Why Students Should Join a Law Review

Participating in law reviews can be an integral component of legal education for students, regardless of whether they ever actually submit notes or articles for publication. Participating gives you experience writing and editing rigorous legal scholarship while deepening understanding about crucial legal topics. Depending on your law school, participation can either lead to academic credit or be completely extracurricular.

Many are aware of the prestige associated with joining a law review and that its membership looks great on a resume. While law reviews can increase chances of employment at major firms, their real value lies in honing scholarly writing and research skills that will benefit any legal writer regardless of field. Furthermore, conducting intensive research for an article or note submitted to one teaches important lessons on legal citations that will assist any writer regardless of profession or field of practice.

Law reviews have long been a mainstay of US legal academia. While critics may claim they no longer matter, many of the most prominent law reviews remain highly esteemed and influential – their past members include many legal superstars as well as articles cited by judges to shape legislation.

Law reviews serve a fundamental function by publishing scholarly works that explore current and emerging legal issues, providing legal academics and students an avenue for discussion and debate on important legal matters. Their editors tend to be students (though some journals offer faculty advisers). Their editorial staff is usually charged with selecting pieces for publication, managing editorial processes efficiently, and supporting authors when writing notes or comments for publication.

Law reviews offer legal scholarship both print and online publications. This gives both budding academics and veteran legal practitioners the chance to quickly publish their views on current debates quickly and efficiently.

To be accepted onto a law review, one must compete through its write-on competition. Usually this requires taking an exam after your 1L year and/or submitting an article or note for review by rising 3L students who comprise its board. Submissions may then be graded.

After graduating as a 2L, you may want to continue your work on the journal by applying for either a staff or member editor position on its journal. These positions typically entail checking text and citations of legal scholarship by 2Ls under direction from an experienced editor (usually 3L). Or you could apply for an externship that allows you to continue fulfilling law review duties while working in your chosen field of work.

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