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Author Topic: moot court/ law review  (Read 1697 times)

sdnomal

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moot court/ law review
« on: April 17, 2006, 02:21:45 PM »
i always hear about highly ranked students being on moot court and law review. Are these things you HAVE to do to be successful??

I doubt i would want to do anything that would take away most of my time for studying..just seems like more law related stuff to do..

nate

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Re: moot court/ law review
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2006, 02:39:17 PM »
i think you could rank the importance of three law school factors in this order:
1. high class rank
2. law review
3. moot court

so you don't HAVE to do either of those things to do well.

good grades are by far the most important thing in law school. however, if you're outside the top 15% or so of the class, being on law review is in some ways the equivalent of ranking that high. of course because most law reviews emphasize grades so much, law review members tend to be those that are in the top 15%. but your actual writing ability will usually play at least some role in the selection process, and most schools select at least a few candidates solely on their writing ability. those who are fortunate enough to make it based solely on their writing benefit greatly because, wherever they happen to fall in the rankings, being on LR gives them opportunities often open only to the top of the class.

moot court, at least at my school, has nothing to do with grades. there is usually a first year competition where almost every 1L competes, where students are weeded out in multiple rounds until they have a small group to add to the moot court board. it is good for your resume and does lead to some good job opportunities, but other than that is quite inferior to a high ranking or law review membership.

if it's study time you're most worried about, i probably wouldn't be. if you get on law review, i can't think of a reason that you shouldn't do it. it wouldn't require time until the second year, when grades aren't so important (especially if you're attending a higher ranked school). with moot court, at my school, the competition lasts only three days, for an hour or two each day (assuming you make it to the second round). after that, if you make the board, you are only required to compete in one more moot court competition in your second or third year in order to satisfy membership requirements. quite a few people simply sit on the board for resume purposes and don't get involved.
GW

PI4LYFE

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Re: moot court/ law review
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2006, 11:29:00 AM »
i think you could rank the importance of three law school factors in this order:
1. high class rank
2. law review
3. moot court

so you don't HAVE to do either of those things to do well.

good grades are by far the most important thing in law school. however, if you're outside the top 15% or so of the class, being on law review is in some ways the equivalent of ranking that high. of course because most law reviews emphasize grades so much, law review members tend to be those that are in the top 15%. but your actual writing ability will usually play at least some role in the selection process, and most schools select at least a few candidates solely on their writing ability. those who are fortunate enough to make it based solely on their writing benefit greatly because, wherever they happen to fall in the rankings, being on LR gives them opportunities often open only to the top of the class.

moot court, at least at my school, has nothing to do with grades. there is usually a first year competition where almost every 1L competes, where students are weeded out in multiple rounds until they have a small group to add to the moot court board. it is good for your resume and does lead to some good job opportunities, but other than that is quite inferior to a high ranking or law review membership.

if it's study time you're most worried about, i probably wouldn't be. if you get on law review, i can't think of a reason that you shouldn't do it. it wouldn't require time until the second year, when grades aren't so important (especially if you're attending a higher ranked school). with moot court, at my school, the competition lasts only three days, for an hour or two each day (assuming you make it to the second round). after that, if you make the board, you are only required to compete in one more moot court competition in your second or third year in order to satisfy membership requirements. quite a few people simply sit on the board for resume purposes and don't get involved.

I agree.  However, what if you're dead set on becoming a litigator?  Would moot court trump any of the other two (albeit, maybe not a high rank)?

dmitrik4

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Re: moot court/ law review
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2006, 12:13:38 PM »
it certainly can't hurt anyone, litigator or not.  one thing that moot court does is force you to further develop the only real "skills" you learn in law school:  writing and speaking.  regardless of practice area, a lawyer needs to be able to communicate, whether to a judge, jury, partner, or client.  good communicaiton skills, and in particular good writing, will take you a long way.  writing, unlike most doctrinal law, is something you need to learn in school if you're ever going to learn it.  when you graduate, you're not necessarily expected to be an expert on say, the Uniform Commercial Code, but you will be expected to be a good writer.

law review deals mainly w/ scholarly or academic writing, and is valuable in its own way (particularly with developing and reinforcing research skills)...moot court competitions are about legal reasoning, forming an argument, and communicating that argument effectively.  every lawyer does that, litigator or not.

violaterra

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Re: moot court/ law review
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2006, 07:11:13 PM »
tag
DePaul Fall 06 1L

racheles05

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Re: moot court/ law review
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2006, 08:58:16 PM »
All you really have to do is look at job postings on Findlaw, in a newspaper or elsewhere. Job postings usually say law review or moot court preferred. I know some people who do both and manage to get good 2L grades, but that's all they do. They don't participate in any other student activities for the most part because there's no time. I'm not sure if one activity is any better or more prestigious than the other, but I'm sure having both is impressive to the prospective employer. It demonstrates a high level of versatility.

tacojohn

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Re: moot court/ law review
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2006, 10:02:24 AM »
What I've heard (no experience with this yet) is that many legal jobs expect you to do one or the other.  I don't know exactly why that is.  I think it's because an employer wants to see that you're not sort of "taking a break" after 2L because 1L was so hard, but that's just speculation.

Budlaw

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Re: moot court/ law review
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2006, 02:09:54 PM »
Generally what you say is true. However, Moot Court doesn't necessarily translate into top 10-15%. Basically because Moot Court has a lot to do with Legal Writing. You can do well on your appellate brief, but still stink it up in all your other classes, while at the same time being a good advocate.

That being said, Moot Court still looks great on your resume, but if you're around the median of your class, you're still going to have a hard time gettin a great job.

Basically all Moot Court and Law Review do is add extras to your resume. If you're in the top 10 to 20 percent of your class, you're still going to get a great job. (as long as you're not a total idiot during your interview...which some people are)

They're good things to have, but as long as you have good grades you're still going to be fine in the end, whether or not you were on law review or on moot court.

I admit that I don't know anything much about anything much, but I read yesterday in a comparison of law schools geared toward hiring partners that due to differences in grading curve and rank of schools it can be tough to compare candidates from different schools, especially if the school doesn't release the relative rank of the students.  Moot court and law review show that the student can outperform his or her classmates and is likely one of the top 10%-15% performers.  This is true of grade on or write on or performance trials.

LostMyMonkeys

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Re: moot court/ law review
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2006, 12:46:06 AM »
At my school, they can't emphasize law review and moot court enough. Even one of my professors who is also a moot court advisor, mentioned something about the team that they were doing remarkably well internationally, that their grades must suck. But whatever. Its basically the gospel here that if you dont have LR or MC attached to your name, you are going to have a hard time...
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