How important is Law Review?

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TTH
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby TTH » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:25 am

I didn't know schools preference-ranked journals like that. At my school, you can send your write-on packet to as many of the journals as you like. Then each journal makes their picks and sends offers out the same day over the summer, and students can choose among the journals to which they've been accepted.

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johansantana21
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby johansantana21 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:31 am

Do secondary journals have grade on? Or is it purely writing competition?

redsox4lyfe
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby redsox4lyfe » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:33 am

.

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reformed calvinist
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby reformed calvinist » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:37 am

johansantana21 wrote:Do secondary journals have grade on? Or is it purely writing competition?


There's no grade-on where I come from. Journals here decide based on grades and the writing, with grades being given more weight.

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tstyler98
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby tstyler98 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:44 pm

johansantana21 wrote:Do secondary journals have grade on? Or is it purely writing competition?


At Wake Forest, you can grade on to two journals (Law Review and a secondary) and write on to three.

As far as ranking the journals, we had to do that. The write-on is graded by the Notes & Comments editors on Law Review and is shared with the other journals. Law Review sends out offers first to both those who wrote-on and graded on, and then once Law Review has their people, the other two do their offers. I'm not sure how the ranking comes into play, other than you won't be invited on to a journal if you didn't rank it.

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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby MrAnon » Fri Feb 24, 2012 5:52 pm

Ripple6783 wrote:
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?




Its a credited statement. You are on law review because you got the best grades in your class or you didn't make the best grades but won a brutal competition to be on it. Firms want people with the best grades or who can win brutal competitions. They don't want the also-rans who were merely top half and couldn't distinguish themselves in the competition. That's how LR functions as a signalling mechanism. Firms know that just being admitted to a law school doesn't mean much. There is nothing special about someone who can be admitted to a school. Its how you do while you are there in crunchtime that matters.

Ripple6783
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby Ripple6783 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:49 pm

MrAnon wrote:
Ripple6783 wrote:
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?




Its a credited statement. You are on law review because you got the best grades in your class or you didn't make the best grades but won a brutal competition to be on it. Firms want people with the best grades or who can win brutal competitions. They don't want the also-rans who were merely top half and couldn't distinguish themselves in the competition. That's how LR functions as a signalling mechanism. Firms know that just being admitted to a law school doesn't mean much. There is nothing special about someone who can be admitted to a school. Its how you do while you are there in crunchtime that matters.


Won't my 3.9 GPA adequately function as a signal that I made good grades?

midwestls
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby midwestls » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:38 pm

Dude, you have some valid points.

But like it or not, law review sets you apart, particularly if you want to clerk or do firm law. Speaking in generalities? Firm law is a little snobby. It's mostly people who did law review. They value law review. They feel like people who choose not to do law review are afraid of the work, whether that's the truth or not.

Do you absolutely need to do law review? No, particularly if you have a 3.9. You'll almost certainly be fine if you maintain it. Almost certainly.

But it's much, much more likely to help you than hurt you, and that's why people generally think it's a good idea whether they're really in love with the idea or not.

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quakeroats
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby quakeroats » Fri Feb 24, 2012 10:49 pm

MrAnon wrote:Firms know that just being admitted to a law school doesn't mean much. There is nothing special about someone who can be admitted to a school. Its how you do while you are there in crunchtime that matters.


This doesn't match up with the entry-level market. Where you go to school is almost everything. Only at the extremes does what you do in law school start to matter (particularly if we look back a few years). If it was as you're assuming, schools at the top of the pyramid would have placement stats similar to schools much lower. Instead, we have a system where top schools historically place almost all of their graduates into the largest law firms and other schools place only a fraction of their graduates there. You'll have to do a lot more than make law review if you're at a TT school and want to work at a top firm. If you're at at top 10 school, you can easily get the job without it.

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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby Riles246 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:28 am

midwestls wrote:Dude, you have some valid points.

But like it or not, law review sets you apart, particularly if you want to clerk or do firm law. Speaking in generalities? Firm law is a little snobby. It's mostly people who did law review. They value law review. They feel like people who choose not to do law review are afraid of the work, whether that's the truth or not.

But it's much, much more likely to help you than hurt you, and that's why people generally think it's a good idea whether they're really in love with the idea or not.


Are you saying this as a student or as a student who interviewed with/made biglaw? Because those are some sweeping statements you are making. I did not encounter any of the people who felt like I was afraid of the work because I chose not to do LR (yes, I graded on and turned it down). They looked at my GPA, and the interview moved on to normal interview topics. LR simply had no bearing whatsoever on my interviews/callbacks/offers.

