THE FOOTPRINT OF RUTGERS LAW REVIEW: TESTIMONIALS FROM OUR ALUMNI
If we think of the Law Review as something which represents Rutgers School of Law, then being an editor of the Review is—as it was to me—a rare and fleeting chance to be a representative of the law school. Law journals are too easily dismissed as impractical and of decreasing importance. Part and parcel with this is the attitude, which reduces a journal to little more than a resume enhancing means to an end for its members. But I do not believe that this self-serving perspective is not the dominant perspective when we speak about the Review, or any of Rutgers’ journals. With my fellow editors, I did my best to focus on the Review’s mission as a legal publication; a simple mindset which helped us focus on the incredible opportunities that appear to those who approach the journal with such simplicity. To offer fresh legal analyses, to report on developments in a useful fashion, and to advance major policy discussions is to make the Review a greater asset to the law school.
Of all the things I experienced at Rutgers, the most relevant to my career was my land use planning course with Norman Williams—a true national expert in the field. For the past 30 years I’ve been involved in local land use decisions locally in Maryland, now chairing the Montgomery County Council’s land use committee. Even before that, my very first job involved doing real estate transactions and representing Indians in their claim to land in Connecticut. Norman’s class opened my eyes to a world I had never seen. It became my passion and my life! Who knew?
I have had the unique perspective of participating in the functions of the Rutgers Law Review for the past 30 years, first as staff member, then as the Editor-in-Chief of Volume 35, and lately as Faculty Advisor. Throughout this period, the Law Review has served the interests of Rutgers Law School, the legal profession, and the public, with the certain sense of the responsibility that is appropriate for student editors entrusted with the publication of our Law School’s flagship academic journal. That responsibility is a serious one—the past 30 years have seen a significant shift in the paradigm for promoting legal scholarship, and the orthodox model of doctrinal discourse has been enlarged, and in some ways superseded, by interdisciplinary approaches, empirical studies, and critical analysis of the previously unquestioned normative principles upon which our legal system is based. Moreover, the traditional manner of publication of legal scholarship has been both transformed but also at times dislocated by the Internet and other electronic media. Editors emeriti of Rutgers Law Review should derive great satisfaction in the knowledge that the traditions of excellence and fidelity to scholarly values flourish in the current generation.
It was 1971, nine years after college; I had three young children at home. “Extracurricular” activities did not cross my mind. All I could thing about was getting home after classes and getting back to the books after the children’s bedtimes. I am forever grateful to Professor Robert A. Carter, my first-year torts professor, for suggesting that I write for the Rutgers Law Review competition.
Being a member of the Rutgers Law Review has proven to be very valuable to me for a number of reasons. First, because I made the Law Review through the writing competition, the Law Review gave me confidence in my legal writing ability and an opportunity to take my legal writing—and editing—to the next level. In law firms today, legal writing ability is probably the single most important criteria used by partners to evaluate their junior associates. Largely due to my experience on the Law Review, I always felt confident in my ability to produce a quality legal brief or memorandum—no one was going to “out-write” me.
My time as Editor-in-Chief of the Rutgers Law Review has been rewarding to me in so many different ways, from the time I served in the position until now. Particularly important to me was the Fall 2006 symposium that we put together on the New Jersey Supreme Court decision, Lewis v. Harris, which legalized gay civil unions in the state. Having just recently come out of the closet, the topic was very personal. Nonetheless, it was important that we have an open and honest discussion. We encouraged our contributors to cover every side of the issue, which resulted in some heated moral debates. The experience taught me how to always approach the law reasonably and openly, as well as how to navigate being “out” throughout my career. Both have been especially useful in my current role as a career adviser for law students.
In 1980 I was selected to be a member of the Rutgers Law Review. What happened after that was a pathway to a fulfilling life with friends, family, and the law. Thirty-two years later, I count among my closest friends those who were my Law Review classmates. We learned how to write. We understood what researching a topic really meant and we learned how to be meticulous both in our search of an answer and the words we put on paper (proofreading galleys gave us the ability to spot an extra comma from a mile away). I met my wife on the Law Review and we raised two great kids who are now young adults.
My time on the Rutgers Law Review was invaluable to me throughout my career. The skills I acquired and the relationships I formed have helped me reach the professional goals I had set for myself. The most lasting effect it has had has been to teach me to dig deeper into any issue and not take anything at face value. I am proud to have been part of this publication.
My name is Diana Terry (known to my classmates as Diana Terry Reindl). Catherine Woodman and I were the Managing Editors of the Rutgers Law Review from 1983-1984. I am a New Jersey native, and a graduate of both Rutgers Law School—Newark and Rutgers College.
My first memory of Law Review was in the summer of 1988, when I was living on a friend’s couch and for several weeks worked on the Law Review write-on paper amidst pizza boxes and the first Nintendo system. Fortunately, I both made Law Review and Mario saved the princess. A write-on selection process is how it should be (as opposed to selection from grades). From 1988-90, I was on the Law Review, my third year as co-Senior Articles Editor. We were perched on the top floor of the old Law School Building, with a splendid view of Newark, and Manhattan in the distance. The student camaraderie was strong, as was the work ethic. The skills and habits one learns on Law Review transfer well into the working world—hyper-attention to detail, drafting, editing, teamwork, and a steadfast commitment to the final product. Dealing with authors is good, early client experience. Professor Chen and others were always there for guidance, but I was taken then by how a group of students can, working as a team, achieve a result (then beers after the issue goes to print!). I have come to learn that it is much the same with any legal case—a team of lawyers, working together, achieve the objective (hopefully with some laughs along the way).
COMING SOON!: Volume 67, Issue 4
Congratulations to Staff Editor Christine Braswell ’17 for receiving a scholarship from Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. The scholarship is granted based on the student’s academic, vocational, and volunteer background.
American Bar Association Approves Merger Creating Rutgers Law School.
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts cites four articles from Volume 67, Issue 3, in the 1st drug-patent-settlement ruling since its June publication.
Congratulations to Dean Ronald K. Chen ’83 for Receiving the Parker A. Small Public Service Award.