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Friday, January 29, 2021

Submission Angsting Spring 2021

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.)

Posted by Sarah Lawsky on January 29, 2021 at 11:48 AM in Law Review Review | Permalink

Comments

All this talk about how horrible 2L-edited journals are (not disagreeing) -- why don't scholars be more proactive, rather than just reactive, and launch subject-specific peer-review journals like Volokh just did for free speech (he assembled an all-star group of free speech experts who commit to getting authors answers within 2 weeks in exchange for exclusive submissions)? Then scholars will have options. If you like 2Ls evaluating your work for a few coveted spots, under time crunches, and in most cases using all the wrong metrics, either because you think 2Ls are perfectly equipped for the task or because having 24-year-olds evaluate your work typically bodes well for you, then stick with the status quo. If you hate the 2L gatekeeper system, you can submit your work to actual experts. In a word, be the change you want to see in the world. No?

Posted by: Peer Review | Feb 24, 2021 4:56:51 PM

Thanks for all of your input on the question about silence in response to expedites. Any sense in trying to email the journals as a reminder, or is that generally frowned upon / unnecessary?

Posted by: Newbie | Feb 24, 2021 4:56:03 PM

me, I am so with you (I know; I'm with me!). It takes seconds to send a standard message to those requesting an expedited review stating that the journal will not be able to do so, for whatever reason. And this world is far narrower than overall submissions. We are not talking about a mountain of work here.

It also has a ripple effect: we wait to accept or decline, often in vain, thereby delaying offers and extending the agony for all involved. If we knew there was no review to be had, it would put us out of our misery and speed up the entire process.

I wonder if we collectively expressed our dismay at the rude, awful disregard, the lack of decency and kindness, whether journals would require this simple courtesy. Push a standard button. End the agony.

Posted by: annon | Feb 24, 2021 4:41:37 PM

We have the power to influence the process. We can choose, collectively, not to submit to journals that do not respond. I am sure there is a way to make it work based on integrity and solidarity between legal scholars.

Posted by: Me | Feb 24, 2021 4:05:26 PM

LaW rEviEw EdItOrS aRe NoT rEsPoNsIbLe ThOuGh

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Feb 24, 2021 3:57:06 PM

Most can't be bothered to take the two seconds required to let you know that they won't be able to complete a review by your deadline.

Posted by: AnonProf | Feb 24, 2021 3:45:14 PM

Newbie, it's more likely that you'll never hear from a journal that you contacted with expedite request rather than getting a formal rejection.

Posted by: Angsting Prof | Feb 24, 2021 3:44:31 PM

Is it general practice for journals to wait to respond until right before your expedite deadline (e.g., a flurry of rejections the day the deadline expires), or is it more likely that they just don't say anything at all? My deadline expires soon and it's been relatively quite from the majority of the journals that I'm waiting on.

Posted by: Newbie | Feb 24, 2021 3:34:29 PM

No placement guarantees a job. I had multiple top 25 placements including a few T14 and it took me multiple rounds to get a job. On other hand, people you placed below T50 and had maybe 1 law review in a below T50 flagship got offers. So you can't say any hard and fast rule. Faculty hiring goes off so many factors, with course fit being most important I think, as well as personal factors, like if a school is in West, would they consider a candidate with connections there more than someone who never lived there? In my experience yes, I think that is in part true, because they think they are more likely to retain you.

So to assuage anon's comment about their friend fearing they won't get a job if they don't place in a T50 flagship; yes, that is only partly true to some extent, simply because there are tons of people on the market who have multiple T50 and even T25 and T14 placements. But a placement does not in any way guarantee a job. And for some fields, placing in a specialty or in a highly regarded peer review journal may also suffice. for example in international law or tech. And by T50, I don't interpret that strictly; there are some solid main law reviews in the 60s and 70s or 80s that would also be sufficient. Florida State or San Diego for example come to mind, since the reputation of their faculty gives it some more prestige than the Washington and Lee rankings may indicate. Also Hastings, since they do faculty peer review in their process. I would say T50 interpreted liberally by either W&L, other rankings or the USNWR.

