Law Journals

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kalvano
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Law Journals

Postby kalvano » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:07 pm

I know this has been covered a bunch of times, but whatever. Time for the 2011-2012 edition.

What's the consensus on the value of secondary journals? Are they worth the time and effort?

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Helmholtz
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Re: Law Journals

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:00 am

kalvano wrote:I know this has been covered a bunch of times, but whatever. Time for the 2011-2012 edition.

What's the consensus on the value of secondary journals? Are they worth the time and effort?


Consensus from all the people I've talked to is that secondary journals can range anywhere from "utterly worthless" to "almost as good as LR."

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Grizz
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Re: Law Journals

Postby Grizz » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:11 am

Consensus here seems to be that it's equal to or better than moot court. I get the feeling it's worth it just to have it.

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kalvano
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Re: Law Journals

Postby kalvano » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:22 am

I have a few options. All journals require a "good faith" effort in the write-on, no matter your grades. Top 10% (not me) with good faith effort is automatically extended an invitation to Law Review. Top 25% (more my speed) is automatically extended an invitation to one of the secondary journals and probably the other, but it's smaller so that's not assured. All persons above top 50% are considered for the main journal.


I think my chances are OK at at least one of them. There are about 120-130 spots for 275 or so total students, not all of whom will try out. If accepted, I can still do on-campus moot court / mock trial. It's not for credit and requires much less prep than off-campus teams, but I can still put moot court / mock trial on my resume.

Or I can try out for the off-campus teams, but they are a shit-ton of work. I'm also trying for an externship in the fall with the US Attorney's Office, so I could be damn busy.

I just don't want to do a secondary journal if it won't be worthwhile.

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Lawquacious
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Re: Law Journals

Postby Lawquacious » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:40 am

Yeah, I've also thought about whether a secondary journal is worth the extra work, and whether it really looks good (rather than just highlighting the fact of not making law review). So far I wrote-on to a secondary, but am hoping to grade-on to law review (if I don't have chance for T14 transfer). One prof said the secondary I'm on is almost as prestigious as law review, but I don't know if that is really true (in terms of hiring) or not. There are three journals, and I get the sense that the one I'm on is second only to law review, but am not entirely sure how the selections work. I think the top apprx 15% of contestants get law review, the next apprx. 25% get the journal I was choosen for, and some other percentage- maybe 20-25%- goes to the third journal. So I would guess apprx 60% of ppl who try-out get something. The distribution would be apprx. 10%/20%/20% if everyone in the class tried out, but I think only 2/3 to 3/4 of the class did try out. Not sure if that is actually how it works though. With the secondaries I think there is at least some topical self-selection too (for the third one I mentioned you have to write an application expressing interest if you want to do it). Someone did say that there was at least one student here last year who passed up law review (maybe for secondary- I'm not sure). I really think if someone does that they just aren't informed about how important law review can be for the resume, but maybe some people would just be miserable doing it, or they have other priorities.

I've got to get back to studying..........

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Lawquacious
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Re: Law Journals

Postby Lawquacious » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:44 am

kalvano wrote:I have a few options. All journals require a "good faith" effort in the write-on, no matter your grades. Top 10% (not me) with good faith effort is automatically extended an invitation to Law Review. Top 25% (more my speed) is automatically extended an invitation to one of the secondary journals and probably the other, but it's smaller so that's not assured. All persons above top 50% are considered for the main journal.


I think my chances are OK at at least one of them. There are about 120-130 spots for 275 or so total students, not all of whom will try out. If accepted, I can still do on-campus moot court / mock trial. It's not for credit and requires much less prep than off-campus teams, but I can still put moot court / mock trial on my resume.

Or I can try out for the off-campus teams, but they are a shit-ton of work. I'm also trying for an externship in the fall with the US Attorney's Office, so I could be damn busy.

I just don't want to do a secondary journal if it won't be worthwhile.


Interesting how similar your school sounds re: journals (re: percentages of the class and three separate journals). I wonder if this is fairly standard. I suppose at really large schools there are prob more journals as a gen rule. We had our write-on a few weeks ago (though last year it wasn't until after spring sem was over I guess).

