Law School Discussion

Is Law Review Truly Worth It?


Is Law Review Truly Worth It?
« on: June 08, 2008, 05:07:07 PM »
I'm very interested in international law (public). The law review in my law school, however, only focuses on the opinions coming out of the State supreme court. With all due respect to the court, I frankly don't really care about the opinions or the issues they tackle. I really can't see myself writing an entire note on it. I can, however, write an entire encyclopedia on international law.  :)

Rather than go through this whole process for law review, should I instead focus on writing a note for an international law journal outside my law school? (unfortunately, my law school doesn't have one). Wouldn't this make more sense? Are employers really going to hold this against me?


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Re: Is Law Review Truly Worth It?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2008, 05:39:46 PM »
I'd say LR is worth it, and even if you get published, employers may still hold it against you if you don't have LR.  Yes, getting published will definitely help, and it's great to have on your resume.  But you'll have a MUCH harder time getting your foot in the door without Law Review filling up a line on your resume (since employers may look for that, along with your GPA/rank first).

And seriously?  Only state court opinions?  That's a pretty sh*tty law revew, IMO.  That really sucks, and I can understand your reluctance and lack of interest.  But assuming you're coming from a lower tiered school (assumption based on the ridiculousness of your flagship journal's emphasis), you really will need any distinction you can to push you ahead, and LR is an invaluable one.

Re: Is Law Review Truly Worth It?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2008, 06:40:16 PM »
Did you do well enough to transfer to a school with either a secondary journal focusing on international law or a solid int'l law program?

Re: Is Law Review Truly Worth It?
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2008, 12:37:19 AM »
"truly worth it"?

To me being a member of law review wasn't that big of a deal. It was 1) a small commitment every other week doing some citechecking, which wasn't fun but helped me learn the bluebook, and 2) writing a comment on a subject of my choosing (that satisfied my paper requirement).

In interviews, employers seem to like law review membership more than they like my membership in the table tennis club.

You can always write a separate comment and submit it to other journals for publication, whether or not you are a member of your school's law review. If you have a few hours each week you don't mind sacrificing, I'd say go for it. That goes for the table tennis club as well.  ;)

Re: Is Law Review Truly Worth It?
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2008, 04:45:10 AM »
I agree with most of what Jacy said. You should do law review and try not to feel to bad about it.

If your grades are high, you could try to transfer to another law school, but you'd have to move quickly.

Frankly, even students at top ten law schools face long odds for jobs in "public international law", and coming from a lower ranked school your chances are basically nonexistent.

Re: Is Law Review Truly Worth It?
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2008, 05:19:19 AM »
I have not looked into this enough to be positive, but the process of writing a piece and submitting it to other law reviews trying to get it published can be a difficult road from what I hear.  I have to assume that you being a member of your law review might play some small part in getting other law reviews to pay attention to what you submit to them.  If nothing else, this might come from the idea of reciprocity, that if they publish your piece you may, in your duties on the law review, show more favor to submission from people at their school.  Just an idea.

Overall, I would say the bottom line is that it cannot hurt, and why not do whatever you can in these few years to improve the resume and provide yourself with the most options for the future?

Re: Is Law Review Truly Worth It?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2008, 04:37:27 PM »
If you have an opportunity to become a member of your school's law review, you should take it. As others have stated, it is very difficult to get a student piece published with a journal at a school that you don't attend--particularly if you are a student from a lower-ranked law school. Particularly if your interest is in a very narrow field like international public law.

Law review is an excellent credential and an educational experience. With very few exceptions, I truly think that all students who can try for journal membership should do so.