has a bunch of them in one place.


Posted by: nana | Sep 4, 2019 12:16:53 PM

Thanks nomen. I just noticed that I didn't ask the right question! I meant ranking for law journals, not law schools. Don't know why it came out that way. Probably the stress of the season! haha. Can you share the link for law journal rankings? Thanks

Posted by: leaf | Sep 4, 2019 12:14:52 PM

Hey fellow angsters, Has anyone received any offers yet from Wisconsin or William and Mary?

Posted by: anona | Sep 4, 2019 11:00:21 AM

FYI - Conn, Iowa, and Pepperdine have all closed recently but did not send out rejections.

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Sep 4, 2019 9:16:23 AM

Tax prof has the rankings: https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2019/03/2020-us-news-law-school-peer-reputation-rankings-and-overall-rankings.html

Posted by: A nomen | Sep 4, 2019 5:20:10 AM

Can someone please post a link to law school rankings? I can't find the right website with the most updated ranking.

Posted by: leaf | Sep 3, 2019 11:17:48 PM

Thank you so much for your advice, Prof13! They gave me a little less than two weeks, so I have time, though worry about the scenario where another journal gives me less time. I expedited up to around T30 for now and then will see where we go from here.

Posted by: Curious | Sep 3, 2019 10:42:01 PM

@Curious: It depends on how long you have. My opinion FWIW: if it is only a week or so, I'd expedite everywhere. Anyone who accepts your piece will likely match the original deadline and you'll run out of time if you try to go in stages.

Posted by: Prof13 | Sep 3, 2019 6:29:55 PM

DF1: What did you decide to do? I’m in roughly the same situation- USN t90 flagship (W&L t115) vs USN t10 specialty (W&L t115 specialty). My deadline will expire soon, so I have to make the call and have gotten conflicting opinions.

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Sep 3, 2019 3:50:43 PM

NewProf - Holy shit (excuse me) yes. I may not accept every publication offer but I am genuinely grateful for them and I communicate that to the students. I have no idea if they read those notes or believe them - when I get dings from journals I delete them quickly to avoid the pain so I'm amazed at those here who read them closely - but I think it's important to try to tell offering journals that I am truly appreciative.

Posted by: politeanon | Sep 3, 2019 1:44:12 PM

Grr, a few years ago, I submitted mid/late August, got a T30 offer mid Sept (my first offer of the cycle) and wound up getting a YLJ offer at the very end of Sept. That's my only experience with this cycle, so I'd always hold out hope!

Posted by: anon | Sep 3, 2019 1:33:06 PM

Trying not to loose it. Wisconsin ding today.

Posted by: Grrrr | Sep 3, 2019 1:10:07 PM

Echoing Prof13's positive comments about UCLA. I had the same experience. Some other journals also acknowledged expedites, but UCLA stood out for their communication.

Posted by: thanksUCLA | Sep 3, 2019 12:29:43 PM

Just curious, do you make the effort of writing nice rejection emails to journals who made offers you are not accepting?

Posted by: NewProf | Sep 3, 2019 11:57:31 AM

Regarding UCLA: I expedited, received an email saying they would try to meet my deadline but might need more time, then received a timely rejection. They were the only journal to acknowledge receipt of my expedite. Very professional all around. They did not automatically ask me for more time but merely said they might need it. Hope that helps.

Posted by: Prof13 | Sep 3, 2019 11:54:39 AM

Grrr, I hope not, because I am in the same soup.

Posted by: nana | Sep 3, 2019 10:27:18 AM

I received an offer from a flagship journal ranked at T64 (Yay!). For those with more experience than me, how far up would you expedite?

Posted by: Curious | Sep 3, 2019 3:31:32 AM

I must say that I really dislike the fall cycle. First time for me in the fall, but I am well experienced in the spring. I usually publish in the T20-40, and I would also usually receive two-three offers a cycle. But this time, I am really in the dark. I am trying to make some sense, and the spreadsheet is really slow these days. While perhaps the season is over, or close to be over, I would really appreciate if some of you can share their data here. Here is mine:

Submitted 10/8 - to all (open) T50 law reviews:
Rejections (so far): Harvard, Stanford, Arizona, BYU, California, Cornell, Michigan, NYU, Virginia and Washington.

Do you think it is over for me? Do you feel that journals are still actively reviewing pieces(other than those that opened late)? Any past experience from fall cycles?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by: Grrr | Sep 3, 2019 3:29:00 AM

Iowa is closed on Scholastica. Any word on whether they are full?

Posted by: Iowa_anon | Sep 3, 2019 2:58:03 AM

There were earlier posts about UCLA responding to expedite requests by asking for more time, even if they were not at all serious about the article. I've had that experience with them in a prior cycle. Has anyone had that experience in this particular cycle? When I submitted an expedite request this time, they responded that they would do their best to review my piece by the deadline. Perhaps that's just a prelude to another stage when they will provide the dreaded request for more time, but anyone have a different view or experience? Thanks for any insight!

Posted by: uclahopeful | Sep 3, 2019 12:02:49 AM

I heard through the grapevine that YLJ is accepting print features without drafts based on pitches from authors. Does anyone know anything about this process or has anyone been through it? Any former YLJ editors?

Posted by: anon | Sep 2, 2019 8:00:43 PM

Anon, that's usual language. I wouldn't read too much into it. Moreover, the boards are going to be different in the spring, so no journal can really commit to your piece being accepted with a completely new board.

Posted by: AnonTT | Sep 2, 2019 4:59:20 PM

@anon, that seems really unusual. What makes them assume the piece will still be available?

