Former law review editor taking questions

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

 
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thisguy456
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby thisguy456 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:11 pm

Prodigy wrote:
CE2JD wrote:
blondie wrote:
CE2JD wrote:No.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why some people on TLS feel they have any right to be rude to working professionals who take time out of their schedules to offer us help and advice. :shock:


You're right that was rude of me. I should help him try to sell his book for answering questions.


Who cares if he benefits from answering questions - curious posters are still benefiting all the same as if he didn't have a book. As long as his motifs don't take away the validity of his answers, it really shouldn't matter.

Christ.


WTF, I already apologized once. You want me to do it again??



You didn't apologize.

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CE2JD
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby CE2JD » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:15 pm

thisguy456 wrote:You didn't apologize.


I PMed the OP begging for forgiveness.

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IAmTheSpoonMan
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby IAmTheSpoonMan » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:27 pm

Wes Henricksen wrote:
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.


Does U of Washington rank students and give out GPA numbers now?

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jcl2
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby jcl2 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:12 pm

IAmTheSpoonMan wrote:
Wes Henricksen wrote:
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.


Does U of Washington rank students and give out GPA numbers now?


According to their website, they rank in percentile bands top 5%, 10%, 20%, and 33%, but the rankings only occur after your second and third years. They also individually rank the top five students in each class; it is not clear if this occurs after the first year. They do have a published grading curve, so employers at OCI and other local firms probably estimate class rank based on applicants GPAs.

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:50 pm

jcl2 wrote:
IAmTheSpoonMan wrote:
Wes Henricksen wrote:
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.


Does U of Washington rank students and give out GPA numbers now?


According to their website, they rank in percentile bands top 5%, 10%, 20%, and 33%, but the rankings only occur after your second and third years. They also individually rank the top five students in each class; it is not clear if this occurs after the first year. They do have a published grading curve, so employers at OCI and other local firms probably estimate class rank based on applicants GPAs.


Thanks, jcl2. I also understand UW no does calculate students' official GPA and put it on their transcripts. I've gotta say, I loved having no rank and no GPA. It's too bad UW decided to go the "numbers" route. Hopefully the school keeps its non-competitive environment nonetheless.

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Wed Apr 08, 2009 5:53 pm

Jones, Dow wrote:what's the best 0L material to improve writing skills?


What do you mean by "material"? In my opinion, the best way to improve writing skills is to write as much as possible. Take classes that have a writing component, write for the college newspaper, volunteer for writing projects, etc. It's amazing how practice makes perfect when it comes to writing. That's my two cents.

If you have a more specific question, I'd be glad to address it too.

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Amira
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Amira » Thu Apr 09, 2009 9:40 am

Thanks for answering questions. My school's write-on competition allows us to choose between writing a case comment or a note on a legal topic. We have two weeks to write and the cases, articles, etc. we can use are in the packet--no outside research. What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing to write a case comment instead of a note on a legal topic? Can you point me to any examples of case comments so I can see how they are structured?

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Jones, Dow
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Jones, Dow » Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:39 am

Wes Henricksen wrote:
Jones, Dow wrote:what's the best 0L material to improve writing skills?


What do you mean by "material"? In my opinion, the best way to improve writing skills is to write as much as possible. Take classes that have a writing component, write for the college newspaper, volunteer for writing projects, etc. It's amazing how practice makes perfect when it comes to writing. That's my two cents.

If you have a more specific question, I'd be glad to address it too.


Thanks. By material I meant that I've seen books on legal writing by Bryan Garner and other stuff like that. IYO, is any of it worthwhile?

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:42 pm

Amira wrote:Thanks for answering questions. My school's write-on competition allows us to choose between writing a case comment or a note on a legal topic. We have two weeks to write and the cases, articles, etc. we can use are in the packet--no outside research. What are the advantages and disadvantages of choosing to write a case comment instead of a note on a legal topic? Can you point me to any examples of case comments so I can see how they are structured?


I hope you're ready for a long answer... Here it goes.

Casenotes

The majority of law review competitions require students to write a casenote (which your school calls a "case comment"). The purpose of this type of article is to provide a thoughtful and original evaluation of the court’s decision in a particular case—not to merely summarize it.

A successful casenote always goes beyond the court’s articulated reasons for its decision and beyond the dissent’s articulated reasons for disagreement. Accordingly, it is never sufficient to argue that the majority is correct for the reasons advanced by the court, nor is it sufficient to argue that the court got it wrong for the same reasons articulated by the dissent. A casenote must analyze the applicable law and come to an original conclusion about why the court got it right or got it wrong.

The following are some examples of the types of analyses that a successful casenote can yield:
♦ The result was wrong; the court misused or misconstrued precedent.
♦ The result was right, but the court did not state the reasons for its decision, which are X, Y, and Z.
♦ The result was wrong; the court creates an exception to a constitutional provision that could swallow the rule.
♦ The result was right, but the court proposed no clear standard for guidance in the future; a workable standard would be X.
♦ The result was wrong; the court misread the statute’s legislative history.

