Law review write-on.

I did finish the write-on. I did not enjoy it. No, enjoyment is not the point of the write-on. Rather, it sent me into a state of strange androidal nihilism, where I was quite compelled to do the best job I could, yet simultaneously completely indifferent about the outcome.

Does anyone really want to be on law review? I’m sure many want the credential and the prestige—that’s why 100 people will attempt the write-on—but I imagine precious, precious few have been thinking all year “damn, I was born to cite check, baby. I have an uncontrollable urge to Shepardize.”

There were two key moments of depression during the write-on: about halfway through, when I’d just written 5 pages of useless dreck (which I’d throw out later) and finishing seemed highly improbable. I worked through it. The other was finishing, and realizing that best case, you make law review and get a 2-yr assignment to do ... more of the same (not least of which is grading next year’s write-ons)

Worst case, you don’t make law review, and you’ve just invested half your spring break in the most labor-intensive waste of time of your academic career. Are you left with an interesting research paper? No. Are you left with a credential? No, you can’t put “attempted law review write-on” on your resume. Your best bet is just to forget the whole thing ever happened.

I have some words for those who didn’t attempt the write-on or abandoned it or don’t make it. 90% of lawyers were not on law review. Yet they have managed to find employment and have, you know, productive careers. In the end the write-on is just another freakin’ fire drill.

27 Mar 05

matthewb @ ucla
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