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Saturday, July 25, 2020

Submission Angsting Fall 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, but please be patient.)

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

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on July 25, 2020 at 02:48 PM in Law Review Review | Permalink


Closing comments, new post here: https://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/2021/01/submission-angsting-spring-2021.html

Posted by: Sarah Lawsky | Jan 29, 2021 11:49:18 AM

Got rejected from the Washington LR exclusive, reasoning that they publish primarily pieces on domestic and regional law, whereas my piece (securities law/empirical) is more general. Was happy to at least receive a specific explanation.
Otherwise, isn't it time to start the new Spring 2021 thread? :)

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Jan 29, 2021 11:35:27 AM

Silence here too. They have to know who is definitely not getting an offer by now, right?

Posted by: new anon | Jan 29, 2021 11:23:48 AM

Silence on my end

Posted by: Anon.Prof. | Jan 29, 2021 10:57:44 AM

Setting aside the acceptance/rejection question, has anyone heard *anything* from NULR? It seems like people historically were told of board reads?

Posted by: Anon | Jan 29, 2021 10:42:50 AM

Anyone received any offers yet?

Posted by: AnonProf | Jan 28, 2021 1:30:19 PM

Anyone know of law reviews that still regularly publish book reviews? There’s a list on Prawfs from about 2009, but didn’t know if there was anything more recent.

Posted by: BookReviewer | Jan 25, 2021 10:44:13 PM

anyone re NULR?

Posted by: anon | Jan 25, 2021 3:37:25 PM

Anyone hear anything at all from Northwestern about exclusive submissions yet?

Posted by: new anon | Jan 23, 2021 12:47:05 PM

They are also trying a new anonymous submission procedure, so who knows how that will affect timeline or notification methods

Posted by: Dr.Who | Jan 21, 2021 2:05:00 PM

Re: NWULR exclusive submissions, FWIW in the past, I've been notified on several submission cycles that my piece was being considered by the full editorial board. They are really good about full board notifications. Not a word yet this cycle. 1/20 is too early.

Posted by: LadyAngster | Jan 20, 2021 10:48:44 AM

This is our first time submitting to NULR exclusive too. Not a word yet.

Posted by: Dr.Who | Jan 19, 2021 7:41:07 PM

When I did Northwestern in the past, I know of authors hearing back at different times, leading me to believe it's on a rolling basis. I also got the impression that acceptances would only come at the very end and the longer it takes to hear back, the further your piece went in the process. But that was just my impression based on how and when colleagues/friends were informed.

Posted by: AnonProf | Jan 19, 2021 4:16:35 PM

I didn’t do NWULR exclusive this year, but when I have I received responses prior to the 30th (or the equivalent).

Posted by: Guest | Jan 19, 2021 3:42:51 PM

@anon, I haven't heard anything from Northwestern either, and I'm wondering the same thing. Is it reject on a rolling basis or a mass rejection on 1/30?

Posted by: new anon | Jan 19, 2021 3:41:04 PM

Has anyone heard yet from Northwestern? For their exclusive submissions, do they notify at the end of the exclusive period, or throughout the period as they review submissions?

Posted by: anon | Jan 19, 2021 1:22:14 PM

Ha! Freudian slip -- good luck!

Posted by: anon3 | Jan 17, 2021 2:36:38 PM

Thanks, going to submit anyways but wanted to express angst nonetheless :)
(speaking of which @anon3, it’s Angst, not Anger!)

Posted by: EarlyAngster | Jan 17, 2021 11:07:02 AM

I've had some great fall placements, but I get far more offers in the Spring, which permits more expedites and, I believe, results in better offers overall.

Posted by: AnonProf | Jan 17, 2021 10:40:07 AM

@EarlyAngers -

Nobody knows. There are fewer submissions in the fall cycle, but fewer journals that are reviewing (with fewer spots available per reviewing journal). Lots of people speculate as to whether that results in a more favorable or less favorable submission cycle, but I'm not sure it's even possible to know -- there are just too many unknowns.

It's also plausible that the fall cycle might be more favorable for some tiers of journal and less for others; or for different article subject matters; or that it might vary enough year-to-year such that some fall cycles are relatively more favorable and others are less. My guess is all of the above is true -- that some years, but not all, fall cycles are more favorable, but only in certain tiers and/or for certain subjects, with little year-to-year consistency.

Posted by: anon3 | Jan 17, 2021 10:29:30 AM

I’ve always been told that the spring cycles are easier than fall because less journals are accepting manuscripts in the fall. Is that wrong? I am starting to get the feeling that the grass just always looks greener on the other side.

