Former law review editor taking questions

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Will you participate in the law review write-on competition?

 
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Wes Henricksen
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Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:28 pm

Each year, I answer students' questions about the law review, the write-on competition, and what it generally takes to get onto law review. Although the specific process varies from law school to law school, there are many similarities among all the write-on competitions.

If you have any questions, shoot.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby TTT-LS » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:44 pm

,
Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:54 pm

TTT-LS wrote:Explain the rationale behind Bluebook Rule 1.4 and why the people who came up with that rule should not be extradited to Haiti and put in the custody of local witch doctors.


Unfortunately, I have no idea what the Bluebook editors' rationale was behind Rule 1.4. For that matter, I can't for the life of me figure out why someone does not come up with a superior citation manual to the Bluebook. I find the Bluebook as a whole extraordinarily non-user-friendly, and the only reason I can think of that they get away with it is the lack of competition.

Fup
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Fup » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:58 pm

Will Steve Sarkisian be a success?

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jackassjim
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby jackassjim » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:00 pm

How much time did allocate to your law-review work?

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underdawg
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby underdawg » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:01 pm

shouldn't you have something to designate that you represent a business so that posters may disregard what you say?

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:04 pm

Fup wrote:Will Steve Sarkisian be a success?


Well, they have no where to go but up. 0-12 record.... ouch.

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:07 pm

jackassjim wrote:How much time did allocate to your law-review work?


Good question, and an important one. You should, if at all possible, clear your schedule for the period of time of the competition. At many schools, this is the first week or two of summer vacation (right after Spring finals). That would mean trying to put off starting the summer job a week or two so you can concentrate on the competition. Even though you may not want to every waking hour working on the competition during that time, it is very helpful to not have to worry about job or school responsibilities during that time.

Of course, this also means you should avoid traveling during the compeition.

All this said, I know poeple who traveled and/or worked during the entire write-on competition and still made law review. But the more time you put into the competition, the better you're bound to perform.

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Grad_Student
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Grad_Student » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:08 pm

How much did you find it helped you? By that I mean, you obviously had excellent grades, so would you have had the job prospects if you weren't on law review.

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:09 pm

underdawg wrote:shouldn't you have something to designate that you represent a business so that posters may disregard what you say?


Sorry, I don't represent any business. I'm just giving away some advice to those who want it.

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:12 pm

Grad_Student wrote:How much did you find it helped you? By that I mean, you obviously had excellent grades, so would you have had the job prospects if you weren't on law review.


I did not have "excellent" grades, and my law school at the time did not rank students or give out official GPA numbers. So being on law review helped me out quite a bit. Of course, if you do have excellent grades, that will help you out a lot when it comes to the job search. But law review never hurts. How helpful law review is in the job search all depends on what job you want and how good your grades are otherwise.

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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby hbb » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:40 pm

Wes Henricksen wrote:
underdawg wrote:shouldn't you have something to designate that you represent a business so that posters may disregard what you say?


Sorry, I don't represent any business. I'm just giving away some advice to those who want it.


I believe underdawg is referring to the fact that you've published, and are selling, a book, the cover of which appears in your avatar. You're not giving that away too, are you?

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:50 pm

hbb: I am giving away advice to anyone who wants it. The book, which I make virtually nothing from (but am quite proud of), is merely a compilation of advice I have been giving to students for the past two years. If you have a question, I'd be glad to answer it.

WhisperingWinston
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby WhisperingWinston » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:59 pm

What's your advice for case note competitions? My school's competition is about a day and a half and requires writing a case note with a multiple choice BB exam (only weighted at 5%).

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Ipsa Dixit
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Ipsa Dixit » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:14 pm

Wes Henricksen wrote:For that matter, I can't for the life of me figure out why someone does not come up with a superior citation manual to the Bluebook. I find the Bluebook as a whole extraordinarily non-user-friendly, and the only reason I can think of that they get away with it is the lack of competition.


Image

If only...

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jackassjim
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby jackassjim » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:34 pm

Wes Henricksen wrote:
jackassjim wrote:How much time did allocate to your law-review work?


Good question, and an important one. You should, if at all possible, clear your schedule for the period of time of the competition. At many schools, this is the first week or two of summer vacation (right after Spring finals). That would mean trying to put off starting the summer job a week or two so you can concentrate on the competition. Even though you may not want to every waking hour working on the competition during that time, it is very helpful to not have to worry about job or school responsibilities during that time.

Of course, this also means you should avoid traveling during the compeition.

All this said, I know poeple who traveled and/or worked during the entire write-on competition and still made law review. But the more time you put into the competition, the better you're bound to perform.


Thanks for the answer. And once you're in? What kind of time commitment is it?

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:39 pm

WhisperingWinston wrote:What's your advice for case note competitions? My school's competition is about a day and a half and requires writing a case note with a multiple choice BB exam (only weighted at 5%).


