The Writing Competition

The Law Review extends an offer of membership to twenty students based on their 1L grades. Eligibility to "grade on" to the Law Review is conditional on performance in the Writing Competition. The threshold performance for "grading on" is defined as scoring in the top sixty submissions or the top 60 percent of submissions, whichever is more generous. Additionally, the first seven submissions below this threshold are evaluated using a more holistic, standard-based approach. The remaining members are selected based on their performance on the Writing Competition. Because all members are required to enter the Writing Competition, neither members nor the board knows whether an individual student has "written on" or "graded on." In previous years, approximately 150 students have participated in the Writing Competition. For more specific information about the ways in which members are selected for the Law Review, please see the letter below.

Since the inception of the Writing Competition, the Law Review has handled all aspects of the Writing Competition, which comprises three parts. First, participating students are asked to write a "Topic Analysis," a paper of approximately 3,000 words detailing the merits of a particular topic as the basis of a student Comment. Second, participating students must edit a short sample of legal writing. Third, all participants in the Writing Competition must complete a short personal statement about what they would contribute to a journal. The Law ReviewChicago Journal of International Law, and Legal Forum all use the same Writing Competition, and students may apply for membership on any of the three journals. The topic is selected by the Law Review, and all relevant materials are provided in a packet that the Law Review provides.

The Writing Competition packet is made available after the last 1L exam and must be turned in approximately two weeks after the Sunday following the last 1L exam. The journals will hold an informational meeting in May at which time the Writing Competition will be described in greater detail.

Transfer students are encouraged to participate in the Writing Competition as well. Those interested should contact the Office of Admissions. 

Offers of membership are extended in late July or early August. All members must be able to report back to school for the start of Orientation, which will be held in mid-August.

For more information, see the below letters:

Current 1L Letter

Transfer Student Letter

The Topic Access Program

Second- and third-year students may also join the Law Review through the Topic Access program. Students are accepted to the Law Review on the basis of a student comment deemed publishable by the managing board. For more information, see the Topic Access memo below. For additional questions, please contact Jamie Lee and Barry Frett, Topic Access & Recruitment Editors.

Download the Topic Access Memo

Download a Sample Topic Proposal

Download a Sample Topic Analysis