Last week (at least I think it was last week) they had the big MultiJournal Write-On meeting, where the heads of all 93 student-run journals put us in a room and tell us why we should preference their journal when the write-on comes around. Though this was all pretty pointless for me, as I intend to skip the write-on and concentrate on founding the American Journal of Avril Lavigne Law, I did learn some interesting things.
First and foremost was the fact that the write-on packet weighs 32 oz..
Second and secondforemost was the enthusiastic race to the bottom engaged in by most of the lesser journals. Since the only real prestige comes from the Law Review and possibly a few others, the specialty journals generally have to market a little more aggressively:
"We are the seventh most-cited specialty journal at UT, and we do not have a Note requirement, which is awesome."
"We solicit the majority of our material from precocious 4th graders in and around the Austin area, and as of this semester, we don't charge any membership dues. We also get to use the copy machines for free."
"Though some might look at membership on our journal as a liability come interview time, we take pride in the fact that even though our acronym is vowel-less and unpronounceable, we'd rather die than spell it out like the initialism it actually is. Say "TRJPLXQFTR" with pride!"
I was also confused by the title of the Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy (TXHPCJRNLWPY for short). Specifically, I was confused by the placement of the modifier, “Hispanic.” Is it actually the journal itself that’s Hispanic, or are the issues it covers Hispanic? One time I was behind a truck that said “Italian Marble Specialists,” and I wasn’t sure if it meant that its occupants were specialists in Italian marble (possible), specialists in marble that just happen to be Italian themselves (also possible), or specialists whose specialty was unknown, but who happened to be made out of Italian marble (admittedly, a more remote possibility). I just wasn’t sure, and it left me unsettled for days. And now TXHPCJRNLWPY has made me feel that way again.
The only other notable part of the presentation was the half-hearted attempt made by Law Review members to make the Review membership seem at least a little cool. There were some puns and some goofy photos that almost got it done, but it was all washed away by:
“The other day another Review member and I were proofreading in a coffee shop, and we actually high-fived across the table when we found a mistake. We were like ‘There TOTALLY should have been a period there!’”
Actually, I found that to be the most endearing and honest part of the presentation. But, like I said, I’m starting my own journal. Look for AJALL’s symposium entitled, Did You Think That I Was Gonna Give it Up to You?: Avril and the 4th Amendment, to come out some time in November.