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Author Topic: law review write on competition  (Read 8772 times)

1LMan

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Re: law review write on competition
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2008, 10:48:37 PM »
LoL.  It's more just to annoy idiots at this point.  Glad to see it's working ;).

jacy85

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Re: law review write on competition
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2008, 11:42:21 PM »
There's a book by Eugene Volokh called Academic Legal Writing that I've heard is great.

http://www.amazon.com/Academic-Legal-Writing-Articles-University/dp/158778792X

mutual_biscuit

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Re: law review write on competition
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2008, 01:11:13 AM »
Quote
Everybody on this board knows that you have a big law job lined up. . . . [N]obody cares and nobody thinks more highly of you because you do.

I do care 2L, but unfortunately I think less of you because of it.

Peaches

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Re: law review write on competition
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2008, 08:59:46 AM »
You need to be in tip-top physical and mental shape for the write-on competition.  I recommend eating a hearty breakfast, jumping jacks, and puzzles.

GA-fan

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Re: law review write on competition
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2008, 04:35:54 PM »
Here's my comments on how to do well on the writing competition (I am on my school's law review, fwiw, but have no other credibility on the topic--just my opinion here):
1) FOLLOW THE RULES. seems like common sense, but be sure you hit the page limits, put the page numbers in the right place, use the correct font, etc. follow the rules down to the letter. this is typically one of the columns on the grading form.
2) read all of the materials before beginning to write. this may seem like a lot of work, but many people selectively read sources and may miss key pieces to the argument in hopes of getting done faster.
3) outline your essay: two or three times, using different arguments each time. leave them alone for a day, then reread and pick the best one to write out.
4) write simply. don't use big words simply because you can. use short, simple sentences when possible. be grammatically flawless. try reading your paper out loud to see if any of your sentences are so long that you have to take a breath in the middle of reading them. if you do, try to cut them in half (it's a good indicator that your reader will lose track of the point of the sentence before he's done reading the end of it). finally, use a book like "Legal Writing by Design" to pinpoint verbose phrases such as "whether or not" -> whether, "the fact that"->that, etc.
5) give yourself enough time to edit at least twice and proofread the hard copy at least once before submitting (just these three edits will probably take you a full day).

don't stress out too much over it. yes, it's a big deal, but life will go on either way. law review is a lot of work, so if you burn out and don't finish the competition (or aren't selected), don't feel like you're missing too much :)

edit: one thought on the bluebook exam, while I'm at it. If you have a week between the end of finals and beginning of the competition, read the main rule for each section of the bluebook and tab the following sections: 1) typefaces for law reviews, 2) order of authorities, 3) case abbreviations (appendix), 4) abbreviations of periodicals. Understand the rule of 5.
And the real key: look up every single citation if time permits. never "eyeball" it. Our bluebook exam only tested the rules which, while tricky, could be found in the bluebook (once you're on LR, you'll be disappointed to learn that there are still lots of areas where the bluebook hasn't yet created a rule--they probably won't put these sorts of issues on the exam). Also, check the actual text for errors as well as the footnotes (the bluebook covers capitalization (they love to incorrectly capitalize the C in court), ellipses, etc).
I think I'm done now  :D

jacy85

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Re: law review write on competition
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2008, 04:44:38 PM »
Here's my comments on how to do well on the writing competition (I am on my school's law review, fwiw, but have no other credibility on the topic--just my opinion here):
1) FOLLOW THE RULES. seems like common sense, but be sure you hit the page limits, put the page numbers in the right place, use the correct font, etc. follow the rules down to the letter. this is typically one of the columns on the grading form.
2) read all of the materials before beginning to write. this may seem like a lot of work, but many people selectively read sources and may miss key pieces to the argument in hopes of getting done faster.
3) outline your essay: two or three times, using different arguments each time. leave them alone for a day, then reread and pick the best one to write out.
4) write simply. don't use big words simply because you can. use short, simple sentences when possible. be grammatically flawless. try reading your paper out loud to see if any of your sentences are so long that you have to take a breath in the middle of reading them. if you do, try to cut them in half (it's a good indicator that your reader will lose track of the point of the sentence before he's done reading the end of it). finally, use a book like "Legal Writing by Design" to pinpoint verbose phrases such as "whether or not" -> whether, "the fact that"->that, etc.
5) give yourself enough time to edit at least twice and proofread the hard copy at least once before submitting (just these three edits will probably take you a full day).

don't stress out too much over it. yes, it's a big deal, but life will go on either way. law review is a lot of work, so if you burn out and don't finish the competition (or aren't selected), don't feel like you're missing too much :)

As someone who had to grade far too many write on submissions last summer, I wish more people had followed even half of this advice.

tribelaw

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Re: law review write on competition
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2008, 05:05:07 PM »
thanks a lot raven!

I picked up Volokh's book, Jacy. Thanks. :)

kulrythm

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Re: law review write on competition
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2008, 06:33:48 PM »
I just finished reading the Volokh book's section on the law review competition.  I didn't really find it too insightful.  I guess I was expecting substantive tips, or maybe some examples or something.  Instead it's basically just a bunch of standard writing style suggestions.  For example, don't use legalese, write clear and concise sentences, stay on topic, cite your sources, give yourself enough time to edit a lot, etc.  I feel like most people do this sort of stuff already. For people who don't, a two paragraph explanation of why they should or should not probably won't have a huge impact.  Who doesn't know to use topic headings?  To be honest, I'm not very happy I paid $20 for this book, especially since Raven essentially just summarized the whole thing in 5 points.

Dr. Balsenschaft

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Re: law review write on competition
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2008, 07:47:11 PM »
I guess I was expecting substantive tips, or maybe some examples or something. 

Just pick up a law review and read a case note if you're looking for an example.

mgkoefod

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Re: law review write on competition
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2008, 08:09:22 PM »
tag