UCLA LAW REVIEW Personal Statement

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Spring 2010 Law Review
Write-On Competition
Important Dates

April 14th from 2-5pm
 Open House in Law Review Office (Ask questions and
meet Law Review board)

April 19th at 12pm/April 20th at 5pm
 Bluebook Trainings (identical)

Monday, May 10th, 12:00 p.m.
 Write-on sources available via Eres. Password: bluebook (all one word)

Monday, May 17th, 12:00 p.m.
 Write-on materials due to Records (electronic and hard copy, or
electronic and overnight mail), e-mail to: [email protected]

On or Around Monday, June 7.
 All competition participants will be notified of our decision
UCLA LAW REVIEW
What is Law Review?
A tool
for legal academia -- publishing scholarship, organizing
symposia, etc. Being on Law Review allows you to shape legal
academia (especially as a 3L) by choosing who contributes to it
and the topics that are published.
 Staff Year
 Citechecking
 Comment
 The time commitment varies. As a staff member, some
weeks it is nothing, and others it is 10-20 hours.
Board Year
 Time commitment can again vary but tends to be more
work than your 2L year regardless of your Board position.
What is the write-on?

Comment – 60%
 Based on a prompt and sources we give you
 10 pages of writing, 15 pages of footnotes
 Examples in the library

Production Test – 40%
 10 footnotes to cite check and Bluebook
 Bluebook training Monday Apr. 19th at 12, makeup
session Tuesday Apr. 20th at 5.

Personal Statement – as needed
 Tell us what makes you unique and how you would
contribute a different perspective to Law Review.
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Spring 2010
Write-On
UCLA LAW REVIEW
What is a Comment?
In general terms, a comment is a legal
research paper written by a student. It
is a scholarly commentary on the status
of the law.
 It does not merely summarize the law; it
explains how courts, legislatures, and
people in general interpret the law.
 A comment also evaluates or criticizes
these interpretations and suggests ways
that the law and/or its application may
be improved.

UCLA LAW REVIEW
What is a Comment?

It is a persuasive paper that has a
clearly stated thesis that is carefully
supported.



Your argument/proposal does not have to be
groundbreaking or earth-shattering.
It is not as one-sided as a persuasive
brief because it carefully addresses and
evaluates counterexamples.
However, it is not as objective as an
office memorandum, as it is ultimately
meant to persuade.
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Organization

Introduction
 Presentation of the Comment’s subject matter,
organization, and thesis

Analysis
 Discussion of Legal Problem
 Discussion of Proposed Solution to Problem
 Application of Proposal to Factual Situation

Conclusion
 Brief summation of argument and solution
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Evaluation

Legal Analysis (40%)


Writing Ability (20%)


Use of roadmap to guide reader; logical organization; use of logical structure
to explain the direction of discussion; appropriate allocation of space to
arguments.
Use of Authority (15%)


Clear presentation of the problem and issues to be discussed; mechanics
and style; scholarly tone.
Organization (15%)


Concise, clear statement of relevant law; identification of the issues; strong
logical reasoning throughout; resolution of the problem presented.
Persuasive use of primary and secondary authority; recognition of relative
weight of authorities; textual support.
Use of Endnotes (10%)

Use of endnotes for supplementary information; coherence of text without
reference to endnotes; no gratuitous use of endnotes; proper Bluebook form;
correct use of signals.
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Spring 2010
Write-On
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Production Test Details

The purpose of the Production Test is to test
your ability to use the Bluebook. The types of
errors that you will see in the Production Test
simulate those types of errors that often occur
in actual footnotes.

If, during the Write-on, you have a
nonsubstantive question regarding the
Production Test, we will have anonymous
phone hotline hours, as will be indicated in
your Write-on packet.
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Production Test Details

Items that you will need:

Bluebook (Eighteenth Edition)
 Red-ink Pen (preferably with a micro point)
 White Out

Items that will be useful:





Post-It Notes/Tabs
Pen/Pencil
Highlighter
Computer
Printer
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Production Test Details

Items that your packet will contain:





Sources
Proofreading/Editing Marks Sheet
Instructions
Production Test (2 copies)
Write neatly! You will receive no credit for
a mark that is illegible. Use the spaces
between the lines to mark your corrections.
If you do not have space between the lines,
draw an arrow to the margin and mark your
correction in the margin.
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Production Test Details

The Production Test will ask you to:
 Cite to sources according to proper Bluebook form
 Verify quotations and page numbers
 Verify the article’s author and title
 Check that sources support the author’s claim
(accuracy checks)
 Correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation
UCLA LAW REVIEW
The Bluebook

The purpose of the Bluebook is to help a
reader identify sources in citations for
further examination.

