A few days ago I did a post about how law school mockers are missing the ultimate paydirt of mocking comparisons – Greek Life.  At the the end of that article, I said I would be making a similar comparison between Greek Life and Journals.  Now before you guys accuse me of beating a dead horse only doing this post because of the nice and angry complaints from people in the south IM’s you sent, go back and check, I really did mention this when I posted my last article.

A few weeks after school starts, Harvard does something called “Orientatin Part 2” which is basically slang for “Now that you have been here and have a little down time, join more stuff so you don’t sleep.”  At this point they pitch all of the student practice orgs, clubs, social orgs, and journals.

Now, before I go into detail, let me provide you with a brief overview of how journals solicit members. 

The schools places a time limit on when journals can contact us saying no involvement before X date (see where this is going) during this time,journals scrawl on blackboad after blackboard about their upcoming events (Blackboards are the new T-shirts).  Despite rules that say they can’t contact us, some journals (Read:  JLPP) find ways to skirt the rules (federalist society events). 

So now the time arrives, journals can contact us and what do they do?  Hold a bunch of identical events were they give us free food and talk to us about the same topics.  If this wasn’t irony enough, the following is a list of “benefits” that every journal claimed to provide:

1. Job opportunities

2. Social connections

3. Help getting through classes / outline banks

4. Leadership positions

Man, repetitive discussion about job opportunities, friendship, help with clases, and leadership, where have I heard this before….. 

Now, eventually you narrow it down to a couple of choice, as you start to ask the hard questions. 

Me:  Mr. CRCL, how large is your journal? 

CRCL: “We are the biggest non law review”

Me:  “Mr. JLPP, how large is your journal?”

JLPP:  “Largest non law review anywhere”

Me:  Mr. JOLT, how large is your journal?”

JOLT:  “Largest on campus.”

 Hmm….. sounds framiliar, everybody is the biggest.  So are any of them lying?  Nope, just like recruitment, they just use selective definitions of biggest.  Lets review:

TKE:  Most chapter houses, SAE: Most initates, Sig Ep:  Most dudes alive right now, Pike:  Largest average chapter size, Sigma Chi:  Stronges national name recognition.

JLPP: Largest non flagship circulation, CRCL: Most people involved on campus, Random journal I wasn’t interested in:  Most often cited, some other journal I didn’t look at:  Largest paid circulation.

Not everybody can be the biggest, some journals have to be smaller, and man will they tell you reasons I have never heard for why being smaller is good, such origionality as:  “You can get involved sooner”, “you know everybody in your journal” and “you get a more meaningful experience with less red tape.”  hmm…..

So now I know I want to join a fraternity journal, whats next?  I have to learn the shortened name.  I joined HNLR (Hence the title of his post) and JLPP.  The only difference I have notice so far – you can pick more than one journal.  So I picked my journal, I know how to say my short form name really fast, now what…..


Ok, so now I have been in a fraternity  for a few weeks… what happens…..

Pledging Subciting…. the definition of making younger members do garbage that the older members don’t want to do.  After a year of this, if you suck up to someone powerful do a good job, a big brother senior editor, the person that has been watching over the work you are doing, might recommend you to become a senior editor as well.  One step up in the ranking.

Keep working hard, do what’s expected, and in a year you might even make Exec Upper Masthead. 

So I think I have taken this about as far as it can go:  The short names, recruitment similarities, everybody is the best, free food with identical speeches, and hazing.  Whats missing?

Journals, how on earth have you not found a way to create some sort of negative term to refer to non-journal people?  I spend four years talking about “GDI’s”, gosh darnit, we need a term.

Let me be the first to suggest: 

KWF – Kid with freetime. 

It just doesn’t have the same ring.


Law: Journal Work

September 26, 2007

So this week starts the first round of subciting for journals at HLS.  I got my first article assignment for the Journal on Law and Public Policy (an academic journal largely tied to FedSoc) and began reseaching. 

 Thankfully, my piece is fairly small, but let me just say, you have not experienced boredom until you have subcited for a law journal. 

For those of you that have never had this particular joy, let me explain how it works.

 You meet your supervisor who gives you a copy of an article and an assignment of cites.  You then find all of the sources (some easy some silly hard) and proceed to make copies of those sources for a source binder (though I am told this part varies from journal to journal).

 You then pull out your Bluebook and make sure the citations are perfectly formatted (note:  This means according to blue book academic rules, not the short simple rules near the front).

By the time this is complete, you will already have logged a large amount of time.  You are now supposed to LINE EDIT the article to find typos, logical flaws, and similar issues. 

Finally, you go through and look for propositions that are unsupported by facts and then find sources to support those facts.

 I have finished bluebooking.  I now have to line edit and then find two sources, I’ll keep you posted on how that goes.

For those of you that are interested, the one thing that really suprised me was the quality of the article, I am unimpressed by my particular piece.  The logic flows but it is a basic point that I have heard many times over.  The only significant thing the author “adds” in taking the methodology and saying “we should apply it to this specific type of first amend. case.” 

This may sound interesting, but the point has aready been made concerning applying the same methodology to other similar cases, so this doesn’t seem like much of an “academic contribution” but whatever, I got a short article so I’m happy.