What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

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What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:21 pm

Does anyone have any good articles or other sources that highlight the effect journal participation has on employment opportunities?

I have three people in mind, one on Law Review and two on lower topic specific journals. I would be curious to see how Law Review affects one's resume as well as the lower tiered journals.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:27 pm

I don't really think it matters very much.

People with good grades and no LR do very well. People with bad grades and LR don't do very well. Hard to tell.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby stillwater » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:31 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I don't really think it matters very much.

People with good grades and no LR do very well. People with bad grades and LR don't do very well. Hard to tell.


i assume DF is talking about biglawl. now, for clerkships, LR probably becomes more important.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:31 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I don't really think it matters very much.

People with good grades and no LR do very well. People with bad grades and LR don't do very well. Hard to tell.


Any data on this? Or more of a consensus on the board?

When I talked to someone who recruited for a 400+ attorney firm he mentioned LR about 4 times in three sentences in the same breath with rank. Also, it does seem to be a requested item for judicial extern/clerkships.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:34 pm

I don't know of any articles about this. Anecdotally, LR is considered better than secondary journals (probably because it's more strongly correlated with high grades). It's sort of a box to check, though - it helps you in that not having LR hurts; otherwise I doubt it's going to make you. For instance, IME people who write-on to LR tend to perform consistently with their other qualifications. And there are some employers who won't care. Again speaking anecdotally, biglaw cares because biglaw really emphasizes grades/academic achievement; judges care when hiring for clerkships because LR can be a proxy for good writing/research skills; PI employers probably don't care that much, and would rather see as much real-world experience/dedication to the cause as possible.

But again, this is anecdotal. It would be really interesting to see research on this, but I don't know of any.

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Postby Myself » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:37 pm

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:53 pm

It definitely, in part, feels like a perception thing. You come across as more of "complete" candidate. Like mentioned earlier, some type of checklist. Good grades, good experience, Law Review Member etc.

It just seems with school admission there was a satisfying allocation of importance. While it wasn't necessarily set in stone it seemed like there was a way to quantify most of the relevant information.

Would be incredible to be able to actually weigh some of these opportunities with what the work is versus the expected yield.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:54 pm

stillwater wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I don't really think it matters very much.

People with good grades and no LR do very well. People with bad grades and LR don't do very well. Hard to tell.


i assume DF is talking about biglawl. now, for clerkships, LR probably becomes more important.


Yea I was talking about employment. But even re: clerkships grades still appear to be more important. A lot of elite stuff probably needs both.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:57 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I don't really think it matters very much.

People with good grades and no LR do very well. People with bad grades and LR don't do very well. Hard to tell.


Any data on this? Or more of a consensus on the board?

When I talked to someone who recruited for a 400+ attorney firm he mentioned LR about 4 times in three sentences in the same breath with rank. Also, it does seem to be a requested item for judicial extern/clerkships.


No, it's probably against consensus.

I just think people use LR as an indicator of good grades. If you already have the good grades part, I don't think you really at a huge disadvantage.

Also, it's impossible to generalize. Plenty of people probably think it matters, and others don't care. It's not like hiring is standardized.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:05 pm

Sorry to hijack but does anyone think not having any journal but being top quarter at a lower t1-14, for example, would impact OCI chances negatively?

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby guano » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Sorry to hijack but does anyone think not having any journal but being top quarter at a lower t1-14, for example, would impact OCI chances negatively?

I've spoken with a number of partners and recruiters about this.
Be ready to explain why you're not on a journal.
The basic gist I got is that everyone is on a journal, so not being on one makes you stand out (in a bad way).

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby hiima3L » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:24 pm

guano wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry to hijack but does anyone think not having any journal but being top quarter at a lower t1-14, for example, would impact OCI chances negatively?

I've spoken with a number of partners and recruiters about this.
Be ready to explain why you're not on a journal.
The basic gist I got is that everyone is on a journal, so not being on one makes you stand out (in a bad way).


This.

Because the only honest answers are "I didn't want to do the extra work" or "I didn't get on one." Depending on the school, it's pretty difficult to not get on a journal if you tried. I have only heard of that happening to one person. Whether it matters that you didn't want to do the extra work will depend on the employer. I personally found journal to be pretty irrelevant to real world work, but I know some people take it as a sign of being lazy, not a team player, blah blah.

Try your hardest to get on LR and absolutely join a journal of some sort. And while there, do the least amount of work you can and focus on your grades.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:24 pm

guano wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry to hijack but does anyone think not having any journal but being top quarter at a lower t1-14, for example, would impact OCI chances negatively?