I have seen some with placements in the below 50 or even lower 100s get jobs, sometimes the same jobs other candidates who had with multiple articles in the T25. If you write in business law it is simply easier to get a job whereas if you write in con law or admin law it is harder, as well as harder to place because many of the luminaries of law also write con law and admin law articles.

There are also factors that have nothing to do with quality that allow one to have more success. For example, if you submit later in the season, less journals will read it and if you feel pressured you might accept a lower placement because you want to be done with it or you feel you want a placement before going on the market. I submitted late one year due to child care issues, got a flagship around 70ish, was told by people to accept it because I was going on the market. I didn't listen and submitted it the next cycle under a new name to the same group of reviewers and got it at a T25.

This is why I find it disheartening that some journals indicated that they would allow extra time due to the pandemic and childcare, yet some seem to be closing already, just over 3 weeks in.

I wonder how the lack of a spring break will affect it this year. Some close before spring break while others do work over the spring break where this year they don't have that luxury.

Posted by: anon | Feb 24, 2021 2:03:25 PM

wondering,

I have three top 50 offers this cycle that are NOT off of an expedite request.

I have also had the majority of journals entirely ignore expedite requests, even where the requests were from relatively closely ranked journals! Not rejections, but utter silence and the passing of the deadlines without so much as a peep.

You cannot reach a definitive conclusion here, other than to conclude that this system is atrocious.

Posted by: annon | Feb 24, 2021 12:50:40 PM

wondering,

Probably sometimes, but not always. Last year, for example, I got "board reads" and Northwestern and Illinois (just a coincidence that they're in the same state), NOT off expedite, and placed the article with Illinois. This year I got a nice rejection email from Utah, NOT off expedite, clearly demonstrating they had read my article but explaining why it was not a good fit for their upcoming volume. And I have zero "letterhead" (just my own name) and those are all USN top 50 schools. I realize this is just anecdotal, but I'm sure that if they're reading a solo practitioner's article, they're also reading articles for professors without expedite requests.

However, I'll bet that, in most cases, an expedited review request will stress the urgency of the situation, thus resulting in more offers off expedites than offers that are out of the blue.

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Feb 24, 2021 12:33:45 PM

@wondering: That can't literally be true. If it were, then no one would ever have offers to expedite in the first place!

Posted by: anon | Feb 24, 2021 12:27:26 PM

wondering,

Yes.

Posted by: AnonProf | Feb 24, 2021 12:10:16 PM

Is it really true that journals only make a decision on an article when an expedite forces them to do so?

Posted by: wondering | Feb 24, 2021 11:45:21 AM

I had two journals this year make me an offer of publication but condition it on trimming the piece to 25K words (my piece is 28K). I tried to cut it down, but really didn't like how it was impacting the piece and thus I declined (which was heartbreaking as one of the offers came from a journal I've been wanting to publish in for years). The piece is still in play with other good offers, but I share this to the extent folks are curious about word counts going forward.

Posted by: Anonny | Feb 24, 2021 11:41:58 AM

@really? Really? You believe the same standard is applied to all? Perhaps if a journal applied a standard of `good enough for us.' But I assume their normal standard is `best available to us, as measured by legitimate standards of quality (as best we students can assess).' As with admissions and appointments, I assume members of certain groups (but not all who might be socially disadvantaged) get points for group membership that put them ahead of others who don't get such points. In the context of a scholarly paper, at least, this is not about having a different perspective; it's about identity. In most areas of law, one would be hard pressed to discern in articles submitted any new perspective emanating from experience as a member of an historically under-represented group. We might test this by having universal blind review. Editors determined to do so might still discover identities (e.g., by perusing ssrn), but I expect that would happen far less often.

Posted by: realitybites | Feb 24, 2021 11:34:51 AM

Guest 3 - that's a really helpful dichotomy and as plausible a reading of the tea leaves as I've seen. Into the first category, it seems we can put Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, BU, Washington, and UCLA, as well. Into the second category goes Wash U, in addition to Duke and the others. Longevity in category 1 *may* be a good sign. Longevity in category 2 is utterly meaningless.

