Help Prepare for the Write On Competition

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Laserguy213

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Help Prepare for the Write On Competition

Post by Laserguy213 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:26 pm

Hi all,

Starting to think about the law review writing competition. I am at a T14 where 40% of the score is the bluebook portion and am looking for what sort of tricks I should be looking out for. I can imagine that there are some vets lurking around here that can shed some light on where the trickiest stuff might be for the bluebooking.

Any help is much appreciated.

Cheers.

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cavalier1138

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Re: Help Prepare for the Write On Competition

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:37 pm

1. Every school's law review has radically different approaches to write-on.

2. Every school's bluebooking competition is set by a new batch of editors, who will have their own personal ideas of how to create incorrect citations for you to fix.

3. Focus on finals. You should not be thinking about write-on at all until you're done with the semester.

So with all that in mind, no one is going to be able to give you helpful tips for a competition that changes all the time and that is primarily based on your ability to carefully check citations against a book, not memorize all the rules.

Laserguy213

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Re: Help Prepare for the Write On Competition

Post by Laserguy213 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:39 pm

I respectfully disagree, and considering that finals go up until the day before write-on, there is not really any other time to start doing this type of low-cost preparation. Another thread noted, for instance,

"For the subcite, read it very carefully. The errors introduced are very sneaky. Look at the portion of the Bluebook you will be responsible for prior to the competition if possible (at HLS, we’re responsible for only a small portion). Common and tricky errors are replacing “l” (L)with “1,” (ONE) having a journal that has the year number for the volume and the year number parenthetical (if the year is the volume number, omit the parenthetical date), pincites that are one page off, wrong journals (“Cal. L. Rev.” versus “Calif. L. Rev.”; I believe the latter is correct), a word a font size or half size larger than neighboring font, a random italicized letter in a non-italicized word, misspelled difficult words (certiorari), and misspellings of words that are cut off from one line to the next. Also look for bigger structural mistakes (sentences in wrong order or paragraphs in wrong place) since those are usually worth more point. Keep a very tight eye on things."

Those types of tips are very helpful, and any others in a similar vein would be nice to know about as well.

Thanks.

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cavalier1138

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Re: Help Prepare for the Write On Competition

Post by cavalier1138 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:09 pm

You can respectfully disagree all you want, but as someone who had to grade bluebooking entries at not-Harvard, I can tell you that only one of the errors listed in the quoted paragraph would have been present in our competition. See Point 1, supra.

Bluebooking isn't something you "prepare" for. You've been practicing it all year in your LRW class, and you either know how to use the bluebook by now, or you don't. There isn't some kind of hack for this process. You don't need to prepare for write-on now or ever; you just do it.

If spending time on this has any effect on your finals performance, then it was wasted time.

MountainMama

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Re: Help Prepare for the Write On Competition

Post by MountainMama » Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:19 pm

Check out Lexis's "Interactive Citation Workstation." I thought the exercises were helpful for learning some of the esoteric rules that aren't necessarily invoked in an LRW memo.

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Pneumonia

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Re: Help Prepare for the Write On Competition

Post by Pneumonia » Fri Apr 09, 2021 5:05 pm

Euguene Volokh's book on Academic Legal Writing has a section about the write-on (he did UCLA's write on anonymously as a prof). It is extremely credited; I wish I had known about it as a 1L.

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Prudent_Jurist

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Re: Help Prepare for the Write On Competition

Post by Prudent_Jurist » Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:27 pm

I wrote on to journal, and there's really no preparing beforehand. It can be helpful to look over the bluebook TOC as well as the different tables in the back a day or two before. At my school, our mandatory journal meeting covered various best tips for making sure you're familiar with the bluebook, which can help the exam go smoothly. But I know plenty of people who phoned it in without any prep and wrote on fine.

+1 to the Lexis stuff if you're inclined, but wait until after finals. If you're going to review the bluebook, do it in the day or two (maybe three if you want) leading up to the exam so the layout is fresh in your mind coming into the exam.

Other than that, there's not really much to say in terms of prep. Sure, you can psychoanalyze the heck out of the process and try to craft nuanced strategies to combat the exam, but I wouldn't subscribe tuppence to that; it's mere puffery. And you'll likely forget all the little tips and tricks when you're frantically flipping through the bluebook during the exam.

Laserguy213

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Re: Help Prepare for the Write On Competition

Post by Laserguy213 » Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:55 pm

MountainMama wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:19 pm
Check out Lexis's "Interactive Citation Workstation." I thought the exercises were helpful for learning some of the esoteric rules that aren't necessarily invoked in an LRW memo.
Agreed. Been going through one or two of these a week and they are super clutch. And Volokh's book is great @otherposter.

Thanks for the replies.

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