Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Michael D. Cicchini, Law Review Publishing: Thoughts on Mass Submissions, Expedited Review, and Potential Reform, 16 U.N.H. L. Rev. 147 (2017):
The current law review publishing system—in particular, mass submissions and expedited review—works well for prestige-driven professors; however, it places a tremendous burden on the editors of journals lower in the hierarchy. This problem is exacerbated by several professorial tactics including, most significantly, submitting articles to journals from which the professor would never accept an offer—not even when he or she fails to receive a “better” offer through the expedite process.
This Essay discusses a potential fix: the eight-hour offer window. If a journal were to adopt a formal policy of holding its publication offers open for only eight hours, professors would, in theory, be unable to use the offer in the expedite process. Therefore, professors would not submit their articles to this journal unless and until they were serious about publishing in it.
Unfortunately, what is good in theory does not always work in practice. This Essay discusses how professors would modify their existing tactics— tactics which currently include misrepresenting the terms of an offer in the expedite process—in order to defeat this attempted reform. The Essay also explores specific ways that a journal could overcome these tactics and implement meaningful reform despite the professoriate’s desire to protect the status quo.