ABA Urges Law Schools to Provide Compensation for Law Review Editors
The ABA has approved a resolution urging law schools to offer academic credit or pay to law review student editors.
Most law schools already provide academic credit or stipends to law review editors, but some law schools don’t or offer fewer credits than the ABA allows, Reuters reports.
“If implemented [the resolution] will allow a greater number of law students from lower-income or diverse backgrounds to serve as law journal editors and reap the benefits thereof,” the report says.
PUSH FROM NYU LAW JOURNAL EDITORS
The matter of paying law journal editors came into focus during the spring when the executive boards of seven law journals at New York University School of Law penned a letter to the dean, urging the school to either compensate students for their law review efforts or provide the maximum academic credits allowed.
Currently, NYU doesn’t allow second-year students to receive any academic credit for law review and editors are only awarded one or two credits, contingent on their hours of work.
“We love our work, but prestige is not adequate compensation for the value we provide,” the letter reads. “Our journals have been cited in courts throughout the country, up to the Supreme Court. NYU reaps the benefits of robust journal publication in admissions and institutional prestige.”
Sean Connolly, a second-year law student and an editor for one of the journals, says that the NYU Law administration has yet to address student compensation.
“There’s this expectation, not just at NYU, that you’re coming to this law school and doing a bunch of work just essentially for prestige and for grounding your future career,” Connolly tells Washington Square News. “That’s kind of the logic we’re trying to change, this idea that all the work you’re doing in law school is stressful, uncompensated and you should just like go to law school, get a bunch of debt, do a bunch of work, and then ‘it’s fine, because you’ll get a job later.’”
Devin McCowan, a third-year who edits another journal at NYU, says receiving hourly compensation for his work is especially crucial for low-income students like himself.
“By having the ability to choose compensation, that could allow me to feel much less stressed about going out to eat with friends on the weekends or being able to just afford basic living expenses and things,” McCowan says. “It can mean a lot for me and make me feel more comfortable being at university like this, especially when I know a lot of my richer colleagues and students don’t have to necessarily worry in the same way about their living expenses.”
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