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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


I fail to see why you would ever have an offer expire. The moment you know you’re not going to publish with the journal withdraw on the platform and send a kind thank you note. Don’t drag things out unnecessarily, just withdraw. If something does expire I would affirmatively communicate with editors so they know you’re not interested.

Posted by: Re: Expiring Deadlines | Mar 26, 2020 6:44:45 PM

Excuse me. A quick question. When the offer expires, would it be a good practice to write a thank you letter for the journal that grants me the offer? Or just let it expire? What is the standard practice of this kind of correspondence?

Posted by: AForeignJuniorProf | Mar 26, 2020 5:51:40 PM

I mean for anyone who already submitted - figured they might release the status of some submissions before May 1 since their exclusive window opened a few weeks ago.

Posted by: NWEmpirical | Mar 26, 2020 5:48:56 PM

UPenn Law Review Kill wave....

Posted by: UCLA-Wait(no more) | Mar 26, 2020 5:33:48 PM

NWempirical - if you are refering to the northwestern empirical issue, their deadline was postponed to May.

Posted by: Angster33 | Mar 26, 2020 5:28:16 PM

Anyone who submitted hear anything yet?

Posted by: NWEmpirical | Mar 26, 2020 3:23:35 PM

Anon2- look at the online companions (https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3341802).
Also some print edition journals publish essays (e.g. YLJ).

Posted by: Angster33 | Mar 26, 2020 2:09:51 PM

I have a short essay that I would like to submit. Is there a place that lists journals that are suited for shorter essays? I am new to this process and would appreciate any guidance. Thanks.

Posted by: Anon2 | Mar 25, 2020 7:22:36 PM

"Yes COVID-19 could make it harder for some junior faculty going up for tenure real soon, but only those outside the T14."

How so - why only those outside the T14?

Posted by: Q | Mar 25, 2020 11:19:56 AM

anon, thanks for that tweet. Hilarious that I submitted to Columbia 6 weeks ago and haven't heard anything if they're still processing as usual. This is such a fun process.

Posted by: Thisiscrazy | Mar 25, 2020 10:58:35 AM

I see some Geo. L.J. rejections on the spreadsheet. Did they indicate that they're finished for this cycle?

Posted by: Georgetown | Mar 25, 2020 9:47:29 AM

Columbia claims to still be open...


Posted by: anon | Mar 25, 2020 9:37:36 AM


I suggest that you use these two tools:

1) Areheart's 10-year historical chart based on US News

2) Newell's meta-ranking

Posted by: UCLA-Wait(no more) | Mar 24, 2020 3:42:42 PM

Also Rutgers Law Review, which is in a similar situation to DU.

Posted by: tangerine | Mar 24, 2020 3:28:39 PM

What do people think of Denver Law Reviw? I'm confused about it's ranking since it doesn't appear to be in the top 300 of W&L ranking, but ranks somewhere between 60 to 77 on the taxprof ranking chart.

Posted by: tangerine | Mar 24, 2020 3:20:31 PM

My school just extended the tenure clock for a year for those who need it due to COVID-19. It's a good move (and of course only optional for those who are concerned that COVID 19 is taking away from being able to complete research).

Posted by: anon | Mar 24, 2020 12:16:53 PM

Yes COVID-19 could make it harder for some junior faculty going up for tenure real soon, but only those outside the T14. And sure a top publication helps enormously. That's a strange criterion for submissions consideration, though. Doubtful most editors are even thinking about that.

Posted by: anonanon | Mar 24, 2020 12:08:02 PM

I have seen various comments on this on the blog but this is my first submission and wanted to ask people's thoughts about Cardozo Law Review: is its current placement (#52 US News) representative of its peer valuation? I have seen people discuss a dissonance between its placement and its peer reputation. Any input?

Posted by: anon_firsttimer | Mar 24, 2020 10:57:46 AM

APreMarketProf --yes.

