Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Resources For Authors Submitting Law Review Articles In The Spring 2023 Cycle


1. Bryce Clayton Newell (Oregon), 2022 Meta-Ranking Of Flagship U.S. Law Reviews:

This is an updated ranking of the top flagship law reviews at US law schools. ...

The MetaRank was computed by averaging ranks (using a 25% weighting from each) of the following rankings:

prRank = US News Peer Reputation score ranking (averaged over 10 years);
usnRank = overall US News school ranking (averaged over 10 years);
wluRank = Washington & Lee Law Journal Ranking;
gRank = Google Scholar Metrics ranking (note: “1000” means journal was not indexed).

2. Nancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC), Information for Submitting Articles to Law Reviews & Journals (Revised Jan. 13, 2022):

This document contains information about submitting articles to law reviews and journals, including the methods for submitting an article, any special formatting requirements, how to contact them to request an expedited review, and how to contact them to withdraw an article from consideration. It covers 195 law reviews.

From their email:

We have created hyperlinks for each law review to take you directly to the law review’s submissions page. Again the chart includes as much information as possible about what law reviews are not accepting submissions right now and what months they say they’ll resume accepting submissions.  Of those specifying when they will be open to accept manuscripts, 14 say either January or early 2023, 9 say spring, 41 say February, and one each say March, winter, May-June, fall, and November.

As for submission methods:
Online submission portal only 2
Scholastica or submission portal 2
All-symposia or commissioned only 3
Email only 5
Email preference, will also accept Scholastica 39
Scholastica only 67
Scholastica or email 77 (many of these are Scholastica preferred or strongly preferred)

Several schools mention that if fees for Scholastica are a financial burden, authors may seek a fee waiver from Scholastica at [email protected], and that if Scholastica cannot accommodate your circumstances, authors may submit by e-mail to the Executive Articles Editor at those schools and include an explanation of the financial circumstances that prevent submission through Scholastica.

The first chart contains information about each journal’s preferences about methods for submitting articles (e.g., e-mail or Scholastica), as well as special formatting requirements and how to request an expedited review.  The second chart contains rankings information from U.S. News and World Report  (overall, peer, lawyers and judges), as well as data from Washington & Lee’s law review website (citation count, impact factor, and combined ratings).

3.  Bradley A. Areheart (Tennessee; Google Scholar), The Top 100 Law Reviews: A Reference Guide Based on Historical USNWR Data:

The best proxy for how other law professors react and respond to publishing in main, or flagship, law reviews is the US News and World Report (USNWR) rankings. This paper utilizes historical USNWR data to rank the top 100 law reviews. The USNWR rankings are important in shaping many — if not most — law professors’ perceptions about the relative strength of a law school (and derivatively, the home law review). This document contains a chart that is sorted by the 10-year rolling average for each school, but it also contains the 5-year and 15-year rolling averages. This paper also describes my methodology and responds to a series of frequently asked questions. The document was last updated in August 2022.

4.  Bridget J. Crawford (Pace; Google Scholar), Information for Submitting to Online Law Review Companions:

This document contains information about submitting essays, commentaries, reviews, responses, and other writings to online companions to the main law reviews and journals at selected law schools. The document includes word-count limitations, subject matter specifications, preferred submission methods, whether articles from the online journal are included in HeinOnline’s Law Journal Library and other information of possible interest to authors. It covers the online companions to main law reviews at 45 schools.

5. Data On The Fall And Spring Law Review Article Submission Seasons:

. . . When do authors submit?
... The graph below details when articles were submitted to law reviews looking at all of 2021 (January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021).

The graph shows the bi-modal waves of article submissions that define the two busy submission seasons (February - April, and August - September). As in 2020, around 80% of submissions were sent to law reviews in the six weeks following February and August 1st, 2021.

While the fall 2021 submission season followed essentially the same pattern as fall 2020 (i.e., the majority of submissions occurring in the first two weeks of August), the spring submission season was somewhat different than the previous year.

Submissions appeared to peak earlier during the spring 2021 submission season than 2020, with the highest spikes occurring February 1 and February 15, 2021 (both dates tied), compared to February 11 and 14, 2020. ...

Scholastica 1

When do law reviews make decisions?
... The graph below shows when decisions were made using Scholastica looking at all of 2021 (January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021).

At first glance, there are no surprises here: the number of daily publication decisions starts noticeably rising about three weeks after the February/August starting point for the two submission seasons and gradually declines over the next eight weeks.

But what are those large daily spikes? Based on discussions with law review editors, we're fairly confident the cause is journals selecting their last articles for publication and rejecting all remaining pieces. 2021 saw the highest daily spikes in law review decisions on February 28th and March 16th, with noticeable smaller spikes in decisions between March 31st and April 24th.

Scholastica 2

Expedites by due date
... The graph [here] shows, by due date, when these expedited decisions were submitted by authors on Scholastica looking at all of 2021 (January 1, 2021 - December 31, 2021). ... [W]hile the peak fall 2021 expedited decision request date period was closely in step with that of 2020, with the highest expedite levels from late August to about the first week of September, the spring 2021 data appears to deviate from the previous season somewhat. The peak spring 2021 expedited decision request dates were from March 8 - March 26, whereas the peak spring 2020 expedited decision request dates occurred February 28 - March 20. It's a relatively slight shift, but interesting to note that authors appeared to be somewhat slower to expedite in 2021 compared to the previous year, and/or offers may have come back somewhat slower during the 2021 spring submission season resulting in later expedite requests.

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