Law School Discussion

Is law review really worth it?

U2

Re: Is law review really worth it?
« Reply #40 on: July 20, 2006, 10:12:44 PM »

Nah. I think I might throw up if I was in Gey's class. He's waaaaay too liberal for me. I'm waiting until Spring and will take Stern for Con Law II. From what I've heard, Gey doesn't even bother to hide what his Political affiliation is. I took Stern for Con Law I, and after a whole semester I have no idea if he's a Republican, Democrat or Martian. Which is a good thing.


So you go to Florida State, Budlaw?

Re: Is law review really worth it?
« Reply #41 on: July 21, 2006, 04:08:03 AM »
It's definitely worth it ... I mean, it's complete bull, but it's bull that's valued by employers ... just like law is valued by the society

tacojohn

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Re: Is law review really worth it?
« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2006, 06:37:58 PM »
I'm a different, but related situation now.  I was totally uninterested in law review, and it really does not help me with my chosen ideal career.  I was so uninterested in it that I refused to do the writing competition.  I had zero motivation to put that much effort into an assignment that had such little effect on me right now.  Then I somehow graded on.

My scholarship requires me to do research with a professor on a topic of mutual interest.  I'm fairly confident that will not present a huge time management issue, as I'm fairly certain that most of the professors I would work with would cut me some slack if I was on law review.  I think it will be significantly less of an issue than trying to do both journal and law review, and I wouldn't necessarily be killing myself doing both.  In fact, there could be a lot of benefits to doing both, especially if I'm allowed to get a little help on my note.

Anyway, I'm fully aware of the short-term costs (long hours, tedious assignments, more time with the Bluebook than is healthy), and the long-term benefits (countless doors opened, prestige for life, oppertunities that simply are not otherwise obtainable).  What I want to know is, what are the short-term benefits and the long-term costs?  Basically, aside from looking good on a resume, what benefits do you get out of law review?  What skills do you learn?  Maybe it's because I'm fresh out of undergrad, but doing something because it "looks good on a resume" has such a negative connotation.  To me that means the job has no redeaming qualities and the people that do it really don't care what happens to the organization.  And how does law review hinder you, if it all?  Earlier someone mentioned that smaller firms might sort of yield-protect you, and assume you're not seriously interested.

Re: Is law review really worth it?
« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2006, 07:25:28 PM »
short term benefits- there are none! Long term costs- there are none!

In terms of what you learn, you learn to do academic writing- completely different than exam or LRW writing. You also learn to put in a huge amount of work on tedious things (techchecking) that come in handy professionally (especially at appellate clerkships - where you essentially techcheck the judge's opinions and big firms- where tedious work will be you life for a couple years). I see those as long term things though- they probably won't hugely help you in the next year or two of law school.

Long term costs- I can't see how there are any unless you completely burn out because of the workload or something... I don't think employers will really consider you overqualified because of LR or that doing academic writing will really screw with how you write a motion or an exam answer...

Re: Is law review really worth it?
« Reply #44 on: July 25, 2006, 12:51:39 AM »
To add to what jippyjappa has said, short-term and long-term benefits also include the expanded network. If you are looking at top jobs/firms during OCI, chances are there is someone on your law review who worked for them.

Re: Is law review really worth it?
« Reply #45 on: January 24, 2011, 07:39:20 PM »
Check out this Article written directly on the question: http://ezinearticles.com/?Is-Law-Review-Worth-It?&id=5738309

It might help some. 

Re: Is law review really worth it?
« Reply #46 on: January 24, 2011, 11:29:22 PM »
I think you're missing the point about writing a note.

But first, if someone didn't want to be on law review because that person didn't want to do the work, who would hire that person?

As for the note - the note is not the reason that law review or law journals are so unrewarding.  It's the the citation and review of other articles, written by professors who you will never meet, that's tedious and uninspiring.  But the note is your own.  It's the best thing you can get out of a law review/journal, and one of the rewarding things you can do in law school.