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kalvano
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Re: Law Journals

Postby kalvano » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:46 am

Our write-on isn't until after finals.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Law Journals

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:29 am

Lawquacious wrote:
kalvano wrote:I have a few options. All journals require a "good faith" effort in the write-on, no matter your grades. Top 10% (not me) with good faith effort is automatically extended an invitation to Law Review. Top 25% (more my speed) is automatically extended an invitation to one of the secondary journals and probably the other, but it's smaller so that's not assured. All persons above top 50% are considered for the main journal.


I think my chances are OK at at least one of them. There are about 120-130 spots for 275 or so total students, not all of whom will try out. If accepted, I can still do on-campus moot court / mock trial. It's not for credit and requires much less prep than off-campus teams, but I can still put moot court / mock trial on my resume.

Or I can try out for the off-campus teams, but they are a shit-ton of work. I'm also trying for an externship in the fall with the US Attorney's Office, so I could be damn busy.

I just don't want to do a secondary journal if it won't be worthwhile.


Interesting how similar your school sounds re: journals (re: percentages of the class and three separate journals). I wonder if this is fairly standard. I suppose at really large schools there are prob more journals as a gen rule.


fwiw, we have about 350 students/class and six student-run secondary journals

cornellbeez
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Re: Law Journals

Postby cornellbeez » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:34 am

IMO, it depends on your grades. If you have really good grades, it doesn't matter if you don't have a journal unless you want to clerk. If you have good-middling grades, it might be a small bump. If you have bad grades, it won't help.

At my school (MVP), secondary journals aren't much work if you aren't on the edboard: 2 cite-checking assignments a semester.

reverendt
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Re: Law Journals

Postby reverendt » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:42 am

My school has law review, 2 "secondary" journals (I'm on one of them) and two journals that are a bit less prestigious that the secondaries.
Out of 250 students I'd guess that 75-100 are one of the journals.
It's probably not surprising that the journals members are pretty much the top 1/3 or so of the class. There's definitely a "positive" stigma attached to journal membership (how much depends on which journal you're on.)
Does it help with a job search....it probably depends on your interviewer, but it certainly can't hurt. As far as clerkship go, most judges ONLY want journal members.
Am I glad I was on my secondary journal? Yes...it was a lot of work, especially in 2L year....but I was lucky enough to have them select my article for this years student note....so I now have a publication to my name. THAT can never hurt. I wouldn't have had that chance if I didn't do the journal.

If you want to be a litigator...and especially if you want to work for a small plaintiffs PI firm or something, you may want to do moot court instead.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Law Journals

Postby Blindmelon » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:01 am

Secondaries are a bump on your resume and a good line on a firm's website. Since most people don't know the secondaries at each school, I would ignore how "prestigious" the secondary is, and focus on what you want to do. E.g., Finance journal > Con Law journal if want to do banking even if Con Law is supposedly more prestigious, etc.

ITE you can't be picky and choosy about what you do. It likely helps for hiring, although who knows how much, and so you should do it.

alumniguy
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Re: Law Journals

Postby alumniguy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:33 am

Blindmelon wrote:Secondaries are a bump on your resume and a good line on a firm's website. Since most people don't know the secondaries at each school, I would ignore how "prestigious" the secondary is, and focus on what you want to do. E.g., Finance journal > Con Law journal if want to do banking even if Con Law is supposedly more prestigious, etc.

ITE you can't be picky and choosy about what you do. It likely helps for hiring, although who knows how much, and so you should do it.


Mostly agree here. I don't think the subject matter of the journal is really all that important. Employers LIKE applicants on a journal because it SUGGESTS that a student possesses certain characteristics. Either you graded onto law review, which means you have great academics, or you wrote onto law review, which means you are a decent-to-good writer and/or are proficient at using the bluebook/cite checking. Firms don't necessarily care what the secondary journal is (and most interviewers/decision makers don't know the prestige of any secondary journal) because what is important to them is that the candidate made the decision to take on more work their 2nd/3rd year - it shows motivation and dedication to the law. [Whether this is accurate in every sense doesn't matter because being a journal still suggests that this is true.]

Also, most people on journals must be detail oriented - which is an indicator of success in biglaw. Cite-checking requires you to care about things that really don't matter all that much to anyone other than those in legal academia - I mean does it really matter whether you've used supra and infra properly or whether you have 6 ids in a row vs. 4 - I would argue no. But it shows a dedication to being detail oriented for the simple sake of being detail oriented. Much of biglaw is about being detail oriented, even if it doesn't seem to be all that important.

reverendt
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Re: Law Journals

Postby reverendt » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:38 am

Blindmelon wrote:
ITE you can't be picky and choosy about what you do. It likely helps for hiring, although who knows how much, and so you should do it.

