June 22, 2005

Ruth: Law Review, Revisited

by Ruth

I'm not much of a long time De Novo reader. Indeed, what originally drew me to the blog was the relatively recent symposium about joining a law journal. And because it's about the time of year when invitations may be soon in coming, I thought I'd revisit the topic a bit, because I'm interested in finding out what fellow rising 2Ls did in the end.

For those of you who could care less about what I did re: write-on, I'll skip straight to the end-of-post questions. Fellow rising 2Ls, I'd love to know whether you did the write-on, what you thought of it, and what the waiting is like now. And whether you decided to write-on or not, what influenced your decision? Just feel free to talk about the write-on experience in general for you. For my story, it's just after the jump.

I, at what was nearly the last moment, decided not to do the Write-On. I had joined a specialty journal earlier in the semester and liked it a lot. I suspected I would enjoy it more than Texas Law Review (no offense to W&V). Yet, I still went into my first two weeks of summer vacation convinced that I ought to at least try, and that I owed it to myself.

This was despite the fact that I had followed the Law Review Symposium closely, reading every post, every comment. I think that deep down inside, I knew I wouldn't do it in the end. I liked where I was, and I wasn't going to make it onto TLR anyway. Why I sat there with the packet for as long as I did is beyond me.

What changed my mind in the end? Besides the fact that the sun was shining and I had a few novels that were begging to be read?

In the end, I found out that a number of the clerks at the federal courthouse here had not been on Law Review. Some of them had specialty journal experience, some had no journal experience at all. I think that the reason I hadn't trashed the packet a week before I did was because I was still holding onto the idea that if I wanted to clerk (which I do), I'd need Law Review. Once I found out that this was not the case, I finally relaxed and ceremoniously tossed the packet and all of my notes into the recycle bin.

I like the specialty journal I'm on. It's in the field in which I'm most interested, and I think that will motivate me to get more involved with it, strive for an editor position, etc. I thought I'd be disappointed in myself for deciding not to do the Write-On in the end, but so far I haven't regretted it. And I certainly don't mind missing out on the waiting now that grades are out.

So, rising 2Ls, did you do the write-on? Are you content with your decision? Would you have done the opposite if you could do it over again? Anything else you'd like to add? Inquiring minds want to know.

June 22, 2005 12:43 AM | TrackBack

I did the write on. Looking at my grades this semester, I can't say that it was worth it.

But maybe one of those 10 essay-only spots has my name on it.

My only consolation is that there are quitters like you around. :p

Posted by: Reece at June 22, 2005 12:58 AM

Glad I can be consoling. It's what I do. ;)

Posted by: Ruth at June 22, 2005 01:01 AM

It varies from school to school, but at BU to get onto the specialty journals you have to do the write-on.

Personally I think a specialty journal is worth it. Like you said, it's an area I'm particularly interested in. So to me it was worth the write-on to get onto it.

Posted by: Cathy at June 22, 2005 09:58 AM

Some of the specialty journals at UT have their own write-ons at different times of the year, and many don't require anything specific; any writing sample will do. It was thus a bit less effort on my part, and I was able to get onto a journal I liked. Had the process been different, though, I probably would have done the write-on in order to get onto this one.

Posted by: Ruth at June 22, 2005 02:55 PM

I chose not to write on. After looking at my year's grades, it was a wise choice. Also, prior to knowing my grades I considered whether I wanted the life of a law review member. Of course each school's law review is different, but I know my school's to demand time and effort I would be unwilling to give. My choice (to be selfish with my time) might prove disabling to my resume, but I will most likely apply next year.

Most of the summer interns I work with chose to write on. Like you, however, I found a number of clerks who were not members of their school's law review.

Posted by: Jason at June 22, 2005 07:34 PM
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