Law review as the couth way to say you were at the top of your class?  That's probably true.  You can aim for a cum laude - you can put that on your bio forever, although I suppose it would not be couth to drop in conversation.


Quite right.  This is an old question, but a perennial one. 

Here's an undiplomatic perspective from the other side: 

If we're in an interview room and I see "law review" on your resume, I'm not impressed.  Or, more correctly, I'm not impressed just 'cause you're on law review . . . so was I, and just about every other partner (and associate).  Big deal. 

What will impress us about "law review" is what it represents:  Law review represents both achievement and validation.  It's achievement because it means that you understood what professors needed to see, and you were disciplined enough not to get trapped and side-tracked as most first-year law students do.  That's impressive.  It's validation because law review is law work.  It's tedious, nit-picky, and interesting--for just the right people.

So, if law review is just "too much work," consider very seriously what it is you want.

Thane.

bigs5068

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Re: Is law review really worth it?
« Reply #47 on: January 24, 2011, 11:45:57 PM »
@ Thane.

Do you think it would be better to get work experience instead of choosing law review? If two people interviewed and one person had done a lot of substantive legal work during school and had solid grades. While the other was on law review, but obtained little work experience during school, which would be more impressive? I don't know the answer, but I was just wondering what your thoughts were?

Re: Is law review really worth it?
« Reply #48 on: January 25, 2011, 01:13:34 AM »
Do you think it would be better to get work experience instead of choosing law review? If two people interviewed and one person had done a lot of substantive legal work during school and had solid grades. While the other was on law review, but obtained little work experience during school, which would be more impressive? I don't know the answer, but I was just wondering what your thoughts were?


Bigs -

A fair question.  The answer, like it or not, is . . . law review.  Why?  Because legal employers know that law graduates must be trained. 

Wouldn't that favor experience over a credential such as law review?  It should, but in general no.  Top firms will generally only respect other top firms' training.  Top firms' standards are, of course, top 10/law review, for the reasons mentioned above.  As might be apparent, having law review is extremely helpful in lining up the summer clerkship that is in turn extremely helpful--if not a prerequisite--to lining up that biglaw job.

Mid- and smaller firms will be more receptive, but they too are focused on their own needs, and assume that the "real" training will begin with them.  They too are generally looking for top student/law review credentials.  For litigators, moot court or the like is a quasi-substitute for law review, but don't kill yourself with the zillion contests in law school  Focus on grades, law review, and staying a good person. (Seriously.)

This is why discussions about law review are generally such as to miss the point.  One ought darned well to push for law review, even if big law is not your destination.  (Psst . . . biglaw is the right destination for a tiny percentage of graduates willing to essentially put their lives on hold for those of their clients.  It's exciting, and of course it pays well, but it is consuming.)

That written, if one is not on law review, that is not the end of the world.   But . . . and here's the reverse of the question . . . everyone should seek employment.  (I assume your question was asking about legal or quasi-legal employment.)  At any level it is invaluable, and it will provide both practical help and emotional balance--not to mention a financial boost.  For those struggling, which is many, a job (part-time or even volunteer) will provide exposure and contacts, and possibly enough to move up.  Give it your all, and impress not with brilliance but with integrity, thoroughness, and dedication.  (Partners are brilliant too.)

Does this help?

Thane.

PS:  For the record, I have long argued that law review should be mandatory for all law students.


bigs5068

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Re: Is law review really worth it?
« Reply #49 on: January 25, 2011, 01:30:01 PM »
That makes sense. Honestly, I do not fully understand how law review works. I know I missed being automatically put on by 1%  :'(, but that is how it goes. I know it is good, but in reality I don't actually know what it does. Do you essentially choose a topic on anything you want and write on it? That is what I understand it to be and that would probably be good training. I just was not actually sure what it entailed. Probably a stupid question, but I truthfully don't know.