How crucial is journal membership?

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sigil
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How crucial is journal membership?

Postby sigil » Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:03 am

Quick question regarding journals. How significant of an impact does journal membership (LR, secondary, etc.) have on employment prospects in Tier 1 regional law schools? Are journals basically considered "mandatory" to the extent that a lack of participation would raise eyebrows among potential employers regardless of the type of job?

Thanks in advance!

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hipcatdaddio
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Re: How crucial is journal membership?

Postby hipcatdaddio » Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:34 pm

Disclaimer: what I'm about to say is purely anecdotal.

I can't speak to public interest, but I can speak to my experience with firms. Coming from a strong tier 1 regional school myself, the firms I interviewed with (mid-size regional firms all the way to mid-size markets of V20) expected to see a journal of some kind. They prefer law review, but if you're able to get published on a secondary journal, it provided plenty of interview material in my personal experience.

That being said, I do know of people who are at primarily litigation firms that chose to do moot court/mock trial instead of a journal, and it clearly didn't hinder them. However, I know these people are pretty much litigation or bust. So, unless you're completely committed to litigation and can't do both a journal and moot court because of school policy, I'd say it's worth it.

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kalvano
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Re: How crucial is journal membership?

Postby kalvano » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:46 pm

It varies by firm. Why wouldn't you want to do everything you can to maximize your prospects, though?

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bsktbll28082
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Re: How crucial is journal membership?

Postby bsktbll28082 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:20 am

Based on personal experience...

Depends what you want to do. As hipcat said, firms will most likely expect it. Public interest jobs care less and will like pro bono or practical clinic work. I've heard 'Law Review or bust' and that secondary journals are not worth it unless you really want to get into the material for personal edification. Litigation-focused kids do boards instead. You also have to consider your time commitments.

I noticed at my school, the kids on Law Review were the top of the class kids (naturally). So they already were looking into BigLaw jobs and participation was expected.

JGMotorsport
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Re: How crucial is journal membership?

Postby JGMotorsport » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:49 am

Join one, if you don't make LR join another reputable one, I.e. old with lots published articles.

Many schools required you to write a substantive paper to graduate, why not try to get it published at the same time? This semester I've done 5 cite checks, and while tedious they never take more than an hour or so.

In short, it's a resume line item, a way to get published for writing a paper you already have to, and it's a good way to learn about citations and grammar.

Fantasyfreak294
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Re: How crucial is journal membership?

Postby Fantasyfreak294 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:35 pm

hipcatdaddio wrote:Disclaimer: what I'm about to say is purely anecdotal.

I can't speak to public interest, but I can speak to my experience with firms. Coming from a strong tier 1 regional school myself, the firms I interviewed with (mid-size regional firms all the way to mid-size markets of V20) expected to see a journal of some kind. They prefer law review, but if you're able to get published on a secondary journal, it provided plenty of interview material in my personal experience.

That being said, I do know of people who are at primarily litigation firms that chose to do moot court/mock trial instead of a journal, and it clearly didn't hinder them. However, I know these people are pretty much litigation or bust. So, unless you're completely committed to litigation and can't do both a journal and moot court because of school policy, I'd say it's worth it.


Are article topics/areas important, or is it being published, period?

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hipcatdaddio
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Re: How crucial is journal membership?

Postby hipcatdaddio » Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:22 pm

Fantasyfreak294 wrote:
hipcatdaddio wrote:Disclaimer: what I'm about to say is purely anecdotal.

I can't speak to public interest, but I can speak to my experience with firms. Coming from a strong tier 1 regional school myself, the firms I interviewed with (mid-size regional firms all the way to mid-size markets of V20) expected to see a journal of some kind. They prefer law review, but if you're able to get published on a secondary journal, it provided plenty of interview material in my personal experience.

That being said, I do know of people who are at primarily litigation firms that chose to do moot court/mock trial instead of a journal, and it clearly didn't hinder them. However, I know these people are pretty much litigation or bust. So, unless you're completely committed to litigation and can't do both a journal and moot court because of school policy, I'd say it's worth it.


