Students who have completed their first year at the University of Kentucky College of Law are eligible to apply for Kentucky Law Journal (KLJ) membership through the Write-On Program. Both KLJ and Kentucky Journal of Equine, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Law (KJEANRL) use the same Write-On Program, but employ separate policies for membership selection. Although students may apply to both journals, they may only accept a membership invitation from one journal.
Membership Selection Process
All students seeking a membership invitation must complete the Write-on assignment. Students may gain acceptance to KLJ either by “grading-on” or by participating in the Write-On Program. Students finishing in the top 10% of the class at the end of the second semester will “grade-on” to KLJ provided that their write-on assignment demonstrates a “Good Faith Effort”. Those students outside the top 10% may earn an invitation through participation in the Write-On Program.
The Registrar typically releases class ranks in mid-June. Students will not know their class rank at the time they submit their Write-On responses. Each journal will obtain class rank information from the Registrar during the time when the Write-On responses are reviewed. A GPA Release Authorization is contained in the “Registration Form” below and must be signed and returned before you will be considered for membership to a journal.
THE WRITE-ON PROGRAM
The Write-On assignment is intended to reflect the work that you will perform as a journal member. Explicit directions regarding the Write-On assignment will be released with the assignment in May. The journals will not answer specific questions about the content of the assignment until the problem has been released. The Write-On assignment must be submitted by the due date.
Grading considerations for the Write-On Program will consist of the following:
- Writing Exercise: 70%
- Proofreading and Bluebook Exercises: 30%
The Writing Exercise will provide you with a number of sources and ask you to utilize those sources, and only those sources, to respond to a prompt. You must cite your sources in endnotes, which follow Bluebook format. Your response is limited to seven pages in length. The Proofreading Exercise will consist of two parts. First, you will be given a segment of text and footnotes relating to that text. You must perform a “Literary Edit” on the piece and correct footnotes pursuant to the Bluebook. Second, you will be given a different segment of text. You must perform another “Literary Edit” that will focus more specifically on your ability to correct grammatical mistakes. The Bluebook Exercise will consist of several citations. You must perform a “Technical Edit” and correct footnotes pursuant to the Bluebook.
The process is intended to be completely anonymous. Candidates shall not reveal their identities in their submitted Write-On responses. The Write-On responses will be submitted online, and you will be assigned a random numerical code to use instead of your name. More details regarding submission will be included in the Write-On materials when they are released.
GRADING & STANDARDS
Write-On responses will be graded for analytical and writing skills, including logical and succinct analysis, appropriate use of sources, readability, proper grammar and correct citation. Invitations will be given to those students who display “superior writing ability.”
“Good faith effort” is defined as timely compliance with substantially all of the formatting requirements and a submission that demonstrates a substantial commitment to producing a quality work product, as evidenced by the rubric used in scoring write-on submissions. A score within the top seventy-five percent of all write-on participants, according the Journal’s scoring, will be presumed to demonstrate a good faith effort. A score within the bottom twenty-five percent of all write-on participants, according to the Journal’s scoring, will carry a rebuttable presumption of demonstrating a non-good faith effort and will be closely scrutinized for compliance with the above standard.
The honor code governs the Write-On Program as well as all journal activities. Students may not consult any outside resources during the Write-On period, including but not limited to professors, other students (including those not participating in the Write-On competition), attorneys, supplemental materials, etc.
Obligations of Membership
- Orientation. Each second-year KLJ staff member must attend orientation. Volume 104’s orientation is tentatively scheduled for 3 evenings in the week before school begins (between Sunday, August 18 and Friday, August 23, 2015). More specific information about orientation will be forthcoming over the summer. Attendance at orientation is mandatory.
- Notes Program. Each second-year KLJ staff member must write a publishable quality note on a topic of his or her choosing. The current standard for each note is that it must be no less than 20 pages and contain no fewer than 100 endnotes. However, this standard is subject to change.
- Source and Cites. KLJ staff members are assigned several substantial editing assignments, known as “source and cites.” A source and cite requires that the staff member verify that a portion of an article or note is legally sound. In addition, the staff member will perform a grammatical edit of the text and ensure that the related footnotes in the article or note conform to the Bluebook.
- Blog Post. Each second-year KLJ staff member must write a blog post for Kentucky Law Journal Online (KLJO). The blog should be between 400 and 600 words on a topic of the student’s own choosing that is approved by the KLJO staff. Each student will be assigned a day in either the fall or spring semester on which his or her blog is due.
- Additional Responsibilities. KLJ staff members may be assigned additional duties that further KLJ’s mission to aid in the development of legal scholarship and practice. This includes help with KLJ symposiums and promotion of KLJ to potential new members.
Because participation in the KLJ demands a substantial time commitment, each member will receive up to 3 hours of pass/fail credit at the end of their third year if all membership requirements are fulfilled.