Posted by: blue | Mar 24, 2020 6:51:52 AM

I am a premarket person. Until now, I only got two offers, but both of them are not very desirable. One is from a specialty journal from T30 (will expire by the end of this month), another is from a general law review from T130 (will expire in the early of April). About 60 journals did not respond yet. I am wondering whether it is a good strategy to wait until the last minute of the offer. My guess is that many offers from middle-tier law schools are being held by professors who are waiting for the decision from top law reviews. They will release these offers when they get the top ones. Once they release the offers from middle-tier law schools, maybe I will have the chance to get one. Does this theory work?

Posted by: APreMarketProf | Mar 23, 2020 6:25:07 PM

I don't think "age" is the criteria; it's whether someone is new to academia; Some people just start the process later. II think t's a good decision for journals to devote space to those pre-tenure or whoo are fellows or about to go on market.

Posted by: anon | Mar 23, 2020 2:32:10 PM

@MiddleAgeAuthor, of course there aren't a shortage of seasoned voices in legal academia. My point was more nuanced--there is a shortage of more seasoned practitioners who are new to academia and scholarship. More of that.

Posted by: Old Author | Mar 23, 2020 2:30:07 PM

More of what? Does anyone think there's a shortage of seasoned voices in legal academia?

Posted by: MiddleAgedAuthor | Mar 23, 2020 12:58:27 PM

@youngauthors, its good for journals to reserve spots for people new to academia. Denver and others have "Emerging Authors" editions. I think its unhealthy to inject age as a formal consideration (full disclosure I am older and have an old dog in this fight), though likely this would trend toward younger writers. But there are older writers who are new to scholarship. There's valuable perspectives in lived experience. Legal scholarship, and legal academia as a whole, would benefit from more of this.

Posted by: Old Author | Mar 23, 2020 11:52:58 AM

@youngauthors, its good for journals to reserve spots for people new to academia. Denver and others have "Emerging Authors" editions. I think its unhealthy to inject age as a formal consideration (full disclosure I am older and have an old dog in this fight), though likely this would trend toward younger writers. But there are older writers who are new to scholarship. There's valuable perspectives in lived experience. Legal scholarship, and legal academia as a whole, would benefit from more of this.

Posted by: Old Author | Mar 23, 2020 11:52:57 AM

I saw a twitter thread by an anonymous AE in the NYU L. Rev. from several weeks ago indicating that their articles committee puts an additional thumb on the scale if a manuscript it is seriously considering is authored by someone who is young/new or pre tenure or something similar. Seems to me like good "practice," both in general and in particular given the probable consequences of COVID-19. Would love to hear any thoughts others may have.

Posted by: youngauthors | Mar 23, 2020 11:22:04 AM

JustAQuestion, in my view, you can absolutely submit to as many journals as you want. A lot of people do it that (although I don't submit to a ton because of financial reasons).

I think it becomes unprofessional when you submit to journals you would never publish with.

My opinion is that if you submit to a journal, you're indicating you would publish with them if they're your only/best offer. It's really cruel to take editor time to review and offer then have you not publish because you never thought they were good enough.

Posted by: Re: JustAQuestion | Mar 22, 2020 10:07:39 PM

JustAQuestion --I would think that the fall submission cycle will be very short but staggered. Assume you get an offer from a T150 (or below) school. How far up the chain do you think you can go? I'm not sure.... Telling a T14 about your offer might not have impact. And yes, this does contribute to the problem we're all facing. Up to you though.

Posted by: nopostcodeenvy | Mar 22, 2020 2:12:25 PM

JustAQuestion - isn't that what most people do? At least among the people I know (mostly still very early-career), it's normal to submit to 1-100 or even 1-130 plus a few specialties. Yes, it burdens the students, but our papers aren't going to picked up based on our name or CV, so we do what we have to do to have any shot at all.

Posted by: DLA | Mar 22, 2020 10:32:01 AM


Congrats! Delighted to hear that you have freed up slots for me ;)
My deadline is coming up today...