Posted by: anon | Feb 24, 2021 11:26:12 AM

I would believe that journals are looking for opportunities to publish scholars from groups that have been historically under-represented in top law school faculities and top law journal publications. But I assume that simply means "making sure we pull the articles out of the monstrously large pile and consider them." I would not assume - do not believe - it means any different standard is applied. And implying in the spreadsheet that you could have avoided the Yale rejection by showing your surname, so the editors would know the article was coming from someone with a historically subordinated perspective, even if meant as a ruefel joke, is awfully close to implying that the person who received the quick offer received it for THAT reason. And that wouldo not be ok. Not anymore than allowing white students to treat their Black classmates as if they weren't qualified for admission, and not anymore than assuming a Black associate wouldn't be at the firm without affirmative action. This isn't a perfect system. Some really excellent work ends up in lower ranked journals. And some of it is much better than work that publishes in higher ranked journals. It's published. Your job is to teach and write. This is not the Hunger Games. Put the knives away. Let other people enjoy their accomplishments -- celebrate their accomplishments -- without implying that their gender or race account for their placements.

Posted by: really? | Feb 24, 2021 11:00:30 AM

FWIW, I can give one anecdote that might help illustrate why people get so emotional here. I have a friend who has been trying to get a LawProf position abroad. Alas, in that country, he was told that given the competitiveness of the selection process, any law review publication in a journal below a certain threshold (say t50) is not counted. In other words, he remains unemployed unless his piece gets accepted to a solid flagship. In this situation, I can fully understand the rage of facing unfair processes and the obsession with expedites and ranking - for him, it is literally "publish [in a high-ranked] journal or perish".
As a side note, I fully agree with the comment made earlier regarding the difference between blaming a specific person and blaming the system. Sayings like "Harvard Law Review" are so and so, is not the same like saying "X, who is an editor at HLR, is" so and so.
Finally, regarding the Yale discussion - I don't think anyone here was criticizing the author, whose paper may-well be top-notch and "deserving" (insofar that there is such a thing) of a top publication. The criticism is about the disparity in treatment and "how it looks". For this, I'll end with the famous quote "Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done"..


Posted by: anon | Feb 24, 2021 10:58:35 AM

I could be totally misreading the tea leaves, but my sense from doing this for a while is that Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Chicago, and maybe Michigan and NYU tend to move through/reject nonexpedited pieces first, and then reject expedited pieces closer to their expedite deadlines. Duke, Virginia and Cornell seem to make offers on a piece-by-piece basis first before making any rejections, and then when they get the number of pieces they want they reject everything else, clearing the queue. Those seem to be the two major workflow models, but I'm sure there are others. Would be happy to be corrected on any of this!

Posted by: Guest3 | Feb 24, 2021 10:46:27 AM

Hi, stayinalive, I'm the person who posted about Harvard. I'm still alive at Columbia and other places (like Michigan, BU, Vanderbilt) that have been active and have dinged non-expedites. However, it strikes me in reviewing the thread that Chicago seems to ding things fairly methodically within 7 days. That was the case for me. If you are alive beyond that point, I would speculate you may have survived a first cut.

Posted by: anon | Feb 24, 2021 10:44:14 AM

same question as anon about time with pieces. I'm still "alive" at Chicago and Columbia, but not sure if this means my piece is being considered, it hasn't been reviewed yet, or is sitting in some sort of backup pile. I'm alive at other places as well, but if they haven't been super active, I don't take this to mean anything.

Posted by: stayinalive | Feb 24, 2021 10:27:34 AM

"idk a handful of earlier comments are not even thinly veiled racism about how Yale’s decision was motivated by the desire to appear “unbiased.” ...

It is important to point out the falsehood of this accusation of racism. Law review editors acknowledge that they use race and other personal characteristics when selecting articles. Some acknowledge it openly; others are coy, but it is reasonable to believe that all do, especially when they are under intense public pressure to do it. That known practice casts a shadow across selection decisions. (I say this as a person in an URM group.) It is a denial of reality to ignore this known fact when we observe egregious departures from stated selection procedures. Arguing that racial preferences are unjust (perhaps especially when they are done in secret) is not racist.