And how are you sure that it is "much, much more likely to help than hurt"? I think the exact opposite- after hearing LR students complain about how much work it is, I seriously doubt that they have as much time to devote to coursework as I do. I think LR is only likely to help if one plans on clerking, otherwise I think it is much more likely to hurt rather than help a GPA, which is the number one focus, (and many times the sole focus aside from school) of interviewers.

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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby MrAnon » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:31 am

quakeroats wrote:
MrAnon wrote:Firms know that just being admitted to a law school doesn't mean much. There is nothing special about someone who can be admitted to a school. Its how you do while you are there in crunchtime that matters.


This doesn't match up with the entry-level market. Where you go to school is almost everything. Only at the extremes does what you do in law school start to matter (particularly if we look back a few years). If it was as you're assuming, schools at the top of the pyramid would have placement stats similar to schools much lower. Instead, we have a system where top schools historically place almost all of their graduates into the largest law firms and other schools place only a fraction of their graduates there. You'll have to do a lot more than make law review if you're at a TT school and want to work at a top firm. If you're at at top 10 school, you can easily get the job without it.



well these days they place about 50% so it means more.

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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby MrAnon » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:34 am

Ripple6783 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:
Ripple6783 wrote:
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?




Its a credited statement. You are on law review because you got the best grades in your class or you didn't make the best grades but won a brutal competition to be on it. Firms want people with the best grades or who can win brutal competitions. They don't want the also-rans who were merely top half and couldn't distinguish themselves in the competition. That's how LR functions as a signalling mechanism. Firms know that just being admitted to a law school doesn't mean much. There is nothing special about someone who can be admitted to a school. Its how you do while you are there in crunchtime that matters.


Won't my 3.9 GPA adequately function as a signal that I made good grades?


It signals you didn't want to go that extra step. It signals that there is this thing called law review, which generally consists of the elite people at your school, which you decided not to try out for, or which you failed miserably to try out for. Partners want to work with people who are eager to go that extra mile and tryout, and who indeed pass the tryout. they want people like themselves, and they were on law review. You don't have the desire? Okay, what else won't you have the desire for. Its great you are a good writer and understood your class material, but they want people who can do all that and more.

Riles246
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby Riles246 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 1:05 pm

MrAnon wrote:It signals you didn't want to go that extra step. It signals that there is this thing called law review, which generally consists of the elite people at your school, which you decided not to try out for, or which you failed miserably to try out for. Partners want to work with people who are eager to go that extra mile and tryout, and who indeed pass the tryout. they want people like themselves, and they were on law review. You don't have the desire? Okay, what else won't you have the desire for. Its great you are a good writer and understood your class material, but they want people who can do all that and more.


I just wholeheartedly disagree with this comment. Obviously opinions will differ, but in my experience that just isn't the case whatsoever. Being top 5% in the class washes away all of the fears that the student is not willing to go the extra step. Anyone with a GPA as high as his can easily just grade on, so there is no question of failing the write-on. And the hiring partners are SOOOO much more impressed by a top GPA than by LR, since LR is just automatic once GPAs get into that territory. When I interviewed, one of the interviewers in a screener asked "why didn't you do law review" and I said "I'm more concerned about my GPA" and she said "well that seems to have worked out for you". I got the callback.

LR may help for people on the fringe, but with a 3.9 like that other poster, it is just a waste of time unless he or she is planning on clerking.

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vamedic03
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby vamedic03 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:35 pm

Riles246 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It signals you didn't want to go that extra step. It signals that there is this thing called law review, which generally consists of the elite people at your school, which you decided not to try out for, or which you failed miserably to try out for. Partners want to work with people who are eager to go that extra mile and tryout, and who indeed pass the tryout. they want people like themselves, and they were on law review. You don't have the desire? Okay, what else won't you have the desire for. Its great you are a good writer and understood your class material, but they want people who can do all that and more.


I just wholeheartedly disagree with this comment. Obviously opinions will differ, but in my experience that just isn't the case whatsoever. Being top 5% in the class washes away all of the fears that the student is not willing to go the extra step. Anyone with a GPA as high as his can easily just grade on, so there is no question of failing the write-on. And the hiring partners are SOOOO much more impressed by a top GPA than by LR, since LR is just automatic once GPAs get into that territory. When I interviewed, one of the interviewers in a screener asked "why didn't you do law review" and I said "I'm more concerned about my GPA" and she said "well that seems to have worked out for you". I got the callback.

LR may help for people on the fringe, but with a 3.9 like that other poster, it is just a waste of time unless he or she is planning on clerking.


