Membership Selection Criteria
The Law Review seeks each year to recruit a committed, accomplished, and diverse staff of editors. In selecting our membership, we consider writing competition entries, grades, and personal statements. We recognize that each one of these criteria provides important information about an individual’s qualifications and abilities to contribute to the journal. Our selection process, therefore, attempts to strike a balance among them. As a result, each member of the first year class has a genuine opportunity to qualify for Law Review membership.
Applicants are asked to write a commentary on a fictionalized court decision involving a thought-provoking legal topic. Immediately following the completion of their last final exam, applicants must pick up the background materials and detailed rules governing the writing competition. Applicants may not research beyond the materials provided to them. Entries are judged on numerous factors relating to analytical and writing skills, including the ability to synthesize the background materials, the creativity and strength of argument, and the attention paid to proofreading and bluebooking.
When the Registrar’s Office receives grades from first-year professors, the grade point averages of all applicants are automatically forwarded to the Law Review so that they may be taken into account in the selection process.
All applicants to the Law Review must submit a personal statement of no more than 500 words. The information contained in these personal statements allows the Law Review to realize its commitment to staff diversity. The Law Review evaluates personal statements in light of various factors, including (but not limited to) race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, socio-economic background, ideological viewpoint, disability, and age. With regard to these and other aspects of diversity, applicants should clearly identify and discuss any personal characteristics, background, unique experiences, or qualifications that the applicant would like to bring to the attention of the Selection Committee.
All applicants should know that the personal statement will be judged as an independent piece of expository writing. Personal statements also will be read for quality and attention to proofreading detail. Applicants are free to shape the content and subject matter of the personal statement. Potential subjects for a personal statement include, but are not limited to, the following: how your personal background impacted your first-year law experience or shaped your future professional goals; your scholarly interests as they may be reflected by your potential Note topic or other academic research; an experience, class, or person that significantly changed or impacted your life; or how your identity or background will contribute to diversity at the Law Review.
Students have the option of submitting a résumé as part of their application. This document can be used to share personal and professional information that cannot be easily communicated through a personal statement. The résumés, like the personal statements, will be used by the Law Review to realize its commitment to staff diversity. Names and addresses should be removed from all résumés before submitting them in the application.
The Law Review extends invitations to 47 students from the first-year class under the following four methods:
- Between 15 and 17 students will be selected on the basis of their writing competition scores, without regard to their grades or personal statements.
- Between 15 and 17 students will be selected on the basis of their grades, without regard to their writing competition scores or personal statements, excluding those selected by writing.
- Up to 5 students will be selected on the basis of a combination of their grades and writing competition scores, excluding those selected by the methods above.
- Exactly 12 students will be selected on the basis of their personal statements, provided that either their grades or writing competition scores place them in the top half of all remaining applicants.
Transfer Student Selection
At the very beginning of the academic year, the law journals conduct a smaller version of the standard writing competition for newly enrolled second-year transfer students. From this competition, the Law Review will select at least one and potentially more members, depending on the size of the rest of the rising second-year Law Review class. Prospective transfer students do not participate in the standard writing competition.
Prospective applicants should feel free to contact the Law Review with any questions they may have using the contact information displayed at the top of this handout. Please feel free to contact the Law Review using the information on the "contact" page.