Tuesday, April 08, 2008

It is all about the fighting...or negotiating.

Outside Competition tryouts for Boalt's Moot Court, Trial and ADR teams begin next week. All of these programs are excellent ways to boost your skills, make close friends, and kick the crap out of Hastings (hopefully). It is also an excellent resume builder---employers value Moot Court experience highly.

For information, seek out the flyers outside 377 Boalt or contact boaltadvocates@gmail.com.

***Edit: See "BOA" post below for info as well.***

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29 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

is it just me, did McWho just mistakenly hit the blog button instead of the email button?

4/08/2008 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this blog is a TTT in decline. Most of the time the threads are an exchange between the admins/bloggers of this blog.

4/08/2008 11:59 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

A TTT? Really? Don't bring that autoadmit garbage over here.

4/09/2008 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:59: Yes, you can tell by the way that nobody here ever comments anonymously.


McWho: I'm a 1L and I don't know anything about any of these organizations. I'll look for the handout, but are you in any of these groups? How much time and energy does it take? Would you do one of these, or CLR?

4/09/2008 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah - any advice for rising 2L's (yay no more 1L!) as to what activities to do next year?

I am interested in doing CLR, but if I don't get accepted to CLR I'd be interested in doing one of these competitions. But we have to try out for the competitions in the next week? It is frustrating how we have to plan all of our activities a year ahead. Any advice for managing the choices?

4/09/2008 11:41 AM  
Blogger matt said...

I recall from the CLR meeting earlier this year that you can do both Moot Court competition and CLR. One of the current CLR members talked about that having been his experience, and I, for one, and hoping to do the same next year if I can manage to get accepted to both.

4/09/2008 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my feeling is that if you don't *like* doing journal work but still want the benefits of being associated with a prestigious/somewhat exclusive organization, then being involved in one of these competition teams is a really great choice. it's a lot of fun, and it's definitely the sort of thing that looks great on one's resume.

4/09/2008 12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If your ideal first job involves trial practice (prosecutor, PD, personal injury law), then you will want to have a trial advocacy course, evidence, and some competition team experience on your resume. If that's not your ideal job, they may be good for your resume anyway, especially if you want to do private practice litigation. Other than that, compete if you think it would be fun.

4/09/2008 12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CLR and Trial Team is definitely doable. I know two people on just one team who did both marvelously.

You have to try out / decide to accept a spot on the Outside Competition teams long before you would know about whether you made it on to CLR. Still, if you're even thinking about it, it couldn't hurt to at least try out so you don't close any doors.

4/09/2008 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're both incredible time-sucks. Moot court can be a little more rewarding at the end because of the competition/potential at winning. I'm pretty sure CLR doesn't carry much more weight than another journal on campus. Most firms, judges that I've seen look for "journal experience." Requiring law review specifically only applied when law review could be equated with having made the grades. Which everyone knows is not the case here. Those who disagree and think CLR is some kind of magic job-getting pixie dust are likely just trying to justify the semesters of self-inflicted torture.

4/09/2008 12:43 PM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I agree that CLR isn't "magic job-getting pixie dust" but I don't think it counts for nothing either.

For the record, I'm both CLR and BTLJ, and I have to say, even though I thought my BTLJ experience was more impressive (particularly because during OCIP I hadn't done anything for CLR besides go to the orientation), nobody asked me about BTLJ, and at least 70% of the lawyers I talked to in screening interviews and callbacks wanted to talk about CLR.

I don't think it got me any callbacks I wouldn't have had otherwise, but I did get the impression that it counted for something, just not enough to justify doing it if you genuinely aren't interested in legal scholarship.

4/09/2008 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CLR may not be magic, job-getting pixie dust, but I was recently at a firm reception, and asked: 'as someone interested in litigation, is there anything specifically I should be doing?'

Answer: 'Law Review. Absolutely do Law Review.'

4/09/2008 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grades are vastly more important than law review for very selective positions (the only place where either would really matter), but law review does still count for something, because most law reviews are still grade on (Boalt is I think the only one of the top ten law schools that doesn't consider grades for its journal membership), and it's always just been a marker of distinction. CLR is still competitive, so it still means something to be on it or not. Even more important is what board position you get, because that translates to actual, useful experience plus shows that enough people like you for you to get elected.

That said, CLR is a fairly inefficiently run journal and will take up lots of your time. Don't do it just because it's the "right" thing to do, only do it if you have at least some interest in what they generally publish and if you think you want to go into academia or do something where CLR membership could potentially make a difference. It's also something most of the people who are always doing the "right" thing do, so you will get to know these people well, and that would pay dividends later. Kind of a bad way of looking at things, I think, but not invalid, so it can definitely be worth it in the end, even if the actual work can be fairly miserable and take up so much time your grades or other activities could potentially suffer.

