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.