Slacking off in law review?

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )
ClubberLang
Posts: 208
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 11:34 am

Slacking off in law review?

Postby ClubberLang » Thu May 24, 2012 3:00 pm

I believe I will be invited to law review. While the prestige elements are attractive, I have no interest in doing the work and really only want to do the bare minimum to keep law review on my resume and not get kicked off. How much work is actually required if one takes this approach (a minimum hrs/week number would be most beneficial). Are there any "leadership" positions where one can do even less work than the minimum while being a lackey?

User avatar
howell
Posts: 502
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 10:57 am

Re: Slacking off in law review?

Postby howell » Thu May 24, 2012 3:36 pm

ClubberLang wrote:I believe I will be invited to law review. While the prestige elements are attractive, I have no interest in doing the work and really only want to do the bare minimum to keep law review on my resume and not get kicked off. How much work is actually required if one takes this approach (a minimum hrs/week number would be most beneficial). Are there any "leadership" positions where one can do even less work than the minimum while being a lackey?


At most schools, there is a minimum amount of editing that will have to be done, and, in most cases, there is a baseline proficiency level at which it must be done. Our commitment wasn't too bad; we had to do 3 hours a week throughout 60-70% of our 2L year (and only during the semesters). The writing portion of law review was more time consuming/stressful to me. I would be surprised if there is a school where writing your note/comment at a level sufficient to get credit isn't a lot of work. But I think it's all tolerable for most people that are just going through it to get the credential.

I would modify your goal to be "whatever it takes to get credit and not to be remembered as a slacker by my peers." There are several people on law review (2Ls and 3Ls, including board members) that were able to squeak by not doing their share of the work, and this made more work for other people. It will be difficult to forget the people who I know, without a doubt, were manipulative in getting out of work and who relied on those that knew the job had to get done.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Slacking off in law review?

Postby Bronte » Thu May 24, 2012 3:44 pm

There is definitely a slacker approach that you can take, but it still will require a substantial amount of work. On my LR, you would have a minimum of three days of orientation, five hours a week during the semester of citechecking (except during finals), grading about twenty eight-page write on submissions over the summer plus reading the 300 page packet, and then writing a 25 page note that meets the standard of "good faith effort."

helfer snooterbagon
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:04 pm

Re: Slacking off in law review?

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Thu May 24, 2012 3:45 pm

I was in the same boat. I did Law Review my 2L and 3L year and certainly put in the least possible effort. Generally, as a 2L, you will have cite checking assignments. What you are "supposed" to do is pull up a certain number of cites that the article mentions, find the actual work that is cited, get a copy of the entire document cited, ensure that the portion of the document cited generally supports what it has been cited for and then ensure that the format of the citation is correct. You are also supposed to go through the entire note and edit for syntax and style. Also, at least at my school, you had to write your own note and you would meet with your student advisor for feedback about 4-5 times per year.

Generally, you can get by with pretty minimal effort on the cite checking. Ultimately your work will go up to a 3L who may bitch you out about not doing a thorough enough job, but whatever, it is pass fail. Your note is what you put into it, provided that you put down something that resembles a note and some cites, it will be good enough for a P. You certainly won't get your note published.

Generally, I could get through a cite checking assignment in about 3-4 hours. You get 4-5 a year so it is not too crazy. The paper probably took about 30 hours over the course of the year.

Your second year it is much easier. Most people signed up to be notes and comments editors, generally you are the advisor to the 2Ls (in addition to the faculty advisor). I would think you could do this job putting in way less hours.

Of course, it may vary by school. There will be some ultra competitive gunners, but there will be more than a few that want to chill out.

User avatar
tstyler98
Posts: 495
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:21 am

Re: Slacking off in law review?

Postby tstyler98 » Fri May 25, 2012 8:18 am

At my school, as a 2L spader, I had about 4-5 cite checking assignments in the Fall and 2-3 in the Spring. Each one took a varying amount of time, but averaged about 10 hours per assignment. (I did have one that took well over 15 though.) We usually got about 10-15 footnotes (which usually contained about 30ish citations), which was about 2-4 pages of the article. How difficult each assignment is depends on how many sources, whether the cite was accurate, and whether I had to find any sources on my own. As a previous poster mentioned, I had to find the source, make a copy of parts of it (some stuff we could print from Lexis or Westlaw, but a lot we had to photocopy the hardcopy), make sure it supported the text, and make sure the citation was correct. I then had to read through the text I was given (the 2-4 pages), and make editing suggestions based on the Chicago Manual of Style.

The Note/Comment depends on your topic and such. I turned mine in in the Spring. I worked on it a little in the Fall and over the break, but most of it got written in January-early March. I haven't the slightest idea of how much time I put into it, but it was a lot.

We have to do both of those satisfactorily to get our credits. There are definitely some who put in as little work as possible but enough to get their credits.

There are some Board positions at my school that have less commitment than being a 3L spader, but only a couple. Most are more time consuming. For example, I'm an Executive Editor and I have multiple assignments over the summer, have to come back a week early, and have assignments most weeks during the school year. We had our last spading assignment in February, but we started training for our Board positions at the end of February, so it wasn't much of a reprieve. The people who didn't get a Board position (and will be 3L spaders) were done in February when the last spading assignment was over. I didn't mind doing the cite checking (most of the time), but I didn't want to write another note/comment. And so far, I kind of like doing the work for my Board position.




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests