Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

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CanadianWolf
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:43 pm

That applies to NYU students only; there are over 200 law schools in the US each of which has their own law review policy.

eth3n
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby eth3n » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:45 pm

disco_barred wrote:CanadianWolf, you're full of shit. The effect of LR as a credential VASTLY outweighs that of anything in law school for numerous instances. Being EiC of a well respected secondary journal is going to bump your resume, but it's not even close to the shock and awe of being on law review. Law review is the gold standard - everyone knows what it means, it has a strong effect in your preliminary job search, and it stays with you long after your first job.

The selection method for LR is irrelevant; if you wrote on you'll still be more competitive than your peers at whatever GPA level you wind up at.


While I am not trying to disagree, I am wondering why you feel so strongly this is the case. Have you talked to hiring partners or something? Anything other than the anecdotal "law review = gold standard"? Does this only apply at private firms or is this across the board even in government/PI?

If I were to make assumptions as a student ITE, I would assume that clinical experience would be more practical, whereas working on law review (write-on) would show that you can work extremely hard, or that you are able to multitask extremely well. Of course, I have NOTHING to back up these assumptions.

-----

Also, the write-on at my school (Davis) consists of a 6 day endurance test (starts on monday, has to be mailed in by saturday afternoon) based on a huge bluebooking and note-writing packet, to be honest I am kind of shocked that it only requires a personal statement at some schools.

sumus romani
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby sumus romani » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:46 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:That applies to NYU students only; there are over 200 law schools in the US each of which has their own law review policy.



I did qualify my claims accordingly, and to be honest, I don't know how law review write-on works for the majority of schools.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:47 pm

I have been an attorney longer than you have been alive. In short, experience. Been there, done that.

sumus romani
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby sumus romani » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:48 pm

eth3n wrote:
disco_barred wrote:CanadianWolf, you're full of shit. The effect of LR as a credential VASTLY outweighs that of anything in law school for numerous instances. Being EiC of a well respected secondary journal is going to bump your resume, but it's not even close to the shock and awe of being on law review. Law review is the gold standard - everyone knows what it means, it has a strong effect in your preliminary job search, and it stays with you long after your first job.

The selection method for LR is irrelevant; if you wrote on you'll still be more competitive than your peers at whatever GPA level you wind up at.


While I am not trying to disagree, I am wondering why you feel so strongly this is the case. Have you talked to hiring partners or something? Anything other than the anecdotal "law review = gold standard"? Does this only apply at private firms or is this across the board even in government/PI?

If I were to make assumptions as a student ITE, I would assume that clinical experience would be more practical, whereas working on law review (write-on) would show that you can work extremely hard, or that you are able to multitask extremely well. Of course, I have NOTHING to back up these assumptions.

-----

Also, the write-on at my school (Davis) consists of a 6 day endurance test (starts on monday, has to be mailed in by saturday afternoon) based on a huge bluebooking and note-writing packet, to be honest I am kind of shocked that it only requires a personal statement at some schools.



I didn't quite say that it requires *just* a personal statement. After all, the students to have to otherwise be at the median, which I suppose is an accomplishment of a minimal sort.

eth3n
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby eth3n » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:50 pm

sumus romani wrote:
I didn't quite say that it requires *just* a personal statement. After all, the students to have to otherwise be at the median, which I suppose is an accomplishment of a minimal sort.


Sorry I was just kind of venting my frustration that I basically have an extra week of finals while other ppl are getting off easy :D

CanadianWolf
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:50 pm

We can agree to disagree. My experience will not be altered by any post. Sorry.

rando
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby rando » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:53 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I have been an attorney longer than you have been alive. In short, experience. Been there, done that.


That, in itself, does not justify your experience>law student + peers going through interviewing/job search. How much hiring do you do? What kind of practice? etc. Things have change a lot in the past 25 years. I know a lot of lawyers that have been practicing for a long time that are quite insulated and jaded to different practice areas.

Not saying that you don't know what you are talking about or that your experience is not worthwhile. Just saying that that statement in itself does not back what you are asserting.

270910
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby 270910 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:55 pm

eth3n wrote: I am wondering why you feel so strongly this is the case. Have you talked to hiring partners or something? Anything other than the anecdotal "law review = gold standard"? Does this only apply at private firms or is this across the board even in government/PI?

If I were to make assumptions as a student ITE, I would assume that clinical experience would be more practical, whereas working on law review (write-on) would show that you can work extremely hard, or that you are able to multitask extremely well. Of course, I have NOTHING to back up these assumptions.


Clinical experience? :lol:

At large private firms, I don't think I even have to defend myself that after grades, LR membership >>>>>>>> anything else.

Perhaps where it's most obvious is clerkship hiring, where you can't even get your application looked at without LR membership.

For some thoughtful perspective, here's a long string of commentary: http://www.blogdenovo.org/archives/000814.html

I've also read comments echoing the exact 'gold standard' sentiment in books on legal education, books on legal employment, and books on getting into law school. Volokh has written a lot about the benefits of LR.

I've also conducted a job search and interacted with people on law review and/or secondary journals at my school.

None of those on secondary journals - even at the highest level - have credited the resume line item with nearly the influence that law review seems to be doing for their peers.

You can attack my point and my sources by noting that I have not interviewed with every legal employer in the country, and I concede as much. But part of the problem seems to be the search for rationality: people push back against the supremacy of LR for the same reasons they push back against the supremacy of grades - it's hard to defend rationally. But just because some LRs have some lax membership requirements, and just because some secondary journals approach the responsibility of LR, and just because all 10,000 other reasons that legal employment shouldn't fetishize grades + LR + school rank it's incontrovertible that they do.

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GeePee
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby GeePee » Sat Apr 17, 2010 4:57 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:In my opinion, it would be foolish to transfer from a Top 14 law school without experiencing law review. Although making law review at any law school is impressive, working on law review & getting published is even more impressive to employers. Continuing on law review during the final year of law school as an editor is highly sought after by law firms, judges & academia. Experience as a law review editor at any top 40 law school will open many doors of opportunity.

My post above did not directly address your questions. In answer to your inquiries, my opinion is that it is not wise to transfer to Columbia Law, Harvard, Yale or Stanford Law if on the law review at Northwestern, Cornell or Georgetown without additional compelling reasons for transferring since law school without law review is a very different & lesser educational experience.


You posted those things on another thread a few weeks ago. You're either 1) a very full of shit troll or 2) just like arguing for the sake of arguing.

270910
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby 270910 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:04 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:I have been an attorney longer than you have been alive. In short, experience. Been there, done that.


ooooooook. I've been poking through your posting history. You - a practicing attorney for 20+ years - joined our website a little over 3 weeks ago. In that time, you've made almost 200 posts - chiefly about law school rankings and decisions about which law schools to go to (usually the exclusive domain of over-eager pre-law students). You seem surprisingly well versed in the latest rankings and trends for somebody that is a practicing attorney.

I'm not (quite) calling bullshit, but I do find your posting history somewhat peculiar. What attracted you to the site? Why spend so much time providing vague suggestions to people trying to pick schools without commenting on your decades of legal practice experience? What's your purpose?

Really not trying to be insulting, just trying to figure you out - since this is far from the first time your advice/perspective has differed markedly from the conventional wisdom of the law students on this board, who tend to be pretty well versed in the employment situation.

UCLAtransfer
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby UCLAtransfer » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:24 pm

disco_barred wrote:CanadianWolf, you're full of shit. The effect of LR as a credential VASTLY outweighs that of anything in law school for numerous instances. Being EiC of a well respected secondary journal is going to bump your resume, but it's not even close to the shock and awe of being on law review. Law review is the gold standard - everyone knows what it means, it has a strong effect in your preliminary job search, and it stays with you long after your first job.

The selection method for LR is irrelevant; if you wrote on you'll still be more competitive than your peers at whatever GPA level you wind up at.


In my experience, this is absolutely correct in its entirety.

I'm not sure where CanadianWolf is coming from with these posts, but I think most of what he is saying is not even just a matter open to opinion. Its just not correct.

Anything you can do on a specific/niche secondary journal can be done better by being on LR and researching/writing your comment in the area of law you think you want to focus on.

Taking any secondary journal over LR would be foolish, no matter what the circumstances are.

eth3n
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby eth3n » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:28 pm

disco_barred wrote:
eth3n wrote: I am wondering why you feel so strongly this is the case. Have you talked to hiring partners or something? Anything other than the anecdotal "law review = gold standard"? Does this only apply at private firms or is this across the board even in government/PI?

If I were to make assumptions as a student ITE, I would assume that clinical experience would be more practical, whereas working on law review (write-on) would show that you can work extremely hard, or that you are able to multitask extremely well. Of course, I have NOTHING to back up these assumptions.


Clinical experience? :lol:



Did you omit the words "While I am not trying to disagree" from my post just to rationalize "defending yourself" from an "attack" that clearly was non-existent? :roll:

To be honest, if we are going to play the "I've read" or "its obvious" game, then what you are providing me is either useless or outdated, I appreciate the blog post from five years ago but ITE I would give more credence to all the current articles discussing the paradigm shift in law firm hiring (which I still take with a grain of salt). I am not saying you are objectively wrong, I was wondering what personal experience led you to your opinion.

