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Thomas Jefferson Law Review Annual Writing Competition

May 17, 2011

The annual Thomas Jefferson Law Review (TJLR) Writing Competition could be your ticket on to law review.  Membership on law review is known as one of the most prestigious activities one can engage in while in law school.  Membership on law review will also greatly improve your writing ability and legal analysis and may very well be the path to a prominent internship, clerkship, or career.  All of the benefits of membership on law review are too numerous to list.

TJLR automatically invites students onto law review who have either ranked in the top five percent of their class after the first semester or in the top fifteen percent after their second semester of studies.  If you don’t fall into one of those categories after your first year, don’t fret.  The writing competition could be your answer. 

Students in the top fifty percent of their class, but outside of the top fifteen percent of their class, will receive invitations to participate in the writing competition.  Writing competition entries will be judged and used to determine who will be invited to join TJLR.  All entries will be judged anonymously.  Students participating will receive a private identification number from student services prior to the start of the competition. 

The writing competition will take place in mid to late July and contestants will be allowed nine days to complete the competition.  The competition consists of two portions, a problem and an editing assignment.   The problem will consist of an area of unsettled law in which you must argue, using a closed universe of sources, either one side or the other, or for a solution to the issue.  The editing assignment will check competitor’s attention to detail and require editing of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and footnotes.  Complete rules and details will be released this summer as the competition draws near. 

Those that are invited onto TJLR will begin as Staff Associates.  Staff Associates will spend the Fall semester writing Notes.  The Note writing process is a mandatory requirement of TJLR membership and Staff Associates that successfully complete the Note writing process will be invited onto law review as full members of the editorial board.  In order to successfully complete a Note, Staff Associates must satisfy a number of requirements, including word count, number of footnotes, content, and style.  Ultimately, however, the Note must be determined to be of “publishable quality,” as the top several notes will be published in TJLR.   

Students that are interested in joining TJLR should seriously consider participating in the writing competition.  Law review is a great way to increase the strength of your resume and will certainly improve your writing skills.  Many prominent attorneys, judges, and politicians in this country were members of their schools law reviews; wouldn’t you like to follow in their footsteps? 

Invitations to participate in the writing competition will be sent out this July to students who qualify. If you have any other questions about the writing competition or TJLR, please feel free to contact either one of the incoming Chief Notes Editors: Cory Lacy at or James Wolken at