Former law review editor taking questions

(Study Tips, Dealing With Stress, Maintaining a Social Life, Financial Aid, Internships, Bar Exam, Careers in Law . . . )

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

 
Total votes: 0

User avatar
cantaboot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:12 am

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby cantaboot » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:54 pm

I was a little relieved to hear that about half of my peers would give up. maybe the percentage will be smaller this year, as the people at the LR meeting emphasized how useful it is - but I suppose that they do that every year.

I still cannot believe it, though. people work so hard for the exams, but lack the perseverance to do the write-on.

User avatar
ggocat
Posts: 1663
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:51 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby ggocat » Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:56 pm

cantaboot wrote:I still cannot believe it, though. people work so hard for the exams, but lack the perseverance to do the write-on.

I think some people also do not realize how important law review can be for getting a particular job. (Of course, this is probably less important at a school like UVA).

User avatar
cantaboot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:12 am

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby cantaboot » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:04 pm

There is a high correlation % journal membership (not just LR) and getting what they call desirable jobs ... (though quite a no of 3L who are going to biglaw are not journal members!!)

Alexandria
Posts: 593
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:41 am

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:14 pm

I didn't do the competition for a few reasons... was about to leave the country for the whole summer and wanted to spend those last few days with my husband and dog (who ended up dying while I was gone), I wasn't interested in academia or a clerkship (at least not clerking right out of school), and I felt that the type of firm job I was looking for (secondary market, though it turns out I'm going to a major market after all) was so attainable coming from a T10 school with good grades that Law Review wouldn't a real boost. Also, there is a huge difference in time commitment between Law Review and other journals, and I kept hearing about how miserable everyone on Law Review was (I'm sure it's not that black and white). So I did a secondary one. I'm all about the life balance.

I have a friend with absolutely killer grades who didn't do any journal at all... just decided what you get from them wasn't worth it. And she has an appellate clerkship for next year. It's possible she could have gotten one with a more famous judge or something with Law Review, but she wouldn't have wanted that, due to a geographic constraint.

I guess my point is that, as with everything else, you do have to consider your personal situation. And not everyone is crazy for not trying for Law Review. :)

User avatar
cantaboot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:12 am

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby cantaboot » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:19 pm

I think at certain schools you don't need to do a write on to become a secondary journal member. our school has a joint competition. and no-journal will very likely become a liability....


Alexandria wrote:I didn't do the competition for a few reasons... was about to leave the country for the whole summer and wanted to spend those last few days with my husband and dog (who ended up dying while I was gone), I wasn't interested in academia or a clerkship (at least not clerking right out of school), and I felt that the type of firm job I was looking for (secondary market, though it turns out I'm going to a major market after all) was so attainable coming from a T10 school with good grades that Law Review wouldn't a real boost. Also, there is a huge difference in time commitment between Law Review and other journals, and I kept hearing about how miserable everyone on Law Review was (I'm sure it's not that black and white). So I did a secondary one. I'm all about the life balance.

I have a friend with absolutely killer grades who didn't do any journal at all... just decided what you get from them wasn't worth it. And she has an appellate clerkship for next year. It's possible she could have gotten one with a more famous judge or something with Law Review, but she wouldn't have wanted that, due to a geographic constraint.

I guess my point is that, as with everything else, you do have to consider your personal situation. And not everyone is crazy for not trying for Law Review. :)

Alexandria
Posts: 593
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:41 am

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Alexandria » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:21 pm

Yeah, at my school there's a competition for secondary journals, but it's nowhere near as time-consuming as the one for Law Review. A cite-checking exercise, a short essay or two, and hand in your final Legal Practice brief or something else as a writing sample.

User avatar
cantaboot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:12 am

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby cantaboot » Sun Apr 26, 2009 4:23 pm

wow, that would be great ....

User avatar
Wes Henricksen
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:18 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:45 pm

TTT-LS wrote:
Wes Henricksen wrote:A lot of students, at every school it seems, pick up the packet but don't turn it in. From talking with students, this seems to happen because many of them get frustrated with the submission paper they are writing and decide it's not worth turning it in since they won't be successful anyway. Of course, the way to avoid this happening is to plan ahead and not to procrastinate during the competition.