A casenote (aka, case comment) should contain four parts: introduction, background, analysis, and conclusion. The introduction should describe the case and its holding briefly, and should present the writer’s thesis. It is also important to provide a roadmap in the introduction—e.g., “Part I describes X; Part II analyzes Y; and Part III concludes Z.” The background should include a summary of the facts of the case, its procedural history, and the court’s reasoning, as well as that of the concurring and dissenting opinions.

The analysis section of the casenote occupies the vast majority of the paper, and contains the substance of the writer’s claim—i.e., why the court got it right or wrong and, perhaps, what the correct outcome should be. The conclusion is a short summary of the analysis, and occasionally can be used to address issues that are raised by the writer’s claim.

Comments

Occasionally, write-on competitions require students to draft a comment (which your school calls a "note"), which analyzes an area of the law, as opposed to focusing on a single case. But there are many distinct types of comments out there, and it is important that you have knowledge of each of them just in case you are asked to write a specific type of comment in the competition. Another reason you should be aware of the different comments out there is that you may choose to write a particular type of comment based on the argument you formulate.

Here are some of the types of comments (aka, "notes" at your school):

First, there is the “case cruncher”—the “typical” article. This type of article analyzes case law in an area that is confused, in conflict, or in transition. Doctrine is antiquated or incoherent and needs to be reshaped. Often the author resolves the conflict or problem by reference to policy, offering a solution that best advances goals of equity, efficiency, and so forth. Next, there is the law reform article. Pieces in this vein argue that a legal rule or institution is not just incoherent, but bad—has evil consequences, is inequitable or unfair. The writer shows how to change the rule to avoid these problems. There is also the legislative note, in which the author analyzes proposed or recently enacted legislation, often section by section, offering comments, criticisms, and sometimes suggestions for improvement. Another type of article is the interdisciplinary article. The author of an interdisciplinary article shows how insights from another field, such as psychology, economics, or sociology, can enable the law to deal better with some recurring problem.

There are additional types of comments (notes), but you get the basic idea. It is a much more open-ended type of paper.

Of course, if your write-on competition asks you to write a specific type of comment, you must write precisely that type. You must follow the competition instructions scrupulously.

Like casenotes (aka, "case comments"), comments (aka, "notes") consist of four basic parts; an introduction, a background section, the analysis section, and a short conclusion. These sections are identical to those of a casenote, except that the comment deals with an area of the law rather than critiquing the outcome of a particular case.

I hope this information is helpful. I cannot tell you which type of article would be better for you to write. You'll have to figure that out on your own. Good luck!

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:45 pm

Jones, Dow wrote:
Wes Henricksen wrote:
Jones, Dow wrote:what's the best 0L material to improve writing skills?


What do you mean by "material"? In my opinion, the best way to improve writing skills is to write as much as possible. Take classes that have a writing component, write for the college newspaper, volunteer for writing projects, etc. It's amazing how practice makes perfect when it comes to writing. That's my two cents.

If you have a more specific question, I'd be glad to address it too.


Thanks. By material I meant that I've seen books on legal writing by Bryan Garner and other stuff like that. IYO, is any of it worthwhile?


I never read any legal writing books in law school, so I cannot recommend any. The main one that I am aware of is "Academic Legal Writing" by Eugene Volokh. I don't know if it is any good, though, since I've never read it.

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Amira
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Amira » Thu Apr 09, 2009 5:24 pm

Thanks, that was very helpful info.

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:13 pm

The write-on competition is very soon for most law students. I'm happy to take any more questions any of you may have.

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JuryDueT1000
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby JuryDueT1000 » Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:18 pm

I said no because my grades will be so kick ass I won't need to compete in the writing competition.

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:42 pm

JuryDueT1000 wrote:I said no because my grades will be so kick ass I won't need to compete in the writing competition.


Well said, JuryDueT1000! And congratulations to you!

At many law schools, however, everyone must participate in the writing competition even if they plan to "grade-on" to the law review. Case in point, my alma mater: University of Washington School of Law.

phillyphan
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby phillyphan » Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:48 pm

In terms of time commitment, is it possible to serve on the executive board 3L year and be involved in something like a clinic?

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Tue Apr 21, 2009 4:25 pm

phillyphan wrote:In terms of time commitment, is it possible to serve on the executive board 3L year and be involved in something like a clinic?


There's really no way I can respond to this question with a "yes" or "no" answer. The time commitment of serving on the executive board of law review is significant --- probably 20 hours per week minimum. I don't see any reason why you could not also be involved in a clinic 3L year. But it all depends on your other commitments (other classes, non-academic commitments, etc.). Many law review members find that their performance in their classes 3L year is negatively impacted by their having to spend so much time on law review matters. That does not mean that they cannot take classes (they have to!), it just means that they may not be able to put the time and effort into them that they otherwise might have.

