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Legal Peer Review Journals: Time to Reject/Accept/R&R?

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is a James E. Beasley Professor of Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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6 Responses

  1. I. Glenn Cohen says:

    I have received amazingly fast turn around from the Journal of Legal Analysis the two times I have submitted, less than a month, including detailed reviewer comments in the latter case that generated a conditional acceptance.

  2. Dave Hoffman says:

    Thanks for starting us off!

    I also have gotten very quick turnaround from JLA (n=1). Less than a month, albiet for a very kind “no fit” rejection.

    JLS: Around 2-3 months, with truly amazing reviews (rejection, but the kind that makes the paper better)

    JLEO: 3 months, as I recall, again with tremendous reviews (acceptance, at last).

    JELS: The timing has varied. Three submissions: one was R&R’d at 3 months; one was rejected at 6 months; one is pending at 3 months.

  3. Matt says:

    I haven’t submitted to any of these, or refereed for them, but have submitted twice to _Law & Philosophy_. The first time I got an R&R in about two months and then an acceptance in about a month after I re-submitted, and the second time an acceptance w/in about two months. I have also refereed for Law & Philosophy and was asked to do my review w/in a month. I’m pretty sure I did that. I’ve also reviewed for _Criminal Law & Philosophy_ twice and was asked for a review in a month, and did that. Both _Law & Philosophy_ and _Criminal Law & Philosophy_ seem to me to run pretty tight ships. (I’ve also reviewed for the University of Chicago Law Review, and was asked for a report in one week. That’s hard, if you want to write an actual report.)

    My impression is that, in many cases, a significant portion of the delay in peer reviewing comes from difficulty in finding referees, though of course there are other reasons, too.

  4. Anon says:

    Delays can be pretty bad with many of the law and economics journals. Here are my experiences with seven submissions.

    Acceptances:

    JLE: first round 5 months, second round 11 months, third round 1 month
    JLEO: first round 7 months, second round 6 months, third round 3 months
    JLS: first round 7 months, second round 5 months
    JELS: first round 3 months (accepted subject to minor revisions)

    Rejections:

    JLEO: 6 months
    JLS: 2 months; 5 months

    The quality of the reviews varied a lot. In one case, the reviews were extremely helpful and definitely improved the paper. Most of the reviews were at best marginally helpful, and some were completely worthless.

    In four of the cases, the editor followed the recommendation of the referees; in three cases, the editor overruled the referee. For the papers that were accepted, the editors also made constructive suggestions that improved the papers.

  5. Anon says:

    I’ve submitted several papers to the American Business Law Journal, and typically hear back within 6 weeks.

  6. Comparative Law Rookie says:

    Does anyone have information to share about the American Journal of Comparative Law? What is their review process like?

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