Top Tips For Making The Most Of Your Time On Law Review
If you are a member of your law school’s law review, congratulations! You have successfully entered an elite group that will provide you with exciting and unique opportunities. But don’t stop there. Being chosen for law review is just the first step in taking full advantage of all that law review membership has to offer. The key is making the most of your time on law review.
Top Tips For Making The Most Of Your Time On Law Review
Why is making the most of your time on law review important?
Many students view law review membership as a trophy to win or a hurdle to overcome. Once you have successfully made it through the write-on competition, the hard part is over; right? It is true that the process of writing on for law review can be challenging and time-consuming, not to mention quite competitive at some law schools. If you are considering writing-on for law review, check out this post of reasons to write-on to law review.
However, being a law review member who just gets by and one who goes the extra mile can mean the difference between a ho-hum reference from a faculty advisor and a glowing one. Additionally, making the most of your time on law review will likely gain you pivotal relationships that can positively impact your legal career. Further, the more you put into law review, the more you will get out of it. Because law review provides several unique law school experiences, making the most of your time on law review is worth your while.
Top Tips for Making the Most of Your Time on Law Review
1. Take every assignment seriously
As a first-year law review associate editor, you will have certain assignments to complete throughout the year as part of your participation on law review. Some of these can be tricky. Also, they frequently come at a time when you are swamped with other law school obligations. Often, these assignments are tedious. However, completing these assignments satisfactorily is important to receiving high grades. Even if your law review course is not graded, the editorial board will know how you are performing on your regular assignments. When the time comes to apply for the editorial board (see below), a strong history of excellent performance on regular assignments speaks volumes to an outgoing board that is tasked with choosing incoming board members. This tip is also helpful for winning a CALI award.
Another reason to take every law review assignment seriously is the learning value that every assignment has. No one starts law review knowing all the Bluebook or Chicago Manual of Style rules. No one leaves law review knowing all those rules, either. But putting your best effort into the assignments forces you to look up those rules. There is no better way to learn. Taking every assignment seriously is the first way to making the most of your time on law review.
2. Turn assignments in on time
This tip is related to the one above. Although it is great to put a lot of effort into an assignment, that greatness is marred if the assignment is late. Additionally, law reviews work on tight schedules. Anything that delays the process is detrimental to the law review as a whole. In contrast, actions that increase the efficiency and timeliness benefit the whole team. Your reputation among your peers, the editorial board, the faculty advisors, and the community will be improved by submitting assignments in a timely manner. Turning in assignments on time is another way of making the most of your time on law review
3. Volunteer for projects
Publishing a law review journal takes an enormous amount of work. Often, there is a lot more work to do than people to do it. That is where volunteering comes in. People who are overwhelmed by tasks are usually delighted when a capable person offers to help. Some law reviews send out requests for volunteers for specific projects. These projects range from proofreading, research, and contacting authors and judges to organizing community events and setting up chairs for the symposium. Some law reviews require their associates to complete a fixed number of volunteer hours. Be the associate who volunteers early and often. Not only will you complete your volunteer hours in plenty of time, you may be able to choose the more interesting projects before they have been snatched up. Additionally, taking on these extra tasks looks great on your editorial board application. Volunteering for projects is a great way of making the most of your time on law review.
4. Take advantage of law review resources
Law review members may have access to resources that non-law review law students don’t. For example, some law school libraries provide certain resources and law librarian availability for law review members Additionally, the law review faculty advisors spend dedicated time to law review members. Professors will often go out of their way to accommodate a student working on a law review project. Further, an entire support system exists for law review members who are writing their research paper. Also, first-year associates have the privilege of rubbing shoulders with the upperclassmen on the editorial board. These students have already been through the associate process and can provide a wealth of information. Lastly, law review members often get their own office or designed space in the school. This ends up being a great place for many to work from, store their books, or even spend their downtime. Often these law review offices come with desks, kitchens, and other amenities.
Taking advantage of law review resources is important to making the most of your time on law review.
5. Apply for the law review editorial board
Law review membership generally falls into two main categories: first-year associates and editorial board members. Although the experience of a first-year law review associate is exciting, participation on a law review editorial board represents a whole other dimension. This is where the real work happens. The editorial board makes the executive decisions for the law review. Editors of individual issues often have a great deal of autonomy and control over what happens in their particular issue. The topic of a law review issue has the potential to significantly impact the legal profession as a whole. Additionally, the editorial board communicates with the local judiciary and legal scholars from around the country. The benefits of participation on the law review editorial board are unparalleled among law school experiences. Applying for the law review editorial board is one of the best ways of making the most of your time on law review.
The opportunity to participate on your law school’s law review is an honor and a privilege. Make the most of it!
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