Tuesday, February 28, 2012
From the always informative Lawyerist blog:
There are several good reasons to publish while in law school. First, you will already have to write at least one comprehensive paper during your three years at law school—so why not try to get it published. Moreover, you may be surprised at how little additional work will be required to make it publishable. Depending on your topic and area of expertise, your work may be exactly what a particular journal is looking for.
Second, some journals will publish student work, but will only publish a non-student’s work if the person is an expert in the field. As such, your status as a student can get you an opportunity and audience that you would not otherwise have.
Finally, there may be a significant cost savings associated with publication as a student because many students have the benefit of submitting their papers to as many journals as they like for free through an on-line submission vehicle called ExpressO. If you are not a student, you must pay $2.20 per journal. With hundreds of journals, this can become costly.
What Are The Benefits of Publishing?
Apart from the practical reasons for publishing while in law school, there are also several benefits. First, publication looks excellent on a resume. Moreover, if you publish, you will gain instant credibility and employers, scholarship committees and others will immediately conclude that you are able to write well. Also, a publication will help you find a job and will make you eligible for other accolades such as scholarship money, clerkship positions and praise from faculty and peers. A published work will also assist you if you desire a law professor position some day.
The development of a scholarly piece of work will also enhance your research and writing skills. As with any lengthy paper, you will have to devote a significant amount of time to research. This will not only enhance your knowledge in a particular subject area but will also force you to access various database libraries to search for relevant material. Moreover, a significant amount of time will have to be spent formatting the paper and the related citations and this focus on the detail and blue book format will help you as a lawyer.
Finally, if you publish you will put your name in print and this is a good feeling. You should be proud if you publish something and there is no better feeling than receipt of the finished product with your name boldly splashed across the cover.
How Do I Start?
The first step in the process involves selecting a topic. This sounds easy but unfortunately there is an additional step that must be done. Once you have settled on a topic, you have to conduct something called a preemption search to ensure that your topic has not been written about in the past. This does not mean that you cannot write about the same topic as others but rather means that if you do, you must make it different in some way. The preemption search process involves searching databases for similar topics and reviewing the articles to see what they have covered.
Continue reading here.