Great "How to Make Law Review" tips

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sawwaverunner
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Great "How to Make Law Review" tips

Postby sawwaverunner » Fri May 21, 2010 5:16 pm

Law review competitions are starting pretty soon for us (probably later than most), but I was interested if anyone has tips on how to excel. I'm interested in hearing from 2Ls/3Ls who took the test and made law review, as well as those who did not. Also, advice from informed 1L's and 0L's would be helpful.
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I have done some searches before and have found some great advice:

1. Use headings, topic sentences, and an introductory roadmap to organize your note. These make it much easier for the reader to quickly understand and follow your argument, even if it isn't a great argument. A well-organized average note will usually get a better score than a poorly organized brilliant note, since readers have neither the time nor the inclination to find hidden gems in entries (if your competition is anything like ours, each reader is responsible for scoring well over 30 notes).

2. Offer a clear, well-defined argument. If you can't state your thesis in one, max two sentences, then it is too elaborate.

3. Follow the Bluebook conventions in your casenote. Journal editors--the ones grading your submissions--know the BB cold and will see errors immediately. Common mistakes: using ALWD stuff, like underlining case names; using 2nd Cir. instead of 2d Cir.; failure to abbreviate case names in footnotes per the tables in the back of the BB; failure to italicize signals or use small caps for book citations/newspaper names in citations; screwing up when periods go inside parentheticals and when they don't; failure to end each citation with a period.

4. For the love, don't use all kinds of annoying lawyer-speak in an effort to sound scholarly. Terms like heretofore, inter alia, and post-modern are just unnecessary. Short, crisp sentences are the way to go
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This also appears to be the book people recommend.

http://www.law.ucla.edu/volokh/writing/

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Any advice from others?

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Great "How to Make Law Review" tips

Postby Mr. Matlock » Fri May 21, 2010 5:32 pm


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sawwaverunner
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Re: Great "How to Make Law Review" tips

Postby sawwaverunner » Fri May 21, 2010 5:43 pm

Excellent! Thank you! My search included just "Law Review" and it was limited to the title. This is what I was looking for.

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sayan
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Re: Great "How to Make Law Review" tips

Postby sayan » Fri May 21, 2010 7:50 pm

I don't think the linked thread is that good. It's basically pages of ranting with some shared sympathy thrown in. This thread has potential.

Great tips so far.

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Teoeo
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Re: Great "How to Make Law Review" tips

Postby Teoeo » Fri May 21, 2010 7:59 pm

tag

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Great "How to Make Law Review" tips

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri May 21, 2010 8:42 pm

Note: Many Law Review write-ons forbid referencing any material outside of the write-on closed packet--some specifically mention the Volokh book as an example of cheating. Just FYI. Not that us pesky editors will catch you or anything, but

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sawwaverunner
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Re: Great "How to Make Law Review" tips

Postby sawwaverunner » Fri May 21, 2010 8:56 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Note: Many Law Review write-ons forbid referencing any material outside of the write-on closed packet--some specifically mention the Volokh book as an example of cheating. Just FYI. Not that us pesky editors will catch you or anything, but

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You say you are an Editor?!? Any tips? I don't plan on reading that book anyhow, not a couple days before my write-on, it would probably just confuse me. Have you ever graded any law review exams?

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Great "How to Make Law Review" tips

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri May 21, 2010 9:01 pm

Eh, I'm just an editor on a secondary--but our competition is integrated with the Law Review's. I'll be one of three people for my secondary grading the write-ons. I can't really give any tips because my school's write-on is pending, so I might accidentally give someone an unfair advantage.

Just know...

we're watching you, TLS.

(not really)

The one tip I can give... don't freak out. You'll survive. Also, enjoy the Bluebooking portion, because it makes up the vast bulk of your work as a staffer;)

d34d9823
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Re: Great "How to Make Law Review" tips

Postby d34d9823 » Fri May 21, 2010 9:35 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:some specifically mention the Volokh book

I would think that would be the best way to ensure that everyone has a copy. C.f. Educational Degree 27 from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix




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