Posted by: UCLA-Wait | Mar 22, 2020 9:44:39 AM

As this cycle seems to be a big failure for me, I have a theoretical question:
Suppose I was a heartless prick, who would not care at all about the well-being of students and would not mind if they all waste their time reviewing my paper.
Is there any reason why I shouldn't just submit on Aug. 1 too *all* the journals (apart for financial considerations and maybe some reputation concerns)? I.e. is there any downside to the number of multiple submissions? I can guess that some editors talk to each other and may get annoyed if they know that someone really submitted everywhere, but I'm not sure..
Obviously, the system actually encourages me to do this - submit to all journals, ranked 1 - 999999999999 in the hope that at least one would randomly say yes, and then start climbing up. Am I missing something?

Posted by: JustAQuestion | Mar 22, 2020 7:15:47 AM

T5 offer at the last minute! Releasing the offers that came in over the past few days (a T10, a T20, and a T25). FWIW the initial expedite came from a specialty journal at a T20. Good luck to everyone!

Posted by: AnotherAnon | Mar 21, 2020 10:11:30 PM

Regarding word requirements, I would assume that UPenn Journal of Int'l Law follows what has basically become standard practice everywhere: articles should be 15,000-30,000 words long. It'd be relatively easy for you to check the length of recent articles that they've published to see if this seems true. Also, they're listed as open on Scholastica -- why would you assume that they are closed?

Forgive me if I'm missing something here, but these seem to me like questions that you can answer on your own. When I was an AE, I was far too overwhelmed with the (unpaid, uncredited) job of carefully reviewing articles to respond to authors who had questions with answers that were obvious, unimportant, or that did not require any particular special knowledge to answer.

Posted by: @UPenn Int'l | Mar 20, 2020 11:34:28 AM

Also submitted to Stanford in mid-February and haven't heard anything. It's particularly frustrating since they seem to be reviewing and rejecting people from the spreadsheet. A few rejections were posted yesterday.

I'm really surprised at the lack of communication from top 14/16 journals. I hoped they would be more professional.

Posted by: Thisiscrazy | Mar 20, 2020 10:54:27 AM

I have written several emails to the University of Pennsylvania International Law Journal from mid January to mid March asking if they are open or filled and asking about word length requirements as there is no information on their site. No one responded to any of my emails and I do not want to ask a fourth time. Does anyone have any idea about the UPennIntl law journal? Thanks.
And if anyone from this journal is reading this can you please answer emails or answer here if for some reason it is forbidden to answer authors emails.

Posted by: UPenn Intl Law Journal | Mar 20, 2020 10:25:21 AM

WUSTL is full. I received a message in which they mention that they have "no space"

Posted by: UCLA-Wait | Mar 20, 2020 8:15:38 AM

Any news from Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford tech?

Posted by: anontechprof | Mar 19, 2020 11:03:52 PM

Whoops sorry, I meant @anonx re: Stanford but I think @UCLA? might also care. Lol.

Posted by: AnotherAnon | Mar 19, 2020 10:29:21 PM

@UCLA? I have had a couple expedite deadlines coming so I think that they were responding to those. Since I *highly* doubt this was a personal message, I will share:

"Your article is currently in our first round of review, and while we are trying to get back up to speed, we will likely be unable to get back to you with an update until the second week of April due to final examinations, spring recess, and our need to prioritize the existing full committee docket. Thank you for your patience during these uncertain times."

Posted by: AnotherAnon | Mar 19, 2020 10:27:00 PM

I didn't receive either the UCLA or Stanford notice. But honestly, I've been feeling weird about the Stanford submission - it couldn't be submitted along with other versions of the manuscript in Scholastica, right? It needed a separate submission, through a different pool? I submitted in late Feb and haven't heard a peep.

Posted by: UCLA?? | Mar 19, 2020 9:36:17 PM

@AnotherAnon, following up on Stanford, did they send you an email (or other information) that they are pausing review and restarting in April?

Posted by: anonx | Mar 19, 2020 8:26:34 PM

I let go of W&L yesterday.

Posted by: AnonVAP | Mar 19, 2020 7:57:16 PM

And to all of the pre-market folks, I can see how that is very stressful. At my school, we often do not have our hiring lines approved by the university until sometime in the spring and COVID could be delaying that. And we don't have our committee lists until April or May. In other words, we don't know for sure who is on appointments yet or whether we even have the lines to make the hires. So it's really hard to know just yet. Sorry!