I've spoken with a number of partners and recruiters about this.
Be ready to explain why you're not on a journal.
The basic gist I got is that everyone is on a journal, so not being on one makes you stand out (in a bad way).


This resonates the competitive history of the profession. Starting all the way back when a JD was optional and only offered at the most prestigious universities. I cringe thinking that if things don't pick up that a Masters in law might become the norm (I believe Yale just introduced a program).

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:26 pm

hiima3L wrote:
guano wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Sorry to hijack but does anyone think not having any journal but being top quarter at a lower t1-14, for example, would impact OCI chances negatively?

I've spoken with a number of partners and recruiters about this.
Be ready to explain why you're not on a journal.
The basic gist I got is that everyone is on a journal, so not being on one makes you stand out (in a bad way).


This.

Because the only honest answers are "I didn't want to do the extra work" or "I didn't get on one." Depending on the school, it's pretty difficult to not get on a journal if you tried. I have only heard of that happening to one person. Whether it matters that you didn't want to do the extra work will depend on the employer. I personally found journal to be pretty irrelevant to real world work, but I know some people take it as a sign of being lazy, not a team player, blah blah.

Try your hardest to get on LR and absolutely join a journal of some sort. And while there, do the least amount of work you can and focus on your grades.


It was a time window thing--I wasn't able to get the work done in the write-on time slot. I don't know if I have another opportunity to get on. I'm trying to figure that out.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:30 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Also, it's impossible to generalize. Plenty of people probably think it matters, and others don't care. It's not like hiring is standardized.

Yeah. Even within biglaw, there are people who were on LR and therefore will think, I did LR, everyone else should, too. There will be others who were on LR and think, It was stupid busy work that I hated, why should anyone do it? Even those who didn't have LR could go a variety of ways, probably depending on whether they tried to get on & didn't vs. chose not to do it, and their experience since.

Original OP, obviously the person you talked to who brought it up 4x cares. But I really don't think there's any way to quantify its effect in the same way you can quantify admissions, because there are too many factors in play, and employers are more heterogeneous than law schools are.

I think the conservative approach is that there isn't any downside, employment-wise, to having LR, and there might be a downside to not having it if the employer is trying to figure out a way to distinguish between candidates. (For instance, with clerkships, grades are probably more important, but most candidates who have the grades for clerkships are also on LR, or at the very least a secondary journal, so it's hard to disaggregate them.) The question is how conservative you want to be about employment.

Second OPI, usually for LR the write-on is the only shot, at least in the window that matters for OCI. But of course find out if I'm wrong about your school.

(Yale's new program is a Ph.D. in law. I don't think that's ever going to become the norm for practicing attorneys.)

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Postby Myself » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:07 pm

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:13 pm

ajax adonis wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Yale's new program is a Ph.D. in law. I don't think that's ever going to become the norm for practicing attorneys.)


You mean a Ph.D in law doesn't create "practice-ready" attorneys???

To be fair, it's not even pretending to try.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 23, 2013 9:55 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
ajax adonis wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Yale's new program is a Ph.D. in law. I don't think that's ever going to become the norm for practicing attorneys.)


You mean a Ph.D in law doesn't create "practice-ready" attorneys???

To be fair, it's not even pretending to try.


Just needlessly fear mongering. Curious what it was like when the JD starting becoming more and more necessary.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby guano » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:23 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
ajax adonis wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:(Yale's new program is a Ph.D. in law. I don't think that's ever going to become the norm for practicing attorneys.)


You mean a Ph.D in law doesn't create "practice-ready" attorneys???

To be fair, it's not even pretending to try.


Just needlessly fear mongering. Curious what it was like when the JD starting becoming more and more necessary.

A better comparison might be LLM. It's gaining in importance for tax. How long before it's a requirement? How long before others follow suit?

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby cinephile » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:30 pm

I didn't do the journal competition at my school because I didn't see the point. Why make my 2L year miserable for no reason? As far as I could tell, there were few skills to be gained and a lot of time wasted for no compensation. During interviews I got asked, why no journal? And I told them honestly, I didn't want to. And in the interviews they all laughed and said, "You made a smart decision, journal is such a waste of time. Your 2L year will be so much better than mine, etc."