I hope this helps. If you have a more specific question, feel free to ask me.

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Wes Henricksen
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby Wes Henricksen » Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:41 pm

Also, here's a post I wrote earlier discussing the time commitment:

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.

monkey34
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby monkey34 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:33 pm

if i get onto law review, but then transfer.. is it beneficial at all to state that I got on law review at my previous institution on my resume?

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bwv812
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby bwv812 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 7:30 pm

monkey34 wrote:if i get onto law review, but then transfer.. is it beneficial at all to state that I got on law review at my previous institution on my resume?

Umm.... do you think? Of course it's good.
You just list it under your 1L school: "xxxx Law Review, invited," or something along those lines (Career Services at your new school can tell you).

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TTT-LS
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby TTT-LS » Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:00 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

edmoser
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby edmoser » Wed Apr 22, 2009 10:21 pm

TTT-LS wrote:
bwv812 wrote:
monkey34 wrote:if i get onto law review, but then transfer.. is it beneficial at all to state that I got on law review at my previous institution on my resume?

Umm.... do you think? Of course it's good.
You just list it under your 1L school: "xxxx Law Review, invited," or something along those lines (Career Services at your new school can tell you).

Credited.


Of course it's good, but I don't think that's what he was asking. Getting into Yale would be good too, but if you turned it down for a full scholarship to go somewhere else then you'd like like an ass putting 'Yale, accepted' on your resume under your current school. Apples and oranges, I know, but you don't have to act like he's an idiot for asking the question.

Regardless, I agree with you that it probably would be acceptable to put something like this on your resume. You won't be getting the actual benefits that employers look for from law review experience, but if you write on then it shows that you at least performed well in that competition. If you finish in the top 10% and your LR has grade-on, then I'd suggest just leaving it off since it'll be obvious that you could have graded on if you stayed.

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TTT-LS
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby TTT-LS » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:07 pm

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Last edited by TTT-LS on Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

patentlaw
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby patentlaw » Wed Apr 22, 2009 11:16 pm

bwv812 wrote:
monkey34 wrote:if i get onto law review, but then transfer.. is it beneficial at all to state that I got on law review at my previous institution on my resume?

Umm.... do you think? Of course it's good.
You just list it under your 1L school: "xxxx Law Review, invited," or something along those lines (Career Services at your new school can tell you).


I'm going to disagree on this. I've seen this on resumes and it just seems like reaching by the student. I know that you're a transfer, and I assume your grades were good (my baseline assumption is that most schools have grade-on spots although mine did not). It makes me think negatively of the applicant, like they're trying to take the credit for something that they didn't do the actual work for. I realize they're just saying "invited", but that's my take on it.

I don't care what you were invited for, and I personally do kind of see it as a Yale situation.

Edit: I'm not saying it's unacceptable, just that when I've seen it, it lessens my opinion.

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bwv812
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby bwv812 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:25 am

patentlaw wrote:
bwv812 wrote:
monkey34 wrote:if i get onto law review, but then transfer.. is it beneficial at all to state that I got on law review at my previous institution on my resume?

Umm.... do you think? Of course it's good.
You just list it under your 1L school: "xxxx Law Review, invited," or something along those lines (Career Services at your new school can tell you).


I'm going to disagree on this. I've seen this on resumes and it just seems like reaching by the student. I know that you're a transfer, and I assume your grades were good (my baseline assumption is that most schools have grade-on spots although mine did not). It makes me think negatively of the applicant, like they're trying to take the credit for something that they didn't do the actual work for. I realize they're just saying "invited", but that's my take on it.

I don't care what you were invited for, and I personally do kind of see it as a Yale situation.

Edit: I'm not saying it's unacceptable, just that when I've seen it, it lessens my opinion.


Our Career Services recommends including it, and I know that many other schools do, too. I don't think this is really comparable to Yale or anything because it's not something you've decided not to do; it's something it's not possible to do (if a non-transfer indicated an invitation was extended, but declined, that would be another story). Perhaps you'll write-on at your new school, but the competition happens after OCI, there are fewer slots available (if any), and the invitation usually reflects your writing ability. I think the baseline expectation at better schools (and those who interview there) is that pure grade-on is not possible, though I do wonder how many schools have pure grade-on slots, and if they tell invited students how they qualified; this uncertainty is another reason to include the info, because it's unlikely the person reviewing your resume will know how you qualified for law review, or how that law review extends invitations.

felicity00
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Re: Former law review editor taking questions

Postby felicity00 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:46 am

in a joint write-on, do you think people tend to invariably put the law review as their first choice? during out meeting with current editors they never said law review is the best and the secondary jorunals do sound more interesting. I wouldnt have known that law review is better than the rest if I did not frequent this board.

It seems that they take 10 more law review members each year in anticipation of some of them tranferring out ....




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