Your post could have simply stated "I've also conducted a job search and interacted with people on law review and/or secondary journals at my school, and those who were on law review credited it with making a substantial difference in the hiring process while this was not the case with those on secondary journals." That part of your post was useful, and exactly what I was asking for in my original post. :D

270910
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby 270910 » Sat Apr 17, 2010 5:34 pm

eth3n wrote:Your post could have simply stated "I've also conducted a job search and interacted with people on law review and/or secondary journals at my school, and those who were on law review credited it with making a substantial difference in the hiring process while this was not the case with those on secondary journals." That part of your post was useful, and exactly what I was asking for in my original post. :D


I don't let myself post on TLS unless it is abrasive, condescending, or snarky. Ideally all three. It's a religious thing.

twistedwrister
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby twistedwrister » Sun Apr 18, 2010 1:47 pm

Here are my thoughts on LR v. no-LR (2L at NYU, top 5%, not on LR by choice)

(1) If you have top grades at a top school, not doing LR is no big deal (at least for getting elite firm jobs). However, you should have a legit answer for the "why no LR with your grades?" question that you might get from an interviewer (I did 20-something screening interviews and got that question twice). Even w/o LR, I got 20-something callbacks and received offers from every firm at which I did a callback, including multiple V5 firms and lit boutiques.

(2) If you have good, but not great, grades, LR can really put you over the top. That's when LR matters most (IMO).

(3) For clerkships, I know some judges filter applications by LR, so there is a definite benefit to doing LR if you want to clerk. However, you can mitigate the no-LR problem if you have some well-connected profs who are willing to call judges for you.

(4) From what I've seen, LR >> ed board of secondary journal, at least for firm hiring purposes.

Hope this helps.

spondee
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby spondee » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:05 pm

eth3n wrote:Also, the write-on at my school (Davis) consists of a 6 day endurance test (starts on monday, has to be mailed in by saturday afternoon) based on a huge bluebooking and note-writing packet, to be honest I am kind of shocked that it only requires a personal statement at some schools.


It's not based only on a personal statement. NYU's LR competition is 2 weeks and includes the typical blueblooking and note-writing components. About a third of students grade on, about a third write on, about 10% combo grade/write on, and about 20% get on via personal statement.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:08 pm

Some things I've picked up from talking to lots and lots of people about this subject:

1) LR is better than secondary journal. Always. Your grades + LR will always > your grades + secondary journal.

2) LR is not some holy grail. LR does not fix your shitty grades if you write-on. You will not get to clerk for the COA or work at the most prestigious firms to visit your school with your shitty grades, whether you do LR or not. However, this doesn't make LR not valuable. LR is still better than not doing LR. It will still help you. You will still have a selling point that your grade peers without LR don't have, if you use it wisely. It still makes a difference, even though it won't magically save your career goals.

3) There is one circumstances where LR doesn't really matter, and that's PI work. This is only true if you're truly, truly sure you only want to do PI work when you graduate. You might do better doing a shitload of pro bono work during the year than doing LR, because the pro bono work will allow you to A) make connections with PI organizations and B) build up a resume that shows your commitment to PI work. To a lot of PI organizations these (and grades) are the things that get you in the door.

Dedication to PI is the one situation where it might make sense to not do LR if you only have time for one or the other. However, that's still not a decision that should be made lightly at all. You're still far better off doing both if you can do both, and that's especially true if you want to do anything other than PI, like clerking.

270910
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby 270910 » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:16 pm

twistedwrister wrote:Here are my thoughts on LR v. no-LR (2L at NYU, top 5%, not on LR by choice)

(1) If you have top grades at a top school, not doing LR is no big deal (at least for getting elite firm jobs). However, you should have a legit answer for the "why no LR with your grades?" question that you might get from an interviewer (I did 20-something screening interviews and got that question twice). Even w/o LR, I got 20-something callbacks and received offers from every firm at which I did a callback, including multiple V5 firms and lit boutiques.

(2) If you have good, but not great, grades, LR can really put you over the top. That's when LR matters most (IMO).

(3) For clerkships, I know some judges filter applications by LR, so there is a definite benefit to doing LR if you want to clerk. However, you can mitigate the no-LR problem if you have some well-connected profs who are willing to call judges for you.

(4) From what I've seen, LR >> ed board of secondary journal, at least for firm hiring purposes.

Hope this helps.


Extremely helpful insight for the purposes of this conversation, thank you very much!

twistedwrister
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby twistedwrister » Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:18 pm

disco_barred wrote:
twistedwrister wrote:Here are my thoughts on LR v. no-LR (2L at NYU, top 5%, not on LR by choice)

(1) If you have top grades at a top school, not doing LR is no big deal (at least for getting elite firm jobs). However, you should have a legit answer for the "why no LR with your grades?" question that you might get from an interviewer (I did 20-something screening interviews and got that question twice). Even w/o LR, I got 20-something callbacks and received offers from every firm at which I did a callback, including multiple V5 firms and lit boutiques.

