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Author Topic: So...tell me about law review vs. a secondary journal.  (Read 968 times)

Stacie

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So...tell me about law review vs. a secondary journal.
« on: August 13, 2006, 09:23:27 PM »
I've wondered this...I've been told that being on law review is one of the best things one can do for their future career/employability. I get that.

But what happens if, say, you write the competition and are offered a spot on both law review and a secondary journal, and that secondary journal is in a niche field in which you intend to specialize.

(No, not me -- I'm an incoming 1L and have no idea whether I'll make a journal or law review or anything else.)

Which, in your opinion, is better: the niche journal or the law review? I've heard mixed reviews on this -- one rising 2L I know in passing turned down the secondary journal because "nobody turns down law review," but some 1Ls I've talked to are all about idealism -- following their interests rather than prestige.

Thoughts?
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unlvcrjchick

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Re: So...tell me about law review vs. a secondary journal.
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2006, 11:37:31 PM »
I would say that it boils down to preference, but ultimately, Law Review is undoubtedly the best choice.  However, if you are absolutely positive that you do not want to work in Big Law (and trust me, not many people are sure what the hell they want while they're in law school), then maybe a specialty journal would be the ideal choice. 

I only chose to do Law Review because I am not sure whether I want to do Big Law, but I'm leaning towards not doing it.  But if I should change my mind later on down the road, I would be kicking myself for giving up the opportunity to be on Law Review.  Yes, one should never do something soley for the prestige factor, but if you're doing it to make yourself more marketable in the job market, then it's nothing but a good thing.  Just my two cents.

dft

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Re: So...tell me about law review vs. a secondary journal.
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2006, 11:53:05 PM »
However, if you are absolutely positive that you do not want to work in Big Law (and trust me, not many people are sure what the hell they want while they're in law school), then maybe a specialty journal would be the ideal choice. 

I only chose to do Law Review because I am not sure whether I want to do Big Law, but I'm leaning towards not doing it.

Big law firms are not the only employers who place high importance on Law Review membership. All other things being equal, almost all (if not all) legal employers are more likely to extend an offer to a member of Law Review than to a member of a secondary journal. This includes judges, as Law Review is nearly a prerequisite for a prestigious judicial clerkship.

unlvcrjchick

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Re: So...tell me about law review vs. a secondary journal.
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2006, 11:58:49 PM »
Well yes, judicial clerkships and careers in academia practically require LR membership. That being said, Big Law firms are the ones that primarily employ LR members.

noizy

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Re: So...tell me about law review vs. a secondary journal.
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2006, 12:37:06 AM »
This is a no-brainer.  If you're invited to join Law Review you simply must do it.  There's no good reason to turn them down.  Employers get tons of applications and they have limited information to use in distinguishing candidates.  Probably no other distinction in law school apart from Order of the Coif is as important as LR.

Something else to keep in mind is that except at the very top schools, most secondary journals are just the product of journal inflation and not well regarded in legal scholarship.  Honestly, I hate to put it this way, and plenty of people will disagree, but if you're not at a top 30 or so school, joining a journal OTHER than LR is almost not worth it because--at least from my perspective--it counts for so little in the job search.  You'd almost be better off passing up a secondary journal invite and focusing on improving your grades.  On balance being on a secondary journal is probably better than not being on one at all, but not by much.  If you do get on a secondary journal, work hard on your Note and get it published.

Stacie

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Re: So...tell me about law review vs. a secondary journal.
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2006, 10:06:33 AM »
I have zero interest in BigLaw (and BigLaw just about anywhere other than my hometown would be out of reach -- I'm an older student with family and not a lot of geographic mobility, which affected the schools I could attend and will affect where I can go after) but a clerkship may or may not be in my future (my school does place a fair number of clerks around my area).

I do find it interesting that a specialty journal counts for so little (at least according to some). I'd probably accept a secondary journal invite if it was directly related to my field of study (because I'd find the subject matter interesting -- and I quit a 7-year job as an editor to attend law school so I've got at least some related background) (and yes I say this now before I have any idea of exactly what I've gotten into with class and all that) but I can't imagine I'd even apply for, say, something in sports law or patents.
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