Journal Community

Exams are fast approaching, but the 1Ls won’t be done with the semester after time is called on their last exam. After that last exam comes only a brief respite, followed by the (in)famous 1L Writing Competition.

In preparation, the current 1Ls are – as I was last year – starting to think about which journal might be the best fit for them, their legal interests, and their contemplated career path.

But no matter which journal you join, you’ll be doing mostly the same things: gathering sources and checking citations in articles, and working on your Student Note. And, no matter which journal you join, you’ll be entering a new community.

Joining a journal means joining a group of 2Ls and 3Ls all working toward the common goal of creating quality publications. The number of books you will help publish depends on which journal you join – each has a different schedule – but each repeated publication process brings you closer to your peers as you work to bring articles up to publishable quality.

Sometimes this camaraderie means commiserating about the terrible quality of the citations that you have been tasked with fixing or the looming deadline for a draft of your Student Note. But other times the camaraderie manifests itself in more positive ways like hanging out in the journal office and attending journal social events together. Some journals even make t-shirts, or take professional group pictures (yes, very high school).

While you spend your 1L year with your section, this section community disappears during 2L year. For me, the journal community has come to take its place. Through the Law Review community I’ve become friends with students in my own class who I never even met during 1L year. I’ve gotten to know the 3Ls too – not only are they great leaders for the journal, but they’re a great source of advice, mentorship, and support.

In a previous post, I mentioned my new role as Senior Articles Editor of the BU Law Review. I hope to use my role to cultivate that sense of community I have enjoyed so much. Commiserating over the challenges of publishing is inevitable, but I hope that our class will be as welcoming and positive towards our new journal members next year as this year’s 3L class was to us!

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