Writing onto Law Review

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yeslekkkk
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Writing onto Law Review

Postby yeslekkkk » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:08 pm

Hey guys,

I've read the posts about how much people hate law review, but I'm looking for some advice about writing onto Law Review anyways. I saw another thread recommending Volokh's Academic Legal Writing book. http://www.amazon.com/Volokhs-Academic-Legal-Writing-University/dp/1599417502/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

At my school, law review is not determined by grades but purely through the write on competition.


Has anyone used Volokh's book? Did it help you prep? Any other advice?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:03 pm

I think Volokh's advice is generally good. Beyond that, it may vary by school - what I saw at my lower T1 may well be different from what LR boards see in the T14. But since we were a pure write-on LR, I'll throw this out FWIW:

Mostly just do the work that's required - follow the directions to the letter and put in the time to do a good job. Yes, it sucks that write-on is right after finals end and when you start summer jobs and you don't want to think about any of this stuff, but that means that just putting in a decent effort is half the battle.

My experience was that about 80% of the essays said pretty much exactly the same thing (though this was partly the nature of the topic we chose), so a less-common take on the material stood out. That said, a clear, well-written essay that covered all the bases/dotted all the Is and crossed all the Ts/was mechanically and structurally clean but presented the common/obvious argument tended to do better than than an essay that had a cool/different argument but was less well-put-together over all (structural issues, or gaps, or sloppiness in the writing). Of course, submitting something clean and with an interesting argument is best, but if all else fails, I would focus on submitting the cleanest, best-organized, clearest thing you can and not worry about being crazy original.

The other big thing I saw was that people were terrible about addressing both sides of the issue. This was again probably due in part to the topic we chose (sort of cliched/controversial - not abortion rights but similar in terms of emotional reactions and unwillingness to consider the other side), but since there are likely to be 2 sides to whatever you're supposed to be talking about, make sure to at least address the side you disagree with.

Beyond that, just make sure that you have a clear argument, that you give a clear roadmap, and that you make clear throughout how everything you're talking about ties back to your argument.

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Avian
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby Avian » Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:53 pm

As someone who wrote on to law review, I think making sure that your submission is coherent and fully fleshes out your arguments will already put you ahead of a lot of people. I heard afterwards that many of the submissions struggled to come to a sensible conclusion or were otherwise incoherent. The structure of law review pieces is very formulaic, so looking at real notes or comments before the competition can help give you a sense of the style and format.

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sublime
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby sublime » Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:04 pm

..

ditch digger
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby ditch digger » Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:09 pm

Make sure that your citation form is 100% accurate. The people who will grade your submission just spent the past year spading and, and in general, they can spot errors that rising 2Ls often overlook.

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ph14
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby ph14 » Sat Mar 28, 2015 1:31 pm

I agree with what others have said and i'll also echo that you should follow directions to the letter. You would be surprised how often people get dinged for not following directions.

Buck Strickland
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby Buck Strickland » Sat Mar 28, 2015 2:09 pm

Has anyone read "Making Law Review: The Expert's Guide to Mastering the Write-on Competition"? I know Volokh's book is supposed to be the best, but this book is like 1/4 as long, so I'd be really happy if anyone can vouch for it.

cunninghat
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby cunninghat » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:23 am

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Last edited by cunninghat on Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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salix
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby salix » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:30 am

Buck Strickland wrote:Has anyone read "Making Law Review: The Expert's Guide to Mastering the Write-on Competition"? I know Volokh's book is supposed to be the best, but this book is like 1/4 as long, so I'd be really happy if anyone can vouch for it.


I credit that book with my successful write-on.

But don't be intimidated by the length of Volokh's book. Only part of it is devoted to the write-on process. (A lot of V's book is devoted to researching, writing, and perfecting a note.) There's some overlap between what V's book and the MLR book have to say about writing on, but there's enough different to make both worth the read.

Jchance
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby Jchance » Sun Mar 29, 2015 8:45 am

ditch digger wrote:Make sure that your citation form is 100% accurate. The people who will grade your submission just spent the past year spading and, and in general, they can spot errors that rising 2Ls often overlook.


+1. I cannot stress this enough. Perfect bluebooking is half of the scores at most schools, and this is something you can guarantee because reasonable people can differ on your writing.

I also echo the advice of following instructions.

Buck Strickland
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby Buck Strickland » Sun Mar 29, 2015 1:27 pm

salix wrote:
Buck Strickland wrote:Has anyone read "Making Law Review: The Expert's Guide to Mastering the Write-on Competition"? I know Volokh's book is supposed to be the best, but this book is like 1/4 as long, so I'd be really happy if anyone can vouch for it.


I credit that book with my successful write-on.

But don't be intimidated by the length of Volokh's book. Only part of it is devoted to the write-on process. (A lot of V's book is devoted to researching, writing, and perfecting a note.) There's some overlap between what V's book and the MLR book have to say about writing on, but there's enough different to make both worth the read.


I appreciate that response. Good to know. I'll go ahead and order both.

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ManoftheHour
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby ManoftheHour » Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:20 pm

Tag.

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ratfukr
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby ratfukr » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:46 am

Jchance wrote:
ditch digger wrote:Make sure that your citation form is 100% accurate. The people who will grade your submission just spent the past year spading and, and in general, they can spot errors that rising 2Ls often overlook.


+1. I cannot stress this enough. Perfect bluebooking is half of the scores at most schools, and this is something you can guarantee because reasonable people can differ on your writing.

I also echo the advice of following instructions.

There should be a quantitative paper in like JLM about Posner's hypertrophy [1], this scoring between schools, and the striver-industrial complex.

[1] See generally http://www.yalelawjournal.org/review/the-bluebook-blues or something

Keywords:
law school transparency, jenesaislaw, lst score, lawschooltransparency

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Lexaholik
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Re: Writing onto Law Review

Postby Lexaholik » Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:11 pm

yeslekkkk wrote:Hey guys,

I've read the posts about how much people hate law review, but I'm looking for some advice about writing onto Law Review anyways. I saw another thread recommending Volokh's Academic Legal Writing book. http://www.amazon.com/Volokhs-Academic-Legal-Writing-University/dp/1599417502/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=&qid=

At my school, law review is not determined by grades but purely through the write on competition.


Has anyone used Volokh's book? Did it help you prep? Any other advice?


I used Volokh's book years ago and highly recommend it.

Based on my experience writing on to LR and reviewing entries at my T14, I would echo this advice:

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Mostly just do the work that's required - follow the directions to the letter and put in the time to do a good job. Yes, it sucks that write-on is right after finals end and when you start summer jobs and you don't want to think about any of this stuff, but that means that just putting in a decent effort is half the battle.


Some additional tips:

- Know how to write and cite before you even begin. Don't waste your precious time during the competition learning this stuff. Invest 10-15 min a day now in understanding how legal writing works and it will pay off in a month when the competition starts.

- Writing on is more about avoiding mistakes than it is about brilliance. This is another form of what A. Nony Mouse said, but don't worry about writing an earth shattering analysis. Errors are what usually trip people up. Avoid that and you have a pretty good shot.

- Create a schedule that dedicates time to reading and organizing. This requires a lot more up front planning but will pay off big. If you start writing quickly you'll probably notice some error (or something you missed in the materials) and have to go back and re-read and re-write. That's a huge time waster.

- Burnout and fatigue are your main enemies. Most 1Ls are unable to overcome burnout/fatigue so if you can, your odds of writing on increase dramatically.




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