David Bernstein writes in Friends in High Places that
“A well known tactic in getting a good placement for a law review article is for the author to thank in the first footnote important friends and colleagues who read and commented on the piece.” The message to student editors is, “you may know who I am, or anything about the subject matter, but this article must be important or these important people would not have bothered to read it.”
I'm such a dope that this never even ocurred to me. Perhaps because when I was a student law review editor I couldn't have cared less who was in the starred footnote.
Perhaps Heidi Bond has better advice.