Posted by: AnotherAnon | Mar 19, 2020 6:51:05 PM

So pretty sure that everyone got these updates but UCLA is closed and Stanford is not reviewing again until early April.

Posted by: AnotherAnon | Mar 19, 2020 6:45:28 PM

I have a close copy of your list.
When did you send the request and when is the deadline of your offer?

Posted by: anon123 | Mar 19, 2020 5:16:20 PM

"BC, Emory, Florida, Florida State, Fordham, GW, Georgia, Indiana, NYU, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Texas, Georgetown, Vandy, UVA, and WUSTL"

Pretty much my exact list of "non-responders". I can also add Alabama, George Mason, Indiana, Penn, Stanford, UCLA, W&M, W&L, WF.

*shrugs* ....Expediting from a T40.... *shrugs*

Posted by: UCLA-Wait | Mar 19, 2020 4:45:58 PM

Anon123 - I also haven't heard back from UCLA, Illinois (and many many many many others).

Posted by: Angster33 | Mar 19, 2020 3:47:53 PM


Congrats on your offer. Are you concurrently turning down/freeing up a slot at another journal?

Posted by: anonhopeful | Mar 19, 2020 3:35:57 PM

The spreadsheet shows some journals are full. I also submitted my article to some of these journals, such as UCLA and Illinois. I am curious why they do not send me a ding. I cannot come up with a good reason for this practice. Is anyone in the same situation?

Posted by: anon123 | Mar 19, 2020 3:16:10 PM

I'm about to accept an offer I'm very pleased with. Here's the list of journals I never heard back from: BC, Emory, Florida, Florida State, Fordham, GW, Georgia, Indiana, NYU, Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Texas, Georgetown, Vandy, UVA, and WUSTL.

Posted by: anonVAP | Mar 19, 2020 2:58:23 PM

Both Georgetown and Northwestern have given offers this season. Northwestern is also actively rejecting. Georgetown less so.

Posted by: AnotherAnon | Mar 19, 2020 2:38:46 PM

Any news on Georgetown or Northwestern?

Posted by: Anon | Mar 19, 2020 1:00:10 PM


Thanks for sharing. I was not around for the last cycle.
Not sure I understand the logic of emailing/messaging some and not others...but it is what it is. As I said previously, I had assumed a negative outcome.

Posted by: UCLA-Wait | Mar 19, 2020 12:56:39 PM

FWIW, UCLA did the same thing last fall - some people got "end of cycle" messages and other people never heard anything.

Posted by: havingagreattime | Mar 19, 2020 12:33:47 PM

online, I'd wait until the opening days of August. A lot of institutions don't "count" online companions, or severely discount them. And you could just end up preempting yourself.

Posted by: Axel Foley | Mar 19, 2020 12:28:54 PM

Which journal do you refer to?

Posted by: AForeignJuniorProf | Mar 19, 2020 11:57:53 AM

I am pre-market and working on a piece that is timely: does it make sense to submit a short version (that I have available now) on the online companion of a law review and then work on a more expansive version for an article to be submitted in August or would people discourage such practice?

Posted by: online | Mar 19, 2020 11:25:24 AM

This may be slightly off topic regarding submissions but most certainly on point re the angst: any of the more senior profs can offer any input to us pre-market folks on how the coronavirus could affect the market? Anything from thoughts on whether less schools plan on going to the market to the market getting cancelled (or other doomsday scenarios) since all this is floating around in the pre-market world. Thank you!

Posted by: pre-marketVAP | Mar 19, 2020 10:53:22 AM

Reupping UCLA-Wait's question, as I'm in the same boat!

"From the spreadsheet, it looks like UCLA has closed.

"But I have not received any such message...

"Is it really the case that law reviews send their "end of cycle" messages only to some people? How does that even make sense?!"

Posted by: UCLA?? | Mar 19, 2020 10:50:32 AM

I should clarify further: The market is a really time-consuming and expensive process for the schools and candidates. If you're uncertain that you'd take a job this cycle, then you shouldn't waste the time, money, and energy.

Posted by: AnonCrimProf | Mar 19, 2020 9:48:42 AM

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