Question for Law Review Editors:

Let's say that an editorial board "turns over" on March 15th. Do the incoming articles editors actually wait until 3/15 to read manuscripts, or do they start a few days early so they can be ready to recommend articles at the first board meeting?

former editor:
Our articles editors started reading the Monday after the Sunday elections and had articles to present at the first meeting. The outgoing editors had filled their volumes books quite some time before, so there was a backlog to get through.
2.24.2007 6:39pm
John Jenkins (mail):
Ours got to work right after their election.
2.24.2007 7:13pm
bobolinq (mail):
On our board (top-10 review), conscientious new editors started reading right after elections and before the official handoff. Lazy editors started reading later.
2.24.2007 9:19pm
Kovarsky (mail):
can i ask a follow-up question (sorry david)? waht is the date most consider the informal cutoff before finals for consideration of new pieces? in other words, when is the date by which I should have a piece submittted if it is to be considered before the summer recess. i know the way it was on my old board, but not elsewhere.
2.24.2007 10:05pm
At Yale, the new board was chosen on 2/17, and the articles committee began reading on 2/20.
2.24.2007 10:30pm
Stephen Aslett (mail):
I've got some data on this here.

The practice at Tulane is that articles aren't read until the new board is installed, so, March 15th in your example.
2.25.2007 2:05am
Bearcat (mail):
I was elected on 2/2, and have yet to begin reading articles, in fact, I have another source and cite due at the end of this week. I have met with the current editors and chatted with them about procedure, but our review has rolling submissions so when we start reading may not be as critical as those reviews that have set deadlines.
2.25.2007 2:24am
Tanner (mail):
At our second-tier journal at UGA Law, we began easing the incoming editors into the job as soon as humanly possible. Less work for us, after all.

Then again, we had nothing like the same amount of article in-flow as most major law reviews. Whether that makes a difference, I couldn't rightly say.
2.25.2007 10:44am
Mackenzie (mail) (www):
Our Board will have considerable overlap to get the next one up to speed. This goes for all positions, not just the Articles Editors. The new Board has already started preparing for their first issue, and we're in the middle of our next (and last) issue.
2.25.2007 12:19pm
Just Dropping By (mail):
Depends on how organized the turnover is. A good journal will have at least a couple weeks of overlap/training to get people up to speed (a really good journal picks its board members from different years, so that at no one time does the entire board turn over). A bad journal has its entire board graduate and leave a Post-it Note on the office computer telling you which folder the page proofs are saved in. I've experienced all three.
2.25.2007 2:33pm
Goober (mail):
Ours started the day after elections.
2.25.2007 3:36pm
Brett Marston:
On my journal, the board hasn't turned over officially, but the new submissions folks are already at work. There is no reason to wait, particularly since the submissions folks are now selecting articles for next year's volume.

My sense from observing other journals is that practices differ over time and across journals. I have seen outgoing boards saddle the incoming board with articles that the outgoing boards would themselves not shepherd into print, and it always causes conflicts. A staggered - and early - transition between new and old boards is preferable, with submissions folks starting work as soon as they have been officially selected for the job.
2.25.2007 4:11pm
Tony D'Amato (www):
How important are "articles" to law review editors these days? I mean, aren't you much more interested in publishing your own notes and comments?
2.25.2007 4:19pm
nyejm (mail) (www):
At our LR (top 50) the new board has been elected and they are reading submissions. The plan is to have article selection done by mid-April.
2.25.2007 7:17pm
Mr. X (www):
Our outgoing board has one more book to fill and works for a few weeks with the incoming board to fill the first book under their care.

I saw a very similar post last year and wonder which law reviews stop substantive work during the "turnover" period. Admittedly, our review places a very high emphasis on publishing on schedule and responding quickly to authors' submissions, but I didn't know we were an outlier in this regard.
2.26.2007 9:08am
At Harvard, the new board was elected on 2/12 and officers took over their duties immediately. As for Prof. D'Amato's question, we are still very interested in publishing articles.
2.26.2007 10:23am