Law review is very relevant during fall recruiting. If you are considering government with public interest work, then I think its worth doing. I actually think its worth doing, even if you aren't looking at fall recruiting type jobs. Anything you do as a lawyer is going to require you to have good research and writing skills. That is what law review develops. A lot of public interest jobs are very competitive. Law review is a great way to set yourself out from the rest of your class. For this reason, I wouldn't view volunteering as a comprable substitute for law review. Anyone can work for free, but as you pointed out, only 45 people get on law review. Also, law review gives you something to talk about in interviews. You will be able to discuss your note or comment with interviewers, and they often ask about it if they see law review on your resume. (Notes and Comments are the articles that students write when on law review or journal). Volunteering would also give you something to talk about, but only if the volunteer work is really meaningful and worth doing. You can never be sure what you will do, or if you will have any work product that you can show interviewers until you get there. Law review is much more of a sure thing, in terms of giving you substance to talk about in an interview.In terms of volunteering, you might be able to do both law review and volunteer. See if your school has internships for credit. Then you would earn credits for working, and reduce your class load. I did this last semester, with law review and it worked out.
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