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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



Keep in mind that the spreadsheet shows a very small--and not necessarily representative--fraction of the cycle's activity. The cycle will continue through September, and it may not even get started in earnest until mid-August.

All that to say, don't count yourself out of the game.

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Aug 9, 2020 8:18:45 PM

I sse more and more decision being made based on expedite requests.
Up to this point, can I conclude that my article is going to be buried under the wave of articles if I do not get any offer for sending an expedite request? I submitted to almost a handrend journals within Aug. 1st~ Aug. 3rd. Now what I got are 9 rejections from Wash, Harvard, Oklahoma, Loyola LA, Iowa, Yale, Penn, Mich, and one speciality journal, which said that my article is not on the topic of what they are looking in this cycle.
I feel very anxious.

Posted by: FirstTimeAuthor | Aug 9, 2020 8:00:32 PM

It doesn’t make sense to me that a journal would open in the fall merely to accept one article. That’s incredibly inefficient.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 9, 2020 7:35:19 PM

My guess is that Iowa, with one slot left, has a very specific search image for what it wants.

Posted by: anoooon | Aug 9, 2020 6:48:51 PM

I imagine some of the bigger journals that aren't moving are a result of firms extending their programs into mid-August. Some departments might not be doing anything until their staff is done their summer gig.

Posted by: anon | Aug 9, 2020 6:23:57 PM

I haven't heard of Iowa offers. I know in previous fall cycles when they've had one spot to fill they've taken their time. Any news from Vandy, WUSTL, Georgetown, or Virginia? And what's up with NC not taking expedites?

Posted by: anon | Aug 9, 2020 6:13:49 PM

anoooon - it's just so hard to say! Multiple rejections at once from the same journal could also be that an articles editor had a stack of articles to get through, read them over a few days, and then entered in all of the rejections in the same afternoon. (and then pushed others onto the next round or board review). But I do enjoy angsty guesses about it...

Posted by: anon | Aug 9, 2020 4:49:20 PM

So I'm seeing some clusters of rejections. Not tons. 2-3, nearly simultaneous. And people immediately jumping on and asking "notice of board review?" And the rejectees saying "nope." Is it safe to assume they had a board review, undisclosed, and just didn't make it out of committee? Or are these small clusters just coincidental and not indicative of board review? FWIW, someone else had posted last week that CAL was full.

Posted by: anoooon | Aug 9, 2020 4:28:06 PM

Does anyone know of an Iowa offer this cycle?

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 9, 2020 4:13:06 PM

Also I have had journals ignore one expedite but then respond to a subsequent expedite... So you never know.

Posted by: AnotherAnon | Aug 9, 2020 3:05:36 PM

another first timer, these are the questions that drive angsting and the angsting thread.

Posted by: Axel Foley | Aug 9, 2020 1:11:25 PM

Do these law reviews examine the submission on a rolling based? I see a couple of submissions is later than mine on the spreedsheet, but why they got decisions earlier? is it becasue I am not an established scholar so they even do not bother to look at it?

Posted by: another-another-first-timer | Aug 9, 2020 12:09:27 PM

another first-timer: if you don't hear from a journal off an expedite, unfortunately it's fair to assume that's a "no." That said, if you can get an extension, do it!

Posted by: anon | Aug 9, 2020 9:51:13 AM

another first-timer

Yes, you can. Just tell them your new deadline. I use the discussion feature to do this. They may or may not reply to you.

Posted by: Songyang | Aug 9, 2020 8:48:09 AM

I’ve expedited all the way up to several journals using a specialty publication offer from YHS. If I don’t hear back from those targeted journals by the time the “expedite deadline” lapses, is it wise to assume no favorable action will come from those journals? It seems like a lot of journals are in earnest just starting to review, so wondering what the play should be here. Relatedly, if I get an extension from the specialty, could I then go back to those very same journals with the new deadline? Any/all insight greatly appreciated by this first-timer.

Posted by: another first-timer | Aug 9, 2020 8:32:02 AM


hahaha. don't be too grumpy. i've got two articles this cycle because I struck out last cycle.

Posted by: pencilneck | Aug 9, 2020 1:31:26 AM

Y'all are writing too much and need to stop. Multiple articles in a cycle? In the midst of a global pandemic? Sheesh. Don't you guys have similar requirement to generate a jillion hours of asynch content for classes? (Grumpy but jealous).

Posted by: anonymouse | Aug 8, 2020 10:54:28 PM

Does anybody know if Texas Tech is actively reviewing?

I've never submitted there before, so I'm not sure what to expect.

