Undergraduate Law Reviews: A Novel and Valuable Concept

If you are a college or university undergraduate and are interested in a career in the law, writing for a law review or law journal would be a very useful tool to use as leverage when applying to law schools.  However, most colleges and universities do not offer that opportunity.  And the law schools on those campuses do not allow undergraduate students to publish articles in the law schools’ reviews or journals.

However, that is changing.  A recent article in the Daily Tarheel  announced the founding of the Undergraduate Law Association at the University of North Carolina (UNC).  The organization intends to publish law journal articles written by undergraduate students, establish a moot court program, and work with UNC Law School on projects.

This is not the first time an undergraduate college or university has taken similar steps to give interested students an edge on acceptance to law school.  Other undergraduate law reviews exist across the country at schools like the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Stanford University and College of the Holy Cross.  However, programs like this are still novel.

I had experience with students in one of those programs some years ago when I spoke to the students enrolled in the undergraduate law review program at College of the Holy Cross.  Those students were interested in hearing about the subjects included in my book series for young lawyers, and it was a very rewarding experience for me.  The students were very capable, well-informed, dedicated to their cause and anxious to learn as much as possible to prepare themselves for success in law school and legal practice.  And they put out an impressive product.  At the time, I believe that the program at College of the Holy Cross was one of the only such programs in the country, and I was inspired by the vision of the founders there.

Likewise, bravo to the UNC students who envisioned this new program.  I wish them good luck.  Establishing a platform for undergraduates, by undergraduates, is a heavy lift. Most law journals are run by current law students and feature articles by professors, other law students and practicing attorneys.  Undergraduates need not apply!

But change is in the air. I hope these programs are very successful and establish a trend.



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