An Invaluable Experience Like None Other in Law School

Editor’s Note: Erica Coray is the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice.  Erica was kind enough to author a blog about the academic journals at BC Law, and why she chose to join JLSJ. We are very pleased to present our fifth and final letter about the benefits of being on a journal and why 1Ls should participate in the writing competition.

You’ve just finished the last exam of your first year of law school, you’re exhausted and elated at the same time, not quite sure of what just happened, and you follow the crowd upstairs to pick up the writing competition packet for journals. And it is huge. And long. That’s when you start questioning, “do I really want to do this? Two more weeks of research and writing? And Bluebooking? But I just finished, don’t I deserve a break?”

Yes, you do want to do it, and not just because it looks great on your résumé (though it does), but because being part of a journal your 2L year is an invaluable experience like none other in law school.

You’ll have plenty more of those questioning moments while on a law journal because, yes, it is a lot of work. But you’ll also have a lot of support, and when you’ve completed a Case Comment and Note you can be proud of after putting in all those hours of work it will definitely be worth it.

Being part of a law journal at BC gives you the opportunity to develop exceptional research and writing skills with the support of 3Ls who have been through the same process. You learn how to critically analyze a case while writing your Case Comment first semester and how to develop, analyze, and propose a solution to a legal issue of your choosing during the Note writing process. The skills developed through the process of writing both the Case Comment and Note will be valuable in any legal career you choose to pursue. Additionally, being on a journal provides students with the best opportunity to publish their work in a nationally ranked publication while at law school.

I chose to be a part of BC’s Journal of Law & Social Justice (JLSJ) because of my interest in writing about civil and human rights issues and the experience was extremely rewarding. Being part of a journal staff gave me the opportunity to meet other 2L writers and 3L editors I never would have met or worked with otherwise. The sense of community and the support I received from fellow staff-members throughout the process is a large part of what made the experience so enjoyable.

I am constantly in awe of how smart and dedicated my fellow journal staffers are, and love hearing them talk about the issues they are passionate about. JLSJ 2L writers spent the year writing about topics as varied as immigration, child pornography, domestic violence, homelessness, healthcare, post-conviction relief, and mental illness.

Having the support of editors who really cared both about the issues I was interested in writing about and in seeing me succeed this year led me to the decision to run for Editor-in-Chief of the journal. I look forward to meeting the new 2L writers and having the opportunity to learn more about the various social justice issues they are passionate about.

I hope all of the upcoming 2Ls will see the light at the end of the writing competition tunnel and complete the competition for a chance to be on a journal. Bluebooking citations will never be fun, but the experience of being on a journal is irreplaceable because of the skills and relationships you develop as a journal member.

Erica Coray is a rising 3L at Boston College Law School and the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice. This past academic year, she was a staff writer for JLSJ. To contact her, email her at coraye@bc.edu or leave her a message in the comments below. 

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