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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


Re: offers from expedites, it varies. Sometimes offers come right before the deadline, and sometimes they come shortly after you send the expedite request.

Posted by: anon | Feb 23, 2020 4:09:47 PM

when do people usually get an offer out of the usual 7-day expedite deadline? Do they more often come in the last one or two days? Thx!

Posted by: anon | Feb 23, 2020 12:17:42 PM

Lina Khan's piece in YLJ is maybe (definitely?) the most influential antitrust scholarship in decades. It singlehandedly derailed the academic conversation, and some would say the political one. But it was a *student note*. Any antitrust prof will tell you that 95% or more of antitrust prof peer reviewers would have shredded it through the efficiency lens--though in hindsight those dismissals would have robbed the field of a badly needed breath of fresh air.

Yes, you're right that Bernie can look in the T20 as well for ideas. But if the point is that the top journals are reluctant to accept "taking on corporate power" submissions, your examples don't disprove that. Grewal's piece was invited, as were Purdy's recent top publications.

Ergo, I submit that elite law review students are sympathetic to the cause but either (a) reject corporate reform pieces when comparing them to other submissions, or (b) peer review kills valuable corporate reform pieces.

Posted by: an anon | Feb 23, 2020 11:58:02 AM

Look, I get that this thread is mostly for cathartic griping, but I think the "law reviews won't publish anything taking on corporate power" gripe is fairly off base. How about most of Lynn Stout's opus? How about David Grewal's review of Pikkety in HLR? How about the Law and Neoliberalism issue of Law & Contemp. Probs.? How about Lina Khan's antitrust work? How about Jed Purdy's work?

Is that the majority of work in the field? No. But it certainly is out there, and in prominent publications.

Posted by: A. Nonymous | Feb 23, 2020 11:04:44 AM

Let's be realistic. Unless you’ve been living your academic life under a rock you know that even Democrat-voting private law professors lean conservative on business regulation. Efficiency drives the debate. Students are less beholden to efficiency but absorb that ideology. Students know enough to feel they can poke holes in proposals, but not enough to realize that those holes (or any provided by peer reviewing faculty) also have holes. Students trust their instincts with proposals related to rights, e.g., criminal law, racism, etc. But not with economic topics.

But no big deal. President Sanders can draw on the T20 to T100 for concrete ways to implement his vision.

Posted by: anon | Feb 23, 2020 10:52:02 AM

Indiana LJ said they have been reviewing on twitter

Posted by: anon2 | Feb 22, 2020 8:13:31 PM

It seems like this year is particularly quiet because some journals that used to be pretty responsive (Texas, Vanderbilt, Georgetown) have largely stopped sending rejections. Speaking of which, does anyone know if Notre Dame, Emory, or Indiana L.J. are reviewing?

Posted by: anon | Feb 22, 2020 2:15:32 PM

Is there much (or any) value to strategically expediting? I have an offer from a journal just outside the T50, and so far I have only expedited to the bottom half of the T50. I've received board read notifications from several journals in the T25. Should I just expedite all the way to the top, or should I try to wait for a second/better offer?

Posted by: anon | Feb 22, 2020 10:32:40 AM

@whattodo - If you do not have to place this article right now, I would consider waiting out a better offer -- which may ultimately mean pulling and resubmitting the article in the fall or even next spring. In the meantime, of course, you can work to improve the article. I have only done this once in my fifteen or so years of teaching, but I know others do it all the time. Unfortunately, our profession does tend to place a lot of weight on top placements and, more importantly, if you think this is your best article, that is a good reason to wait until you get the placement you think it deserves.

If it helps, I once let a T40ish offer go because the journal gave me a short response deadline and would not extend it despite interest and requests for extensions from other journals and I believed the article was my best at the time -- that article ultimately ended up with three additional offers and a T10 placement. Can't guarantee you'll get the outcome you want, but if you're willing to resubmit in the future, it may be worth letting the offer go. (And next time perhaps only submit to the T50).

Posted by: anon7 | Feb 22, 2020 7:46:30 AM

re: UCLA--no. sometimes they send a nice email saying your expedite window is too short and they likely won't be able to get back to you in that window.