Posted by: YesterdayIKilledAMammoth | Aug 8, 2020 5:35:17 PM

Has anybody submitted multiple articles during a cycle and had more than one get accepted by the same journal?

One was accepted by a journal, but I went with another journal that accepted off expedite.

Now, a second article has been accepted by the same journal that first accepted the first article.

Is there any kind of protocol for this? I really would hate to use that journal as a stepping stone twice (assuming this other article is successful on expedite). That feels kind of low.

Any advice?

Posted by: pencilneck | Aug 8, 2020 5:29:57 PM

What is the current thinking on whether anyone cares about cover letters and, if so, what they should include?

Posted by: TIA | Aug 8, 2020 5:18:11 PM


Depends on what you hope to accomplish with the article, I guess. I'm not a prof, so I have the luxury of not having to concern myself with meaningless rankings. I judge my placements much more by their citations by the bar and the courts.

If you're really wanting the article to have an impact on the courts, I'd say go with journals that 1) have a strong reputation among practitioners and judges for usefulness--these don't always line up with school rankings; 2) will let you get the article up on SSRN as soon as possible--this should be most journals; 3) will publish your article well and quickly; 4) will let you submit parts of the article as amicus briefs to the courts if the article won't be out in time to be cited.

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Aug 8, 2020 5:09:41 PM

I received two offers for to publish an article from two T 75-100 journals. The article is on a topic which is going to be before more than one federal appellate court in the spring. One of these journals - on noticing the timeliness of the article offered to publish it ASAP - in the hopes (I concede distant hopes) that it might be cited. I also received an offer from a T 40-50 journal which was very kind, but would not move up the date from next spring to this fall when I mentioned the other offer. I am coming up for tenure in two years and have five articles, including two in T-25-T-50 journals, as well as a book with a university press. I really do not like the rankings game as it reminds me of my sordid ERA which grew much worse after the fourth inning as college pitcher three decades ago. But that aside, does anyone have advice as to whether it makes sense to go with the higher ranked journal.

Posted by: 2020Wolfie | Aug 8, 2020 4:43:24 PM

PostDocGuy - Oh, gotcha, thanks :)

Posted by: SmoothCriminalAtty | Aug 8, 2020 2:44:13 PM

@SmoothCriminalAtty - I meant "board read", sorry. Journals that wrote that my paper(s) proceed to full board read said it may take up to 2 weeks.

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Aug 8, 2020 1:59:47 PM

Anon - would love to submit more widely, but I have to pay out of pocket, and it’s already killing me! But thanks for the info. Postdocguy- I’m a little confused; what do you mean by notices you received on board?

Posted by: SmoothCriminalAtty | Aug 8, 2020 1:34:34 PM

@FirstTimer and @SmoothCriminalAtty - I have several papers submitted this cycle.
The notices I received on board mention dates in the next two weeks. My sense is that apart from some early acceptances, the cycle is just getting started.

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Aug 8, 2020 9:57:13 AM

To the last two angsters - it’s hard to say! On the one hand, you can’t read too much into the spreadsheet as a small subset of submissions, esp bc it doesn’t also show people who are also still waiting from some journals. At the same time, sometimes it really can mean that you’re under serious consideration somewhere! It’s happened to me a few times that I’ve heard from journals that I’ve made it to full board review about a week or so after rejections to others flowed into the spreadsheet from people who submitted at a similar time. That said, it can’t hurt to expand your submission to more journals to increase your chances and help w the angsting a little.

Sometimes people will list top 25 journals that they haven’t heard from after two weeks in the comments, and that is sometimes helpful when eg you see many others have also not heard from UCLA or whatever journal. I’m still at one week so can’t really give a useful list yet.

It can also be useful for angsting if people are willing to share which journals notify of full review this season. Or even in the spring, since those were the same editors.... if there’s a journal that always notifies of full board/committee review and you’re not hearing from them, also useful if sad info.

Posted by: Anon | Aug 8, 2020 9:39:40 AM

Similar to SmoothCriminalAtty, I submitted to a journal that handed out a bunch of rejections this week, seemingly processed by submission date. I submitted my paper in late July and have not heard anything. Am I lost in the void / forgotten or am I being held for further consideration? (For reference: this would by my first publication.)

Posted by: FirstTimer | Aug 8, 2020 7:44:41 AM

I'm feeling rather angsty. I submitted two weeks ago to about 40 journals and, aside from two relatively quick rejections, have had radio silence. Is that normal? Some of them are listed on the spreadsheet as having accepted or rejected others' work, so...does that mean I'm in the "maybe" pile for some places?

