Just when your edits are all turned in, your reading is done for the night and that big paper that’s worth a third of your grade is submitted, you can take a deep breath, and remember that little assignment for law review, the twenty five page paper. Then you think: joining was voluntary? You figure, sure, law school is easy as pie, I should put some more on my plate. Why not write a paper just for fun? For no grade? That’s twenty-five pages long. You just try to remind yourself that what you’re doing is exciting and important, the legal world is dying to hear what you have to say, and you must contribute to scholarly debate on whatever esoteric subject matter you chose.
Writing an article is the reason why you joined law review, and typically what one thinks of as being the only thing one does while on law review, but it just keeps getting put on the calendar week after week, only to never be scratched off and transferred to the following week. And so my research and writing are now in full swing, along with everything else, and like everyone else I am questioning my topic choice.
Picking an interesting topic is crucial, and choosing one that allows you to read the newspaper and books (real books! Ones that don’t say things like “whereas” and “supra”!) is vital. Occasionally, I can justify watching twenty minutes of a PBS documentary or listening to an NPR program by calling it “research.” These occasions are often followed by (interrupted by?) immediate, comatose sleep. I’m sure the two are unrelated, though.