Posted by: nonny | Feb 24, 2021 10:20:16 AM

Does anyone know whether it's possible to draw inferences from time Harvard spends with a piece? Harvard has been pretty well represented on the thread, and it seems to have some pieces for weeks until expedite deadlines force (negative) decisions and to reject others, not expedited, within a week. Is this just random -- some editors are faster than others? Any former Harvard AEs (or experienced hands) out there with insight? Thanks.

Posted by: anon | Feb 24, 2021 10:19:05 AM

I don't know whether the process was skewed. I do know, though, that the article makes an extraordinarily meaningful contribution to the literature. I would have given a toe or two to have written it.

Posted by: Axel Foley | Feb 24, 2021 9:53:21 AM

anyone heard from notre dame lately?

Posted by: anon | Feb 24, 2021 9:49:00 AM

Axel Foley: Writing it in caps does not establish the point. You do not know if the paper DESERVES to be there, if you know that the process was skewed.

Posted by: JJ | Feb 24, 2021 9:48:56 AM

+1 Axel Foley. Well said.

Posted by: anon | Feb 24, 2021 9:45:57 AM

I agree with Nana (and others), angsting mixed with the overt racism on the spreadsheet is horrific. Accusations that certain posters are really YLJ editors etc approach the level of qanon-style conspiracy theories. Was the process fair in leading to the YLJ offer? Who knows. None of us were there to oversee what went into it. That said, the scholar in question is absolutely fantastic who does fantastic work--the piece DESERVES to be there. I'm just really embarrassed right now to think that most of us are privileged to have the greatest job in the world, and we're using our anonymous platform to attack students.

Posted by: Axel Foley | Feb 24, 2021 9:34:57 AM

The proximate cause of the vast majority of problems is the expedite process. If expedite was eliminated these problems would be gone. The process is maligned and it is archaic but that is the system. Not all the problems would be eliminated but a clear majority. It would also de-stress the many here who do expedite. Personally I do not expedite but I am in the very limited minority. I only send to those I would accept from and have happily done so for the last 15 years. I do not spend the enormous empotional energy on expediting. Sure at times do not get accepted some cycles...who cares?...re-submit next time or next AY and you get your acceptance. Yes I am also quite aware that there practices described here as "corrupt" practices where editors at times (not always but it does indeed happen, trust me) are provided suggested papers by Deans or other faculty members - this is a form of exchanging favors. Nothing can be done about this. While this may not be fair put yourselves in the shoes of the editors - they want a "hit" something solid which they can get from the sage advice of the senior faculty/Dean. You really expect students to evaluate scholarship - being experts in every field? It is a godesend to receive recommendations of "pre-screened" articles (ie someone who is an expert and knows the paper is decent and is tacitly approving making an offer) and that is the same as letterhead bias. You would do the same even though you rail against it but the students are overwhelmed with submissions. What do you expect? And be honest - most of you would also engage in this if you had the ability to. Welcome to "Real Life 101".

Posted by: Realist | Feb 24, 2021 7:49:44 AM

After more than three weeks, an offer from an international law journal at a school well outside the top 20. The longest wait I've had in 15 years of submissions. So it can happen, but it may take a lot longer than normal. And remember: these are not normal times. If we are in the privileged position of submitting law review articles in the middle of a pandemic, we have so much to be grateful for.

Posted by: international law | Feb 24, 2021 7:11:42 AM

Anonforthis, the fact that you haven't gotten a bite yet three weeks into the submission of your first article as a TT prof means literally nothing. There are a ton of great articles circulating right now that are getting no attention from LR editors, in large part because there are way too many legit articles looking for a home.

It's easy to say and hard to do but don't let the nonsensical nature of this process get to you.

Posted by: Angsting Prof | Feb 24, 2021 12:33:56 AM

The tone policing in this thread is extreme, and honestly is the most prominent "new" feature of this thread. Back in the day, people kvetched a little, and we just moved on, now, if one makes the slightest negative comment about the process, the poster is attacked to the extreme. This leads to even more negativity. How about we all just think we're entitled to our position and feelings and move on?