I think the majority of write-on competitions require students to write casenotes. In order to write a successful casenote, you must go beyond the majority's or the dissent's reasoning. That is, it is not sufficient to base the central thesis of your casenote on saying that the majority got it right because of the reasons they articulated, or that that majority got it wrong for the reasons the dissent articulated. You must find your own angle at supporting why the majority got it wrong or right.

Here's some sample theses:

- The majority got it wrong because they misapplied or misconstrued precedent
- The result was right, but the majority did not state the reasons for its decision, which were X, Y, and Z
- The result was wrong because the court misread the the statute's legislative history

You get the picture.

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:39 pm

Ipsa Dixit wrote:
Wes Henricksen wrote:For that matter, I can't for the life of me figure out why someone does not come up with a superior citation manual to the Bluebook. I find the Bluebook as a whole extraordinarily non-user-friendly, and the only reason I can think of that they get away with it is the lack of competition.


Image

If only...


LOL... that's great!

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:58 pm

jackassjim wrote:
Wes Henricksen wrote:
jackassjim wrote:How much time did allocate to your law-review work?


Good question, and an important one. You should, if at all possible, clear your schedule for the period of time of the competition. At many schools, this is the first week or two of summer vacation (right after Spring finals). That would mean trying to put off starting the summer job a week or two so you can concentrate on the competition. Even though you may not want to every waking hour working on the competition during that time, it is very helpful to not have to worry about job or school responsibilities during that time.

Of course, this also means you should avoid traveling during the compeition.

All this said, I know poeple who traveled and/or worked during the entire write-on competition and still made law review. But the more time you put into the competition, the better you're bound to perform.


Thanks for the answer. And once you're in? What kind of time commitment is it?


Well, the short answer is that law review tends to be a HUGE time commitment, and can easily suck time away from your classes, your other extracurricular activities, and your life. But it all really depends on how much time you want to put into it.

Most of the time, first year law reviewers (i.e., the 2Ls) are required to do a lot of cite checking and editing of other peoples' legal articles, and writing of their own law review note or comment. That takes up a lot of time. But the second year on law review offers more options. Those who want to commit themselves to the law review can become executive editors and members of the executive committee. Those who prefer lower-responsibility positions can choose to be a thesis editor or something along those lines.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby TTT-LS » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:13 am

,
Last edited by TTT-LS on Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

slashtom
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby slashtom » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:58 am

TTT-LS wrote:
jackassjim wrote:And once you're in? What kind of time commitment is it?

Not to hijack, but being a 2L on law review myself, I found that the time commitment was heaviest in the fall, and then through the first few months of 2nd semester 2L year. Time commitment really varied during these months depending on what was due in the short run. Sometimes, the commitment was well north of 25 hours a week, other times, it was near zero. Once spring rolls around, things *can* slow down if you want them to (e.g. if you don't run for a board position). At least at NU, our "associate editors" (aka the people not on the board) still have things to do their 2L spring/3L year, but the commitment is probably closer to 10 hours per week than 20.


Thank you, that's really helpful.

Also, thank you to the op for taking time as well, everyone must be so busy.

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ggocat
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby ggocat » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:23 am

jackassjim wrote:And once you're in? What kind of time commitment is it?

<--- blatant hijacker

It will really depend on the school. Every school does things a little differently. Some have you working 10-20 HPW throughout the semester while others have you working 30-40+ HPW every two or three weeks (or for several weeks in a row and then several weeks off). And even then, there is no sure bet. By luck of the draw I had a significant assignment that required me to edit 40+ HPW for six weeks in a row during 2L fall semester. But I received no more assignments after that one.

And as Wes suggests, it will also depend on the amount of time you want to put into it. If your editorial board members are elected or selected with input from the prior year's editorial board, you will probably have a better shot if you work hard as a 2L. "Working hard" means checking your style manual or the Bluebook every time you are unsure about whether something is grammatically correct or cited properly--and not giving up if it takes you longer than a minute to find the answer.

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ggocat
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby ggocat » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:28 am

From the law review's perspective, what do you think is the ideal selection method for candidates? That is, which selection method do you think is most likely to snag people who are willing to toil for hours with a style manual and the Bluebook? Grades, write-on, combination, etc.?

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Wahoo1L
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wahoo1L » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:33 am

Do people ever get kicked off law review for being awful at cite checking?

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:45 am

ggocat wrote:From the law review's perspective, what do you think is the ideal selection method for candidates? That is, which selection method do you think is most likely to snag people who are willing to toil for hours with a style manual and the Bluebook? Grades, write-on, combination, etc.?


"Ideal" method? I don't have the answer to that. I think my law school has a pretty good selection method -- they choose most members through a combination of 1L grades and write-on competition scores. But they also select a significant number through pure "grade-on" and pure "write-on". That way, members are selected through different methods and a more representative cross-section of the 1L class has a shot.

Since I don't think there is any single "ideal" method, I'd have to say a combination of methods (such as at my law school) is preferable. I think it is just statistically inevitable that some students will want to put in the hard work and others won't. I know that this doesn't exactly answer your question, but it's the best I can do.




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