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Author Topic: Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?  (Read 5465 times)

lscnewbie

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Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?
« on: July 21, 2008, 08:48:43 PM »
If one is offered a place on a school's secondary law journal, is it worth the time and effort investment to accept? Does it make any real difference to an employer? I know Law Review is the golden apple, but alas it's not in my cards, and I'm not sure if another journal would be a worthwhile time investment.

Thanks

sternerstuff

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Re: Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2008, 09:19:39 PM »
I really think it is.  I competed for a spot on a secondary journal in an area I have 0 interest in and would Love the spot.  Its about "journal experience" research editing, being around developments in the law.  It shows employers you have writing skills, time management, etc etc, also I would imagine law firms like to see that when they hire you and put your name on the attorney profile page it say  Jouranal XYZ,  published note etc, lets other lawyers know the score.

I would say do it, try hard, hope you make it, and enjoy the experience of being on a student edited journal.
Just my 3 cents.

skeeball

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Re: Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 09:45:28 PM »
I was going to say yes, unless you have zero interest in the subject matter, because interviewers will always ask you about it and assume you have an interest in the area, and you'll take the spot of someone who actually IS interested in the field.

But some journal experience is better than no journal experience, and *looks good on the resume* trumps everything else in law school, so go for it.

Lucero

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Re: Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 11:41:51 PM »
Yeah, being on any journal does look good on your resume, and that was the determining factor for me back when I was a 1L as I'm sure it will be for most of you. I can't say whether or not it helped me get a job, but it certainly didn't hurt. However, you will not enjoy the experience in any way, shape, or form unless reading 10-15 pages of minutia on some obscure area of law to find a period out of place is your idea of a good time. For some reason law firms use journal membership as proxy for legal competence, but as far as marketable skills go, it doesn't have a whole lot to offer. Okay, so your legal citing will probably improve minimally. Conduct a personal cost-benefit analysis and decide whether pulling your hair out for a semester while writing a 100-page note at the same time as you go on call back interviews and, oh yea, class, is worth the line on your resume. I know I won't change anyone's mind, and its probably better that way, journal is another one of those law school "rite of passage" deals, but if it were me and I could do it over again I would have done moot court or mock trial. Just another perspective. Oh, and I was on Law Review.

wustl3l

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Re: Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2008, 01:37:18 AM »
I'd probably suggest to only do the secondary journal if I was actually interested in the subject. Journals are a pretty huge time suck and the minimal resume boost you get from it probably isn't worth it for that reason alone.

chydiva82

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Re: Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 02:24:48 AM »
If one is offered a place on a school's secondary law journal, is it worth the time and effort investment to accept? Does it make any real difference to an employer? I know Law Review is the golden apple, but alas it's not in my cards, and I'm not sure if another journal would be a worthwhile time investment.

Thanks

I'm in the same position. I was not able to grade on to the main law journal but was invited to join my school's secondary law journal (zero interest in the subject). I'm debating if it's worth the time investment. I would much rather participate in moot court as a way to enhance the resume. I'm involved in other activities and hold leadership positions but from what I hear being on a journal outweighs any other activities one is involved in.... Argh!

Imactuallya2Lnow

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Re: Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 06:16:15 AM »
I think it also depends on how good your school is.  At my T-20 schools a lot of the firms' hiring criteria say "law journal preferred" or "law journal required" but I have a few friends at tier-2 or even lower tier-one schools where the very same firms say "Law Review required."  So I think you get a benefit from a secondary journal at some schools that you don't at others. Just a hunch.

skeeball

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Re: Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 04:07:07 PM »
If it the choice was to either work part time at a law firm or join secondary journal in a subject you're not interested in, the firm work would probably be the better.

Law Review isn't the only thing out there that can enhance the resume.

Matthies

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Re: Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2008, 04:17:51 PM »
I'd probably suggest to only do the secondary journal if I was actually interested in the subject. Journals are a pretty huge time suck and the minimal resume boost you get from it probably isn't worth it for that reason alone.

Iíd have to agree with this. Itís a lot of work if youíre not into the subject. My school has a secondary journal in the area I want to practice, so I only tried out for that one. I think its also helped my job finding as Iíve been able to publish on the subject several times. So when I say I want to practice X, hereís what I have published on it and the work I have done on the journal Ėits believable. And I think its given me a boost over other candidates that canít show the same connection to the practice area.

All that being said it would have been a ton of work if I did not really like the subject, I probably would have done a half ass job rather than putting in the serious effort I did if I had no connection to the subject matter. There are other ways to boost you resume as other have said, find something your into and it makes the work you have to do trivial.  If you like the subject and it works with the rest of your resume than do it, it can be good to create an "overall packagae" if that's what you want to do.
*In clinical studies, Matthies was well tolerated, but women who are pregnant, nursing or might become pregnant should not take or handle Matthies due to a rare, but serious side effect called him having to make child support payments.

chydiva82

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Re: Is a secondary law journal worth the trouble?
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2008, 04:51:46 PM »
If it the choice was to either work part time at a law firm or join secondary journal in a subject you're not interested in, the firm work would probably be the better.

Law Review isn't the only thing out there that can enhance the resume.

You are right. The subject area is Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Law. I dont think I can even fake an interest in this subject. I am grateful for the invite but I agree that there are other things that will enhance the resume. Thanks.