Posted by: x | Feb 24, 2021 12:32:13 AM

@Bertrall Ross: thank you, truly, for taking the time to write that. Exactly what I needed to hear, and good suggestion to try to dive into the next project.

Posted by: AnonForThis | Feb 24, 2021 12:32:00 AM

AForeignJuniorProf, When I decide to expedite, I always expedite to the top. Otherwise you risk having the fiasco that someone described earlier: you get no bites on your limited expedites, you accept your offer, and then before you withdraw everywhere else you get a higher offer. But then it's too late. Who wants that? Others, however, are concerned about what the offering journal's rank "signals" to the higher journals, and they don't expedite all the way up. I think that's reading too much into it. Will a journal reject you just because you got an offer from J-130? I suspect that, at worst, they'll ignore it, and you can grab their attention again when you get the second offer and re-expedite.

ck, I can't make any sense of your post. Can you restate it?

anonforthis, have you submitted broadly enough? You could do that, I suppose.

Posted by: Michael Cicchini | Feb 24, 2021 12:23:02 AM

This angsting has taken a gross turn. If this was a 1-day turnaround for Sunstein, then I can see the argument that it is a symptom of a larger problem. But I just don't see the argument at all in this case. This is correcting for bias in favor of a very strong article by a junior scholar. Isn't that closer to the world we want.

Posted by: anon | Feb 24, 2021 12:14:42 AM

anonforthis,

What I would say is that your whole career is not on the line with this first submissions during your first year as a tenure track professors during COVID with childcare responsibilities. Think about what you just wrote and recognize that you, like many of us, have been through a lot and we are the fortunate ones to the extent we have managed to stay safe and healthy with our loved ones.

I very much know the feeling of panic from my early years in the academy and can remember plenty of dreadful and depressing days and nights hoping and waiting for someone to extend an offer. And on a couple of occasions, an acceptance never came during the first time I submitted but it did eventually come. To the extent it is possible (and I know that it is not possible for everyone during these stressful times) try to start thinking about or doing research for that next article. I think the distraction will be a reminder of one of the reasons why you chose to be an academic and how exciting and gratifying it can be to think through and develop new ideas. And recognize that this article WILL place, it is just a matter of when.

Posted by: Bertrall Ross | Feb 23, 2021 11:25:27 PM

Some of these comments targeting the YLJ author on the discussion list and in the spreadsheet are awful and unacceptable. Yes, the 1 day review is not great on YLJ's part. That said, this author is doing cutting edge, novel, and straight-up brilliant work in her field. it's just really sad to see these comments targeting a rising star who is has spent years working really hard to hone her craft and develop her ideas (and I know this because I am a former colleague of the author's from years back).

Posted by: anon | Feb 23, 2021 11:20:13 PM

Returning to the general angsting, could any of the slightly more senior folks here speak to the overwhelming feelings of imposter syndrome/panic that come from hearing *crickets* in response to your first article submission? I'm a junior TT whose first year was derailed by the usual (covid, no child care, etc) and it feels like my entire career hangs on this one article. Anything to do except continue hitting refresh?

Posted by: anonforthis | Feb 23, 2021 11:06:10 PM

idk a handful of earlier comments are not even thinly veiled racism about how Yale’s decision was motivated by the desire to appear “unbiased.” there is not this kind of concern for the ~integrity of the process~ when a lower ranked journal makes an offer in under two days to an author who is better able to remain anonymous (and remain presumed white). I broadly agree that this whole process is bad. I also think some of you are telling on yourselves.

Posted by: ck | Feb 23, 2021 9:57:18 PM

If I have an offer from T-130, to which range of law reviews should I send expedited decision requests? T100? T75 or to the top? Would there be negative impacts if I expedite too far?

Posted by: AForeignJuniorProf | Feb 23, 2021 9:48:24 PM

I think an important distinction needs to be made here in the forms of criticism being made in this comments section. Pointing out the inconsistencies of a law review as an institution is vastly different than targeting specific editors, students, or individuals. The former should be within the acceptable purview of this thread. The latter is completely unacceptable.