Posted by: SmoothCriminalAtty | Aug 8, 2020 7:25:55 AM

What do you do with expedites if you get an extension on the offer you expedited from? Do you re-expedite and announce the new deadline (giving journals more time) or is this moot?

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Aug 8, 2020 1:54:28 AM

Pencilneck (great handle, by the way), I don't know anything about FCLR, but on a related note, many specialty journals and even some flagship journals have gone 100 percent online as well. I'm not referring to the online companion journals, but rather flagship journals. I suspect as time passes this will become more common. As for right now, though, perhaps some profs can weigh in on whether online journals (as opposed to online companion journals) are frowned upon. As for me, I still prefer print and a nice journal cover.

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Aug 7, 2020 10:52:36 PM

Wow. It seems weird we're only one week into August and there are so many acceptances already.

I saw at the beginning of the conversation there was some discussion of Federal Courts Law Review (FCLR). I looked them up on W&L and they are quite impressive on case cites (rank 6) and on impact factor (rank 6 again).

But, I also noticed they're just an online law review. Is there any agreement on if this journal would be a good hit or where it is situated among law reviews?

Posted by: pencilneck | Aug 7, 2020 4:39:55 PM

Seems like Stanford may just be slow to respond in general this cycle - very few rejections reported. It's possible they're still gearing up for largescale review.

Posted by: anon | Aug 7, 2020 4:19:00 PM

Does Stanford seem to not really be rejecting people unless there is an expedite request?

Posted by: anon | Aug 7, 2020 4:11:17 PM

Penn L. Rev. has filled and is not accepting submissions until Feb. 2021.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 7, 2020 3:25:32 PM

Everyone, check your Scholastica -- you probably have a stealth ding from Penn. Apparently they are full and it was too much trouble to click the box to send us an email letting us know that.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 7, 2020 3:15:39 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone! Apparently there is a technical problem with either my ExpressO account or my institutional email. There was actually an email sent about the offer (which I just never received).
Now I'm a bit more relaxed :)

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Aug 7, 2020 3:01:29 PM

728, yeah, why not? I'd do it.

Posted by: Axel Foley | Aug 7, 2020 2:31:33 PM

Hi all, I've received a publication offer from a journal that is only slightly higher ranked than one I expedited off of a couple days ago, and it has the same response deadline. Under the circumstances, should I submit a new expedite request based on this offer? For context, I've submitted several expedite requests all the way up this cycle (and am concerned that I might be annoying editors by sending too many requests). Thank you for all the advice!

Posted by: 728 | Aug 7, 2020 2:19:15 PM


In all likelihood, the communication won't get any better if you accept the offer, which could mean a frustrating publication process.

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Aug 7, 2020 11:10:49 AM

One year I got an offer from a T60 that went to my SPAM folder. By the time I found it, the offer had lapsed. I reached out to apologize (profusely!) at not having even responded. The editor did not believe me and called me unprofessional. I got a higher offer in the end, but it was an awful experience (as I was pretenure and afraid of having negative things being said about me in the academy). This was probably 10 years ago.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 7, 2020 10:32:48 AM

PostDocguy - that's so frustrating! I would keep trying to contact that journal, if you'd willing to publish with them, to request an extension. Have you tried looking up the EIC and figuring how to email them directly? Or used the email addresses on the journal's website? But if you really can't reach them, then I agree it would be a scary thing to accept the offer. Especially given interest you've received from a higher ranked journal, I have confidence you will get another offer from somewhere!

Posted by: anon | Aug 7, 2020 10:15:10 AM

What would you do in the following situation: I got an offer on ExpressO, which - absent a better one - I would probably accept. However, it was a "stealth offer" - i.e. I never got any emails. I tried contacting the journal - no response. A day later I got notice of board review at a much higher ranked journal, but to be considered there I would need an extension. I tried asking for an extension both in ExpressO and via email - again, no response. I'm very confused on how to handle this - if I let the offer lapse, I risk ending up with nothing. If I accept it, I’m a bit afraid it would be difficult to work with this journal due to the non-responsiveness. I can’t even be 100% sure what are the details of the offer unless the editors respond (are stealth offers a normal thing?). Any suggestions?

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Aug 7, 2020 9:30:48 AM

Thanks for the insight thegreatdisappointment - especially re: the Fall cycle. I have had multiple journals respond with generic emails requesting any updates on the article, so it would feel a little less awkward expediting all the way up.

Posted by: FedGov | Aug 6, 2020 9:20:08 PM

Has anyone tried submitting to Yale Law Journal only to discover - after you've filled in all the other information - that you can't upload the article? The upload button simply doesn't appear anywhere on the screen. You also can't press "Continue" unless you've uploaded a file. I'm using the latest version of Chrome (plus, this happens in several different browsers). Appreciate your insights.

