Law Review Membership
The Law Review provides students with hands-on experience in research, writing, and substantive and technical editing-skills that are key to success in the legal field. Not only do staff members gain skills by researching and writing their own publishable-quality comment or note, but they also greatly increase their editing skills by thoroughly editing submitted practitioner articles.
In addition, the Law Review allows editors and staff to gain in-depth exposure to a wide range of legal issues as viewpoints while developing their interpersonal and collaborative ability in a legal context.
For these reasons, employers look favorably on candidates with Law Review experience. Many firms who participate in on-campus interviewing exclusively consider candidates with Law Review membership.
USF Law Review Membership
The Volume 47 (2012-2013) staff includes:
- 12 editors
- 22 senior staff
- 43 staff, comprised of 2Ls and 3Ls
- 8 faculty advisors
Law Review senior staff members, those who are in their second year as Law Review members, earn one unit during the spring semester of their third year. However, they are expected to complete 60 hours beginning the summer after their second year and finishing at the completion of their third year. These hours are comprised of the following:
- 13 hours during the summer after staff's second year
- 47 hours as negotiated with assigned editor during the school year.
Law Review staff members, those who are in the first year as Law Review member, earn one unit each semester. Staff must complete 60 hours each semester comprised of the following:
- Office hours - 2 hours each week
- 2 Sunday edit sessions - 10:30a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Symposium assistance and attendance
- Training in citation format and research skills
- Individual projects given by assigned editor\
Law Review members may satisfy their USF's upper level and writing requirement by authoring a publishable legal article. The Law Review will direct this process, and the requirement is satisfied upon completion of a note or comment, 25 to 35 pages in length, that is approved by a Law Review faculty adviser.
A comment is thorough analysis of a complex legal issue. A note is a typically shorter study of a case, statute, or narrow legal problem.
1L Application Process
1Ls will be able to apply for membership on the Law Review at the conclusion of their spring exams. Your must be in the top forty percent of your class at the end of your first year to apply. (Note, your class standing can change considerably between the fall and spring).
To apply, you will be required to write an abbreviated case note based on a closed universe compilation of sources and authorities. (This is similar to your LR&W final). The writing competition is submitted anonymously and will be graded by at least three editors. Selection is based upon a weighted scoring system with one-half on technical and one-half on substantive performance.
2L Write-On Application Process
Students completing their 2L year may apply for Law Review membership though a write-on application process.
- A student must be in good academic standing and in the top forty percent of his or her class to qualify for Law Review membership.
- The submission deadline for write-on candidates will be before the end of July 2013. Final due date to be determined. Papers will be emailed to the executive editor, who will strip any personal identification information from the paper and route it to the editors for review. The executive editor does not take part in the grading process, so there are no anonymity issues when submitting to him.
- Two types of student pieces may be submitted to Law Review:
- Comment - A comment is a thorough analysis of a complex legal issue written by a student. A comment identifies the legal and factual background of the issue, discusses the problem that has arisen, and then provides a solution to the problem.
- Case Note - A case note is a complex analysis of a case or statute, written by a student. It sets out the background of the law, and assesses the impact the case will have on the law. This is not simply a paper about the case, but an analysis of the case and its future implication of the law.
- Reserve materials and recent volumes of the USF Law Review will help you understand what is expected in terms of style and content. Professors, librarians and outside attorneys are also good sources of information and advice on interesting topics.
- Two comment or note must be of nearly publishable quality. These factors include:
- Organization and quality or writing
- Presentation of substantive issues; and,
- Pre-emption (i.e. has your paper already written. Is your point of view original? Check with the Executive Editor to review topic proposals selected by current staff.)
- Once you become a staff member, you must complete 120 hours of staff work over the year for two units of credit. This involves office hours, edit sessions, and other activities including the Law Review symposium.
- As a staff member, you also must complete your submitted note or comment. Once accepted, your comment or note will be judged for publication in the same manner as the rest of the Law Review staff. Completion of a final draft satisfies the upper division writing requirement.
- Decisions regarding write-on applications are final and there are no appeals. Law Review plans extend offers to all students who submit articles of publishable quality. However, if we receive more qualified submissions that anticipated, Law Review reserves the right to limit offers. This determination is purely discretionary. The Law Review editors welcome inquiries regarding your proposed topic and are willing to offer comment during the draft process.