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Writing Competition

boston college law review publications

2016 Boston College Law Reviews Writing Competition

Exhibits for the Blueboook Exercise

Membership Selection

Boston College Law School produces five academic publications: (1) The Boston College Law Review; (2) The Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review; (3) The Boston College International & Comparative Law Review; (4) The Boston College Third World Law Journal; and (5) The Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest. Members of these publications are selected by a variety of processes. The students achieving the 5 highest GPAs in each section will be invited to join the review of their choice. That same invitation will be extended to the students who achieve the 5 highest scores on the writing competition (based on a memorandum of law and a Bluebook exercise). The remaining slots on the reviews will be filled by students who attain the highest scores derived from an equation that takes into account GPA, writing competition score, and the score on a personal statement that the editors in chief can use, for example, to match up students who express a compelling interest in a specific journal’s subject matter or who present a perspective that the editors feel will bring a distinctive voice to the membership. Any student who is not selected for a review staff at the end of first year may write a note of publishable quality under the guidance of a faculty member, either as an independent study or in conjunction with a seminar. If that note is selected for publication by one of the reviews, its writer will become a member of the review’s editorial board in his or her third year. (A limited number of positions are held for transfer students who enter at the beginning of second year as well.)

As noted above, the competition consists of a few parts. Participants are asked to draft a memorandum of law based on a fact pattern and research materials supplied in the competition package. In addition, they are asked to complete a citation exercise that is intended to teach the most important and often-used Bluebook rules. Students are given approximately 12 days to conclude the assignment. Submissions are read by selected editors from all the publications. Six different readers evaluate each submission; their weighted scores are averaged to determine the final grade; the Bluebook exercise is graded by the manager of the law reviews; the 5 editors in chief evaluate the personal statements. Those students receiving the highest scores are assigned to the journals of their choice based on a preference ranking they hand in with the submissions.

Membership Responsibilities

Members of the journals are responsible for all aspects of the publication process, from article selection, to checking content for substance and citation accuracy, to editorial redrafting, and preparing the volumes for print.  Through this they gain invaluable skills in legal research, writing, and analysis.  In addition, as second year staff writers, members of the journals fulfill two writing requirements: a casenote appropriate to a specific journal's area of interest (which is published as part of that journal's electronic supplement) and, thereafter, a significant piece of scholarship of publishable quality.  Although membership requires a significant time commitment, being on a law review still allows for participation in a clinic, moot court competition or serious involvement with other campus organizations. Members of the reviews may avail themselves of the Law School’s study abroad opportunities, although such participation is feasible only during third year.

Law review members receive six pass/fail credits for participating on a journal.They register for these credits in either semester of their second and third years. At the end of second year, they receive three provisional credits. These ripen into six actual credits at the end of third year.