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Saturday, February 01, 2020

Submission Angsting Spring 2020

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 2020 version). The article now also includes hyperlinks to law review websites.

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on February 1, 2020 at 06:11 PM in Law Review Review | Permalink



Posted by: AnotherAnon | Jul 25, 2020 2:00:51 PM

Michael, same. I thought more top 50 law reviews were typically open by now.

Posted by: Axel Foley | Jul 25, 2020 1:58:57 PM

Some profs are getting cranky, which means it's my favorite time of the year. It's like February, but warm.

Has anyone else noticed that very few journals are open in the USN 50? Maybe it's my aging memory but I think that by this time in previous years, more of them were open. I hope it's not a sign of things to come, i.e., a single submission season in February.

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Jul 21, 2020 10:59:48 AM

It was a joke.

Posted by: Aspiring | Jul 20, 2020 10:15:38 PM


Believe it or not this blog doesn't exist for your exclusive use or convenience.

Posted by: anonprof | Jul 20, 2020 9:31:46 PM

Please don't start a new thread, I'm not ready yet.

Posted by: Aspiring | Jul 20, 2020 9:11:53 PM

Hey mods, can we get a new submission angsting thread for Fall?

Posted by: anonprof | Jul 20, 2020 7:53:17 PM

So when you submit to a journal and give them "exclusive review" for a period, knowing the likelihood of them accepting your piece is minute, and then a more realistic journal opens up, do you sit tight until the period has concluded before submitting to the second journal? I mean I know what an ethicist would do here. But what is standard practice?

Posted by: anon | Jul 20, 2020 5:56:04 PM

That's a common part of the process. In my experience (10ish articles and many shorter pieces), the macro suggestions are typically few and rarely major. Sometimes they're helpful. And you can always decline a suggestion if you think it's a bad change, although I'm inclined to think it's always best to take some care to receive the feedback with a genuinely open mind.

Posted by: Anonprof | Jul 14, 2020 1:25:57 PM

I recently got an offer from a law journal. According to the editor, after I sign the publication agreement, they will do a preliminary review and provide a memo with proposed macro edits and changes. This is not a peer-reviewed journal. They won’t provide further details on what kind of macro edits they are going to propose (not even some general information) unless I sign the agreement. I don’t know what I’m signing up for. Has anyone had similar experience? Is this some kind of new editing practices? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Posted by: Anon | Jul 14, 2020 10:51:04 AM

Thank you!

Posted by: AnonProf | Jul 12, 2020 9:59:46 AM

These seem closed:
Notre Dame
Ohio State

Posted by: Closed journals | Jul 11, 2020 10:00:26 PM

Does anyone know of any journals that are closed for the year -- i.e., they will not be accepting in the Fall?

Posted by: AnonProf | Jul 11, 2020 8:48:25 AM

So, this isn't really a question for the Spring cycle, but as the fall post is not yet here I'll thought I give it a try. I was wondering what are your thoughts on the New Criminal Law Review.
It is ranked quite low on Washington&Lee, but is it peer-reviewed (for which W&L misses sometimes in my opinion) and ranked "A" on the Israeli file that was mentioned here (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3422168).
This is a huge gap... would you consider it as a good venue for publishing a Law&Econ piece on crime?

Posted by: anonJunior | Jun 6, 2020 12:26:25 PM

What kind of scholar are you if you can't get your work published in one of several hundred student-edited journals? You literally can't give away your scholarship. You should find another job where what you do matters. McDonalds?

Posted by: anon | Jun 1, 2020 4:16:00 PM

Has anyone submitted to the Administrative Law Review following their call for proposals? I submitted but never heard back..

Posted by: Angster33 | Jun 1, 2020 10:03:14 AM

Thanks very much for the explanation!

Posted by: angsty | May 24, 2020 9:53:35 PM


Law reviews are trying to cut down on the too-long articles of the past, and several have adopted a guideline on word count. Whether they conform to it has been discussed in the past, and I won't reach that here.