To be fair, the tip top of the class should be able to handle law review and maintaining their GPA.

nouseforaname123
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby nouseforaname123 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:37 pm

Riles246 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It signals you didn't want to go that extra step. It signals that there is this thing called law review, which generally consists of the elite people at your school, which you decided not to try out for, or which you failed miserably to try out for. Partners want to work with people who are eager to go that extra mile and tryout, and who indeed pass the tryout. they want people like themselves, and they were on law review. You don't have the desire? Okay, what else won't you have the desire for. Its great you are a good writer and understood your class material, but they want people who can do all that and more.


I just wholeheartedly disagree with this comment. Obviously opinions will differ, but in my experience that just isn't the case whatsoever. Being top 5% in the class washes away all of the fears that the student is not willing to go the extra step. Anyone with a GPA as high as his can easily just grade on, so there is no question of failing the write-on. And the hiring partners are SOOOO much more impressed by a top GPA than by LR, since LR is just automatic once GPAs get into that territory. When I interviewed, one of the interviewers in a screener asked "why didn't you do law review" and I said "I'm more concerned about my GPA" and she said "well that seems to have worked out for you". I got the callback.



But did you get the offer?

vamedic03 wrote:To be fair, the tip top of the class should be able to handle law review and maintaining their GPA.


+1.

apl6783
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby apl6783 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:27 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
Riles246 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It signals you didn't want to go that extra step. It signals that there is this thing called law review, which generally consists of the elite people at your school, which you decided not to try out for, or which you failed miserably to try out for. Partners want to work with people who are eager to go that extra mile and tryout, and who indeed pass the tryout. they want people like themselves, and they were on law review. You don't have the desire? Okay, what else won't you have the desire for. Its great you are a good writer and understood your class material, but they want people who can do all that and more.


I just wholeheartedly disagree with this comment. Obviously opinions will differ, but in my experience that just isn't the case whatsoever. Being top 5% in the class washes away all of the fears that the student is not willing to go the extra step. Anyone with a GPA as high as his can easily just grade on, so there is no question of failing the write-on. And the hiring partners are SOOOO much more impressed by a top GPA than by LR, since LR is just automatic once GPAs get into that territory. When I interviewed, one of the interviewers in a screener asked "why didn't you do law review" and I said "I'm more concerned about my GPA" and she said "well that seems to have worked out for you". I got the callback.

LR may help for people on the fringe, but with a 3.9 like that other poster, it is just a waste of time unless he or she is planning on clerking.


To be fair, the tip top of the class should be able to handle law review and maintaining their GPA.


The tip top of the class CAN handle being on law review and maintaining their GPA. Does that mean that they should, or (relevant to this thread) does that mean that the benefits of membership outweigh the costs (in relationships, for example)?

No one is arguing that LR isn't helpful. The question this thread is centered around, I think, is how much does being on it actually matter if you can grade onto it. I feel like some of you guys on LR may have let it go to your head a little bit, and may be placing to much value/importance on your achievement.

Michael Jordan doesn't need you to give him a trophy to reaffirm his skill as a basketball player after spending an afternoon dunking the ball over your head. (I feel like MJ in this analogy).

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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby quakeroats » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:12 pm

apl6783 wrote:No one is arguing that LR isn't helpful.


I think it's generally unhelpful, both for legal scholarship and for the students who take part in yet another signaling exercise. It teaches you the value of form over substance. It throws you into the equivalent of first chair, and forces you to do what anyone without experience would do in that situation: concentrate on what you know how to do (bluebooking, source pulling, minor stylistic changes) and ignore what you don't (how to select scholarship that moves a discipline forward, how to review pieces as a peer who understands what it contributes rather than as a student with only a cursory knowledge of the subject, etc.). If it were simply a waste of time that would be one thing. I'd maintain it fosters a method of thinking about legal problems that sets promising students on the wrong path but convinces them otherwise. Law Review is a relic of the way law schools used to work. The sooner we get rid of it, the better.

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vamedic03
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby vamedic03 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:23 pm

quakeroats wrote:
apl6783 wrote:No one is arguing that LR isn't helpful.


I think it's generally unhelpful, both for legal scholarship and for the students who take part in yet another signaling exercise. It teaches you the value of form over substance. It throws you into the equivalent of first chair, and forces you to do what anyone without experience would do in that situation: concentrate on what you know how to do (bluebooking, source pulling, minor stylistic changes) and ignore what you don't (how to select scholarship that moves a discipline forward, how to review pieces as a peer who understands what it contributes rather than as a student with only a cursory knowledge of the subject, etc.). If it were simply a waste of time that would be one thing. I'd maintain it fosters a method of thinking about legal problems that sets promising students on the wrong path but convinces them otherwise. Law Review is a relic of the way law schools used to work. The sooner we get rid of it, the better.


