Competition

The University of Richmond Law Review participates in the Unified Journal Competition (“UJC”). The UJC consists of a hybrid format of “grade-on” eligibility and “write-on” eligibility for Law Review, according to the formula outlined below. Only first year students and two-year J.D. students are eligible for participation in the summer competition. Only second year transfer students are eligible for participation in the fall competition. Regardless of their classification as “grade-on” or “write-on,” students must complete all requisite elements of the competition to be eligible for Law Review membership.

Grade-On Membership

At the end of the first year curriculum, the top ten students among all the sections will grade on to the University of Richmond Law Review. No “grade-ons,” however, will be eligible for Law Review membership unless they have satisfactorily completed both the Bluebook and case note portions of the UJC (as discussed below) in a timely manner and in good faith. Furthermore, if any of these ten students choose not to participate in both the Bluebook Examination and case note portions of the UJC, their spot(s) shall be reserved for “write-on” competitors (as opposed to shifting up another “grade-on” student).

Journal Competition

  1. The Bluebook Examination immediately after the spring semester (25% of final score).
  2. The case note competition (50% of final score).
  3. Final first year grades (25% of final score).

The Second-Year Transfer Student Competition:

  1. The Bluebook Examination during early fall semester (25% of final score).
  2. The case note competition during early fall semester (75% of final score).

Announcement of Membership:

The new members of the Law Review from the spring competition are announced in late summer. All new members must attend a mandatory training session held on the weekend prior to the commencement of classes for the fall semester.

Bluebook Exam

The new members of the University of Richmond Law Review from the transfer competition are announced following the completion of the competition, usually by the end of October.

The Bluebook examination constitutes 25% of the Law Review competition score. It is the first part of the Law Review competition. All competitors must complete the Bluebook examination, including those students who “grade on.”

The University of Richmond Law Review participates in a Unified Journal Competition (“UJC”), which is administered by the Law Review‘s Senior Notes and Comments Editor and the Unified Journal Competition Committee (“UJCC”), which consists of members from all three University of Richmond journals. Each journal participates in the creation, selection, and editing of the Bluebook questions. Specifically, the University of Richmond Law Review Manuscripts Editors will design the Law Review questions. The purpose of the examination is to test a competitor’s knowledge of the Bluebook form of citation, which is utilized by the University of Richmond Law Review in its publications. Knowledge of the Bluebook is crucial for new Law Review members. See below for a Sample Bluebook Examination Question.

Competitors have one weekend to complete the Bluebook portion of the competition. The Bluebook examination does not require a competitor to perform any research. Students may consult only the Bluebook and the provided training materials during the examination; they are not permitted to consult other students, Law Review members, library staff, or any other person for assistance during the exam. Competitors are bound by the Honor Code during the entire Law Review competition.

Prior to the Bluebook Exam, the UJCC will conduct a training session for the Exam. Once the Bluebook Exam has commenced, all questions should be addressed to Law Review‘s Senior Notes and Comments Editor, who is responsible for administering the UJC.

The Manuscripts Editors also grade the Bluebook examinations on an anonymous basis. All of the Manuscripts Editors grade each examination and the scores are then compiled. Please note that although the Bluebook Exam is administered jointly by the three University of Richmond journals, grading of the exams is independent. As such, scoring can and will be different for each journal, but the final Bluebook Exam score is an average of the scores from each journal.

Click here for a sample Bluebook Exam question

Case Note Information

The case note portion of the UJC is administered following administration of the Bluebook Exam in the summer, and constitutes 50% of the competition score. It is the second part of the UJC. All Law Review competitors must complete the case note competition, including those students who “grade on.”

The case note competition focuses on a competitor’s research, writing, analytical, and technical skills, all of which are indispensable to the function of Law Review. The Law Review‘s Articles and Comments Editors, in conjunction with editors from the other journals, create and select the topic for this portion of the UJC. The topic is based on a recent and important judicial decision. See below for a sample case note topic.

A case note is an article prepared by a student working individually. The primary purpose of a case note is to provide practicing attorneys with a research tool that concisely summarizes, analyzes, and evaluates the issue(s) presented by the case. Case notes achieve this purpose by presenting the student’s legal conclusions which forecast what the law will be after the decision, recommend what the law should be, or provide a combination of the two. In short, it is: (1) a report of the case, which includes a discussion of the issue(s) before the decision; (2) an analysis and evaluation of the case; and (3) a forecast or recommendation about the law after the decision. A successful and well-written case note maintains a careful balance between these three elements.

The case notes are subject to font, margin, and page length limitations. Any case notes not meeting the requirements will not be accepted.

Competitors are not required to remain in Richmond while writing their case notes, as the UJC is administered online.

As during the Bluebook examination, questions may be directed toward Law Review‘s Senior Notes and Comments Editor; however, substantive questions concerning the topics will not be answered.

The Articles and Comments Editors grade the case notes on an anonymous basis. The case notes are evaluated by each Articles and Comments Editor and the scores are compiled. Each journal grades the case notes separately, and the scores are not averaged.

Click here for a sample topic