But a note that "hey, this is too long, but I promise to reduce it if you give me an offer of publication" probably won't get you traction at most journals. As a former articles selection editor at a flagship journal many moons ago, I can say that from my experience, we got so many good articles--so one that was in tip-top shape, including properly formatted footnotes, was always going to win out over one that seemed to be a work-in-progress or where the author suggested that we'd be suffering through multiple rounds of subtantive edits (when we really just wanted to move the thing into production). If you can reduce it, I'd do that prior to submission. I make sure mine are under the word limit with strong citations. MTCW, YYMV, etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 23, 2020 8:52:31 PM

Can anyone comment on whether articles longer than 30k-35k words really are disfavored for selection by T-50 journals?

Would submitting such an article with the promise that words could be cut later if accepted cure its being too lengthy?

Posted by: angsty | May 10, 2020 9:35:29 PM

Wondering if anyone knew if journals are still giving offers 1) outside T75 and 2) in specialty reviews focusing on con law/civil rights/policy. On the latter, I received a ding from Harvard Civil Rights Civil Liberties Journal but was curious about others.

Posted by: Submission Zen | May 8, 2020 10:13:54 AM

As I have not received good offers this cycle but did receive positive signals (e.g. t30 journals rejecting with non-generic emails that emphasize that the paper is good but they are full), I am considering to wait for the next one.
I've heard conflicting opinions regarding whether one should change the title when submitting the same paper twice - any opinions on this?
I find it a bit strange that the title should matter at all.. Conspiracy theories say that some journals have an automatic process that rejects papers that have already been submitted based on the title. Any truth to these rumors?

Posted by: anonJunior | May 2, 2020 12:06:35 PM

Well, even with the understanding that the cycle is almost certainly over, I wanted to go ahead and pass along my my annual reference guide for the top 100 law reviews, updated with the most recent 2021 USNWR rankings. http://ssrn.com/abstract=3026293

I hope everyone's cycles exceeded expectations!

Posted by: BAA | Apr 30, 2020 2:52:01 PM

I had a strange cycle this time. Submitted at the very beginning of the cycle. Got a T-5 board read early on, but otherwise a steady trickle of declines through February and March, and by the end of March still hadn't heard from about half of places. Had pretty much given up for this cycle, but last weekend finally got a T-30 offer out of the blue, which I accepted. So I guess things are still not done in some places.

Posted by: StrangeCycle | Apr 29, 2020 6:25:20 AM

While Yale is closed, Harvard Law Review and Penn Law Review are still accepting submissions. This season may still have a ways to go.

Posted by: angsty | Apr 29, 2020 2:17:19 AM

As a junior scholar who has now been roped into doing two symposium issues for lower tier journals, I regret it. I haven't gotten anything reputation-wise out of it. It hasn't counted much toward tenure since the word limits were short. But because I'm not as proficient at writing as a more senior scholar and I don't know the research area as well it took a really long time. Most of the more senior scholars both times have backed out of contributing at the last minute, leaving me holding the bag. The editing work was sloppy both times (since the symposium turns into a blow off for the editors or they are doing double duty). The placements have diluted the quality of my publication list because instead of having all T50s now I have some lower. No one looks close enough to realize whether it's a symposium or just a lackluster placement. I'd think twice as a junior about doing symposium issues.

Posted by: anon | Apr 28, 2020 5:40:22 PM

Similar question to anonJunior - how are symposium issues perceived in such circumstances (non-tenured junior scholar)? Should one decline an invitation to be a symposium panelist and to publish in a symposium issue for a lower-tier (USNR ~100) flagship law review if that year's symposium is focusing on one's specialty? Would that lower-tier publication line actually deter highly-ranked journals from giving future offers or would it be perceived differently because it's an invited symposium issue (and comes with a speaking/networking component)?

Of course, I understand the answer depends on other factors as well, but let's say the invited panelist has published a few pieces in the T50ish range.

Many thanks!

Posted by: PerplexedAnon | Apr 28, 2020 4:56:03 PM

Hello all:
Is there a list of Canadian law journals somewhere? I searched but could not find one.

