September 02, 2004

To Journal, Or Not to Journal

by PG

The class of 2007 is still in quasi-orientation mode, partly because we're taking only one lecture and it's pass/fail, so we're happy to attend any organization's event as long as food or drink will be served. On Tuesday night, the Journal of Gender and Law offered dessert and the opportunity to be on a journal as 1Ls. After someone gave the spiel, we poked at the kosher lime cake and debated the merits and demerits of joining.

The plusses, as described by JGL, were that we would gain valuable experience in blue-booking that could be useful both academically and for internships. Also, our resumes would stand apart from those of our classmates. But considering the multiplicity of worthy-sounding extracurriculars, like tutoring in Harlem or helping domestic abuse survivors, I think that choices made for resume reasons should be closely tied to one's future career specialty. The Department of Homeland Security, for example, may not look kindly upon a background of aiding detainees.

The topic of the journal is interesting to me -- I probably wouldn't consider joining a law and technology publication -- and I would enjoy reading submissions. However, the obvious downside to committing to any activity is the time loss. With real classes starting next week, blogging and other leisure pastimes (sleeping, bathing, etc.) seem likely to be dropped from my schedule. Is it a good idea to make any promises, even of a weekly meeting and a few hours of cite-checking?

September 2, 2004 12:29 PM | TrackBack

yes, it is worth the time. honestly, i found that i had tons of extra time my first year because i didn't have a job. it was the first time since i turned 16 that i didn't have a job, so i just watched too much television. although i'm sure you will have no problem getting a job, i found it difficult, even with pretty good grades and extracurricular activities. so just don't let the time commitment prevent you from going for it. it is bound to help you out in some way.

Posted by: M.F. at September 2, 2004 10:58 PM

Theoretically, I advise in general against journaling. Someone like Mr. Geidner, with a serious interest in journalism and having an active role in guiding professional and academic legal discourse, should "journal." However, most people don't fit that paradigm. The requirement that good students journal was grafted on to law scholarship (a name here for the constitutive process in which law students live). It is neither a natural nor an intelligible fit in my view. Yet, as a practical matter, I advise that good students must journal. And then, you will get only as much from it as you put in -- from journalistic as well as business perspectives. In practice, it is a requirement with exceptions.

Posted by: Erik Newton at September 3, 2004 04:49 PM
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