I think another thing that you can do to help avoid that kind of frustration is plan ahead for a few very basic argument frameworks. For instance, what would a federalism critique look like? How would you write a piece that argues from a law & econ perspective? What about a theme based on a need for Congress to break new statutory ground? I may be wrong about this, but my gut is that you can argue almost any significant legal issue from one of the three following perspectives: federalism, originalism, or textualism (whether you agree with those approaches or not).

You don't need to know what the writing competition topic is to think about these ideas. Rather, I think it helps to consider the very basic structure of how those sorts of approaches would work. Then, when you start the writing competition, if you can't come up with something else, just adopt one of your pre-fab argument frameworks and run with it.


You may also be able to find out what kind of article you will be required to write in the competition -- e.g., a casenote or a comment. Knowing this before hand will help you prepare by knowing the structure of the article you will be writing.

User avatar
cantaboot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:12 am

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby cantaboot » Sun Apr 26, 2009 11:54 pm

i heard that the works submitted could be really poor .... even in the best schools.

User avatar
chris0805
Posts: 657
Joined: Mon Oct 02, 2006 3:12 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby chris0805 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:52 am

I didn't do the writing competition because I didn't need to for my first choice secondary journal. Considering how overworked I was all year with my clinic, the number of non Law Reviewers I know who are getting the jobs/clerkships I would be happy with, and how much I actually enjoyed my journal experience, it was one of my best decisions in law school.

If I could go back in time and be offered a LR position, I would, without pause, turn it down. Also, though you're not really learning substantive law, I was exposed to a few things on my secondary journal that I otherwise would not have known been, and it's helped me develop my interests and knowledge on the subject. People on "subject" journals are also a great resource to build networks since they're more likely to be going into the same employment as you (assuming you're interested in subject specific employment).

User avatar
ggocat
Posts: 1663
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:51 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby ggocat » Mon Apr 27, 2009 10:20 am

cantaboot wrote:i heard that the works submitted could be really poor .... even in the best schools.

From what I hear, this is correct.

User avatar
cantaboot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:12 am

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby cantaboot » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:11 am

what can the school expect , anyway.... just a few days, for something that used to be spread out over a few weeks ....

User avatar
Wes Henricksen
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:18 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:22 am

ggocat wrote:
cantaboot wrote:i heard that the works submitted could be really poor .... even in the best schools.

From what I hear, this is correct.


This is absolutely true, at least in my experience and from what I have heard from others. When grading submission papers, I was astonished at the poor quality. A little planning and discipline can result in a much more polished submission paper, giving the applicant a much better shot at a high competition score. Most students are just too busy moving or starting their summer jobs or recovering from finals.

User avatar
ggocat
Posts: 1663
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 1:51 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby ggocat » Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:29 am

Wes Henricksen wrote:
ggocat wrote:
cantaboot wrote:i heard that the works submitted could be really poor .... even in the best schools.

From what I hear, this is correct.


This is absolutely true, at least in my experience and from what I have heard from others. When grading submission papers, I was astonished at the poor quality. A little planning and discipline can result in a much more polished submission paper, giving the applicant a much better shot at a high competition score. Most students are just too busy moving or starting their summer jobs or recovering from finals.

IIRC, you mentioned earlier that the competition was mandatory for admission to the law review at your school, correct?

I thought that low quality of submission papers at my school was due to the fact that no more than 5 people can write on, but I guess this is a universal phenomenon?

User avatar
Wes Henricksen
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:18 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:23 pm

ggocat wrote:IIRC, you mentioned earlier that the competition was mandatory for admission to the law review at your school, correct?

I thought that low quality of submission papers at my school was due to the fact that no more than 5 people can write on, but I guess this is a universal phenomenon?

I don't think it matters how many "write-on" spots there are. At most schools, LR members are chosen mostly through a combination of write-on scores and grades. If there were only five "write-on" spots at your school, then were other spots filled partly based on the write-on score, or were all the rest "grade-on" spots?

At my school, all but spots on the law review were filled with "write-on" or a combination of grades and write-on competition scores. So virtually every applicant's chances of getting on law review depended, at least partly, based on their competition scores. Nonetheless, the quality of the submissions was surprisingly poor.

User avatar
Wes Henricksen
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:18 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:33 pm

cantaboot wrote:what can the school expect , anyway.... just a few days, for something that used to be spread out over a few weeks ....