Posted by: Canadian | Apr 27, 2020 5:29:52 PM

@anon jr -

This will vary a good deal school-by-school. It also depends greatly on what you consider to be a "good publication" and what your credentials are otherwise. As a general rule, though, I'd shoot for a second publication in a similar-tier journal or better.

Here's where things get complicated: if you are a Harvard PhD with a top (Chicago/Columbia/Harvard) fellowship who writes in a perpetual high-needs area and your "good" publication is in a HYS flagship, I would be very hesitant to accept a second publication pre-market outside of the T14, maybe even T6. There's a good deal of value to looking like a bundle of raw potential, and even an excellent (say, T50) publication might end up diluting your perceived potential in the eyes of hiring committees. On the other hand, if you are a Wisconsin PhD (e.g., very respectable but not dazzlingly elite) with a similarly respectable postdoc and a T50 publication, and you write in a normally competitive field, you may need a second publication to show that you're productive -- and it might be useful/necessary even if it's a step down (say, T75 or T100).

Posted by: anon3 | Apr 25, 2020 4:50:26 PM

Suppose you were a non-tenured junior scholar (e.g. fellow or post-doc) whose goal is to attain a tenure track position at a decent school (possibly overseas). You have one good publication, but nothing else, so you are looking to improve the quantity in your portfolio. What would you say is the minimal ranking of a journal for which you would accept an offer? t300? t200? t75? t30?
My understanding is that there are 2 problems with accepting "bad" offers for a decent paper in this situation:
(1) They reflect badly on your CV, and this alone can reduce your chances of better publications in the future.
(2) You could potentially get better offers next cycle (assume that the paper is good and didn't receive a top offers mainly due to being submitted late in the cycle).

Any advice on which threshold should one consider?

Posted by: anonJunior | Apr 25, 2020 2:01:27 PM

As an answer to my own question: the cycle does not seem to be over yet. Some journals have even communicated to me that they haven't started reading yet (covid-19 delays). For those of you still hunting for offers- the battle is not yet lost!

Posted by: Overseasfirsttimer | Apr 21, 2020 12:28:19 PM

Has anyone compiled a list of law reviews that accept submissions year-round and not just in-season? I thought the excellent Rostron and Levit guide would have this information, but sadly it does not.

Posted by: angsty | Apr 20, 2020 3:26:41 AM

Has anyone heard from Cardozo lately?

Posted by: NewProf | Apr 18, 2020 7:16:17 AM

Very poor etiquette not to respond - it literally takes just the push of a button.

Posted by: Whoanon | Apr 13, 2020 11:59:32 AM

Arizona got back to me today with a rejection

Posted by: Adjunct | Apr 12, 2020 7:50:28 PM

I don't know if the cycle is over or not, but my list of no response is very similar to yours:

Arizona Law Review
Emory Law Journal
Fordham Law Review
George Mason Law Review
Georgia Law Review
Indiana Law Journal
Notre Dame Law Reviews
Southern California Law Review
Texas Law Review
The University of Chicago Law Review
University of Illinois Law Review

Posted by: Aspiring | Apr 12, 2020 7:38:46 PM

Any thoughts on whether the cycle is over? I'm still waiting on decisions from most of the journals I submitted to (3rd week of February), including:
Arizona Law Review
Emory Law Journal
Fordham Law Review
George Mason Law Review
Indiana Law Journal
Southern California Law Review
The Georgetown Law Journal
Texas Law Review
UCLA Law Review
University of Illinois Law Review
Utah Law Review

According to the table, some of these were active early on so maybe I just missed out, but others seem to have been active after I submitted - yet still no word.

Posted by: OverseasFirstTimer | Apr 12, 2020 5:05:08 PM

I believe the Southern California Law Review is full.

Posted by: Bernard S. Sharfman | Apr 10, 2020 8:56:29 AM


I think there are two issues there: (1) expediting, which is an accepted practice by everyone in the game, and (2) letting offers lapse when one doesn't receive subsequent offers via expedite, which is a more controversial practice.

