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March 03, 2005

She's Back!

Hooray! Ditzy Genius has escaped her evil squirrel prison!!! Get on over and welcome her back to the wacky world of these funny little electronic blawg things! Oh, and she made the law review editorial board, as well, so: Congratulations and Welcome Back, DG!

Posted 10:10 PM | law school meta-blogging

GW Journal Competition Coming Up Again

A reader who will remain anonymous writes roughly:
Everyone and their brother is giving us advice for the upcoming Journal competition. I figured I should turn to one of my “blog-idols” as well:-) Got any advice or tips? Post something before 4pm... after that, we are in hiding!!!
Well, reader, about all I can say is: Good luck! But I can also say that I enjoyed the competition last year and it really needn't be hard or onerous. Therefore, my advice is to try to have fun with it. The bluebooking isn't all that bad. One way to do it is to look at the shortcuts in the front (or is it back? depending on the directions for the competition, I guess) cover of the bluebook and cite everything based on the examples you see there. Then go through each citation one-by-one, read the rule(s) that govern it, and make sure you've dotted every “i.” If a rule sends you to another rule for some reason, go read it—it might tell you something you've forgotten. Remember to abbreviate appropriately w/case names and other places where abbreviations are allowed/required. Don't forget subsequent history where necessary (according to the rules). What else? That's what's on the top of my head. I've found that when bluebooking, it's best to be as thorough as I can be, then put it aside for a while, then go back and start checking my work against the rules one last time. I always always always find at least some little thing I'd forgotten the first one or two times through. The fun part is summarizing the cases succinctly and constructing an argument from the materials. Make the argument you want to make, not the argument you think some judge wants to hear. If you write what you want to write, it will be better, even if your judges disagree with it. A good strategy may obviously be to summarize the cases first, then free-write your argument quickly, writing it like you would if you were writing a note to a friend or something—casual, your own language, just getting the points down that you want to make. Then go back and revise and expand that into something slightly more formal and support it all w/good citations. That's how I did it, anyway. Oh, one more thing: I'm pretty sure I made it on a journal in large part b/c of how I ranked my choices. If your grades aren't stellar (mine aren't), the best choice is AIPlA b/c it's the only journal that doesn't consider grades. Other than that, obviously make your choices based on whether the subject matter of the journal interests you (your choices are obviously severely limited at our wonderful school w/its paltry four options; not that I think the world really needs more legal journals, but...). I bet I haven't told you anything you haven't heard already, but this is the best I can do. There's really no secret that I know except what I said already: Try to make it fun. If it's not at least a little fun, you probably shouldn't even do it b/c it's not like the work will get better once you're on a journal. I'll be curious to hear from any 1Ls (after the competition, of course) who would like to share how things went for them. Best of luck everyone!

Posted 11:49 AM | Comments (10) | advice law school

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