First, as to the journals with the least work, avoid Law Review obviously. As to the others, I think the info session at the end of 1L year provided basic details as to the office hours expectations and things like that so you should have some of the info available. Journal of Law and Liberty is pretty well known to require very little work and provide the greatest flexibility. I do not know first hand about the others, I believe Legislation and Public Policy has some decently strict hours and Environmental Law Journal is pretty relaxed, but beyond that I do not think there's huge variation.
nyuwithbadgrades wrote:rising 2L here - thanks for taking the time to answer our questions!
1. my bluebooking is absolutely horrible, and presumably my 10 bluebooking questions will be filled with errors. i will try to make up for this by putting an honest effort into the comment and writing a targeted personal statement, plus not ranking LR or annual survey at all and instead only ranking 3 secondary journals 1-2-3. is there a chance I will not get a single journal due to my horrendous bluebooking? i'm trying to avoid the scenario where i do all this work and then end up not getting a single journal...
2. as my ID indicates, i have bad grades. do you have any anecdotal evidence of those with sub 3.2s getting biglaw offers? if so, any tips?
3. any general tips on selecting courses if my ultimate goal is to take the courses that require the least amount of effort to get a mediocre grade?
1. There is very very little chance you will not end up with a journal. Again, if you complete all the parts of the application, and express an interest in your personal statement to the journals you rank highly (2 or 3rd) you really shouldn't be worried. Bluebooking is important, but they know that 1Ls need to learn it and don't already just know it; overall, bluebooking is a rather minor component of most journals recruiting analysis. I think most journals put a great deal of weight on the personal statement, resume, and where you rank them in your selections. Grades matter a little, but not much beyond LR.
2. I do know of a couple people with sub-3.3 grades (I don't know the specific #'s) who got big law jobs. It took them a bit, and you'll have to do searching beyond EIW via mass mailing and networking, but it definitely can be done. Use the Office of Career Services, they are very useful (in my opinion) and they will give you far better tips than I can. Just be prepared to be doing a bit more legwork than your colleagues with better grades and don't get too down if you don't land something at EIW since that is just the start of the job hunt, not the end. Finally, practice interviewing until you are very confident. Some people are naturally good at it, others aren't, and unfortunately with low grades you will need to be someone who is very personable/memorable; again, OCS will help you a great deal with this if you ask for practice interviews/further help.
3. This question is phrased a bit odd. Least amount of effort to get a "mediocre" grade? I'd have to say Seminars/Colloquiuims. As they are not bound to the grading curve, they are simultaneously more generous with people who do the bare minimum and more strict on giving out As to people who do well but not outstanding, so they may be good courses if you're just seeking a B+. Be forewarned that some seminars/colloquiums require a fair amount of reading/written submissions, but they don't generally have finals. As to other more standard courses that are easy to do well in, that's tougher, the grade distributions given by professors/classes are listed on nyu law's site somewhere, so you can look that up. What I can say is to avoid Federal Courts, and avoid classes with very highly rated professors (Friedman, Yoshino) as the gunners self-select into those classes.