How important is Law Review?

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mia137
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How important is Law Review?

Postby mia137 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:44 pm

Hi Guys,

I apologize if this topic has been discussed before. I didn't find it with a search, but I could have looked harder.

I'm a little premature on this but I'm wondering whether I really should do law review. (Let's just assume I get on.) I have no intention of applying for big firm jobs or judicial clerkships. I'd like to work in wills, trusts, and estates at a small firm and eventually, after I have sufficient experience, join forces with my MIL who will be opening shop locally after leaving her out of state firm. I'm a CPA with 3 years experience in a Big 4 accounting firm. My grades are and will continue to be solid. I know law review would provide amazing experience, but I also understand that it can make 2L hellish. I'm planning on taking a very heavy course load because I want to front load units for personal reasons and I'd love to get some experience during the school year working in my field if anyone will take me, which I probably won't be able to get credit for. I'm concerned that taking max units, working a bit, AND doing a journal will just be too much and my husband will forget what I even look like. So...if I decide to knock a journal out of the equation, am I likely to regret it?

Can anyone provide any sage words of advice?? Sorry for rambling. I don't know what information is relevant so I gave it all. :)

Thanks!!

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Ludo!
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby Ludo! » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:10 pm

Law review is a nightmare and it's made my 2l year hell. But it goes on your resume forever, and it's probably the reason I got my job this summer. But if you know for sure you want to work at a small firm and you don't want to clerk or anything it's probably not necessary.

But

My grades are and will continue to be solid.


You can't count on this. You never know when one outlier grade will sink your GPA to the level that law review just might be the difference maker for BigLaw. If you think there's any chance you want to work for a bigger firm or clerk, I'd do law review.

VA Politco
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby VA Politco » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:51 pm

My grades are and will continue to be solid.


You have completed about 15 credits of approximately 90. Just because you've had one good semester doesn't mean you're golden. Plenty of people I know fell apart second semester of 1L year, and plenty of people I know are falling apart this year, now that you can pick classes and are competing against different students.

Don't do LR if you don't want to or think you'll hate it. If you know what you want to do and don't want to compete with others in the top of your class for jobs, then LR is probably unnecessary.

Geist13
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby Geist13 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:11 pm

If you want to work at a smaller firm in the area surrounding your school, I think Law Review is a very good resume line. I did not land a job from OCI (goddamn you first semester of law school). However, I have gotten interviews from pretty much every small firm I've applied to through symplicity since this semester started. In those interviews, law review always comes up. But, this effect may be limited to firms in the area immediately surrounding your law school. I don't think smaller firms in other cities/states will be nearly as receptive.

Part of this success may be the type of firms I'm looking at. I've been looking at small commercial litigation firms. Being litigation, they all emphasize writing heavily, so law review is a plus for them (everyone wants good writers though). I also have other things that look good to lit firms (CALI in civ pro and lit. heavy course load).

One caveat: being on law review is pretty much the worst fucking thing in the world. You will hate yourself for all of 2L. AND, if you don't land the type of job you want, you will likely remember joining law review as the biggest mistake you made during law school (and you would be right).

edit: also note that the job offers I've been getting are for 2L summer and 3L school year (assuming they don't hate me). I can't attest to how it looks for actual permanent hiring.

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TTH
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby TTH » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:21 pm

If you can get on your school's flagship journal, don't pass it up. You don't know where you're career might take you. Besides, in it's own sick way, it's somewhat rewarding.*



* Don't read any of my posts in the complaining about writing note/comment thread.

Geist13
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby Geist13 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:27 pm

TTH wrote:You don't know where you're career might take you.

This is a good point
TTH wrote:Besides, in it's own sick way, it's somewhat rewarding.

I couldn't disagree more. In fact, I've never experienced anything so devoid of any value (again, other than the external employment benefits).

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Cupidity
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby Cupidity » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:30 pm

Insanely important. Myself and three of my friends are in the top 10% at a T30 w/out journals, we all struck out OCI. Every LR student except one (who is PI) got BigLaw.

mia137
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby mia137 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:32 pm

Thanks guys. This is all very helpful.

Also:
When I said my grades will be solid, I didn't mean they'll necessarily be top of class solid, just that they're not going to be a problem. I mean, they could be. Like you guys said, I have no freaking clue after 1 semester. But, realistically, while they might not be the best, it's quite unlikely that they'll completely suck. I was just trying to say that I don't think I'll be in the position where no one will give me an interview because my grades are so bad that every employer thinks I'm an idiot.

NotMyRealName09
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby NotMyRealName09 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:36 pm

Other than the name of your law school and your gpa/class rank, there is nothing better to distinguish you than making law review. Not doing it when you could is like turning down a prize in a competition - you win the race but decline to take the podium and receive your medal?

There is no higher accomplishment in law school than getting onto law review (well, except honorifics like cum laude and such). Do it, absolutely do it. I was on law review, and I will admit something - when I learn about a peer who didn't make law review, I know I'm not talking to someone who stood out from their peers in law school. This may not even be a valid thought - I do know people who for one reason or another simply couldn't do the write-on, and missed out but were still incredibly talented. But I still think it - and its always a ding against an interviewee.

