A Letter from the Incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Environmental Affairs Law Review

Editor’s Note: Erica Novack is the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review.  Erica was gracious enough to submit a post about the academic journals at BC Law, and what differentiates EALR from the rest. We are very pleased to present our fourth letter about the reasons to join the staff of a journal, and how students can apply.

I would like to echo what BCLR’s Editor-in-Chief Jennie Davis wrote in her thoughtful letter. The writing competition can be a trying experience, but you will get through it! And when you do, you will have the whole summer to unwind from this year. As you begin this competition, remember, you are all great writers, and you have proven it to your professors and to your peers (and to yourself) all year. Your experiences before BC together with your training this year have thoroughly prepared you for this competition.

Being a writer on a journal allows you to become part of a smaller community within BC Law. As a member of Environmental Affairs Law Review, I have become part of a team and a tradition, and I love it. 3L editors become your mentors and friends, and you get the chance to connect with 2L students in a meaningful way, sharing (and sometimes commiserating) in the writing process.

EALR publishes twice a year, with an additional electronic supplement in the spring. In each issue, we publish a combination of student-written work together with articles written by legal professors and practitioners. 2L staff writers complete a Comment in the fall, and a Note in the spring. The Comment will discuss a recent case in environmental law, while the Note is a broader piece where the student discusses a topic of their choosing in detail.

Journal has been so rewarding to me because it has provided me with an opportunity to write in my area of interest early in my law school career. Particularly for those of you with a passion for specific areas of law, becoming a member of a specialty journal can really enhance your law school experience. I came to law school to become an environmental lawyer. Because 1L curriculum does not include any type of environmental course, I spent my entire first year attending every possible event in an attempt to incorporate that practice area into my 1L experience.

I got my Comment case over the summer, and immediately felt a shift in my law school experience. The case was about the impact of a federal program on an endangered species. It was at that moment that I finally felt like I was working towards my goals. For the next year, I was able to write about environmental issues, and brainstorm with other students about their topics. I got to meet wonderful professors and practitioners, and I felt like I was truly contributing to the world of environmental law. Next year, I get to continue that journey as Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Affairs Law Review.

This will be a particularly exciting year to be a member of EALR, as we will be hosting a Symposium in November focusing on the impacts of climate change on the insurance industry. This Symposium will attract high-caliber legal professionals, and provide excellent exposure for the BC Law community. The Symposium will offer a fantastic opportunity for 2L students to interact with environmental and insurance law professors and attorneys from across the country.

Good luck with the writing competition! I can’t wait to meet my new staff!

Erica Novack is a rising 3L at Boston College Law School and the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review. This past academic year, she was a staff writer for EALR. To contact her, email her at novacke@bc.edu or leave her a message in the comments below. 

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