Today I finished the first full draft of my major legal writing project, my law review Note. It's 39 pages long so far, though it's likely to get longer when I return to it next semester. Without boring anyone (or pre-empting myself by writing about it online), I argue that a portion of the Virginia death penalty is unconstitutionally vague and misleading, and that in a recent case, the Supreme Court of Virginia wrongly interpreted two provisions of the Virginia death penalty statute, ignoring both a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court and modern science in the process. Look at me, picking on judges two or three times my age.
The publication process is a long one. There are 39 law review staff members in my class, and we've all written Notes between 5,000 and 10,000 words long. When we return in January, we'll defend them to three-person panels, comprised of 3L editorial board members, who will have read our papers and critiqued them. Then it's back to the editing process, and eventually we'll turn in completed copies. Sometime next spring or summer, a new editorial board will select about six or seven of those 39 Notes for publication in next year's William and Mary Law Review. Those of us who don't get published will have the opportunity to submit our papers to other law reviews and journals at W&M and other law schools.
For now, I'm done! Two and a half weeks until finals. This semester has gone so quickly.
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