Are article topics/areas important, or is it being published, period?


In my experience, if you're published about a topic that's relevant to that firm, it's definitely going to work in your favor during the interview process. However, if you aren't published in an area they care much about, it won't be detrimental to your prospects with that firm. They'll still be mostly satisfied that you got published and put that time and effort forth that is required to see a piece through to publication. I wrote about a very narrow field of financial services law, but a topic that many people found interesting who don't practice that kind of law, so my article was good interview material even for litigation firms.

The worst case scenario if you publish on a subject matter that isn't relevant to that firm is if they ask you "Is *insert field you publish on here* what you really want to do long-term?"

You can answer that in a couple ways. You can either say that you found the topic interesting and wanted to dive deeper, never realizing it would spiral into a published piece (i found that this one works well); or you can say that you thought at one time you wanted to do that kind of law, but now after having it be at the forefront of your life the past 6-9 months, you've realized that it's just not for you. Hope this helps.

DJ2k15
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Re: How crucial is journal membership?

Postby DJ2k15 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:08 pm

I am at a strong regional school and I have a few observations.

If you have very good grades, then a journal membership will not make or break you. If your grades won't make you stand out in a pool of applicants, then a journal will definitely be beneficial. If a firm has dozens of applications from people with similar grades and similar work experience, then the next thing that they will look for when deciding on who to bring in for an interview is journal/moot court. It is essentially a proxy system. Firms will look at applicants first by the school you attend, then by your grades, and then by journal/moot court/work experience. I think journal membership is far more important when attending a regional school than at a T14.

And some forms "strongly prefer" journal or moot court membership so again, if you don't have spectacular grades, then your application will not be seriously looked at.

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zot1
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Re: How crucial is journal membership?

Postby zot1 » Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:11 pm

For federal government, most agencies require either moot court or law review. I would definitely look at that on your resume. However, I would let a lack of both go if something else is significant enough to overcome that.

Fantasyfreak294
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 2:37 pm

Re: How crucial is journal membership?

Postby Fantasyfreak294 » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:55 pm

hipcatdaddio wrote:
Fantasyfreak294 wrote:
hipcatdaddio wrote:Disclaimer: what I'm about to say is purely anecdotal.

I can't speak to public interest, but I can speak to my experience with firms. Coming from a strong tier 1 regional school myself, the firms I interviewed with (mid-size regional firms all the way to mid-size markets of V20) expected to see a journal of some kind. They prefer law review, but if you're able to get published on a secondary journal, it provided plenty of interview material in my personal experience.

That being said, I do know of people who are at primarily litigation firms that chose to do moot court/mock trial instead of a journal, and it clearly didn't hinder them. However, I know these people are pretty much litigation or bust. So, unless you're completely committed to litigation and can't do both a journal and moot court because of school policy, I'd say it's worth it.


Are article topics/areas important, or is it being published, period?


In my experience, if you're published about a topic that's relevant to that firm, it's definitely going to work in your favor during the interview process. However, if you aren't published in an area they care much about, it won't be detrimental to your prospects with that firm. They'll still be mostly satisfied that you got published and put that time and effort forth that is required to see a piece through to publication. I wrote about a very narrow field of financial services law, but a topic that many people found interesting who don't practice that kind of law, so my article was good interview material even for litigation firms.

The worst case scenario if you publish on a subject matter that isn't relevant to that firm is if they ask you "Is *insert field you publish on here* what you really want to do long-term?"

You can answer that in a couple ways. You can either say that you found the topic interesting and wanted to dive deeper, never realizing it would spiral into a published piece (i found that this one works well); or you can say that you thought at one time you wanted to do that kind of law, but now after having it be at the forefront of your life the past 6-9 months, you've realized that it's just not for you. Hope this helps.


It does; thanks!




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