Some law schools still give students 2 weeks to complete the competition. But I've heard that others only give 3 days, which I think is insane. I agree that a few days is not enough time to complete a high quality submission paper.

legends159
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby legends159 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:38 pm

Is your book available in BN? I want to thumb through it to make sure it's worth the cover price.

User avatar
cantaboot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:12 am

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby cantaboot » Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:45 pm

in what ways are they poor? bad arguments? or poor grammar, spelling ....???

User avatar
mumbling2myself
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:23 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby mumbling2myself » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:03 pm

legends159 wrote:Is your book available in BN? I want to thumb through it to make sure it's worth the cover price.


Dealing with authors in a professional and polite manner is an integral skill for anyone participating in a journal. Perhaps you should hone it now.

legends159
Posts: 1090
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2007 4:12 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby legends159 » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:04 pm

mumbling2myself wrote:
legends159 wrote:Is your book available in BN? I want to thumb through it to make sure it's worth the cover price.


Dealing with authors in a professional and polite manner is an integral skill for anyone participating in a journal. Perhaps you should hone it now.


do tell me how my question was asked in an impolite abrasive manner.

User avatar
Wes Henricksen
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:18 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:05 pm

legends159 wrote:Is your book available in BN? I want to thumb through it to make sure it's worth the cover price.

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Making ... 1594605208 It's listed on BN.com, but does not seem to be available. It is available for free, however, to check out in just about every law school library. Since it's a quick read, you should be able to check it out, read it, and not have to worry about purchasing it.

User avatar
Wes Henricksen
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:18 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:33 pm

cantaboot wrote:in what ways are they poor? bad arguments? or poor grammar, spelling ....???


Grammar and spelling are usually not the problem. Instead, the "poor" quality of submission papers usually manifests itself in the structure, formatting, and overall feel of the paper. When you read through a submission paper, it is very evident how much time was spent on preparing it. You can tell when something was thrown together or when something was edited three or four times. Small formatting errors, like a paragraph not being indented or the page numbers not being placed where the instructions command that they be show that the applicant was rushed to finish up and did not do a thorough read through looking for any remaining errors. Applicants who finish up a bit early, do a final read-through, and polish up their paper really stand out because most applicants do not do these things.

User avatar
Wes Henricksen
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:18 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:54 pm

Alexandria wrote:Yeah, at my school there's a competition for secondary journals, but it's nowhere near as time-consuming as the one for Law Review. A cite-checking exercise, a short essay or two, and hand in your final Legal Practice brief or something else as a writing sample.


I think it's unfortunate that many schools break the competitions for law review and for secondary journals into two separate events. It is much easier (for applicants) if students can participate in one single consolidated competition to apply to each journal plus the law review (which is how we did it at my school).

User avatar
mumbling2myself
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:23 pm

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby mumbling2myself » Mon Apr 27, 2009 2:22 pm

legends159 wrote:
mumbling2myself wrote:
legends159 wrote:Is your book available in BN? I want to thumb through it to make sure it's worth the cover price.


Dealing with authors in a professional and polite manner is an integral skill for anyone participating in a journal. Perhaps you should hone it now.


do tell me how my question was asked in an impolite abrasive manner.


A few seconds of googling would have given you your answer. As a practicing atty, Wes's time is far, far more valuable than yours. Additionally, the cost of the book is only $13.50 (purchased directly from the publisher), so a suggestion that you need to "make sure it's worth the cover price" is a little insulting. My point wasn't that you shouldn't ask about the book's availability on B&N, merely that it would have accomplished exactly the same goal had you not insinuated that you didn't believe it to be a worthwhile purchase. I don't think you said anything terrible, by any stretch of the imagination, but you could have asked your question in a far more artful, professional manner. This is a skill you'll need for dealing with authors (and, beyond that, other people).

When Wes first started posting here, I assumed (due mostly to the avatar chosen) that he was doing so solely to shill a book as other posters have done in the past. He has not done so, and instead has offered excellent, insightful advice about a subject which is quite unclear to a lot of 1L's. Confirmed completely by his response to your request (check it out from the library), I'm pretty convinced that he thinks it's worth reading and that he's more likely than not correct.

User avatar
cantaboot
Posts: 204
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:12 am

Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby cantaboot » Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:02 pm

is the standard far poorer than that of the the memo assignments submitted to professors?? :oops:




Return to “Forum for Law School Students”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests