QI’ve heard the only journal experience in law school that has any resume value is Law Review. Is this true? Do firms really care either way or does it just depend on who’s interviewing you?
AFirst off, this conversation is only relevant for those students looking to land jobs at swanky, big city law firms. Everyone else, stop reading now. Because it’s irrelevant and incredibly annoying. But for those of you looking to land prestige jobs, here you go…
The simple truth is: Law Review is the “Harvard” of legal journals. No doubt. It’s the one thing that guarantees a law student multiple interviews and immediate respect. I wish it weren’t so, but it is. Law firms covet students on Law Review. Fact. And for good reason too. First off, it’s not easy to get admitted. Second, once you’re admitted, you have to work your ass off to stay a member. Law firms know this—and love this. It proves that you have a high tolerance for pain and are willing to sacrifice any semblance of a social life in pursuit of a higher calling. Kind of sad, if you think about it, but it’s true.
So what if you don’t “make Law Review?” Should you still join some random, junior varsity journal? Answer: Hell yeah! It might not guarantee you a job at Cravath, but it’s definitely a “significant positive” on your resume. It shows that you’re willing to work harder than the average student, and that you’re probably a better researcher and writer than him, too. So do yourself a favor and stop trying to convince yourself that joining the International Law Journal would be a waste of time—because it wouldn’t. Truth is, it would actually help your chances of landing a good job. By a lot. Especially if you don’t go to a top-ten school. So either make Law Review or join a journal as fast as you can. If you want to get a “fancy” job anyway.
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