Exactly.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Law Journals

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Apr 19, 2011 10:47 am

IMO, secondary journals are a tremendous time sink and provide negligible benefit in the job hunt.

I got many of my offers for 2L summer before I even found out I had made a journal. I can't say with certainty that it didn't matter after I got on, but I know that no one ever mentioned it in any of my interviews after that point.

Only reason I did it was because TLS and upperclassmen at my school said it was important, and that employers liked it/asked about it during interviews. Like I said, I got offers pre journal, and no one ever mentioned a word about it to me during an interview. The only thing I can hypothesize is that a journal may be good if you haven't done anything else at the school or if your resume is pretty sparse as far as legal experience goes. I was on trial ad, had a couple awards in law school, had multiple sba positions, and two 1L SA's so I guess the journal was just lagniappe for me.

I wouldn't do it again if I had the chance...


edit: I should point out that my experience may be because I was interviewing a lot with firms that aren't in the same state as my school. A main law review is an impressive thing regardless of where you are. Secondary journals on the other hand probably won't matter much to people who don't know wtf it is.

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Re: Law Journals

Postby alumniguy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:02 am

Aqualibrium wrote:IMO, secondary journals are a tremendous time sink and provide negligible benefit in the job hunt.

I got many of my offers for 2L summer before I even found out I had made a journal. I can't say with certainty that it didn't matter after I got on, but I know that no one ever mentioned it in any of my interviews after that point.

Only reason I did it was because TLS and upperclassmen at my school said it was important, and that employers liked it/asked about it during interviews. Like I said, I got offers pre journal, and no one ever mentioned a word about it to me during an interview. The only thing I can hypothesize is that a journal may be good if you haven't done anything else at the school or if your resume is pretty sparse as far as legal experience goes. I was on trial ad, had a couple awards in law school, had multiple sba positions, and two 1L SA's so I guess the journal was just lagniappe for me.

I wouldn't do it again if I had the chance...


edit: I should point out that my experience may be because I was interviewing a lot with firms that aren't in the same state as my school. A main law review is an impressive thing regardless of where you are. Secondary journals on the other hand probably won't matter much to people who don't know wtf it is.


Anyone who has multiple 1L SA positions obviously is NOT on the cusp of getting a biglaw job. Most 2Ls and 3Ls have considerably more time to dedicate to journals. My 2L year was not as much work as my 1L year, and my 3L year was significantly less work than my 2L year. Yes, I could have not been on a journal, but then I would have to fill my resume with other less beneficial activities - like moot court, or SBA, etc. Moreover, it is nice to have a publication attached to your name as such an early stage in your "career." It is often meaningless, but it was on of the more tangible successes I had in law school.

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Helmholtz
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Re: Law Journals

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:03 am

Blindmelon wrote:Since most people don't know the secondaries at each school


My conversations with upperclassmen seem to suggest that OCI interviewers are very aware of which journals are the difficult ones to get onto and which ones are throwaways.

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vamedic03
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Re: Law Journals

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:22 am

Helmholtz wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:Since most people don't know the secondaries at each school


My conversations with upperclassmen seem to suggest that OCI interviewers are very aware of which journals are the difficult ones to get onto and which ones are throwaways.


This must be school dependent. I'm a 2L and I have no clue as to which secondary journals are more or less prestigious/selective.

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Re: Law Journals

Postby alumniguy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:29 am

Helmholtz wrote:
Blindmelon wrote:Since most people don't know the secondaries at each school


My conversations with upperclassmen seem to suggest that OCI interviewers are very aware of which journals are the difficult ones to get onto and which ones are throwaways.


This may be true at your school, but it is difficult to generalize across all law schools. Moreover, I find it really hard to believe that this is true - especially the "very aware" portion. I've done interviews at my firm and I would barely glance at the resume prior to having the interview let alone know how to go about figuring out whether the journal was difficult to get onto or not.

The only journal that anyone knows is difficult to get is the school named journal and this is because MOST of the school named journals are completely, if not heavily grade dependent.