I can assure you that, at least at the top law reviews, article selection is certainly not made on the basis of bluebooking, etc. I'm guessing that you have never been involved in article selection for a law review. I certainly will not argue that the current state of law reviews is ideal, but your argument against them fails is really off the mark.

kaiser
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby kaiser » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:29 pm

Cupidity wrote: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.


I can't believe that employers drew that hard a line at BU/BC between LR and non-LR, even for those in top 10%

sparty99
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby sparty99 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:37 pm

In this economy? Law Review is everything...It distinguishes you from the pack, another thing to "brag" about in the interviews....

Is it a must? Nothing is a must. But in this economy you want to give the hiring manager everything you can to get them to say, "yes."

kaiser
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby kaiser » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:39 pm

ITE I wouldn't pass it up. Even at a top school, if you can get on, I'd take it. Sure, if you are at a top level school, and miss LR, you would likely still be fine on a secondary journal. But it can absolutely never hurt you to be on LR.

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quakeroats
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby quakeroats » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:16 pm

vamedic03 wrote:
I can assure you that, at least at the top law reviews, article selection is certainly not made on the basis of bluebooking, etc. I'm guessing that you have never been involved in article selection for a law review. I certainly will not argue that the current state of law reviews is ideal, but your argument against them fails is really off the mark.


I never said it was and you're guessing wrong. A lot of law reviews farm out article selection in one way or another for the reasons I mentioned. My main point is that student-run law journals are a bad idea for students and professors. Editors can't provide the kind of value professors in other disciplines do, but they have to do something--they run the journal after all. What they end up providing does so little that faculty in other disciplines wouldn't recognize it as the work of an editor of scholarship. Students shouldn't be the lead editors for faculty scholarship for the same reason they shouldn't run a side of the Facebook IPO or serve as the trustee for the Madoff bankruptcy: they don't have enough experience.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:51 pm

kaiser wrote:ITE I wouldn't pass it up. Even at a top school, if you can get on, I'd take it. Sure, if you are at a top level school, and miss LR, you would likely still be fine on a secondary journal. But it can absolutely never hurt you to be on LR.


Ya. Not sure why anyone would pass up LR if they had the opportunity. But at top schools, as long as your grades are good, it does not really matter. I have friends going to V5s and V10s who are on secondary journals and not law review. Take it for what you will.

kaiser
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby kaiser » Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:55 pm

lawyerwannabe wrote:
kaiser wrote:ITE I wouldn't pass it up. Even at a top school, if you can get on, I'd take it. Sure, if you are at a top level school, and miss LR, you would likely still be fine on a secondary journal. But it can absolutely never hurt you to be on LR.


Ya. Not sure why anyone would pass up LR if they had the opportunity. But at top schools, as long as your grades are good, it does not really matter. I have friends going to V5s and V10s who are on secondary journals and not law review. Take it for what you will.


Exactly. I'm on a secondary journal at my school and essentially every person on the journal is working at a Vault firm, with the majority at V20 and above firms. But I'd imagine this wouldn't be the case for some schools, where LR vs. non LR is an easy dividing line for who they will consider.

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California Babe
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Re: How important is Law Review?

Postby California Babe » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:08 pm

Riles246 wrote:
MrAnon wrote:It signals you didn't want to go that extra step. It signals that there is this thing called law review, which generally consists of the elite people at your school, which you decided not to try out for, or which you failed miserably to try out for. Partners want to work with people who are eager to go that extra mile and tryout, and who indeed pass the tryout. they want people like themselves, and they were on law review. You don't have the desire? Okay, what else won't you have the desire for. Its great you are a good writer and understood your class material, but they want people who can do all that and more.


I just wholeheartedly disagree with this comment. Obviously opinions will differ, but in my experience that just isn't the case whatsoever. Being top 5% in the class washes away all of the fears that the student is not willing to go the extra step. Anyone with a GPA as high as his can easily just grade on, so there is no question of failing the write-on. And the hiring partners are SOOOO much more impressed by a top GPA than by LR, since LR is just automatic once GPAs get into that territory. When I interviewed, one of the interviewers in a screener asked "why didn't you do law review" and I said "I'm more concerned about my GPA" and she said "well that seems to have worked out for you". I got the callback.

LR may help for people on the fringe, but with a 3.9 like that other poster, it is just a waste of time unless he or she is planning on clerking.


The interviewer said it worked out for you? Before you even had 2L grades?




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