November 01, 2004

Anti-Intellectual Bitchiness

by PG

Was what my cousin thought that law review would be, after I explained that one's work essentially is an ongoing horror of checking citations for conformity to the Bluebook. And I started complaining upon completing the first problem of the citation drill.

Chris, Wings & Vodka, all other De Novo- reading law review folks -- why do you do it? How much prestige does it take to make the best minds of my generation devote themselves to madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for a missing comma...? [reference]

Make the law reviews hire a paid staff of editors who will have the Bluebook memorized after the first couple of years and can throw the stanky thing away upon that level of seniority. (Until, of course, the Evil Quadrumvirate releases a new edition.)

November 1, 2004 12:47 AM | TrackBack

1. Finished product with your name on it looks pretty good (although you'll never look at it again for fear of finding an error).

2. Like being around highly motivated people.

3. Like complaining about work.

4. Opportunity to write something publishable (which you probably won't do if you have to motivate yourself).

5. More exposure to academic legal writing. Yes, even at the cite checker stage, where you can learn the nuts and bolts.

Posted by: Matto Ichiban at November 1, 2004 10:05 PM

1. I'm in agreement with Matto on the being around motivated people thing. I'm most comfortable when I'm the dumbest person in the room, and law review gives me that chance every day.

2. You really can't overstate the advantage it gives come interview time. Really.

3. Free food & coffee. Now, any self-respecting journal at your school is going to have free coffee in the office. But the LR is more likely to have better coffee and better food donated. (Ex: We have donuts every Tuesday, Bagels every Wednesday, and breakfast tacos every Thursday). These things are important to me.

4. You can stop worrying. Though your peers on law review may do bigger and better things than you, everyone else is going to feel, in some way, however unfair that may be, that they've got to do more to catch up to you. And that's a nice place to be.

5. Whatever. Citechecking is fun.

Posted by: wingsandvodka at November 2, 2004 01:08 PM

breakfast tacos? what the hell are those?

Posted by: japhy at November 3, 2004 10:44 AM

breakfast tacos? what the hell are those?

Absolutely the best thing to eat when you're drunk and trying to ground the alcohol in your stomach. TC sells them 11pm-noon, because you wouldn't want to eat them during normal food hours.

And in a desperate attempt to make this comment law-relevant, Taco Cabana was in a SCOTUS case in 1992.

Posted by: PG at November 3, 2004 01:53 PM

The real question is why those of us on specialty journals keep at it, especially since it does *not* have the interview season benefits and most of the time-sucking costs.

Really, though, the new edition of the Bluebook is necessary, if only to correct the FUBAR'd methods currently used to cite internet sources.

Posted by: Amber at November 3, 2004 01:53 PM

I don't know about other law reviews, but the cite-checking duties really aren't that bad -- less time than any part-time job I ever had. It's writing a note that's painful, and I think the process there is valuable and also potentially rewarding.

Never mind the interviewing benefits.

Posted by: Heidi at November 6, 2004 07:21 PM

Oh. Fuck. My note. Thanks for reminding me.

Posted by: wingsandvodka at November 7, 2004 03:39 PM

Er, the reason that law firms pay for law review graduates is tied, in part, to the fact that being on law review and doing all that cite checking forces you to memorize it and do it right.

Clerking for a federal judge, in part, is much like cite checking -- only legal briefs instead of articles.

Posted by: Ethesis (Stephen M) at November 7, 2004 07:56 PM
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