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Author Topic: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?  (Read 1084 times)

TheBlake

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Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« on: June 29, 2007, 05:52:08 PM »
What do you have to do? How much time does it take? Can you finish it over a long weekend or does it take much more time. It seems like if it was too much work not that many people would actually do it. At my T3 school, the top 14% make Law Review, while the next 11% (top 14-25%) make the secondary journal. What percentage of the class do you really thinks participates in the competition?

nbf

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Re: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2007, 01:07:04 AM »
My school lets the top 15 students in the class "grade-on", but they still make us do the 'competition' (we will make it regardless but they still want us to make a good-faith effort)!

It consists of an editing exercise and writing a casenote, within a 1 week time frame (the week before school starts).

Even though the winner gets his/her note published, I'm definitely disinclined to do little more than the bare minimum on my note.

jacy85

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Re: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2007, 08:26:44 AM »

Even though the winner gets his/her note published, I'm definitely disinclined to do little more than the bare minimum on my note.

The winner gets the note they wrote in 1 week published?  That doesn't sound right at all.  All the casenotes I graded for law review were crap, even the good ones.  Writing something to be published is an endeavor that doesn't get completed in one week.

challandler

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Re: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2007, 08:45:21 AM »

Even though the winner gets his/her note published, I'm definitely disinclined to do little more than the bare minimum on my note.

The winner gets the note they wrote in 1 week published?  That doesn't sound right at all.  All the casenotes I graded for law review were crap, even the good ones.  Writing something to be published is an endeavor that doesn't get completed in one week.

Maybe he meant: (a) the person with the best writing competition entry is guaranteed to get his/her eventual note published (as long as it is publishable quality), or (b) the person with the best writing competition will get his/her submission "published" in next year's packet as an example of a quality entry? 

I agree that no respectable review should want to publish anything written by students over the course of a week.  Moreover, few law students would want their first piece of published legal writing to be something they based on a pre-selected topic with sources that were given to them. 

At my school, you have to write a 20-page mini Note.  You get 11 days.  No one grades on, but grades are considered as part of the application.  To do well, it probably takes 8 hours per day for 7-8 of those 11 days. 

wakaranai

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Re: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2007, 08:52:41 AM »
From what I understand, it varies dramatically by school. I know my school tries to make it as easy as possible for people to complete it because there are enough spots on journals for almost half the class. We get 5 weeks to do a 12-page note. Other schools may have a bluebook test, a longer note, or no note at all. Whether you can finish it over a long weekend probably depends on how long they give you to do it and how much reading you get. Some schools give more than 400 pages of reading and it may take them a solid week of work to finish their note. I can't really say how long it took me to do my note because I worked on it a little bit each day over the course of 3 weeks.

I haven't heard of any school that publishes a write-on piece either.

Alamo79

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Re: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2007, 08:56:34 AM »
At my school, about 15% of students make it.  Of this 15%, 20% make it based on write-on performance alone; the other 80% get on through a combination of 2/3 grades and 1/3 write-on performance.

The competition itself lasts two weeks, and is 5-pages of text plus 10 pages of footnotes.  I spent about 6-8 hours a day during the first week, then 2-3 hours a day during the second (after I started my job).  We'll see if it was enough.

It does vary dramatically by school, and usually the larger your school, the harder it is to make law review.

challandler

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Re: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2007, 09:21:59 AM »
Some schools give more than 400 pages of reading

Harvard gives you 1700 pages and 7 days. JSIA.

TheBlake

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Re: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2007, 11:23:07 AM »
How do you people know how to write a note? Wing it? Look at some books first?

tacojohn

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Re: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2007, 01:08:50 PM »
Prof. Volokh's book, Academic Legal Writing, is the most popular guide to this.  You can also look through your law school's review and see what types of student notes get published.  The team that publishes those student notes typically designs the competition material, so you get an idea of what type of student writing is "publishable."

My advice for someone who really, really wants to do well:
1.  Start by reading student notes published by your school's journals in the last couple years.
2.  Read Volokh's book, especially the chapter on the law review competition.
3.  Read the bluebook, tab it up, learn to love it.
4.  Read the packet carefully.  The ability to follow the rules exactly is one of things being tested, and the easiest way to lose valuable points that might get you on the review is to start breaking rules.
5.  Start early.  Many schools have it due before people start working, so treat it like a job.
6.  Don't work too hard.  Kind of counterintuitive, but it's a tough, long slog to do this, and it's right after finals.  So make sure you don't burn yourself out working for two days straight and then don't have the energy to edit it and clean it up enough, or start cutting corners and violate rules.

jacy85

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Re: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2007, 12:02:39 PM »
Prof. Volokh's book, Academic Legal Writing, is the most popular guide to this.  You can also look through your law school's review and see what types of student notes get published.  The team that publishes those student notes typically designs the competition material, so you get an idea of what type of student writing is "publishable."

My advice for someone who really, really wants to do well:
1.  Start by reading student notes published by your school's journals in the last couple years.
2.  Read Volokh's book, especially the chapter on the law review competition.
3.  Read the bluebook, tab it up, learn to love it.
4.  Read the packet carefully.  The ability to follow the rules exactly is one of things being tested, and the easiest way to lose valuable points that might get you on the review is to start breaking rules.
5.  Start early.  Many schools have it due before people start working, so treat it like a job.
6.  Don't work too hard.  Kind of counterintuitive, but it's a tough, long slog to do this, and it's right after finals.  So make sure you don't burn yourself out working for two days straight and then don't have the energy to edit it and clean it up enough, or start cutting corners and violate rules.

Ditto on all this.  One other thing I'll add, and it's sad that it has to be said, but make sure you write clearly.  When I was grading, if I had to read something more than twice (or sometimes more than once, depending on how frustrated I was with the paper), I'd skip over it and not give any points.  My job is to grade what you wrote, and if I can't understand half of it, I'm not going to bother looking for points that you failed to make clearly.