Unlike most other academic publications, law journals are run by students. Last semester I became a staff editor (SE) at the Journal of International Law and Politics (JILP), which meant I was charged with finding sources cited in articles, locating referenced portions of those sources and checking the citation format. I’ve loved every minute of it, so in mid-February, I interviewed to be one of four executive editors.

For two reasons, this interview was unlike any I have ever had:

  1. I am friends with most of the interviewers. Although the SEs are only responsible for working three hours per week, I genuinely enjoy spending time with my fellow journal members and consequently, do most of my homework and my on-campus socializing in the journal office.
  2. The Board did not ask me the typical stock interview questions.  I was interviewing for their jobs, so they wanted to know how I thought I could improve on their work.  They asked me what I would do, not why I wanted to do it.  They knew I was capable; they wanted to see if I would excel. It was, embarrassingly, the most fun I have ever had at an interview.

I did not have to wait long to hear back.  Within a few hours, I received a call from the editor in chief congratulating me on my selection.

As an EE, I will be in charge of the journal’s footnotes. This is more important than it may sound: footnotes are the foundation upon which a reliable article rests. They bolster the argument, situate it within the academic landscape, and give the article – and the journal – credibility. The EEs also, because they supervise office hours, form the strongest relationships with the new staff editors. The current EEs have played an important role of making the journal a welcoming community within law school, and I look forward to doing the same for the next batch of SEs.

My one-year tenure starts rights after spring break, but it feels as though it has already begun.  Now when I walk in the journal office, I’m walking into my office. When I’m speaking with the new editor-in-chief or notes editors, we’re discussing how we can improve upon our journal.  It is empowering and exciting.

This entry was written by and posted on March 17, 2010.
The entry was filed under these categories: Extracurricular Activities, Law Journals

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5 comments on “The Interview
  1. Sopheak Hoeun says:

    It sounds pretty cool, man!

  2. Lee says:

    Hey, thanks Sopheak! I’m really excited about this executive editing gig. It should be a lot of fun.

  3. Becca Kriegle says:

    Very interesting! Does politics include domestic politics as well?

  4. Lee Leviter, 2L says:

    Hi Becca – Oh my gosh, yes. I get my news from CSPAN. (not really, but still)

  5. Lee Leviter, 2L says:

    Hey Becca – I misunderstood your question until just now! “Politics” in the journal title *could* refer to domestic politics, but it has to have some relevance to the international realm.

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