Posted by: tired | Feb 22, 2020 12:39:28 AM

Does UCLA always send a nice email telling you they received your expedite request and will get back to you within your window?

Posted by: Prof | Feb 21, 2020 11:10:50 PM

unestablished newbie - don't change the article because HYS *may* be hostile to business reform. The advice below gets repeated each year on this website: your publication record is strong on the faculty hiring market if you've got a top 20 publication for public law applicants (con law, admin, etc.), and if you've got a top 50 placement for private law. The top 20 journals have always heavily favored public law. I'm not convinced there's a "business reform" hostility. It's an anything-related-to business hostility.

Posted by: srprofbus | Feb 21, 2020 8:49:19 PM

I also view Loyola L.A. as a T60-T70 journal. The law school itself has enjoyed a fair amount of stability in the 50-75 range and I've run across a couple of really superlative articles in the law review. Loyola L.A. also has a relatively strong faculty, which I think matters (in part because faculty tend to publish with their home journal).

Except on the extremes (like Fordham, which I truly think has a better law review than its rankings would indicate--maybe in the top 20), I don't put much stock in W&L's rankings.

Posted by: proffa | Feb 21, 2020 4:56:27 PM

My subjective view of Loyola LA is closer to 62 than 100, the problem is that there are 3 Loyolas, creates a bit of an identity crisis... But still, belong more with the Nebraskas, Kansases, etc around 70 than the Hawaiis, FIUs, etc around 90-100. You should also consider student quality. Much more so than in my early years, I notice a huge gap b/n the editing I get at a "good" school, and schools with weaker students. It's not just writing ability with the latter, it's carelessness with typos, unmatched parantheses, you name it. Makes the piece look unprofessional when published.

Posted by: seniorprof | Feb 21, 2020 4:15:34 PM

@seniorprof: given your views on Baylor, what's your impression of a law review like Loyola Los Angeles, which is T70 in the law school rankings, but closer to T100 in law review rankings?

Posted by: firsttimer | Feb 21, 2020 3:48:04 PM

Whattodo: Depends on the "top 100." There a big difference between say, Cardozo or San Diego or American or Kansas and say Baylor. Baylor is just invisible in the legal academy, and I wouldn't consider publishing in its law review, even in the years it's in the top 50 US News. But if it's at a school with a solid reputation and a reasonably well-cited law review, I think it's fine.

Posted by: seniorprof | Feb 21, 2020 3:20:07 PM

I'll say at the outset that this is probably a ridiculous concern and that I should be grateful to have any offers, but here it goes:

I am pre-tenure and have been lucky to build a pretty strong track record so far. My articles have all come out in top-25 flagships. This cycle I have had a few top-50 board reads but can't seem to get a top-50 offer. I have offers from excellent top-100 journals, but I worry I will disappointment my dean/senior colleagues with a significant placement drop (they seem to think I have mastered this process and expect me to place well). I'm also struggling to take a lower placement because I think that this article is actually the best thing I have written yet (though clearly most editors don't agree). Is it a problem to take a much lower placement? Or should I risk striking out for something better?

Posted by: whattodo | Feb 21, 2020 1:17:04 PM

I've never received an acceptance via phone. When (time of day) do those usually go out? Do editors leave a message if you don't answer? How does an exploding or short term offer work into that? I'm just curious about your experiences.

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Feb 21, 2020 12:55:37 PM

A question: Today I got an email from a journal saying they were considering my article and would be in touch within the week.

Should I interpret this as a board read, even though the term 'board read' didn't appear?

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Feb 21, 2020 12:08:30 PM

It depends on subject matter for meat market. But yes, many candidates (at least the top 10-15) often have a top 10 or multiple top 20 placements. If you are not business or maybe criminal law and are not a fellow and don't have those placements, it can be very hard. That said, even candidates with multiple top 20 placements often don't get jobs while people with a T75 who is writing on a topic that a particular school needs will.

If going on meat market, try to get the best placement you can but remember for many it is a multi year process. Many are closed in February so I would try to get a spring placement.

