Published: May 24, 2021
For rising 2Ls, now is the time you may be going through a, erm, favorite law school tradition: the write-on competition. This competition, which involves hours of editing, reading, and writing, potentially results in the prize of a spot on your school’s law review or another journal. We won’t sugarcoat it: Write-on isn’t all that fun, unless you happen to love Bluebooking (in which case, this might be one of your best weeks ever). The competition is a lot of work that requires critical thinking and careful attention to detail—and let’s face it, the timing isn’t exactly ideal right after 1L exams. (But hey, it’s good conditioning for bar prep, which will similarly start right after graduation.)
If you’re feeling bogged down by the write-on slog, you might be asking yourself if you really need to be doing this and if a journal membership really matters that much. We’re not here to make that decision for you, but we can tell you that having a journal on your resume might be important in your job search, and working on a journal does provide you with valuable experience. If you don’t believe us, below are quotes from our 2020 Annual Associate Survey, where real law firm associates provided advice to law students on preparing for practice. As you can see, there is plenty of commentary in favor of law review.
Hopefully, these quotes will provide you with the boost of motivation you need to cross the write-on finish line! And if you’re looking for some additional write-on tips, be sure to check out Tips for Nailing the Write-On Competition.
Stay strong, and Bluebook on!
If you've just finished your first year of law school, this is the time you might be thinking about applying to transfer law schools. The transfer application process can be confusing, and guidance isn’t always easy to find—especially because the process varies from school to school.
Kalyn Johnson Chandler is the founder and creative force behind the signature paperie, Effie’s Paper :: Stationery & Whatnot. Following a ten-year legal career as an environmental transactional lawyer at Jones Day, Kalyn returned to her first love, fashion, in 2007. She launched STYLE by Kalyn Johnson, a style consultancy focused on personal branding for men and women in the corporate arena. Her client roster consisted of television news anchors, attorneys, physicians, and other professionals. Now, a self-taught graphic designer, she’s extended her intrinsic fashion sense into a distinct lifestyle brand focusing on desk accessories and travel products, named after her grandmother, Mrs. Effie Hayes, that features her signature design aesthetic of bright colors, bold designs, and witty “bon mots”.
Kalyn is also a co-author of the cult classic, The BAP Handbook :: The Official Guide to the Black American Princess, and she’s an alum of The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Program. Kalyn lives in New York City with her husband and holds a BA in English and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan and an MA in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago.
Vault spoke with Kalyn about her path from law school to Effie’s Paper, her work as an entrepreneur and creative professional, and her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Read on for the interview.
Vault: Why did you initially decide to go to law school?
If you are a 1L, don't miss this chance to hear from experts at top law firms as they discuss legal careers, law school advice, and diversity initiatives!
It’s never too early to start planning for your legal career—even if you are only in the first semester of your 1L year.