Monday, February 25, 2008

Law Review: Outlook on Another Year as a Peon

One has to wonder what drives law review editors after managing board elections are over.  I'll weigh the pros and cons of currently being a law review junior editor who will not be on next year's managing board.

1.  looks reasonably good on resume
2.  less work than most of the managing board positions
3.  might be able to coerce friends on managing board to give me lots of "Best Editor" awards to fill resume space
4.  knowledge that I will have memorized most of the Bluebook by the time I graduate

1.  doesn't look as good on resume as a managing board position
2.  employers, particularly those familiar with this law review, will interpret "Senior Editor" title as a sign of laziness or intrinsic personality flaw, regardless of the fact that I actively sought a position with more responsibility
3.  10-15 hours of infuriating work most weeks in addition to normal school-related activities (this can be a con because I have reason to believe the work of the positions I wanted is less "infuriating" than the work of a junior/senior editor)
4.  waiting in line for moot court partners who are monopolizing the only two available copiers to reproduce every single sample brief in the library
5.  prospect of Phaedrus telling me to "add authority" next year for the statement "the sky is blue" (or "litigation is expensive," an ADD AUTHORITY gem from my last assignment)
6.  no recognition for the effort I put forth and the damn good work it produces
7.  unproductive (read:  pointless, yet inevitable) feelings of resentment and superiority toward next year's managing board
8.  the reward for doing good work really IS more work (see, e.g., how they managed to stack most of the best junior editors on an assignment involving sources from Texas in the mid-1800s, very few of which are actually accessible to people outside of Wharton County, Texas)
9. knowledge that I will have memorized the Bluebook by the time I graduate (yes, it's also a con)

I really wonder how they motivate those senior editors.  Let's not delude ourselves.  I'm guessing that less than 5% of law review junior editors (or whatever they're called at other schools) actually enjoy the work.  Right now, my only motivations are my personal desire to associate my name with good work, the regret I encounter when I could have done a better job, and the idea that I will get kicked off law review if I stop turning in assignments.  The latter wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that I would have to take it off my resume.


El Guapo said...

I've always wondered about the titles. Let's step away from our knowledge of the inner workings of our law review for a second.

Think about the following titles and rank them in order of importance:

Sr. Articles Editor, Articles Editor, Senior Editor, Notes Editor, Electronic Works Editor...

Really there isn't anything in the title that inherently sets Sr. Editor below any of these right? Unless you are EIC or ME I don't think your 3L job matters worth a damn anyway.

Guy Fawkes said...

Well, perhaps...that's why I said "particularly [employers] familiar with this law review" would likely construe the "Senior Editor" title that way. The titles are different at different schools, so it probably won't matter much in the end. However, I think there probably is a distinction between being on managing board and not being on it in the view of many employers. I don't have any empirical evidence to support that conclusion, but it can't possibly be a bad thing, and it's difficult to imagine that it would have a neutral effect.

Phaedrus said...

Umm, Guy Fawkes, I need you to [ADD AUTHORITY] for that conclusion. If not, you will get an [ADD AUTHORITY, BITCH!]. After that, you get a strike.

Phaedrus said...

And might I add, a strike is equivalent to 10 billion Schrute Bucks.