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Re: Law Journals

Postby Aqualibrium » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:33 am

alumniguy wrote:This may be true at your school, but it is difficult to generalize across all law schools. Moreover, I find it really hard to believe that this is true - especially the "very aware" portion. I've done interviews at my firm and I would barely glance at the resume prior to having the interview let alone know how to go about figuring out whether the journal was difficult to get onto or not.

The only journal that anyone knows is difficult to get is the school named journal and this is because MOST of the school named journals are completely, if not heavily grade dependent.



I think he was talking more about a situation like this:

Student X is interviewing for a position with Associate Y. Associate Y is an alum of student X's school. Associate Y was on law review, while Student X is on the Journal of Shiny Metal Things. Associate Y remembers from his time at the school that all you had to do to be on the Journal of Shiny Metal Things was donate 5 canned goods per semester.

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traehekat
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Re: Law Journals

Postby traehekat » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:35 am

Thoughts on importance of law review for clerking? I've heard some people say it is critical and I've heard others say some judges don't care at all. Is it fairly judge specific, or can we get some sort of general consensus?

alumniguy
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Re: Law Journals

Postby alumniguy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:40 am

Aqualibrium wrote:
alumniguy wrote:This may be true at your school, but it is difficult to generalize across all law schools. Moreover, I find it really hard to believe that this is true - especially the "very aware" portion. I've done interviews at my firm and I would barely glance at the resume prior to having the interview let alone know how to go about figuring out whether the journal was difficult to get onto or not.

The only journal that anyone knows is difficult to get is the school named journal and this is because MOST of the school named journals are completely, if not heavily grade dependent.



I think he was talking more about a situation like this:

Student X is interviewing for a position with Associate Y. Associate Y is an alum of student X's school. Associate Y was on law review, while Student X is on the Journal of Shiny Metal Things. Associate Y remembers from his time at the school that all you had to do to be on the Journal of Shiny Metal Things was donate 5 canned goods per semester.


Yea, I understood. In my experience, callbacks are not school specific, perhaps initial rounds are, but certainly not callbacks.

Further to the point that no one knows the relative prestige of secondary journals is that for the most part, prestige is dependent upon student desire. Perhaps when Associate Y was a student everyone was really into IP law and wanted that journal whereas current students seem to be more inclined to want the human rights journal. Certainly I am aware that many students will choose a secondary journal based on the perceived prestige over another secondary journal, but given that most secondary journals are topic specific, it would strike me as more likely that students choose those that they are interested in (perhaps I was not like most students in the way I approached my journal selection).

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vamedic03
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Re: Law Journals

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:41 am

traehekat wrote:Thoughts on importance of law review for clerking? I've heard some people say it is critical and I've heard others say some judges don't care at all. Is it fairly judge specific, or can we get some sort of general consensus?


If you want to clerk, you need to do everything you can to try and get onto law review. You'll be competing with applicants who have just as good of grades as you, at just as good of a school as you, and who have Law Review.

alumniguy
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Re: Law Journals

Postby alumniguy » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:45 am

vamedic03 wrote:
traehekat wrote:Thoughts on importance of law review for clerking? I've heard some people say it is critical and I've heard others say some judges don't care at all. Is it fairly judge specific, or can we get some sort of general consensus?


If you want to clerk, you need to do everything you can to try and get onto law review. You'll be competing with applicants who have just as good of grades as you, at just as good of a school as you, and who have Law Review.


Credited. Judge X may not care, but no one only applies to one judge. You'll likely be applying to tens, if not upwards of a hundred, judges and the majority of judges would likely be inclined to hire someone with journal experience for the reasons I stated above.

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kalvano
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Re: Law Journals

Postby kalvano » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:14 pm

I have seen a lot of firms that specify a grade percentage for them to be interested, or be on law review. I assume they mean actual Law Review, not a Journal.

Or, if you are on a Journal, can you still put "law review" on your resume?

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vamedic03
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Re: Law Journals

Postby vamedic03 » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:20 pm

kalvano wrote:I have seen a lot of firms that specify a grade percentage for them to be interested, or be on law review. I assume they mean actual Law Review, not a Journal.

Or, if you are on a Journal, can you still put "law review" on your resume?


Are you kidding? By the same logic, just because you went to college would mean that you could put Harvard on your resume?

So, in short:

(a) Honesty is a good thing.

(b) You put the name of the journal you were on - not the Law Review you wish you were on.




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