But I didn't get any offers, even where I would have otherwise been a competitive applicant. Of course, I'm sure there are other things wrong with me too, but that being said, if you don't do journal you should probably come up with a better answer than mine. Interviewers tend to be positive and charismatic and you think they like you and are agreeing with you, but it's equally likely that they agree with all their applicants regardless of what they say.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby guano » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:37 pm

cinephile wrote:I didn't do the journal competition at my school because I didn't see the point. Why make my 2L year miserable for no reason? As far as I could tell, there were few skills to be gained and a lot of time wasted for no compensation. During interviews I got asked, why no journal? And I told them honestly, I didn't want to. And in the interviews they all laughed and said, "You made a smart decision, journal is such a waste of time. Your 2L year will be so much better than mine, etc."

But I didn't get any offers, even where I would have otherwise been a competitive applicant. Of course, I'm sure there are other things wrong with me too, but that being said, if you don't do journal you should probably come up with a better answer than mine. Interviewers tend to be positive and charismatic and you think they like you and are agreeing with you, but it's equally likely that they agree with all their applicants regardless of what they say.

No offense, but, I would never hire someone whose response to a "why didn't you" question is "didn't want to". It indicates a lack of ambition, and laziness, and it'll make me wonder if you'll have the same attitude in your professional life

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:39 pm

Got a V-5 position attending a non t-14 school with top 5% grades and no lr/secondary journal. I was not asked about it through the entire interview process. I think there are a few firms that really care, especially some of the really competitive DC litigation firms. If you are interested in transactional work the journal may not be as important.

From talking to classmates who did secondary journals, I got the feeling that it gave them zero help in the job hunt. If I could go back and do it again I still would not have done a secondary journal. It is a lot of work with a real possibility of no reward.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:40 pm

The thing is (and this totally isn't meant as a personal criticism, cinephile, because why shouldn't you be honest about it? and most people do hate LR, so it's not like it seems it would be a controversial attitude), I think it's hard to tell employers you didn't do LR because you didn't want to, because chances are very good that if they hire you, they're going to be asking you to do stuff you don't want to do, and they'll think you'll try not to do it, or will have a bad attitude about it. I think it goes along with the general advice never to be negative in interviews - it's like, you can't say you left your previous job because the boss was an asshole, you have to say you wanted some other amazing opportunity only available elsewhere. So one way to approach LR is to say that you didn't want to do LR because you really wanted to focus your time on moot court/clinic/something else.

(Oh, god, I'm kind of agreeing with guano.)

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby cinephile » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:42 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:The thing is (and this totally isn't meant as a personal criticism, cinephile, because why shouldn't you be honest about it? and most people do hate LR, so it's not like it seems it would be a controversial attitude), I think it's hard to tell employers you didn't do LR because you didn't want to, because chances are very good that if they hire you, they're going to be asking you to do stuff you don't want to do, and they'll think you'll try not to do it, or will have a bad attitude about it. I think it goes along with the general advice never to be negative in interviews - it's like, you can't say you left your previous job because the boss was an asshole, you have to say you wanted some other amazing opportunity only available elsewhere. So one way to approach LR is to say that you didn't want to do LR because you really wanted to focus your time on moot court/clinic/something else.

(Oh, god, I'm kind of agreeing with guano.)


Well, when people pay me, I'll do almost anything ;)
But without compensation, I just don't see the point.
And in fairness to me, that's not exactly how I put it. I said that I could either use my free time doing an externship and gaining practical experience or doing a journal and merely cite checking other people's work. So of course I took the route that I thought would be more beneficial in the long run in terms of my career/skills development. But I think I said that and they heard "lazy" as you put it.

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Re: What is the effect of journal participation on employment?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:44 pm

cinephile wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:The thing is (and this totally isn't meant as a personal criticism, cinephile, because why shouldn't you be honest about it? and most people do hate LR, so it's not like it seems it would be a controversial attitude), I think it's hard to tell employers you didn't do LR because you didn't want to, because chances are very good that if they hire you, they're going to be asking you to do stuff you don't want to do, and they'll think you'll try not to do it, or will have a bad attitude about it. I think it goes along with the general advice never to be negative in interviews - it's like, you can't say you left your previous job because the boss was an asshole, you have to say you wanted some other amazing opportunity only available elsewhere. So one way to approach LR is to say that you didn't want to do LR because you really wanted to focus your time on moot court/clinic/something else.

(Oh, god, I'm kind of agreeing with guano.)


Well, when people pay me, I'll do almost anything ;)
But without compensation, I just don't see the point.
And in fairness to me, that's not exactly how I put it. I said that I could either use my free time doing an externship and gaining practical experience or doing a journal and merely cite checking other people's work. So of course I took the route that I thought would be more beneficial in the long run in terms of my career/skills development. But I think I said that and they heard "lazy" as you put it.

That makes a lot more sense. :D (And to be clear, guano said lazy, not me!)




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