Posted by: anon | Feb 21, 2020 11:33:22 AM

new to all of this, I have been told by multiple people closer to the meat market than I that t20-30 for public law and t50 for private law is the generally used barometer for a good first placement.

Posted by: anon5 | Feb 21, 2020 10:47:30 AM

I’ve gotten 2 stealth dings. They are on the spreadsheet. I’ve seen a few others listed there too. So I would definitely check!

Posted by: tired | Feb 21, 2020 10:17:58 AM

@(not)bummed: Congrats!

What do the rest of you think about international law journals vs. flagships more generally?

My own sense is that the international law journals at Va., Yale, Harvard, and possibly Columbia are roughly equivalent to a T30 placement; and that there's a lower tier (including Stanford, Chicago, Michigan, Vanderbilt, Cornell, Penn) roughly equivalent to a T50 placement. But I might be way off base--eager to hear what you all think.

Posted by: notnotbummed | Feb 21, 2020 10:15:50 AM

Sounds like no one is getting any stealth dings this cycle on Scholastica or Expresso so we don't have to bother looking there?

Posted by: Angstish | Feb 21, 2020 9:29:14 AM

@WTH - thank you!!

Posted by: (not)bummed | Feb 21, 2020 9:00:26 AM

Congratulations, (not)bummed. Yes, in my view you definitely made the right choice!

Posted by: WTH | Feb 21, 2020 8:59:05 AM

@New: I think T50 is an excellent-to-superlative first placement

Posted by: The Anonymous Poster | Feb 21, 2020 8:54:13 AM

I am out as well. I accepted at a T50 flagship, and then shortly thereafter received an offer from Stanford Int'l L J. Trying to tell myself that for (tenure track) professional purposes, the flag ship is still the right decision....(someone tell me I'm right please).

Posted by: (not)bummed | Feb 21, 2020 8:38:17 AM

I'm out for this year. I accepted an offer from a specialty journal that I think is the perfect placement for my piece. This is certainly the earliest I've ever been out. I received an offer in mid-April my last go-around, so not all hope is lost for those waiting (including for specialty journals).

Best of luck to everyone! May the offers (and expedites) be ever in your favor!

Posted by: not a prof | Feb 21, 2020 7:34:41 AM

My first time with this process, and I'd like some advice with a view to the job market. What is considered "good" placement for a candidate on the market? I've heard anything from T14 to top 30 to top 50. Would it be wise to reject a T50 offer and resubmit next cycle after improving the paper, or is T50 good enough placement for meat-market purposes?

Posted by: New to all of this | Feb 20, 2020 10:22:50 PM

Hey anonagain -- for whatever it's worth, I've only gotten board reads and offers from HYS by expediting. Sometimes you might decide to accept another offer before they can meet. Sometimes you might roll the dice and turn down another offer so they can meet. But either way, I don't think expediting makes them more likely to reject you.

Posted by: anon | Feb 20, 2020 8:59:52 PM

Reposting this, hoping for responses: How do folks decide if/when to expedite to YHS? Y says if you expedite, they will not relax standards and more likely will reject you if they can't make your expedite deadline. Do they even care about other offers as a signaling device?

Posted by: anonagain | Feb 20, 2020 6:25:44 PM

Coming close to submitting...with business reform prescription and worried now... Too much of it is about the prescription to take it out. Too little time to rewrite. Is it just HYS that is resistant to this kind of paper? No chance there anyhow.

Posted by: unestablished newbie | Feb 20, 2020 5:22:27 PM

Concerning the W&L vs USN rankings question:

I think if you're going for an academic placement, you should let USN be your guide.

That's not really my concern anymore. My articles are directed more towards the judiciary rather than the academy, so I use W&L to see which journals have significant case cites. Leads to rather funny expedite messages sometimes.

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Feb 20, 2020 3:32:24 PM

Many thanks, @prof and @havingagreattime!

@lily, Harvard CRCL opens for a limited period, which they advertise ahead of time. Their closure doesn't necessarily mean they're done selecting, only that they're done soliciting.

Grateful for any updates on Harvard CRCL!