The Bluebook is a reference book; it is not
an instructional manual. If you can’t find
something, analogize to rules you can find.

You will not be alone if and when you feel
frustrated during the Production Test.
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Helpful Suggestions

Use the index. If you cannot find an entry
under a particular word, look up a
synonymous or related word.


For example, if you cannot find an entry for
“updates” or “bulletins,” look up “newsletters.”
For everything in the Production Test, look
up an applicable rule in the Bluebook.
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Helpful Suggestions

Read through each section at least once
before the Write-on begins.



This is actually the best way for you to familiarize
yourself with the contents and structure of the
Bluebook.
Keep track of the different requirements of
each rule.
Flag/Tab the beginning of major sections.

For example, page 129 begins the section on
books, and page 138 begins the section on law
reviews, newspapers, and magazines.
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Spring 2010
Write-On
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Personal Statement
The Personal Statement is your
opportunity to share additional
information, although the Comment Test
and Production Test are of primary
concern.
 It may or may not be read. It will only be
considered for candidates on the
margin.

UCLA LAW REVIEW
Suggestions of things to do before the
Write-on Competition:

Get Spring Exam # from Records Office
 Anonymity is key!






Review last year’s Write-on Competition,
which is on reserve at the library until May 10
Look at a few law review comments
Ask any remaining questions at the Open
House Wed. Apr. 14th from 2-5
Familiarize yourself with the Bluebook
If you’ll be out of town, figure out how to
overnight things in advance
Relax the weekend after exams!
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Write-on Logistics

If on or around campus: Email your comment
submission (to [email protected]) and turn in a
hard copy of your production test and personal
statement to Records. You may include a copy of your
comment as well to be on the safe side.

If off campus: Email your comment submission (to
[email protected]) and overnight your
production test and personal statement, so that they
arrive May 18th. You may include a copy of your
comment as well to be on the safe side.

Joint-degree Students: Joint-degree students must
participate in the Write-on Competition during their first
year of law school.
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Important Rules to be Aware of:
The Comment Test, Production Test and
Short Essay must be your work alone. You
may not discuss any part of the Write-On
with anyone, nor have anyone edit or
review your work.
 For the Comment Test and Production Test,
you may not perform any outside research
or rely on sources not provided in the
packet.

UCLA LAW REVIEW
Suggestions
Remember that the Law Library will have
reduced hours after finals!
 Give yourself adequate time to edit.
 Comment portion of the test is worth
approx. 60%; Production test is worth
approx. 40%. Use your time accordingly.

UCLA LAW REVIEW
Grades


Candidates will be evaluated solely based on
their performance during the Write-on
Competition. Grades will not hurt you.
However, up to 6 students will be invited to join
Law Review based on a combination of their
1L grades and their Write-on performance.
 Note that students will NOT be invited to join Law Review
based on grades alone.
 You must complete the Write-on in order to be eligible to
grade on to the Law Review.
 For grade-on candidates, grades will be evaluated in
conjunction with the quality of the Write-on performance.
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Important Dates – Just a reminder

April 14th from 2-5pm
 Open House in Law Review Office (Ask questions and
meet Law Review board)

April 19th at 12pm/April 20th at 5pm
 Bluebook Trainings (identical)

Monday, May 10th, 12:00 p.m.
 Write-on sources available via ERes

Monday, May 17th, 12:00 p.m.
 Write-on materials due to Records (electronic and hard copy, or
electronic and overnight mail)

On or Around Monday, June 7.
 All competition participants will be notified of our decision
UCLA LAW REVIEW
Come to the Open House!
Good luck!
UCLA LAW REVIEW
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