If you've ever talked to a T10 editor or a submissions team, then they will talk about how they have a very lengthy review process filled with multiple steps where different groups of editors make decisions on a piece before they send out an acceptance. They will also play up both the anonymity (if they use it) and peer review process instituted by the journal. There is no way that such a process can be completely in a thorough and diligent manner in a single day. Absolutely none. Either how they present their review process to the world is false and/or they skipped steps in that process in order to grab a particular article. Either is deserving of criticism on multiple grounds.

The previous paragraph says nothing about the actual quality of any particular pieces or authors, nor about any particular students or editors. This is a procedural/transparency based criticism of a law review as an institution. That is very different than casting rancor or aspersions and to label such criticism as "whining" is to attempt to delegitimize our very ability to criticize the institutions involved in our livelihoods (for better or worse).

I don't want to continue down this rabbit hole of debate, but I think the institution vs. person distinction needed to be drawn so valid institutional criticism isn't chilled in light of this hostility.

Posted by: DoubleSecretAnon | Feb 23, 2021 9:30:45 PM

@ck Of course everyone has considered that it might be good, just as we have considered that an article someone said was rejected by [third tier law school] might be good. The point is that there is no basis for thinking it more likely in the YLJ-acceptance case than in the [rejected by 3rd tier law school]case.

Posted by: endoftheworldasweknowit | Feb 23, 2021 8:23:12 PM

Whispers, I think that's a very safe bet. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in this thread, it's just much easier to generate material and submit it than it was a generation ago, and in addition the competition to get a TT law school job is much more intense. It's no wonder that reviews are overwhelmed with submissions.

Posted by: Angsting Prof | Feb 23, 2021 7:49:35 PM

Maybe placement is getting more difficult, arbitrary, and network-dependent because there's an oversupply of legal scholarship.

Posted by: **whispers** | Feb 23, 2021 7:15:42 PM

Can we get back to angsting? I never assumed that I, a newbie, would be on the same footing as, say, Richard Fallon or Cass Sunstein, in this process. Obviously, there's letterhead bias that keeps them publishing without breaking a sweat. Can you blame the law review editors? I don't.

Posted by: anon | Feb 23, 2021 6:17:54 PM

Nana, it wasn't directed at you.

This particular submissions season has just driven home how dysfunctional all this is with special force.

It's true there are no perfect systems, but this one is just getting increasingly ridiculous.

Posted by: Angsting Prof | Feb 23, 2021 6:14:44 PM

Angsting, I think it's perfectly reasonable to have a discussion about issues such as letterhead bias, length-of-author-note bias, the appropriateness of journal editors accepting recommendations from professors they trust, and the like. There has been good empirical work on these questions recently. I would not call the process "corrupt" or "absurd," though, even though these particular quirks always work to my disadvantage (and I rarely place in T30). We always talk about the costs and benefits of this system, and the costs and benefits of alternative approaches, as well as the impediments to adoption of alternative approaches . . . and it's a conversation worth having. But the tone of the posts -- the combativeness law professors on this thread are expressing towards each other, and the harshness of the language directed at the second and third year law students we are responsible for training -- is, in my view, inexcusable. This is now how we teach our students to interact with opposing counsel (or busy law firm / judicial staff implementing policies they inherited); why is it acceptable with other law professors and towards law journal staff? But perhaps your comment wasn't directed to me. And I'll be done with this topic now. I will go back to refreshing my email every 4 minutes.

Posted by: nana | Feb 23, 2021 6:07:24 PM

seriously?

don't you have some SSRN drafts to peruse?

Posted by: thegreatdisappointment | Feb 23, 2021 6:05:16 PM

I just want to echo others saying that this has devolved into a total professional embarrassment, and I hope Sarah closes this thread for this cycle at least.

Posted by: anonymous | Feb 23, 2021 6:03:17 PM

When a journal opens later than others, and is in the range you are currently expediting, do you submit and then immediately expedite, or do you wait a day or two so it doesn't seem odd?

