Law Review Summer Submissions:

I am just about finished with an article I plan to submit to law reviews. The conventional wisdom is that if one finishes an article during the Summer, it's better to wait until mid-August to send it out to law reviews, because many law reviews shut down for the Summer. The counter-argument is that with so many law professors submitting articles in August that they wrote during Summer break, it's better to submit an article earlier, when editors for law reviews that are functioning can give submissions more attention.

So, is the conventional wisdom correct? Do most law reviews shut down (at least in terms of accepting new articles) during the Summer? Is it possible to get expedited review during the Summer? I've opened comments.

Jared (mail) (www):
I can't speak for all, but I know the law review I'm on the editorial board of (the South Carolina Law Review) accepts articles throughout the summer. Earlier is definitely better!
6.8.2005 4:59pm
Goober (mail):
Ummm... I don't think you want your submission to be "excepted," do you? But in terms of "accepting," my old journal's (top ten) piece editors continued to work during the summer months while working as summer associates, and did have conferences for accepting additional pieces. (Indeed many of the big New York firms allowed law review editors to take time off for the journal duties.)

To what extent the same attention was given to pieces during a summer when cocktail parties are balanced against research tasks, I cannot really say. It seemed to me the general rule was that it was advantageous to submit when other authors were not submitting, but I don't know if this rule takes a vacation for summer vacation.
6.8.2005 5:02pm
John Jenkins (mail):
The Oklahoma Law Review accepts submissions throughout the year. Because there are fewer submitted in the summer, it makes sense that turnaround time would be quicker.
6.8.2005 5:04pm
One thing to consider is that the ed board may be frantically going through all of the materials for the writing competition in the early- to mid-summer. That is a great deal of work for a lot of the board. Then, there are often a lot of editing responsibilities that are ongoing throughout the summer, which are made exponentially more difficult by the fact that most ed board members are scattered across the country in summer jobs and are Fed Ex'ing and trying to fit in editing and cross-reading into their evenings. I spent a good deal of time in the office over the summer, because I was near the school, and I can say that there was almost no one in there. All sorts of things would pile up for weeks on end. Add in the fact that we had this mythical idea that our summer was going to be pretty cool with parties and wining and dining during our summer jobs, and then all this editing took up all that fun time, and you have a recipe for early reading of manuscripts not being a major priority.

Also, there is the phenomenon that in a judging setting in general, the judge tends to avoid being "taken" by an entry early on in order to allow room for a possible better entry later on. As in, the judge at a science fair is unlikely to give the first project he looks at a 10.0. That sort of a thing.
6.8.2005 5:06pm
I'd say you are better off to get it in early, and then periodically ask for updates via e-mail if you don't see any movement.
6.8.2005 6:34pm
KW (mail):
Some journals even have special summer submission programs. Georgetown has done those in the past, you may want to check on them this year.
6.8.2005 7:12pm
SWLiP (mail) (www):
It seems that if you are going to submit early, then your best bet is to submit earlier than June, the logic being that you want to catch the incoming 3L officers when they are still basking in the glow of the editorial board elections. By the time mid to late June rolls around, they may already be consumed with the summer write-on competition materials as well as preparing the fall editions.
6.8.2005 7:19pm
Peter Siroka (mail):
something to keep in mind: journals that have not yet filled up their fall issues will pay much closer attention to summer submissions than those that have already filled up their fall issues. and, as already stated, editors have many other things on their mind (summer associateships, etc) during the summer, and you might not get as close of a review as you would during the high volume submission periods.

i think my advice would be this: over the summer, i'd wait until august. however, over the winter (november-february), which is not as high volume a submission period, i'd submit when completed.
6.8.2005 7:27pm
(Hopefully) Future Law Prof:
A related question for editors: would it make a difference if the piece is particularly timely, for example, on a late-term SC opinion? If the topic will likely generate a large number of submissions in August, could submitting early help lessen the direct competition?
6.8.2005 7:53pm
andromeda7 (mail):
At my law review, the articles editors had to meet slating deadlines every couple of months. Because of the dearth of quality articles submitted in the summer, it made it much easier to get published if you submitted then. During the summer, we had to scrounge for a good article. During other periods, we rejected articles that were better than the ones we accepted during the summer.
6.8.2005 11:40pm
Rob Crowley (mail):
The University of Washington's Pacific Rim Law &Policy Journal is more than happy to take submissions year round.
6.9.2005 12:49pm
Chris G. (mail) (www):
Ohio State Law Journal accepts offers over the summer and will allow expedited reviews over the summer as well.
6.9.2005 3:08pm
Misha Tseytlin (mail):
Georgetown Law Journal's articles committee is reading articles all summer- send it in!
6.10.2005 10:40am