June 08, 2005
Law Review Ethical Query
June 8, 2005 09:22 PM
If I'm 99.9% sure that I want to keep my board position on the journal for which I've worked for the past year, instead of giving it up to join law review -- as we're required to do -- should I go ahead and e-mail the Law Review people to that effect so the six poor souls who were given my application each have one fewer 10 page paper to read?
I have an uncomfortable feeling that I applied just out of curiosity to see how I'd do, without thinking of the cost imposed on others, and not because I actually wanted to join the Review. As I'm fairly certain that I didn't do terribly well, perhaps I ought to assume that as true instead of sucking up hours of life people never will be able to get back in order to feed (or more likely, starve) my vanity.
To some degree, this heretical preference for a specialty journal over law review can be attributed to the De Novo symposium. Readers beware.
The DeNovo symposium was part of the reason I didn't do the write-on (I was already on a specialty journal as well... though no editor spot yet). The other part was because a federal judge told a friend of mine that he looks more kindly upon editorial spots on a specialty journal than just a staff spot on Law Review.
As to whether you should call them and tell them not to read yours, that's up to you. That's their job, and I'm sure they expect to make at least an offer or two that turn them down. If that happens to be you, I'm sure they won't hate you and I doubt it'll generate too much bad karma. On the other hand, if you leave your application in, and you don't get an invitation, then it might lead to uncontrollable feelings of inferiority.
I was in the "don't even bother trying" camp, because I didn't have the grades to grade-on, and I wasn't going to have one of the top 10 essays either. And I'd much rather tell future employees (honestly) that I was happy on the journal I was on and didn't do the write-on than tell them that I wasn't invited to law review.
To summarize my long and oh-so-helpful answer... it's your call.
No, don't tell them. The people who read those things signed up for it. Let 'em reap it.