Posted by: EarlyAngster | Jan 16, 2021 10:53:49 PM

More competitive.

Because it's the Spring.

Everyone's been writing.

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Jan 16, 2021 10:33:37 PM

Do we expect the Spring 2021 season to be just as competitive as the fall 2020 season? Why so/not?

Posted by: EarlyAngster | Jan 16, 2021 10:19:36 PM

Just curious, when does the Spring 2021 Submission Angsting thread come out?

Posted by: new anon | Jan 9, 2021 1:45:21 PM

ExpressO sent out a mail this morning saying they are shutting down:

"After nearly two decades of serving the law community, this will be the last submission season for ExpressO.

To help mitigate impact to our users, our final season will be phased accordingly:

March 31: Last day to submit to law reviews.
June 30: Complete service shutdown.

While March 31 will be the last day to submit your articles for publication consideration, all accounts, including those for law reviews, will remain open and accessible until June 30. This allows users to continue to manage their submissions, make and accept offers, and download submission information"

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Jan 9, 2021 3:58:57 AM

Exclusive, if you check the Harvard and Chicago submission sites, they ask you to submit exclusively. For Harvard its their own system, for Chicago it's email. (BTW, others, like Penn, ask for emailed submission but explicitly say they are closed now).

Posted by: anon | Dec 28, 2020 3:04:26 PM

There was some discussion of exclusive submits to a t-14 which doesn't have an official process. How would you do that, just email the AE saying "this is exclusive" and hoping they get it?

Posted by: Exclusive | Dec 19, 2020 1:46:18 PM

To build on the previous comment, do any of you know whether the flagship journals ranked in the 51-100 range that are currently "open" are actively reviewing and making decisions prior to 2/1?

There are currently several such journals open on Scholastica. I am wondering if those of us that would be happy with a placement in that range would benefit from submitting early. Any guidance is appreciated!

Posted by: Piggy Back | Dec 18, 2020 3:01:22 PM

I'm the guy who raised the idea of emailing some of the top venues now for the Spring cycle. Well, I should've checked before posting. After looking through most of the top-25 W&L ranked journal websites, they are mostly closed until 2021.

The only exceptions appear to be Harvard and Chicago. Obviously, they are super competitive, but I do wonder whether there might be some slight benefit to sending them an exclusive submission now, in the off-season.

Lawnmower: You might try to email the Dean who oversees the law review. He can prod students into action. This worked for me in a similar situation.

Posted by: anon nov 19 | Nov 29, 2020 10:08:16 PM

@So&So -- thanks very much for the advice! Yes, the last thing I heard from the editors (after signing the agreement) is that they would be following up with a production timeline. I will follow up when I hit three months of silence, which will be next week. My firm gave me some billable time to complete the piece, but now they want to know when it will be in print, and "I don't know" is growing tired.

Posted by: lawnmower | Nov 28, 2020 5:02:20 PM

@ Lawnmower: I'm not surprised that you haven't heard from them. I had a piece accepted in the summer/fall cycle, and after the K signing I didn't hear from them until last week. (But they gave me an anticipated schedule at signing so I wasn't expecting to hear from them.)

I'm not terribly surprised, either, that they haven't responded to your pings—it was a hellish semester, after all, and who knows what the editor(s) you were in contact with have been going through—but it's still not great form and under ordinary circumstances it would be surprising.

Maybe wait until mid-this coming week and then email someone else at the journal (you should be able to get the masthead from somewhere online)? At this point we're into the TG-exams-end of term crush so it may still take a little while. I'd CC 1-2 people from the masthead just to increase the odds of capturing someone's attention.

Posted by: So&So | Nov 28, 2020 9:19:49 AM

I am a recent grad currently practicing in Biglaw. My first article was accepted by a flagship journal at a TTT/TTTT school this fall. I did not have any luck shopping up and ended up withdrawing everywhere else. The acceptance came in late August, and I and the journal signed the author agreement soon after. The agreement says my piece will appear in the 2021 volume (but no specifics beyond that).

In the three months since signing the agreement, I have heard absolutely nothing from the journal. I've pinged the editor a few times with no response. Is this normal? Normal for covid? Should I consider resubmitting in the Spring?

Posted by: Lawnmower | Nov 27, 2020 4:29:02 PM

Thanks, AnonAE!