Posted by: Nona | Aug 6, 2020 8:12:27 PM


I usually always expedite all the way up, just because you never know. Others are proponents of doing 'waves', but I've had luck with just expediting all the way up.

You don't expect that a lower specialty journal is going to turn heads at Harvard, but you may be under serious consideration at a T-50 and the expedite may convince them to go ahead and offer.

I find it more important to expedite all the way up in the Fall because slots are limited and the time it takes you to move through the waves, by the time you get you expedites into the T-40, the slots may be gone.

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Aug 6, 2020 7:39:28 PM

Hi all! I’m a federal government attorney with no publications. This is my first submission cycle so I’m learning as I go. My article is in a pretty niche area of law. I submitted to as many flagship law reviews as I could by email and all of the related specialty journals. Had to do this on the cheap. In a week of submitting I have one acceptance (lower specialty journal) and one rejection (Yale ha!).

I assume expediting is my next step - but how high should I reach up? Just the specialty journals? Into the flagships? No one? Offer expires in a week.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and thanks to everyone who participates in this great resource.

Posted by: FedGov | Aug 6, 2020 7:21:29 PM

So I've done this twice before, and I landed okay, but I still don't know the rules.

Suppose you got an offer and would love a far-higher-ranked offer. Do you expedite incrementally? (Hi, I got an offer from #150, #75, will you have me?) Or do you just expedite across the board (Hi, I got an offer from #150, how you doing, #3?).

Would love any insight. Thank you.

Posted by: newish | Aug 6, 2020 7:11:41 PM

Anyone know if New Hampshire is closed for the season or not open yet?

Posted by: hamps | Aug 6, 2020 6:18:36 PM

@onthemarket—write on your FAR form that the paper is in submission and the current offer you have. Same thing on your research agenda.

Posted by: Anon | Aug 6, 2020 5:21:23 PM

I'd sit on it and update once you place it.

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 6, 2020 5:17:42 PM

I got an offer for a t75 flagship, will be on the market this year. Pretty happy w/ it. The decision window expires after FAR materials due. Is it best to take it if I don't hear anything from anyone by 12th so it's on the resume or to sit on it and update schools re placement down the line?

Posted by: onthemarket | Aug 6, 2020 5:15:42 PM

Does anybody hear from Louisiana?

Are they serial non-responders?

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Aug 6, 2020 2:58:36 PM

To thegreatdissappointment's comment on unprofessional student editors:

Several years ago, I exclusively submitted to a specialty journal at Columbia and was accepted. However, they did not actually publish that edition of the journal. Years went by, and my article never appeared in print. Emails to the editors resulted in no action. Finally, after a few years, I emailed the law school Dean responsible for overseeing journals to complain. Something then cleared the logjam and the journal edition appeared a few months later.

Posted by: angstful | Aug 6, 2020 2:40:40 PM


The only time I would suggest following up on an expedite is if they said, "We'll get back to you by X". I've done this a few times and most of the time they say 'No,' but twice I've had the editor say, "Oh, yeah, we accepted it but I forgot to send you an email.'

Keep in mind, law review is children playing scholars and publishing house simultaneously, which means they're by nature non-professional. So, no response usually *is* a response. In the best case scenario, they are so unprofessional they can't remember to send emails to articles they wanted to accept, which should make you question whether you want to spend the next months trying to work with them.

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Aug 6, 2020 12:56:02 PM

No objections at all -- please remove!

Posted by: AnonProf | Aug 6, 2020 11:38:32 AM

I'm wondering what's the best practice for handling open expedites that don't yield any response from the editors after a few days (nothing like "we received it and will get back"). Do you then just let it go and hope they saw it? send a reminder (I'm guessing this is very annoying to receive)? Something else?

Posted by: PostDocGuy | Aug 6, 2020 11:29:42 AM

I understand that not all posters know the norms of the spreadsheet. No worries! But would anyone object to the removal of postings that do not indicate an acceptance or rejection?

Posted by: Prof | Aug 6, 2020 11:25:35 AM

Thanks for everyone who's been posting on the spreadsheet, I find it really useful in my angsting.

That said, if possible, I think it's most helpful to report things on the spreadsheet only when there's been a rejection or acceptance. Otherwise the spreadsheet would be really unwieldy!

Posted by: anon | Aug 6, 2020 10:47:13 AM

@FormerChicagoAE -- Thank you. This is super-helpful.

Posted by: anonymouse | Aug 5, 2020 5:05:44 PM

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