How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

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How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:00 pm

lower t14; grades are slightly above median (maybe around the top 40% mark but i don't know exactly), but i did not even get a secondary journal, much less make law review

what is the best thing to say if this comes up during OCI?

i know that secondary journals don't have nearly the signaling value of law review, but at least then the interviewer is probably thinking, "well, she isn't cream of the crop, but she at least made a secondary journal, so she isn't too bad and that'll be a good experience for her to work on her writing." in my case, i'm worried that the interviewer will be thinking, "gpa isn't great by any stretch but it's not horrible, but she couldn't even land a spot on a secondary journal. auto ding ite."

would it be better to be proactive in the interview and say something like "i didn't make law review but i'm planning to work with a professor on an independent study so that i can still have an experience to improve my legal writing"? or would i be better to just hope they don't bring it up and weren't too bothered by it? what should i say if they ask about it?

sorry for the freak-out rant and thanks for your help!

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:03 pm

Be confident & be honest.

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deneuve39
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby deneuve39 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:04 pm

Definitely don't bring it up. If they ask about it, say that you wanted to have time to research with a professor, take more clinical classes, and be involved in student groups (although be concrete with these commitments). If you're in a moot court or applying to one, definitely mention that as well.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:09 pm

That is good advice so long as your answers are truthful. But don't think that BSing an interviewer will get you an offer.

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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:12 pm

deneuve39 wrote:Definitely don't bring it up. If they ask about it, say that you wanted to have time to research with a professor, take more clinical classes, and be involved in student groups (although be concrete with these commitments). If you're in a moot court or applying to one, definitely mention that as well.


it'd probably be dishonest for me to say that i just wanted to have time to do these other things because it's not like i turned down a spot on a journal to be able to research with a professor. but i'll definitely follow your advice of quickly moving the conversation to the things that i will be involved in rather than the things i am not able to be involved in

thanks for the responses so far

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bwv812
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby bwv812 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:35 pm

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Last edited by bwv812 on Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:40 pm

If they send a young associate to screen applicants, then this strategy may be successful. Don't try it with a senior partner unless your family's corporation is that law firm's largest client.

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RudeDudewithAttitude
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby RudeDudewithAttitude » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:47 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:If they send a young associate to screen applicants, then this strategy may be successful. Don't try it with a senior partner unless your family's corporation is that law firm's largest client.


You are giving terrible advice. The credited response is to mention other things you are doing with your time. What makes you think rolling over and admitting you couldn't make law review is the only "honest" answer? Interviewing is all about putting a positive spin on things. I'd love to hear your "honest" answer when an interviewer asks about your greatest weakness.

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:53 pm

You may be right. If you were an interviewer would you like a direct & honest answer to your question or a subtle shift to the applicant's cover-up story ?

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MrKappus
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby MrKappus » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:02 am

Do interviewers actually ask "Why are you not on Law Review?" Dame.

Durhamdude
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby Durhamdude » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:12 am

MrKappus wrote:Do interviewers actually ask "Why are you not on Law Review?" Dame.



Since they know your GPA, they already know why. No one who gets law review turns it down (right?).

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby ZXCVBNM » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:16 am

contact the secondary journals and ask for a spot. its not unheard of to get a spot even though you weren't selected during the writing comp. epecially at the weaker journals for your school.

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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:24 am

CanadianWolf wrote:You may be right. If you were an interviewer would you like a direct & honest answer to your question or a subtle shift to the applicant's cover-up story ?


i don't think they're suggesting using a "cover-up story" - i think they're saying: be honest, tell them you didn't make law review, then tell them what else you'll be doing with your time that will give you similar experience



on a similar note, how much of a factor do you think secondary journals are? is it going to be devastating that i didn't even make one of those?

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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:27 am

ZXCVBNM wrote:contact the secondary journals and ask for a spot. its not unheard of to get a spot even though you weren't selected during the writing comp. epecially at the weaker journals for your school.


really?

i can't see there being a spot on any of the secondary journals i tried for - or else why wouldn't they have invited me the first time?

and it almost seems offensive to go to some of the other journals at this point - "hey, you know that i don't really want to be a part of this because i didn't try out for a spot on your journal the first time, but since i'm desperate now, do you have an extra spot left because nobody else wants to be a part of it either?"

CanadianWolf
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:27 am

Be confident & be honest.

You are too concerned about what you perceive to be your weakness. This can be contagious. Does the firm require journal membership ? If so, fight for a spot. If not, focus on your strengths.

P.S. I think that you have misinterpreted others' advice to you. Just reread the above posts. I just reread them & now wonder about your reading comprehension skills, or were you just trying to BS me ? See how obvious it is.
Hopefully you won't interview with an experienced litigator.

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby ZXCVBNM » Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:
ZXCVBNM wrote:contact the secondary journals and ask for a spot. its not unheard of to get a spot even though you weren't selected during the writing comp. epecially at the weaker journals for your school.


really?

i can't see there being a spot on any of the secondary journals i tried for - or else why wouldn't they have invited me the first time?

and it almost seems offensive to go to some of the other journals at this point - "hey, you know that i don't really want to be a part of this because i didn't try out for a spot on your journal the first time, but since i'm desperate now, do you have an extra spot left because nobody else wants to be a part of it either?"


are you really concerned with looking desperate? guess what, you are! grovel a little. having no journal might be a big whole on the resume.

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bwv812
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby bwv812 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:04 am

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Last edited by bwv812 on Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:31 am

Durhamdude wrote:
MrKappus wrote:Do interviewers actually ask "Why are you not on Law Review?" Dame.



Since they know your GPA, they already know why. No one who gets law review turns it down (right?).


I did (effectively). Not looking forward to this question in interviews.

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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:41 am

I plan on saying that I am not on law review because the law review write-on was really boring and I like my life more than that.

NYAssociate
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby NYAssociate » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:22 am

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Last edited by NYAssociate on Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bwv812
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby bwv812 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:43 am

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Last edited by bwv812 on Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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rbgrocio
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby rbgrocio » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:52 am

RudeDudewithAttitude wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:If they send a young associate to screen applicants, then this strategy may be successful. Don't try it with a senior partner unless your family's corporation is that law firm's largest client.


You are giving terrible advice. The credited response is to mention other things you are doing with your time. What makes you think rolling over and admitting you couldn't make law review is the only "honest" answer? Interviewing is all about putting a positive spin on things. I'd love to hear your "honest" answer when an interviewer asks about your greatest weakness.



lawyering... is about doing this as well... you gotta be persuasive and saying: Yeah! my writing sucks and that's why they did not take me is not the solution. You Gotta focus on the good things, such as what you plan on doing now that u didnt make law review or other journal.

Black-Blue
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby Black-Blue » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:54 am

bwv812 wrote:If you actually say this, be prepared to answer why you don't think that doc review or biglaw in general is boring and you like your life more than that.

Easy. In Biglaw, you get paid to do boring work. In Law Review you just do boring work and that's it.

The truth is that Law Review is boring and there are lots of plausible reasons as to why the OP did not do law review. Grades and write-on might be 95% of the reason, but OP can positively put a spin on the other 5% and make it look like it was 60% of the reason.

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rayiner
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby rayiner » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:10 am

You have to honestly address your weaknesses, but it is not dishonest to put a positive spin on things. When the interviewer asks "why didn't you make a journal?" they don't actually want to know why you didn't make a journal. They KNOW why. They're asking: "what else are you going to do?" So just say that: I wasn't selected for a journal but plan to work on my writing skills during the year by XYZ.

hithere
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Re: How to explain lack of law review/journal during OCI

Postby hithere » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:10 am

are you at least on moot court?




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