Posted by: instaexpedite | Feb 23, 2021 6:02:10 PM

Lawprof, I don't know that I am making an argument so much as offering advice for a happy submission season. It is what it is. Moaning and making ourselves look bad on this forum does not change that it is what it is.

Indeed, shaming law review editors (perhaps instead of writing to their faculty advisor directly with clear cogent concerns), picking on an author with the good fortune to get a YLJ offer, in however many hours or days, and otherwise making jabs at each other is not helpful, and deteriorates the usefulness of this board. I very much appreciate Nona's remarks, and will not comment further.

Posted by: seriously? | Feb 23, 2021 6:01:33 PM

Those who publish in the top law journals are all about privilege. This latest example from YLJ is just more of the same.

Posted by: AnonProf | Feb 23, 2021 5:57:39 PM

I'm very senior, having been a law prof for more than 30 years, so I have very little riding on this process besides pride. So I think I have some standing to say that it's getting worse and more arbitrary and unfair all the time. I feel awful for people who are trying to get tenure, or a job, who are navigating this absurd and corrupt process.

Throwing up your hands and criticizing people who are pointing this out with no better argument than "this is just the way it is -- so shut up already" is pathetic, and you should be ashamed to make such an argument if you're a teacher and an academic.

Posted by: Angsting Prof | Feb 23, 2021 5:56:20 PM

"accept the reality", seriously? What argument even is this? Do you also teach your students to accept realities where there are irregularities and procedural flaws? This is just an embarrassing argument to make.

Posted by: Lawprof | Feb 23, 2021 5:47:45 PM

I have participated on this board for years. I don't understand what is happening this year. There is always a little grumbling about the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the law review process and the peer review process, but I have never before seen the hostility, sniping, rancor, whining, and frankly childishness that participants on this thread are exhibiting this year. I expect and assume that this is a function of the stress that we are all under this year (and have all been under for twelve months now). But it is really disturbing coming from legal scholars. Most of us are (or were) officers of the court. We are responsible for teaching the next generations of lawyers who come after us, and we are responsible for setting a good example but and in particular interacting with each other (and students) with courtesy, integrity, good humor, and respect. The fact that you can omit your name from your posts does not change who you are. I think folks should take a step back and remember who they are, why they are law professors (or lawyers), and how they ought to be behaving here. Integrity is who you are when no one is watching (or no one knows your name).

Posted by: nana, scolding finally | Feb 23, 2021 5:46:40 PM

I think the mistake is to assume that there is a process that is always followed. Accept the reality (that there is not, and this is the Hunger Games or gambling), or stop complaining about it. But there is a difference between where this thread starts and where it always ends - it starts with hopeful musings trying to read the tea leaves (which never works anyway), and then always ends with sour grapes and lashing out at student editors (why not their faculty advisors instead?). The former type of angsting is endearing and amusing, the latter type is unbecoming and concerning.

Posted by: seriously? | Feb 23, 2021 5:44:42 PM

And if the explanation is "we saw it on SSRN way before it was submitted and liked it" at least be transparent and upfront about your policy of also looking at SSRN in addition to your submissions system. Some of us don't even upload our drafts on SSRN before they're placed in a journal. This prevents everyone from getting an equal opportunity.

Posted by: Lawprof | Feb 23, 2021 5:36:30 PM

@thegreatdissapointment - wow. Do you really have so little to do? Again, this kind of angsting makes us all look bad. No, I am not a Yale AE, and indeed, did not attend Yale. I am, perhaps less and less proudly the more I read the comments here, a law professor.

Also, re: your first comment - I did not say law students are infallible - or do you now know what the Hunger Games are? That doesn't mean that what they are doing is not difficult and the students do not deserve respect for the effort.

Posted by: seriously? | Feb 23, 2021 5:35:32 PM

The "if it were happen to you" is a fallacy. This isn't the point. Good for the author, but it doesn't change the potential procedural flaws in the process. If it takes YLJ an average of ten days to reject a piece, then it's likely to take even longer to accept a piece. 21 hours is an anomaly that cannot be explained by an article just being that good.

Posted by: Lawprof | Feb 23, 2021 5:32:16 PM

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