Posted by: Prof13 | Sep 2, 2019 3:44:09 PM

Is there anything unusual in receiving a rejection that says "we encourage you to submit this work in February"? Is that boilerplate, or is that a signal that the article was liked and simply couldn't be fit in?

Posted by: anon | Sep 2, 2019 11:05:02 AM

I got a message today that my article was withdrawn from Columbia-Articles. I didn't withdraw it. I just looked on Scholastica. It says it was rejected on August 24 but withdrawn before the rejection, so the decision wasn't shared with me. What?

Did this happen to anyone else?

Posted by: Taking Care of Business | Sep 1, 2019 2:23:20 PM

FWIW - the cycle is done for me; I recently accepted an offer that I am very pleased with. But I submitted on 8/1 (and to late opening journals thereafter), and despite 2-3 rounds of expedites, I only heard back from a small handful of journals. Many journals listed on the spreadsheet as responding to some authors did not respond to me. So it seems to be a crapshoot whether you hear anything at all.

Posted by: aversionofanon | Sep 1, 2019 11:37:09 AM

Has anyone heard from:
American Criminal Law Review
American Journal of Criminal Law
NYU Rev. Law and Soc. Change
Yale Law and Policy Review
Harvard CR-CL

Posted by: specialty | Sep 1, 2019 1:08:38 AM

I submitted 8/1 and am still waiting to hear from Harvard, Columbia (articles), Virginia, Chicago, Georgetown, California, Iowa, Northwestern, Penn, Vanderbilt, Fordham, Boston College, and others. Should we just assume they only respond on an expedite?

Posted by: waiting | Sep 1, 2019 1:06:15 AM

How should one evaluate an offer from a flagship with t90 USN ranking and 300+ W&L ranking? For example, is it better or worse than a t14 USN and t150 W&L specialty? Opinions appreciated!

Posted by: DF1 | Aug 31, 2019 11:20:25 PM

Sam, so I've been pondering the incentives to issue exploding offers as well (given the strategies employed by law profs). I once accepted an offer from a law review which was at the bottom end of where I would have accepted. Had they given me an exploding offer, I would have turned it down and played my luck. But since I had a week and otherwise struck out, I accepted. So the exploding offer is risky from the law review's perspective if it causes them to lose articles. I think the 48-hour or 72-hour window will become more common--some line that straddles the line between being more efficient while also not risking losing articles off the bat.

Posted by: Axel Foley | Aug 31, 2019 6:19:25 PM

Yikes. That seriously disadvantages anyone who doesn't carry a smart phone.

Posted by: anon | Aug 31, 2019 5:06:19 PM

Newbie: Michigan Journal of Law Reform is great (but I would say that). I'm sure either choice is good, though.

To return to the question of submitting to journals with which you have no intention of publishing, see Charlie Sullivan's recent post on workplaceprof: https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/laborprof_blog/2019/08/the-worm-turns.html. If people are going to submit to some journals simply in order to expedite to others, without any intention of publishing with them, then it will be rational for many journals to give exploding offers. What happened to Charlie -- journal has one slot, gives out multiple offers, says the first prof to accept gets the slot -- is just a variation on that.

Posted by: Sam Bagenstos | Aug 31, 2019 3:27:14 PM

Newbe, I think the answer also depends on the specific T80 law review since these are not created equal. For example, I'd gladly take an offer from American University over the specialty, but decline one from Oklahoma or Kentucky.

Posted by: Nolita | Aug 31, 2019 1:06:20 PM

Newbie -
In that position, I'd go with the specialty journal. It isn't going to be the highlight of your resume, but it adds a line and doesn't harm you.

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Aug 31, 2019 12:29:51 PM

newbs - if I settled out in that position this cycle I would pull and resubmit in spring (subject to one's personal ethics, of course [wink])

Posted by: guest | Aug 31, 2019 9:37:00 AM

Thoughts on the Michigan Journal of Law Reform versus a USN 70-something flagship? My first two articles were in USN 30-something flagships to the extent trajectory matters.

Posted by: newbie | Aug 30, 2019 11:38:58 PM

Same situation. I submitted August 1 (and later, if they opened later). Still waiting on many, such as Chicago, Columbia, Georgetown, Michigan, Wake Forest, Penn, . . .

Posted by: FW | Aug 30, 2019 4:30:27 PM

Rejects from NYU, UCLA
Still waiting: Iowa, Georgetown among others

Posted by: anon | Aug 30, 2019 3:24:52 PM

Submitted on 8/1, still waiting on Harvard, Chicago, Columbia (Articles), Penn, UCLA, Georgetown, USC, Vanderbilt, and Iowa. I'm having a lot of fun as you can probably imagine!

Posted by: Oy | Aug 30, 2019 3:16:28 PM

Seconding anon’s list, submitted at same time, w some revisions:

Heard from: Iowa, UCLA, Chicago
Not heard from: Columbia (articles), Georgetown

Posted by: Guest | Aug 30, 2019 1:32:22 PM

I submitted 8/2. In the T20, I'm still waiting on Harvard. Chicago, Penn, Vanderbilt, UCLA (but they started late), Iowa, USC, and Texas (closed). My guess is that except for UCLA, those are the non-responders this late in cycle.

Posted by: anon | Aug 30, 2019 12:47:59 PM

is it standard to not hear anything back immediately from expedite requests? I know there was discussion about UCLA responding to them earlier, which made it seem like they were the exception.

Posted by: fc22 | Aug 30, 2019 12:46:37 PM

Any other Penn rejections? They seem quiet...

Posted by: Anoun | Aug 30, 2019 12:38:41 PM

I really hope you're right. It has been so incredibly weird for me.

Posted by: anonandon | Aug 29, 2019 6:42:32 PM

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