Posted by: Expediting advice | Feb 20, 2020 2:12:58 PM

Also, I noticed when I was submitting to more journals that Harvard CRCL is closed already. Maybe they found their pieces even sooner than intel from last page suggested!

Posted by: lily | Feb 20, 2020 1:58:30 PM

Also, I noticed when I was submitting to more journals that Harvard CRCL is closed already. Maybe they found their pieces even sooner than intel from last page suggested!

Posted by: lily | Feb 20, 2020 1:58:29 PM

At nearly two weeks of nearly nothing (only a handful of rejections from the usual suspects), I'm going to broaden my scope to the T100 and top specialties to see if I can get an expedite to shake free consideration at the journals I would prefer. I worry that nobody's looking at 2/7 articles anymore without expedites at this point. :/

Posted by: lily | Feb 20, 2020 1:52:53 PM

Does anyone have a theory about why a journal might send rejection notices for some articles but silently pass on others? Is it a matter of which AE reviews it (i.e., some AEs are more courteous than others), or how far it gets (e.g., rejection = died after board review; silence = never got read)?

By the way: a few folks have criticized journals for providing notice of board review, which can create a false sense of hope. But such notices can be useful in helping authors understand why their piece was rejected--for instance, whether the piece was rejected after having been read in full, or whether the title/abstract/letterhead simply failed to catch an AE's eye, so that nobody even reviewed the piece at all. So I'm grateful for any and all information a journal shares with me.

Posted by: anonny | Feb 20, 2020 1:21:27 PM

@expedite advice: no rhyme or reason to this necessarily, but I had a 10 day window from a T100 and expedited it to 40-100ish immediately and, with no offers, expedited it to 1-40 halfway through the window. My view: yeah, you should try to climb the ladder in a strategic way, but if it doesn't seem to be panning out, there's no sense in not shooting the shot.

Posted by: havingagreattime | Feb 20, 2020 1:17:43 PM

@expediteadvice, the way I look at it, the expedite can only help. It'll get them to take a second (or first) look at your paper. If they like it, they aren't going to not like it because another lower ranked law school liked it. If they don't like, better to know sooner rather than later.

Posted by: prof | Feb 20, 2020 1:10:03 PM

Thanks so much, @nachosbelgrande! I am concerned about being taken seriously by ~T-35 with a T-100 offer, especially since I don't have many prior publications. Do you or other folks think there is any merit to this concern?

Posted by: Expedite advice | Feb 20, 2020 12:57:02 PM

"How far up would you expedite from a T-100?"

I've historically gone to ~35-99. However, I know some folks go all the way to Yale.

Posted by: nachosbelgrande | Feb 20, 2020 12:22:03 PM

I am pretty new to this and would be grateful for some advice. How far up would you expedite from a T-100? There's a seven day offer window. Thanks for any thoughts!

Posted by: Expedite advice | Feb 20, 2020 11:32:24 AM

"Remember you always have time to revise later on, almost a year so it does not have to be perfect now."

A word of caution. This varies. A lot. Last August I had something accepted for the not-next-but-the-one-after issue, which meant I would have something like seven months to finalize the paper. But the prior spring, I had something accepted and a request to submit the final within two weeks.

Posted by: midwest | Feb 20, 2020 9:28:17 AM

look historically and you will see some journals start to close next week (or effectively close) but a lot are still open. and many aim to be done by spring break. I submitted early march last year and got a top 14. I think march 14ish is too late but anytime before that is fine, especially if willing to not accept any offer. many will officially close march 30 which means they effectively close around march 15. some journals have not even turned over their boards yet. and I received offers in late March/early April before too on March submissions.

More and more journals are filling their entire volumes just on spring submissions so to some extent the season may stay open slightly later than in the past. About 1/3 of the T50 is not even open in the fall. By the end of this month would be optimal time to submit, knowing that some journals may be effectively done (like duke or notre dame who often close early). If you are paying yourself I don't think it's worth it after March 15 or after the schools spring break (some of which are late) because they simply are not read. I submitted late before, then gave it new name, resubmitted in fall and schools had no idea I even submitted in spring. If your school is paying, and they pay a flat fee minds well submit whenever. Remember you always have time to revise later on, almost a year so it does not have to be perfect now.