4/09/2008 2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lot of lawyers and judges still think that law review is determined entirely or largely by grades. some lawyers know how it works at each school, but they aren't the majority. so if you're worried about your grades, writing onto the CLR is a great idea.

4/09/2008 3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are interested in pursuing an IP career, I strongly recommend BTLJ. [Full disclosure: I"m a former member of the exec board.]

You will get to know all of your IP classmates better, how the field is developing, interesting areas of scholarship/recent changes in the law, etc. All of this pays off in networking opportunities later, both with your former classmates and with all those luncheon speakers who will at least have heard of the journal before.

Also, if you take the writing seminar, you will have something to tout at OCIP. And people still ask me for copies of my article. It has been cited by other articles, magazines, and in briefs. Having a published paper is worth the time suck that the class can sometimes be.

Don't feel you *have* to do CLR to get a good job. That's just not true.

4/09/2008 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CLR matters for clerkships. End of story.

It's a shame that Boalt's affirmative action policies regarding CLR aren't more publicly disclosed, because it perpetuates the myth that CLR membership is based solely on writing and editing ability.

4/09/2008 3:57 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

I'm a 2L, and this year I was on a Moot Court team (I also did 95% of the CLR write on and then gave up, because I realized that even if I got on it, I would hate life doing it).

All job-getting aside, Moot Court and Trial are HUGE fun, HUGE work, and very worth it.

As far as time committments, most 2L's wont be competing in the fall because of OCIP. When you begin writing your brief for MC, or doing Trial Prep, the hours do add up---but they are surprisingly fun. I'm not going to say that researching trademark law was EXCITING, but I definitely think it was worth it when I got to argue at competition.

I was also a board member on the Crim Journal, with an 80 hour minimum commitment there. Totally doable to do both.

4/09/2008 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doing CLR "because you're worried about your grades" is not really going to help. Anyone looking at your resume to see law review noted also has access to your transcript.

For employment, as long as you belong to SOME journal, you're fine. If you're on the board, you're especially fine. This goes double for those employers who are used to interviewing at Boalt and know the status of our law review.

If you come across an employer that questions your lack of participation in law review--you can say your interest in international law or in IP took you to another journal. It seems clear, following OCIP, that employers don't give a yes/no based on CLR--but they totally have grade cut-offs.

I'll admit that I don't know this last part for sure, but I'd GUESS if you want to clerk that being on the board of another less dreadful journal and/or having something published would keep you in the pile long enough for the judge to have a look at your transcript and see law review has nothing to do with grades.

I think 1:32's comment is funny. The fact that a lawyer said "definitely do law review" when you prefaced your question by saying that you were interested in litigation proves how little that lawyer knew. CLR could potentially help you get a clerkship--because judges might confuse it with high-level performance. But it has absolutely NOTHING to do with being a litigator.

Research, writing, an occasional chance at advocating--that's what a litigator does. Maybe practicing proofreading would help one avoid looking like an idiot. But cite checking, bluebooking--the stuff of CLR--these are things paralegals do in real life.

Like most attorneys at those receptions, he was probably forced into it or got some hours for it and wanted to dish out some stock advice about what to do to get a good job. Or maybe he went to a low-tier school where law review CAN be a ticket to a better job. Or maybe he doesn't know how CLR works and is trying to hint that you should be in the top 10%.

4/09/2008 4:14 PM  
Blogger Boris said...

I know people love to bash CLR on this blog, but I think much of this criticism is undeserved, and nearly all of it is unsubstantiated. I, along with many CLR members, genuinely enjoy being on the journal. That is all.

4/09/2008 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Teams are highly selective." Anyone know specifics?

4/09/2008 4:28 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

BOA, I deleted your comment b/c you listed the first and last names. Would you mind using first and last initial or something like that? I don't want people to be involuntarily associated with this blog based on a google search. If you didn't save the comment, I'd be happy to repost it for you with the edits.

4/09/2008 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4:28: Last year, approximately 1 in 4 people trying out made it on. I’m curious how that stacks up with CLR; my guess is that it’s more competitive. It varies by specific competition, however. For instance, it is especially competitive to get on the Vis team and travel to Paris and Vienna. The top trial and appellate squads are also fierce. But others are less so, and some require people with specialized knowledge (e.g. IP).

4/09/2008 4:35 PM  
Anonymous BOA said...

