Law journals, also referred to as law reviews, have a longstanding reputation for being some of the most prestigious organizations that one can join in law school. And for good reason; the members of law review journals put out some of the most timely and cutting-edge publications within the legal community.
The New England Law Review’s 2020 Executive Board took some time to share with us how joining a law review journal will shape your law school experience and prepare you for what’s to come after graduation.
Refine your legal research & writing skills.
Being part of a law review provides you with the chance to vastly improve your legal research, writing, and editing skills, all while still in law school. To start, entering the legal world as a strong writer enhances your ability to persuade or dissuade someone. E-Board member Bettina Pancho remarks, “As future lawyers, we want the reader – whether it be a judge, a jury, or opposing counsel – to embrace our narrative and to be persuaded by our arguments to get a favorable result for our client.” Refining these skills early on also means that in the future you’ll be able to hyperfocus on the facts and nuances of your cases (rather than struggling with the writing style and determining the most effective research methods!).
Develop a collaborative approach.
A law review requires members to work together to produce and finalize content, often in various mediums. (Did you know The Law Review has a podcast?) Law students aren’t always challenged with operating as part of a team as they complete their regular studies. This makes it that much more important to get experience navigating group dynamics outside of the classroom. “In real practice, you’re constantly collaborating with other attorneys on the memos/motions you draft, and you don’t usually get to choose who you work with on those matters. Law Review membership teaches you how to effectively work with others,” comments Pancho. Being a team member on a law review journal gives students a headstart on developing the communication and leadership skills they’ll need to thrive post-grad.
Join an established network of legal professionals.
Membership with a law review opens the door for students to connect with legal scholars around the world, and gives them a leg up in the eyes of future employers. Fellow E-Board Member Brie Mainiero expresses appreciation for the chance to learn from the perspectives and expertise of others she’s met along the way. In her case, this has led to forming relationships with some of her legal inspirations, including Attorney Alec Karakatsanis and Professor and scholar Anjali Vats.
Finally, when it comes time to pursue internships or full-time employment, a student’s time spent with a law review reflects positively on their potential. “The Law Review has helped me obtain internships throughout my law school career that I would not have obtained otherwise,” comments E-board member Julia Pomella, who landed internships at both the U.S. Attorneys’ Office during the spring semester of her 2L year, and at Liberty Mutual the summer following.
To learn more about the avenues that you can take to join The Law Review, or to explore their publications to date, visit the recently relaunched New England Law Review website.