For those who say its hard work - yeah, but nothing good is easy. It took time and work, but so what? I wasn't in law school for the fun of it, I was there to increase the amount of salary I could command in the jobs market.

The upside of law review will ALWAYS outweigh the downside, in my opinion.

Geist13
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby Geist13 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:39 pm

mia137 wrote:I was just trying to say that I don't think I'll be in the position where no one will give me an interview because my grades are so bad that every employer thinks I'm an idiot.


In this market employers will only give you interviews if your resume is good. Unless you're at a top school (i think you said you didn't) median or just above median won't get you interviews. You need good grades to get interview. My law review resume line is supplemented with a 3.52 cum GPA and a 3.78 GPA over the last two semesters.

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smelltheglove
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby smelltheglove » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:53 pm

Being on LR is better than not being on LR. However, if you go to a top school and have fairly good grades it won't make that much of a difference unless you want to clerk. Even then, a secondary journal is most likely sufficient in most markets.

03121202698008
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby 03121202698008 » Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:10 pm

VA Politco wrote:
My grades are and will continue to be solid.


You have completed about 15 credits of approximately 90. Just because you've had one good semester doesn't mean you're golden. Plenty of people I know fell apart second semester of 1L year, and plenty of people I know are falling apart this year, now that you can pick classes and are competing against different students.

Don't do LR if you don't want to or think you'll hate it. If you know what you want to do and don't want to compete with others in the top of your class for jobs, then LR is probably unnecessary.


This. I had a .6 swing from first to second semester. Fortunately, mine was up but someone else's (ok, or others collectively) obviously wasn't.

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leobowski
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby leobowski » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:51 pm

There's no realistic situation where it's a good idea to not do law review. You don't know your grades will maintain. You don't know you will want to work at a small firm in 3 years doing estate planning. There are plenty of unknowns.

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DrGuano
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby DrGuano » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:21 pm

Where are these schools where LR is hell?

I'm at Fordham and our commitment is 3 hours a week for the first 2 months of the semester and that's it. We're footnoting for our last issue already and finishing up at the end of March after a 3 week break from footnoting starting next weekend.

Definitely not hell. A pain sometimes, sure, footnoting sucks. But it's been totally worth it for the red-carpet treatment during OCI (29 first-rounders, 20 callbacks, 8 offers from the 10 CBs went on).

03121202698008
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby 03121202698008 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:48 pm

DrGuano wrote:Where are these schools where LR is hell?

I'm at Fordham and our commitment is 3 hours a week for the first 2 months of the semester and that's it. We're footnoting for our last issue already and finishing up at the end of March after a 3 week break from footnoting starting next weekend.

Definitely not hell. A pain sometimes, sure, footnoting sucks. But it's been totally worth it for the red-carpet treatment during OCI (29 first-rounders, 20 callbacks, 8 offers from the 10 CBs went on).


We average 2-6 hours per week and have been at it all year. Plus, writing a note is a huge time sink. Some LRs publish a lot less than others. How many issues do you guys have? We publish 8 issues per year.

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DrGuano
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby DrGuano » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:56 pm

blowhard wrote:
DrGuano wrote:Where are these schools where LR is hell?

I'm at Fordham and our commitment is 3 hours a week for the first 2 months of the semester and that's it. We're footnoting for our last issue already and finishing up at the end of March after a 3 week break from footnoting starting next weekend.

Definitely not hell. A pain sometimes, sure, footnoting sucks. But it's been totally worth it for the red-carpet treatment during OCI (29 first-rounders, 20 callbacks, 8 offers from the 10 CBs went on).


We average 2-6 hours per week and have been at it all year. Plus, writing a note is a huge time sink. Some LRs publish a lot less than others. How many issues do you guys have? We publish 8 issues per year.


Six. And while we have to submit a draft note proposal (30 pages), following through is only encouraged, not required.

What school do you go to?

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vamedic03
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby vamedic03 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:58 pm

blowhard wrote:
DrGuano wrote:Where are these schools where LR is hell?

I'm at Fordham and our commitment is 3 hours a week for the first 2 months of the semester and that's it. We're footnoting for our last issue already and finishing up at the end of March after a 3 week break from footnoting starting next weekend.

Definitely not hell. A pain sometimes, sure, footnoting sucks. But it's been totally worth it for the red-carpet treatment during OCI (29 first-rounders, 20 callbacks, 8 offers from the 10 CBs went on).


We average 2-6 hours per week and have been at it all year. Plus, writing a note is a huge time sink. Some LRs publish a lot less than others. How many issues do you guys have? We publish 8 issues per year.


It's not about the # of issues/volume or pages/volume. The amount of work really comes down to the organizational structure of a law review and the system of workflow management. High quality publication can be achieved through effective workflow management without wearing out all of your members.

chiwachiwa
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby chiwachiwa » Sat Feb 18, 2012 3:46 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
blowhard wrote:
DrGuano wrote:Where are these schools where LR is hell?

