Law Review Article Submissions Outside the “Windows”
For law professors submitting law review articles, it has become common knowledge that there are two good times to submit — in late February/early March when new law review editors are selected (the “March window”) or in late August when law review editors return from their summer vacation (the “August window”). There has been a lot of discussion about when, precisely, the sweetest spot in a particular window is, but I want to raise a different question in this post. What are the merits of submitting pieces outside of the two windows?
I assume that submitting a piece in the mid-to-late fall wouldn’t be wise, as most journals are nearly full. On the other hand, suppose a top journal has been particularly picky and is left with an open slot or two. Submissions have largely dried up, and then your piece comes in. The editors might think: “Well, it ain’t great, but we’re not likely to get anything much better at this late juncture, and we need to fill the space, so . . . .” If this is true, then submissions beyond the fall window are a risky gamble, but they could pay off big.
What about submissions during the summer? Suppose one were to send in a piece in late April, or May, or (gasp!) even June or July? What would happen? I wonder about this. The optimist thinks: “This is an ideal time. The journal editors are no longer inundated with millions of submissions, so they can take a bit more time to read the piece. They have already seen a bunch of submissions, so their expectations are more realistic (i.e. they expect lower quality). Therefore, it’s a good thing to submit when it isn’t rush hour for submissions.” The pessimist thinks: “This is a terrible time. The editors will be busy with summer jobs and will not want to bother discussing pieces during the summer. Therefore, they will be less likely to suggest a piece for a full committee read during this time.” Who is right, the pessimist or the optimist? Is it better to submit during a window or at another time? Does it matter? And is one window better than the other?
Answers from law review editors will be especially appreciated.