Posted by: Thanks, AnonAE! | Nov 27, 2020 3:46:01 PM

re: exclusive submissions

My T14 LR doesn't get an incredible number of exclusive submissions, but we don't have a formal process for them, unlike (I think) Harvard, Yale, and Northwestern, so our view on them may be different. The exclusive submissions we get tend to be from faculty or alumni. It's definitely a plus. I think the acceptance rate is something like 33%, which is much higher than our general acceptance rate of like 1%. A lot of that is because the pieces submitted are often very good, as our faculty is very good, but a lot of it is also that it's a big help getting through our first round of screening, which is where we reject 90% of articles. An exclusive submit has to be pretty poor to fail the first round for us.

Posted by: AnonAE | Nov 25, 2020 5:28:18 PM

No, the boards will likely have turned over by then. Even if they don’t, odds they’d remember your piece based on title are very low.

Posted by: AnonProf | Nov 25, 2020 4:32:04 PM

In August I submitted an early version of an article to the top 14ish law journals, just to see if anyone was interested. I didn't get any responses. I spent the past few months workshopping and revising, and plan to resubmit the paper more broadly in February. The basic gist of the piece is the same although there are significant changes to the argument. Do I need to come up with a new title in order to get full consideration from the journals I previously submitted to, or can I leave it the same?

Posted by: CuteAnon | Nov 25, 2020 10:56:03 AM

Would anyone care to comment on exclusive submissions, especially dedicated exclusive submission windows like Northwestern's? I'd be especially interested to hear from current or former AEs about how such submissions were handled, but if you submitted that way and have any sense of whether it helped that would be great. Seems like the effect on your article's chances is a hard thing to evaluate.

Posted by: Exclusive submissions | Nov 24, 2020 2:18:28 PM

@anon | Nov 19, 2020 - unless this year is drastically different (which could be the case, due to Covid), mid-December is far too early to submit. The cycle usually does not start until the end of January. However, there are always exceptions. So - if you have a specific journal in mind and you see, for instance, that it suddenly opened on Scholastica, then you can do one of two things:
(1) Submit and pray (technically this would be possible)
(2) Send an email to the editors, asking if they are reviewing already or whether you should wait. Not all editors answer, but some do - can't hurt.

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Nov 24, 2020 12:17:03 PM

I'm new to this. When should we start submitting via direct email to top-10-ish venues for the next cycle? Right now, some of them say closed on the submission page of their review website - and some don't.

Would mid-December be a good time to submit early for the next cycle?

Posted by: anon | Nov 19, 2020 12:42:57 AM

Shoutout to the tenured prof at a T20 school adding law review editors on LinkedIn trying to get an article into a closed journal

Posted by: anonae | Nov 3, 2020 5:44:25 PM

For the benefit of everyone, here is a list of journals that have communicated to me explicitly that they no longer use ExpressO (but for which you can still technically submit - ExpressO is basically taking our money for nothing):

- American Criminal Law Journal
- Berkeley Technology Law Journal
- Stanford Law & Policy Review
- Stanford Journal of Criminal Law & Policy [journal is inoperative]
I'm pretty sure Stanford Technology Law Journal also don't use ExpressO, but I don't have official confirmation.

Otherwise, some journals are marked as open on ExpressO but were not reviewing in practice (again, money down the drain). I know of the Minnesota Journal of Law, Science & Technology, but there are probably others.

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Oct 13, 2020 3:16:06 PM

Florida just filled up.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 10, 2020 3:29:35 PM

@anon | Oct 1, 2020 - Here's a non-exhaustive list of pros and cons of posting on SSRN:

1) Exposure - people will read your paper and can access it. You might even get some citations before submitting that way.
2) Proof that you were the first - if someone posts after you a similar argument, you can prove you did it first.
3) Traction - if your paper does well (e.g. downloaded a lot) you can mention in the cover letter. Student editors might interpret that as a positive signal.
4) 99% of journals don't have any problem with posting on SSRN prior to submission.

1) Someone might steal your idea after reading your paper and refuse to cite you.
2) 1% of journals does make problems and sees this as "a publication". Honestly, that is nonsense. But if you are super-interested in a specific journal that does this, that is a con.

In my view, the pros far outweight the cons. I hence post all my papers on SSRN and also update them over time if I make changes prior to publication.

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Oct 2, 2020 4:44:07 AM

This is probably answered somewhere, but is it a good idea or bad idea to post your articles to SSRN before sending them out to journals? I can see good reasons (e.g., many downloads make the piece attractive) and bad reasons (e.g., few downloads make it look bad). Thoughts?

