The Best Laid Plans

At times, we forget that all of the students working on Law Review are one team.  Each group gets an article to work on, and when everything runs smoothly there’s little need for interaction between branches.  The cohesion of the group really doesn’t show until something goes amiss.  That’s when we have our “make it work” moments.  Let’s take a look at some of these situations and see how our group handles them.

This article has 1500 footnotes that reference 1000 sources!

Okay, this might be a slight exaggeration, but every now and then a group gets an article that has a huge number of footnotes and sources.  Since what we primarily do with our articles is collect the cited sources, check Bluebooking, and make sure the source says what the article writer has asserted, this kind of article can present a deadline problem.  This is where the rest of the team comes into play; another group that was assigned a less-burdensome article can finish their own article and then step up to help the group with a thousand sources.

“But,” you say, “I finished my own assignment.  Why should I have to do extra work just because someone else couldn’t handle theirs?”

You do it because you are a team, and team members support each other.  Next time around, your group might be the one that gets the monster assignment.  If you hang your teammates out to dry when they need help, you are likely to experience the same thing when it’s your turn.  Be a good member of the team, and help out when it’s needed.

We have an unreasonable number of deadlines in a short period of time!

While there might be some debate as to what is or is not reasonable, a deadline problem recently came up within the Law Review.  The Editors would have been well within their rights to insist on keeping the deadlines as they were, particularly given that they had been published since the semester started.  However, they instead chose to hold an open forum to hear any concerns (or praise) that students might have for the current system.  With input from many members of the team, they were able to decide that some deadlines could be moved and others should remain the same.

Confrontation can be intimidating, and the senior members of the Law Review team recognized this and created an opportunity to make it easier.  Working together, the team was able to achieve a solution that kept us on track for our publishing deadlines and distributed the workload more evenly throughout the year.  Without open-minded leadership and Associates willing to bring their concerns forward, none of that could have happened.

These are just two examples of situations you might face on Law Review, or as part of any team, but they teach good lessons.  A team where the members are willing to step up to help their teammates, and which has active members and communicative leadership, will be much better off than one without them.  This life lesson brought to you by the Pace Environmental Law Review!

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