Members of the Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice are responsible for all aspects of the publication process, from article selection, to checking content for substance and citation accuracy, to editorial redrafting, and preparing the volumes for print. Through this process, members gain invaluable skills in legal research, writing, and analysis. In addition, as second year staff writers, members fulfill two writing requirements:
- A case comment, which may be published as part of the E. Supp., and
- A note—a significant piece of scholarship—which may be published in the Review.
Although it requires a significant time commitment, membership on the Review still allows for participation in a clinic, moot court competition, or serious involvement with other campus organizations. Members may avail themselves of Boston College Law School’s study abroad opportunities, although such participation is feasible only during third year.
Members of the Review receive six pass/fail credits for their participation. They register for these credits in either semester of their second and third years. At the end of second year, members receive three provisional credits. These ripen into six actual credits at the end of third year.
Boston College Law School produces five academic publications: (1) Boston College Law Review; (2)Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review; (3) Boston College International & Comparative Law Review; (4) Boston College Journal of Law and Social Justice; and (5) The Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest. Members of these publications are selected by a variety of processes. The students achieving the 5 highest GPAs in each section will be invited to join the review of their choice. That same invitation will be extended to the students who achieve the 5 highest scores on the writing competition (based on a memorandum of law, Bluebook exercise, and personal statement). The remaining slots on the reviews will be filled by students who attain the highest scores derived from an equation that takes into account GPA, writing competition score, and the score on a personal statement that the editors in chief can use, for example, to match up students who express a compelling interest in a specific journal’s subject matter or who present a perspective that the editors feel will bring a distinctive voice to the membership.
As noted above, the competition consists of a few parts. Participants are asked to draft a memorandum of law based on a fact pattern and research materials supplied in the competition package. In addition, they are asked to complete a citation exercise that is intended to teach the most important and often-used Bluebook rules. Students are given approximately 12 days to conclude the assignment. Submissions are read by selected editors from all the publications. Six different readers evaluate each submission; their weighted scores are averaged to determine the final grade; the Bluebook exercise is graded by the manager of the law reviews; the 5 editors in chief evaluate the personal statements. Those students receiving the highest scores are assigned to the journals of their choice based on a preference ranking they hand in with the submissions.
Any student who is not selected for a review staff at the end of first year may write a note of publishable quality under the guidance of a faculty member, either as an independent study or in conjunction with a seminar. If that note is selected for publication by one of the reviews, its writer will become a member of the review’s editorial board in his or her third year.