But I agree, law journals have the power to stop both things, if they wanted. The easy fix is that journals lower in the USN rankings could simply not open up for submissions until, say, March 15. (They'll miss out on many submissions, but, depending on their USN rank, they wouldn't have a real shot and those submissions anyway. So reducing submissions would actually be their goal.) Or, they could make it known upfront that they only give exploding offers, and that profs shouldn't submit to them until they are serious about publishing with them. (This might be difficult to communicate via Scholastica or Expresso, though.)

As for Expresso, do a lot of journals still use the system? And as a prof, doesn't your school pay for submission fees?

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Apr 9, 2020 1:16:00 PM

@Michael Cicchini - thanks for your reply! I do mean ExpressO (it is less popular than Scholastica, but 50% cheaper, which is crucial when submission fees are out-of-pocket). It is definitely an important discussion whether one should submit when one has no intention of publishing. As I did think I may take the offer when I submitted (I was advised against it only afterwards) it feels morally ok, but even if that was not the case - what is one supposed to do if journals only read papers upon expedites? If that is how the game currently works, and if lower-ranked journals cooperate (e.g. by giving long deadlines), than anyone who doesn't do it is just a bad player. I also wish for this apparent market failure to be fixed, but until it does, I see no other choice really.

Posted by: Angster33 | Apr 9, 2020 12:18:25 PM


I presume you mean Scholastica. (I'm familiar with that program, but haven't used Expresso in a long time.) I would use the discussion feature. I would not re-expedite because you no longer have an offer from which to expedite. However, many professors will just lie about that:

Quite simply, nothing prevents the professor from misrepresenting the offer deadline [from hypothetical Journal 100] to other journals, as letting the real deadline lapse does not matter when the professor had no intention of ever publishing with Journal 100 in the first place. . . . One professor explains that, “[w]hen I have had an expedite expire without another offer, I have gone back in to [S]cholastica [and] put in a new really long expedite deadline . . . .” Unilaterally extending the deadline of the (now expired) offer allows the professor to remain in the expedite game, even though he or she no longer has a pending offer and arguably should be removed from consideration. The professor even reports that “I’ve done that twice now I think and both times I’ve received subsequent higher offers . . . .”
Source: https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/f955aadf-0011-4845-8db8-2b9972b1d361/downloads/newhampshire2.pdf?ver=1585884868588

I wouldn't engage in this practice, though. (But I also wouldn't have rejected or let lapse the original offer simply because I didn't get another one on expedite; I only submit where I would be willing to publish assuming I don't get offers on expedite.) Perhaps check with the profs at your school to determine the limits -- at least from their perspective.

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Apr 9, 2020 11:57:35 AM

Hi Everyone, I was wondering if you have an opinion about the following scenario:
I received an offer from a relatively low-ranked journal and expedited to several other journals in Expresso. The deadline swooshed by with total silence from literally all the journals I expedited to. Eventually, I decided to take the risk and rejected the offer (I'm junior faculty and was spooked by colleagues that if I dare take that offer I will destroy my chances of ever recovering in the future).
The question is what to do next: should I write to the same journals and let them know that my paper is still available? And should I do it as a new expedite on Expresso or as a regular communication?
I kind of anticipated that things would be slow due to Covid-19, but complete silence on an expedite was a bit surprising.

Posted by: Angster33 | Apr 9, 2020 10:49:50 AM


No problem. It's sort of random when it comes to placements. I placed one in the 30s earlier this spring, one in the 20s last spring, but last summer I placed three in the 80-100 range. Had I just submitted to #1-75 last summer, I wouldn't have received an offer, yet I had three very useful articles for lawyers in my practice area. Ranking doesn't matter for practitioners, but I am generally (though not exclusively) guided by them because that's the generally accepted practice, with some exceptions. And, I'll admit, I get a charge out of taking publication spots from law professors who look down on practitioner-written articles, like the prof who commented previously. (I'm allowed that minor pleasure, I think, for all of the unpaid writing I do and the hefty submission fees I pay out of my pocket.) Feel free to email me if you have other questions about the nuances. If you want to join the professoriate, for example, there are certain journals to avoid despite their schools' USN rank.