(2) If you have good, but not great, grades, LR can really put you over the top. That's when LR matters most (IMO).

(3) For clerkships, I know some judges filter applications by LR, so there is a definite benefit to doing LR if you want to clerk. However, you can mitigate the no-LR problem if you have some well-connected profs who are willing to call judges for you.

(4) From what I've seen, LR >> ed board of secondary journal, at least for firm hiring purposes.

Hope this helps.


Extremely helpful insight for the purposes of this conversation, thank you very much!


You're welcome! Glad to help out.

KSCO
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby KSCO » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:12 pm

Yes, thank you. This is very helpful.

Also, as long as we're kicking around the topic - how do journals look for smaller firms (i.e. 1-25, etc...)? Given the low first semester grades, I'm trying to mitigate the impact as much as possible.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:30 pm

KSCO wrote:Also, as long as we're kicking around the topic - how do journals look for smaller firms (i.e. 1-25, etc...)? Given the low first semester grades, I'm trying to mitigate the impact as much as possible.

I admit I may be wrong about this, but I've always been under the impression that smaller firms tend to hire people with a few years of experience as a BigLaw associate (or elsewhere) and not so much directly out of law school. I don't think they're the backup option you're imagining them to be.

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ggocat
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby ggocat » Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:51 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
KSCO wrote:Also, as long as we're kicking around the topic - how do journals look for smaller firms (i.e. 1-25, etc...)? Given the low first semester grades, I'm trying to mitigate the impact as much as possible.

I admit I may be wrong about this, but I've always been under the impression that smaller firms tend to hire people with a few years of experience as a BigLaw associate (or elsewhere) and not so much directly out of law school. I don't think they're the backup option you're imagining them to be.

This probably depends on the firm and the city. Most small firms in my area take on a summer associate or two and then keep the student working as a "law clerk" during 3L (assuming the student received an offer at the end of the summer or in the fall).

All of the small-ish firms (20-30 attorneys or so) hired law review students.

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SteelReserve
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby SteelReserve » Sun Apr 18, 2010 8:17 pm

There really is no question that LR is worth the extra work and there really is no question that an LR peon (such as myself) carries more weight than being EIC of a secondary journal.

*note, I realize that sentence is entirely in passive voice, thank you Law Review!

Here's a great example: At my T2/top 100, the vast majority of people who were able to land even screening interviews during OCI were Law Review members. I mean that there were virtually no exceptions (and as anyone who has gone through OCI can attest, you get to be VERY familiar with people interviewing because it's the same faces every damn time. Firms want two things if you don't go to a stellar school: Grades and Law Review. To be honest, while my grades were quite good, they were not "ZOMG" good.
I know it was Law Review that scored me the interviews.

So aside from even entertaining canadianwolf's assertions, which most people rightly disagree with, here's a thought:

Even if being an EIC of a secondary journal was more valuable than being a regular member of Law Review (which it is not), you CANNOT BE an EIC during 2L which is when you do OCI!

kgirl
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby kgirl » Sun Apr 18, 2010 9:39 pm

Hi I just want to clarify something

I am on my school law review and the reason I applied for it is not because of any prestige associated with law review (I don't think it's prestigious, it's not all that it's cracked up to be) but because I wanted to do something meaningful in my law school career, to learn how to write better and getting experience with citation checking and writing my own scholarly piece. I am a student in the middle of the pack (because I don't do spectacularly well on tests, with some exceptions). I can tell you that law review has not given me a boost in my job applications; I even considered dropping out of law review because it was taking up a lot of time but I wanted to stick to it because of how hard I worked to get on the damn thing. And it certainly provides you with a good experience. Everyone tells me how wonderful it is but I don't think so.

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username1
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Re: Is Law Review Worth the Tradeoff?

Postby username1 » Mon Apr 19, 2010 9:33 am

eth3n wrote:
ggocat wrote:
eth3n wrote:- Thread hijack -

If networking or working part-time in a job that could lead to full time employment, then it is definitely worth it to only do LR and not do the secondary journal.


Law Review, Editor of Journal, Moot Court, Trial Practice, Clinical, Tutoring a 1L section, Externship (although as you mentioned the choice here is obvious).
maybe order of importance style (a>b>c>d>e) ?


If there is an associateship with the firm you want to work for than I would think that is > LR. They will see your (hopefully) not a d-bag, can do the work, and be fun to have in the office. If there is still a chance they would hire you but your not necessarily interested in the firm then maybe LR >? Either way the goal is your first job. After that, your work should speak for itself rather than relying on your school work. At least this is my plan/hope.




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