The UCLA Law Review is a student-run journal that publishes cutting-edge legal scholarship. Short of actually printing the journal onto paper, students run the entire process—including selecting both student and faculty articles for publication, editing the articles, and formatting the journal. The Law Review also sponsors an annual Symposium at the Law School, at which leading scholars convene to discuss current issues in a specific area of law. The Law Review offers a distinct opportunity for law students to become directly involved with and influence legal scholarship. By contributing to the journal and critiquing the work of professors and current students, members assume an important role in guiding legal discourse. Members also gain valuable experience in editing, critical analysis, and substantive writing skills.
How do I get on Law Review?
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Members are selected based on their performance in the Write-on. All first-year students are invited to participate in the Write-on at the end of their 1L year. Joint degree students are also required to participate in the Write-on during their 1L year and will not be allowed to participate during their 2L year.
The Write-on for membership on the UCLA Law Review consists of three parts: the Comment, the Personal Statement, and the Production Test. The Comment tests a participant’s ability to discuss a legal issue clearly and concisely. The Personal Statement provides students an opportunity to demonstrate what they would contribute to the Law Review. The Production Test evaluates a participant’s bluebooking technique and proofreading skills. The Write-on is graded by current Law Review members under a system of complete anonymity. Exam numbers will be used to identify comments during the Write-on and grading process. Students will be notified of whether they have successfully made it on to the Law Review approximately three weeks after the end of the Write-on. For students who are invited to join Law Review, a mandatory training session will take place at some point over the summer. Because we are continuously trying to improve the Write-on, all specifics are subject to change.
All candidates will be evaluated based on their performance during the Write-on. The vast majority of students will be invited to join based on two components: their Write-on score (Comment and Production Test) and their Personal Statement. A small portion of students will be invited to join based on a combination of their Write-on score, Personal Statement, and first-year grades. No students are invited to join the Law Review based on grades alone. All students must do well on the Write-on to be selected.
The Write-on begins on the Monday after the end of spring semester final examinations and ends seven days later on the following Monday.
Transfer students are also eligible to join the Law Review. A similar Write-on will be held just for transfer students at the beginning of their 2L year during the first two weeks of the fall semester.
How can I prepare for the Write-on?
The Law Review will hold meetings in the weeks prior to the Write-on to provide more information and answer questions regarding Law Review and the Write-on. We will also hold a bluebooking session to familiarize students with the different sections of the Bluebook and the general format of the Production Test. However, prior to the write-on, students are strongly encouraged to independently review the Bluebook and familiarize themselves with its rules.
Binders will also be on reserve at the library Circulation Desk at the beginning of the spring semester containing a copy of the previous year’s Write-on. The binder will include sample comments for review. These comments are by no means “model answers,” but are samples to give students an idea about how to approach the legal issue posed in the Comment portion of the Write-on. Students can also find UCLA Law Review publications in the library and are encouraged to read a few articles and comments.
The UCLA Law Review welcomes submissions from eligible UCLA School of Law students who are not current members of the Law Review. In addition to the possibility of being published, non-member student authors may receive an offer of Law Review membership. If a Comment is slated for print-journal publication before October 1 of the student’s 3L year, the Board of Editors may extend an offer of membership with the publication offer. The membership offer is contingent on the production demands of the Law Review. All Law Review members, including students receiving membership offers through this publication option, are required to fulfill all staff responsibilities, with adjustments available under the discretion of the Board of Editors. Publishing with the UCLA Law Review, however, does not require accepting an offer of membership.
What does Law Review membership entail?
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Membership on the Law Review requires a two-year time commitment. The primary responsibility of first-year staff members is to cite check footnotes. This involves verifying that sources accurately support the author’s stated proposition, as well as editing footnotes for grammar, style, and proper Bluebook form. During their first year on Law Review, members are also required to write a comment of between twenty-five and seventy pages. This is done throughout the second year of law school. Members write their comments with the support of a faculty advisor and receive course credit (3 units) for their work. The subject matter of the comment is open; students may write about any area of the law that they find particularly compelling. Comment writing gives students a chance to get published in either the UCLA Law Review or other legal journals.
During the spring semester of their first year on Law Review, all members must apply for a position on the Law Review Board, giving them a number of different options as to their responsibilities. The Articles Department selects articles for publication; the Managing Editors oversee the cite checking work done by the staff members; the Senior Editors provide substantive logical, grammatical, and stylistic edits on the pieces that have been selected for publication; the Production Editors physically format the journal; the Comments Department selects student comments for publication and creates the Write-on; the Discourse Editors select and edit articles for Discourse; the Symposium Editors organize the annual Symposium; the External Affairs Editors raise funds and promote alumni relations; the Information Resource Editor manages the website and online archives; and the Business Manager oversees the financial affairs and manages author contracts. The new Board is selected in February of each year.
Why would I want to be on Law Review?
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Law Review is a great opportunity to take part in an academic tradition that is important both to the UCLA School of Law and to the legal community at large. Students get the chance to work closely with faculty and the administration, offering insight into the academic process and allowing students to get to know the faculty more personally. Additionally, Law Review allows you to meet and work closely with students both in your own class and in the class ahead of you. For these reasons, many students find membership on the Law Review to be a fun and extremely rewarding extracurricular activity.
Being on Law Review is also an excellent learning experience. Writing a comment will provide you with expertise in a specific area of law. It will also provide you with a unique opportunity to interact with a faculty member of your choice, and will help you hone your editorial and analytical skills. Also, having a Comment published is an outstanding academic achievement, particularly for those who would like to clerk for a judge or are interested in academia.
In addition, being on Law Review has great résumé value. Employers like to see that a student has made Law Review because membership demonstrates strong writing skills, attention to detail, and work ethic. Résumé value, however, is only a small part of the rewarding experience that membership provides.