Posted by: anon | Oct 1, 2020 10:20:16 PM


Feb. is going to be extremely competitive.

But your article may do better.

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Oct 1, 2020 9:09:17 PM

PostDocGuy, thanks so much for the helpful insights. I have no urgent need to publish. It's more a question whether I take the first offer, on the first and only submission, from a school ranked between 40 and 50, or wait until February, betting that this is a solid article that could land an offer in the top 30. Tae the bird in the hand, or gamble on a truly outstanding potential placement? Does that sharpen the issue for you?

I also suspect, with nothing to buttress this, that February will be less competitive, and that the articles re-submitted after rejection are less likely to be as good (unless journals never got around to reading them, or filled up before looking at these quite strong submissions, but that is a sweeping supposition ). Again, much appreciated.

Posted by: nonya | Oct 1, 2020 10:52:05 AM

@nonya - that is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on your specific situation. Are you on the market? do you need a publication urgently? which other publications do you have? and so on. Otherswise, the general impression I am getting from my peers is that this cycle has been extremely competitive.
If committees realize this, they might say "well, this person did well even in this competitive cycle, so that's a good thing". The main question is what happens next cycle. My guess: it will only get more competitive, because all the papers that weren't placed will be resubmitted plus many new ones. Generally as our profession fills up, it will be come borderline impossible to publish in the top journals. This is what happens, for instance, in economics: there are 5 top journals and very few people get in. Hope this is useful.

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Oct 1, 2020 7:57:31 AM

Dilemma: should I accept a top 50 offer now, before submitting in the February cycle (article not yet submitted elsewhere), or gamble that the article is good enough to do better in February? Submission angsting for sure! Help and insights much appreciated.

Posted by: nonya | Sep 30, 2020 4:02:37 PM

Virginia is full.

Posted by: Anon | Sep 30, 2020 1:07:01 PM

@SSRN - just write them an email. This usually gets the job done.

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Sep 28, 2020 3:42:16 PM

I am on day 12 of waiting for SSRN to approve my pre-print. Is it normal to take this long?

Posted by: SSRN | Sep 28, 2020 12:13:45 PM

PostDocGuy, I think many of those law reviews are closed. Some of them are closed on scholastica, though haven't mass rejected articles. With others, people on the board have shared insider info about certain ones being closed. For instance, Emory is closed on scholastica and someone earlier stated it was closed. I'm also pretty sure that Hastings, UCLA, and Tulane are done reviewing. So I guess the question is really who do we know is actively reviewing rather than who's just silent.

Posted by: Axel Foley | Sep 28, 2020 10:49:30 AM

@Axel Foley - I don't know, but here's a partial list of who I'm waiting for (some of these never even appeared on the spreadsheet):

Flagships - American University, Arkansas, Arizona State, Boston College, Emory, Florida, George Mason, Hastings, Lewis&Clark, Miami, Maryland, Pepperdine, Penn State, South Carolina, Tulane, Virginia, Wake Forest)

Specialty - Yale L. & Pol'y, J. Corporation L., Fordham IPLJ, Stan. Tech., Yale JOLT, American Crim. L. Rev.

There are some other ones who gave a decision on one of my submissions, but not others (Berkeley Tech., UCLA) so I have no clue what goes on there.

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Sep 28, 2020 10:11:25 AM

Do we have any idea of which top 40 or 50 law reviews are still reviewing articles? I would think that the late openers like Wisconsin and Florida are still reading articles, but do we know of any others?

Posted by: Axel Foley | Sep 28, 2020 9:56:06 AM

Anyone not get the NYU e-mail that they were full? Would like to kill any false hope that I'm still in play there...

Posted by: anon | Sep 24, 2020 2:22:36 PM

Has anyone heard from George Mason? They were the last ones to open, so realistically there is still a chance that they are not done yet

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Sep 22, 2020 9:04:51 AM

Dear Harvard enthusiasts: I am sorry to burst your bubble, but the probability that any of you will receive an offer from HLR in late September is lower than the risk of dying from COVID-19.

Posted by: anon | Sep 22, 2020 6:15:48 AM

I second the previous question and ask if anyone would care to guess when Harvard will close for submissions for the season?

Posted by: anon | Sep 21, 2020 10:34:13 PM

Anyone hearing from harvard lately? And if so how long is it taking them?

Posted by: jrprof | Sep 21, 2020 6:59:34 PM

Georgetown emailed to say they are full.

Posted by: Magnolia | Sep 18, 2020 12:47:25 PM

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