I'm at Fordham and our commitment is 3 hours a week for the first 2 months of the semester and that's it. We're footnoting for our last issue already and finishing up at the end of March after a 3 week break from footnoting starting next weekend.

Definitely not hell. A pain sometimes, sure, footnoting sucks. But it's been totally worth it for the red-carpet treatment during OCI (29 first-rounders, 20 callbacks, 8 offers from the 10 CBs went on).


We average 2-6 hours per week and have been at it all year. Plus, writing a note is a huge time sink. Some LRs publish a lot less than others. How many issues do you guys have? We publish 8 issues per year.


It's not about the # of issues/volume or pages/volume. The amount of work really comes down to the organizational structure of a law review and the system of workflow management. High quality publication can be achieved through effective workflow management without wearing out all of your members.
go on...

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kalvano
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby kalvano » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:23 pm

Flagship Law Review is always worth it.

Secondary journals, ask around at your school to see if they are worthwhile. Some don't require an extraordinary amount of effort, and might be worthwhile. Others are train wrecks, trying to prove they are as special as flagship by beating everyone into the ground.

03121202698008
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby 03121202698008 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:41 pm

DrGuano wrote:
blowhard wrote:
DrGuano wrote:Where are these schools where LR is hell?

I'm at Fordham and our commitment is 3 hours a week for the first 2 months of the semester and that's it. We're footnoting for our last issue already and finishing up at the end of March after a 3 week break from footnoting starting next weekend.

Definitely not hell. A pain sometimes, sure, footnoting sucks. But it's been totally worth it for the red-carpet treatment during OCI (29 first-rounders, 20 callbacks, 8 offers from the 10 CBs went on).


We average 2-6 hours per week and have been at it all year. Plus, writing a note is a huge time sink. Some LRs publish a lot less than others. How many issues do you guys have? We publish 8 issues per year.


Six. And while we have to submit a draft note proposal (30 pages), following through is only encouraged, not required.

What school do you go to?


Michigan

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johansantana21
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby johansantana21 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:47 pm

I'd be shocked if top 10% at T13 strike out at OCI even if they voluntarily pass up law review.

bdubs
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby bdubs » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:53 pm

As a few posters above have alluded to, LR matters a lot more at a lower ranked school than it does at a higher ranked one. I've heard that membership on YLJ is not a big deal for anything other than clerkships. However, for lots of schools outside of the T14 not being a member of LR means not getting interviews or opportunities.

Will it matter less if you're going to hang up your own shingle? Yes, it doesn't matter quite as much to the average businessman or layperson. However, it will probably matter to any other lawyer you are dealing with.

alabamabound
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby alabamabound » Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:59 pm

I'm in the "always worth it" camp. I'm just a 2L, but a lot of practicing lawyers have impressed upon me how valuable a networking tool it will be in the long run. I suspect they're right.

Ripple6783
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby Ripple6783 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:28 pm

NotMyRealName09 wrote:Other than the name of your law school and your gpa/class rank, there is nothing better to distinguish you than making law review. Not doing it when you could is like turning down a prize in a competition - you win the race but decline to take the podium and receive your medal?

There is no higher accomplishment in law school than getting onto law review (well, except honorifics like cum laude and such). Do it, absolutely do it. I was on law review, and I will admit something - when I learn about a peer who didn't make law review, I know I'm not talking to someone who stood out from their peers in law school. This may not even be a valid thought - I do know people who for one reason or another simply couldn't do the write-on, and missed out but were still incredibly talented. But I still think it - and its always a ding against an interviewee.

For those who say its hard work - yeah, but nothing good is easy. It took time and work, but so what? I wasn't in law school for the fun of it, I was there to increase the amount of salary I could command in the jobs market.

The upside of law review will ALWAYS outweigh the downside, in my opinion.


"You know you're not talking to someone who stood out from their peers?" Is that a joke? How about - you didn't distinguish yourself from your peers because you had to write on and couldn't grade on like a man. Kidding, sort of.

In all seriousness, I have the same question as OP. Assuming I can grade onto LR (which may not be the case, my grades might drop but right now I'm well within the limits for grading onto it) after second semester, why should I? If I've already got two 1L SA's lined up, and if my 2nd semester grades continue to be good such that I could grade on, why would I?

What can I get from doing LR that I can't get already if I don't want to go into academia or clerk?

Also, law review is a scam. The school gets free labor to run its journal, which is the only place law professors can get published. Their entire bogus profession is supported by the sweat and tears of unpaid, overstressed law students. For what? So you can learn more about blue book? At what cost?

Is there really a firm job that someone who can grade onto law review couldn't get without doing law review?

Ripple6783
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby Ripple6783 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:32 pm

leobowski wrote:There's no realistic situation where it's a good idea to not do law review. You don't know your grades will maintain. You don't know you will want to work at a small firm in 3 years doing estate planning. There are plenty of unknowns.


I don't understand. If you're, say, #3 in the class after 1L year, why would you need law review? Do you really think your 2L grades are going to plummet so far that you drop out of the top 10%? Do you really have to maintain your very high rank to get an offer from your 2L SA firms?

Couldn't you do something much more valuable with the time?




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