The ELJ selection committee relies on the writing competition to provide an indication of a student’s ability to handle the rigors of editing and writing for a scholarly journal. ELJ’s members will evaluate each writing competition essay according to the following criteria: (1) substance and organization of the argument, (2) grammar and writing style, and (3) the relevance and technical accuracy of endnotes. Of these criteria, ELJ believes that relevance and technical accuracy of endnotes is the most objective and important indicator of the level of student commitment to journal membership, and weighs it accordingly.
In addition, ELJ requires that each student submit a personal statement, with a maximum length of 500 words. Many of the qualities we seek in our members can best be expressed through this statement. ELJ evaluates personal statements for their: (1) quality and care of presentation, (2) demonstration of a genuine interest in environmental issues, (3) diversity of background and life experience, and (4) participation and leadership in student groups or other extracurricular activities. Although experience with environmental issues is a plus, it is not a requirement. Similarly, while the selection committee looks favorably upon applicants that rank ELJ as their preferred journal, all applications will receive fair and thoughtful consideration. An interest in learning about environmental law is an applicant’s most important qualification. We also require the submission of a résumé.
ELJ does not consider grades in making offers. We believe that the writing competition and personal statement are the most accurate indicators of the qualities necessary for successful journal membership.
Transfer students in the J.D. program may also join the ELJ as staff editors by participating in the Transfer Writing Competition, which takes place early in the fall semester each year. Although the competition topic differs from the one used in the spring competition for non-transfer students, the case comment and personal statement format is the same.
Finally, graduate students in the LL.M. program may apply for graduate editor positions by submitting a résumé or C.V. and a personal statement explaining their interest in environmental issues and ELJ. Graduate applications are generally due in early September, although students should consult the materials distributed to them during orientation for complete details.