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Apr 8, 2020 9:14:38 PM

FYI, Stanford is closing on April 15 until July: https://twitter.com/StanLRev/status/1248045519554789379

Posted by: SLR | Apr 8, 2020 8:32:40 PM

Michael Cicchini, thanks very much. Very useful information for someone new to this game.

Posted by: frustrated | Apr 8, 2020 8:10:32 PM

Just go to the US News rankings online for a list of 2T and 3T schools. Otherwise, this link (below) is easier to navigate but it ranks schools by peer rep, with overall rank to the far right. As for online companion journals, I suspect that the further down the rankings you go, there will be fewer online companions. https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2020/03/2021-us-news-law-school-peer-reputation-rankings-and-overall-rankings.html

New to This,
I don’t know anything about workshops and whether that would even help. But as far as submissions, perhaps go with the top 100 (instead of top 75) plus a handful of specialty journals plus some other flagships in the 100-plus range where you’d be happy publishing. Submitting only to the top 75 seems very light. I don’t know if it’s too late to do that this cycle – maybe it would be wise to wait until next time, I don’t know. But I would go deeper than 75, particularly because the odds of getting into the top 25 are very low.

For articles under than 10k words, some print journals might take it as an essay, but I don’t think you’ll find a trend within the USN rankings as to which publish essays and which don’t. At that length, however, I suspect that many online journals would like it as well, along with some print journals.

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Apr 8, 2020 5:44:07 PM

Hello All, is there a list of second/third tier journals (and their online companions) with emails where an article can be sent? I would appreciate any help. Thanks.

Posted by: frustrated | Apr 8, 2020 12:55:03 PM

@angst - I received a similar letter, but with a note that I should hear back after their Apr. 7 meeting. Crickets.

Posted by: Angst2 | Apr 8, 2020 12:34:32 AM

I am a recent law grad who submitted an article to ~Top 75 and have no offers.

I sent the article to various profs, and responded to their comments in the paper, which improved it a lot. I'm now not really sure how to make it much better.

Is there a list anywhere of colloquia/workshops I can apply to with the paper?

Posted by: New to this | Apr 7, 2020 3:17:30 PM

Up till now in this crazy submission season one article got placed in a specialty journal. It was short and in a very specific field so I did not expect a flagship. I am happy with that.
Another article with 13K words was submitted almost a month ago and no offers yet. I hoped for a top 50 placement but truth be told it looks to me that the submission season will not end so fast and second tier journals will continue to read articles for the next few weeks

Posted by: Adjunct | Apr 7, 2020 1:54:37 PM

Definitely not law and econ.

Posted by: anonnynonnyno | Apr 7, 2020 1:29:49 PM

I'd pick Mason if it's a law & econ piece, though

Posted by: anon | Apr 7, 2020 11:45:01 AM

Second that; Wake over Mason.

Posted by: Agreed | Apr 6, 2020 6:51:55 PM

Congrats on the offers. Wake over Mason in my view. It's a top 40 law review according to most metrics.

Posted by: Anons | Apr 6, 2020 6:51:03 PM

Close call, but probably George Mason.

Posted by: anonvet | Apr 6, 2020 5:43:29 PM

Wake Forest or George Mason?

Posted by: anonnynonnyno | Apr 6, 2020 1:30:50 PM

Are journals that have securities litigation as one of the areas of specialization still open? I do not see these journals in the Google spreadsheet.

Posted by: ques | Apr 5, 2020 10:27:39 PM

I am a practitioner and have an article that is less than 10,000 words. What is a good place to look for rankings of law journals? Thanks.

Posted by: Anon2 | Apr 5, 2020 10:16:53 PM

@babs: If the piece is important for your tenure file, I would prioritize the T14 specialty. If it's not, and your main objective is for maximal audience, I would prioritize T5 online. I think T100 flagship places third in both scenarios.

Posted by: advice | Apr 5, 2020 11:42:30 AM

(and the below question is for a junior, non-tenured faculty member - thanks!)

Posted by: babs | Apr 5, 2020 10:18:02 AM

Missouri. How about T5 flagship online, T14 secondary journal, or T100 flagship?

Posted by: babs | Apr 5, 2020 10:16:04 AM

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