Posted by: anon | Feb 19, 2020 9:00:30 PM

greenbean: i'd shoot for march 1st at the latest?
forprof: i expedited & haven't heard from OSU about it

Posted by: friendly | Feb 19, 2020 7:48:55 PM

Green Bean,

I would say that, obviously, you want to be comfortable with the number of edits you've done on the article. But putting that issue aside, as far as the timing of submission, there is obviously a point in time when the most publication slots will be available, but there's no way to know when that point is. If you go too early, you'll miss out on slots that haven't opened yet. If you go too late, you'll miss out on slots that have already been filled. I think it all boils down to your personal preference, frankly. Some people go early, some go later, and some go in between. Because we'll never have perfect information, there's no way to know which is the best route. I suspect that some point between Feb. 7 and Feb. 14 is the "optimal" time to submit, but shortly thereafter is nearly as good. It's all guesswork, really.

As for me, I'm out. I landed at U. Ill. L. Rev. this cycle, which I'm thrilled with, particularly being a Midwesterner. Best of luck to everyone -- the cycle has a very, very long way to go. I've received offers in LATE MARCH before, and even one in April. And keep in mind that, even when this system seems frustrating, the alternative (single submission peer review) is far, far worse for authors. On that issue, I always share this article (which, coincidentally, happens to be from U. Illinois): https://illinoislawreview.org/online/law-review-vs-peer-review/

Good luck, and I'll "see" you all on the fall thread. Take care.

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Feb 19, 2020 7:23:11 PM

“What's the latest date by which it is still worth submitting in this cycle?”

I would like to know the answer to this also. My first time to this game and between the folks who are suggesting it’s early February or bust and journals who say their spring cycle doesn’t even start until March, I don’t know what to believe. Do I rush to submit my paper ASAP or do I take the time to get it right and submit in early March?

Posted by: GreenBean | Feb 19, 2020 6:04:03 PM

Yep. I, too, got an extension request from Ohio State off of an expedite.

Posted by: anotheranon | Feb 19, 2020 5:58:43 PM

Anyone expediting getting an extension request from Ohio State?

Posted by: Forprof | Feb 19, 2020 5:38:30 PM

I, too, got an extension request from UCI off of an expedite.

Posted by: anotheranon | Feb 19, 2020 5:05:39 PM

How do folks decide if/when to expedite to YHS? Y says if you expedite, they will not relax standards and more likely will reject you if they can't make your expedite deadline. Do they even care about other offers as a signaling device?

Posted by: anon | Feb 19, 2020 5:03:30 PM

What's the latest date by which it is still worth submitting in this cycle?

Posted by: A | Feb 19, 2020 4:53:14 PM

I know of a Georgetown offer recently, related to business law so people can hopefully simmer on that topic.

Posted by: anon | Feb 19, 2020 4:30:14 PM

Is everyone who expedited getting a request for more time from UCI?

Posted by: yeet | Feb 19, 2020 4:16:42 PM


Congrats on the offer. These things are generally too random to infer anything at all from a lack of rejection, but there's no reason not to let the expedite ride until the end of the offer window. In my experience, you hear back from maybe 20% of the people you send expedite requests to by the time the offer window closes.

Posted by: havingagreattime | Feb 19, 2020 3:36:55 PM

I submitted on Feb 2nd. I have an expedite from a T40 Journal for a week now. Looking at the spreadsheet, I see Michigan is very active. Should I infer anything from the fact that they didn't reject me yet? I am new to this, so any thoughts?

Posted by: Newbie2 | Feb 19, 2020 3:24:35 PM

Submitted exclusively to a T10. Their exclusive window ended a few days ago without any word, so I submitted widely to the T75-100. Is silence during and after an exclusive window common?

Posted by: anon5 | Feb 19, 2020 2:01:40 PM

Submitted exclusively to a T10. Their exclusive window ended a few days ago without any word, so I submitted widely to the T75-100. Is silence during and after an exclusive window common?

Posted by: anon5 | Feb 19, 2020 2:01:40 PM

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