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Author Topic: Are EC's/Journal really Important?  (Read 2056 times)

Number81

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Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« on: April 28, 2009, 02:29:54 AM »
I'm a pretty average writer.  I would probably benefit from doing a journal.  I will not make law journal.  I will (probably) make Bankruptcy or International Journal.  I am not in moot court or mock trial and I have basically no great EC's.  Is it a really bad idea not to do Bankruptcy/International Journal?  Will non-biglaw firms and not-really-law-jobs care much?

And, is there any kind of EC that I really need to do?  (I don't have so little on my resume that we struggle to talk during interviews, but I don't have anything other than grades since law school started, basically)
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Ninja1

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Re: Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 05:02:21 AM »
Any extra resume line won't hurt. That said, I'm still not convinced they're that important unless you have striverish aspirations.
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bl825

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Re: Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 06:12:35 AM »
Any extra resume line won't hurt. That said, I'm still not convinced they're that important unless you have striverish aspirations.

"Striverish aspirations?"  ::)

OP: I can't really speculate as to whether or not employers will care, but you've already said that it would probably benefit your writing skills.  Isn't that reason enough?
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jacy85

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Re: Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 07:05:06 AM »
Yes, it's important, especially for you.  You've given your own reasons in your OP.  As bl825 pointed out, it will help your writing, and it will also help with finding a job.  No, it's not a guarantee a job, but it does give you something to talk about on your resume.  Additionally, if your resume looks barren right now, you need to start adding an EC or two and journal, moot court, mock trial are all good ones because they do show you've worked on developing some important legal skill.

nealric

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Re: Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 11:52:23 AM »
FWIW: I am on a secondary journal- I think it has actually been a great experience independent of the resume line. One advantage is that the journal is specific to a practice area I am interested in getting into. Writing a note on the subject really helped me confirm my interest (and will hopefully ad a publications line to my resume soon). If you get into one of the higher positions (which for many journals happens at spring break) you don't have to bluebook any more. Being a higher level editor gives you the opportunity to read a lot of articles - which are often quite informative.

I wouldn't recommend just joining student government or any non-academic ECs unless you have a specific interest in them. Nobody cares if you were assistant treasurer of the student bar association.
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bl825

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Re: Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 11:56:57 AM »
Nobody cares if you were assistant treasurer of the student bar association.

Crap.  :(
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Number81

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Re: Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 12:46:20 PM »
Jacy, I believe you go to my school (could be wrong), but I didn't make/do moot court/mock trial.  Sadness.

Thanks for the responses.  I guess I'm going to have to suck it up this next week and try to write on.
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Dr. Balsenschaft

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Re: Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 12:46:48 PM »
I was on law review.  It kind of sucked and didn't help my writing at all.  It's really not that hard to learn how to do basic citations correctly and that's pretty much all you need in the real world.  Being on a journal teaches you nearly every obscure rule you can find in the Bluebook (especially, if you have the displeasure of editing an international piece.)  From a substantive perspective, journals focus on academic pieces that are, for the most part, useless theoretical trash.  As far as writing skills go, being on a journal might actually make you a worse writer.  To become a decent legal writer, your sentences should be short and to the point.  Law review articles, by their academic nature, necessitate long-winded run-on sentences.  

However, being on a journal does look great on a resume and proves to employers you aren't scared of tedious work that is of little importance.  Also, although the work sucked, I really did enjoy getting to know the other people on law review.  Like any horrific experience, you bond with those around you who are going through the same thing.  Most people had a great sense of humor.  It probably won't hurt to know these people later on in my professional career either.

You also experience a certain sense of satisfaction when you finish editing a piece and correcting every mistake.  There's something comforting in the methodical nature of the editing process even if the end result ultimately doesn't matter.  I compare it to the inverse of sand mandalas created by Buddhist monks.  They spend all this time making these beautiful mandalas and then ritualistically destroy them as a testament to the impermanence of life.  Conversely, we spend all this time polishing these academic turds that will live their useless life for ever as a testament to the never-ending drudgery of life as an attorney.  

nealric

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Re: Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 12:55:27 PM »
Quote
From a substantive perspective, journals focus on academic pieces that are, for the most part, useless theoretical trash. 

I think this really depends on the journal. I'm on a specialized journal that's more focused on updating practitioners on recent developments in the field. There are a few theoretical/policy articles but most have direct practical application.
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StevePirates

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Re: Are EC's/Journal really Important?
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 03:08:34 PM »
It's worth it.  Some employers really like people with journal experience.  It will help you with citations and can help you with writing.

At the absolute low end it's in the "can't hurt could only help" category.  On the top end, as between two identical resumes, one with any journal is better than one with no journal, right?