Fame. Glory. Late night lattes. The thrill to win. Did you know that your school has the strongest overall advocacy competition program of any Top-10 Law School? Do you want to be on the Varsity Team of Berkeley Law?

Take a look at some of this year’s powerhouse accomplishments: #1 & #2 in AAJ Trial Advocacy Regional, #1 in SFTLA Trial Advocacy, # 2 in Stanford Trial Advocacy, # 1 in ABA Appellate Regional, #1 in Constance Baker Motley Appellate Regional, # 3 Lefkowitz Appellate Regional, #1 Brief in Vis International Arbitration, # 2 Brief and Witkin Award in Traynor Appellate Competition, # 2 Brief in Jessup Appellate Regional, #1 in ABA Mediations Regional, #1 in ABA Negotiations. The list goes on and on.

Next week, April 15-20, is your chance to tryout for our 2008-2009 appellate (moot court), trial, alternative dispute resolution, mediation, and arbitration teams. If you make it, you will have the opportunity to hone your skills with former Nationals competitors, travel across the country (or the world), and be a proud member of Berkeley’s stellar advocacy program.

Information about specific teams and tryout requirements is available outside the Board of Advocates office, Boalt 377. Sign-up sheets are posted on the door. Once you sign up, additional information and the tryout application will be emailed to you. Appellate tryouts require a short brief writing sample and condensed oral argument (past or current WOA materials are recommended). Trial Advocacy tryouts will involve a condensed closing argument. All 1Ls and 2Ls are encouraged to participate. Teams are highly selective.

Our competitors are the representatives of Berkeley Law in competitions across the nation. Don't miss this opportunity to be on our team.

If you have any questions, email at boaltadvocates@gmail.com.

4/09/2008 4:38 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Much obliged.

4/09/2008 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My take on the trial selection process (no real knowledge of moot court and ADR):

Anyone who spends a good hour memorizing the 5 minute closing and can deliver it without notes or obvious stutters will be in great shape.

3-4 practice deliveries in front of a mirror or friend would be adequate preparation for most.

i don't know about the 1 in 4 statistic, but I would be surprised if people who did the above didn't get on.

4/09/2008 5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:54, from what I understand the 1 in 4 statistic is about right. What I don't know is whether that is just for trial, or also includes appellate and ADR. If that is just for trial, it's probably somewhat overstated in that some appellate and ADR people may have ranked that over trial.

But don't assume that memorization will get you onto a trial team. Take the time to write a good argument and get it down to a point where it doesn't SOUND memorized anymore. For appellate, its like WOA but, in my experience, with tougher questions you may not see coming.

I don't really see the need to do both BOA and CLR. It helps, but as long as you have one or the other you'll have something to talk about in interviews. There was a post on this somewhere last year that was helpful if anyone is really stressing about the choice.

4/09/2008 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My recommendation is that you shouldn't do any of these things purely for your resume (but if you're genuinely interested, different story!). My experience has been that employers have tended to be more interested in talking about what you are doing as opposed to what you're not doing.

For those who worry about lack of CLR or other journal membership: We can have the "Does law review matter?" discussion over and over, but my experience was the following: I was on zero journals (and had no interest in them), but I did have solid grades. For OCIP, CLR did NOT matter -- I did not have a single attorney ask me why I was not on law review. For the clerkship process, it may have mattered. Generally, grades seem to be the major weeder for clerkships. District judges tended not to care about CLR, but I did find that circuit judges were interested in it.

4/09/2008 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some data from the CLR masthead website, the Moot Court website, and the clerkship guide from the CDO webpage, which lists people from the class of 2008 who will be clerking:

21 students are listed
8 of them are on CLR (38%)
5 of them are on moot court (24%)
9 do neither (43%)

This adds up to 22 because one student is on both CLR and moot court.

Circuit Court Clerkships
9 total students
Only CLR: 0 (0%)
Only moot court: 3 (33%)
CLR and moot court: 1 (11%)
Neither: 5 (56%)

District Court Clerkships
9 total students
Only CLR: 6 (67%)
Only moot court: 1 (11%)
CLR and moot court: 0 (0%)
Neither: 2 (22%)

State Court Clerkships
3 total students
Only CLR: 1 (33%)
Only moot court: 0 (0%)
CLR and moot court: 0 (0%)
Neither: 2 (66%)

I don't know whether there are errors in the CDO data, the CLR website, or the moot court website. I also did this kind of quickly, so there is no guarantee that my tallies are perfect. The sample is kind of small too.

4/10/2008 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I know its early, but does anyone know when we will hear back? I am so anxious to find out.

6/21/2008 4:16 PM  

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