This page is for the Volume 48/2021 Write-On Process
The Volume 48 Write-On Process for selection of Associates will begin Saturday, May 22, 2021 and conclude Sunday, June 13, 2021. To prepare for the write-on, please read the information on this page and/or attend one of our information sessions. To sign-up now, complete this form.
Write-On participants will receive an email on May 22 with their anonymous IDs for the Bluebook quiz and the case note. For general Write-On questions, please contact the Notes & Comments editors at MHSL.Submissions@gmail.com.
2021 Information Sessions
What to Expect During the Write-on Process: April 25, 2021, via Zoom. 4:00 PM (CT).
- This session will cover write-on basics. Volume 48 board members will share their write-on tips.
- Zoom Link: here
- The session will be recorded and posted here for those who cannot attend.
How to Write a Case Note: May 19, 2021, via Zoom. 5:00 PM (CT).
- Professor Knapp will lecture on case note components and how to successfully write a case note.
- A Zoom link to the meeting will be sent to students who have registered for the write-on process.
- The session will be recorded and posted here for those who cannot attend.
- View the 2020 recording here.
How to Research Your Case Note:
2021 Write-On Materials:
- Handbook: Once finalized, access the Volume 48 Write-On Handbook here.
- Bluebook quiz: Once finalized, the 2021 Bluebook quiz will be available here, beginning May 22.
- Cases: Case note materials will be available here, beginning May 29.
Questions and Answers About Mitchell Hamline Law Review (MHLR)
What is the Mitchell Hamline Law Review?The Mitchell Hamline Law Review is a student organization that publishes academic legal articles written by practitioners, professors, and students. It is often cited in judicial opinions; a testament to the relevancy of its topics, and the quality of its work product.
Who is involved in MHLR?
The Law Review is run by a fifteen-member Board of Editors (a list of Board members is at the bottom of this page), including:
An Editor-in-Chief who chairs the Board and is ultimately responsible for the operation and quality of the journal;
Four Issue Editors who each select a theme for an issue, solicit articles for publication, and direct the editorial process for those articles;
One Symposium Editor who selects a theme, solicits authors and presenters for a symposium event, and directs the editorial process for the resulting articles;
One Sua Sponte Issue Editor who solicits material for publication in the Law Review’s online issue, Sua Sponte, and directs the editorial process for those articles;
One Notes & Comments Editor who manages the Associate selection process and supervises the Associate long paper process; and
Seven Managing Editors who manage the editorial process for individual articles and supervise Associate work.
The Law Review staff includes Assistant Editors and Associates. Assistant Editors have previously been Associates with the Law Review. There are ten to fifteen Assistant Editors, some of whom have specific duties, such as library liaison or formatting, and some of whom provide general editorial and operational support. Associates are first-time members of the Law Review; more details about Associate duties are described below.
The Law Review’s faculty advisor is Professor Michael K. Steenson. Additionally, the Law Review is advised by a Faculty Advisory Board and an Alumni Advisory Board.
What do Associates do on MHLR?
Law Review is both a student organization and a class.
Law Review is a Class. See information below about how many credits law review is worth, and how the credits may be allocated.
In order to pass, all Associates must write a case note or comment that meets both MHLR’s requirements and the School’s Long Paper requirement. These requirements will likely be identical, but this process is still being settled (the combination and ABA reviews have necessitated some changes from previous years). Detailed information will be provided in August. The long paper requirement may seem daunting, however it may be written during either the fall or spring, and Associates have nearly the entire semester to complete it. Associates will write this paper under the supervision of a faculty member. The faculty member will determine whether the paper meets the School’s ARW requirement. MHLR Board members will determine whether the paper meets the Law Review’s requirements and select some articles for publication in Volume 43; more information about publication of student work is below.
Law Review is a Student Organization. Associates complete Authority Checks (ACs), Collateral Service (CS) Hours – including Proofs, Source Pulls, and other volunteer activities, and must write a long paper.
ACs. Aside from writing your long paper, the majority of the work you will do as an Associate will be spent on ACs. As you know, the MHLR publishes articles written by practitioners, professors, and students. During an AC, an article will be split into multiple “ranges,” and each Associate will be assigned a range. You will be responsible for editing your range in three ways. First, citations must conform with The Bluebook. Second, grammar and punctuation must conform with the Chicago Manual of Style. And third, you must check the authority: when an author states a proposition and cites a source, claiming that the source supports the proposition cited, the source must be investigated to ensure that it in fact does support the proposition cited. Although the amount of time required to complete an AC is different for each Associate, you can expect each AC to take between 1 to 5 hours. As you complete more ACs, that time will shrink. Associates are assigned ACs via email. The frequency with which ACs are assigned varies depending on the time of year. Generally, you will have an average of 1 AC every two weeks, although some weeks, you will be assigned multiple ACs. You will never be assigned more than 3 ACs in one week, or any ACs during finals.
CS Hours. Each Associate is responsible for completing 20 CS Hours throughout the course of the year, with a minimum of 6 hours per semester. CS Hours are not assigned like ACs. Rather, Associates receive emails from Board Members offering CS hours, and must respond to accept the offer. CS Hours are offered throughout the year, and so Associates have the opportunity to accept CS Hours at whatever time is convenient for them. CS Hours are made up of: Proofs, Source Pulls, and other volunteer activities.
Proofs. To complete a Proof, an Associate must read through an entire article to ensure that grammar and punctuation conform with the CMOS, and that citations conform with the Bluebook. Unlike an AC, completing a Proof does not require checking authority. Proofs are a fun chance to read an article from start to finish. Proofs generally take between 6 to 10 hours to complete, and are a great way to knock off CS Hours.
Source Pulls. The goal of a source pull is to create a document listing where each source cited within an article can be found. This document will be used later by Associates completing ACs. To complete a Source Pull, an Associate must create an Excel spreadsheet listing each document by name along with an indication of where that source can be found. For print sources, this will mean listing the call number of the source within the library. For online sources, this will mean posting a hyperlink to that source. If the Mitchell Hamline Library does not have a copy of a print source, the Associate must request that it be sent to the Mitchell Hamline Library from another library. Source Pulls are good for Associates who like organizing data. Source Pulls generally take between 6 to 10 hours to complete.
Other Volunteer Activities. MHLR is active in the community. Throughout the year, MHLR participates in activities like preparing food at Feed My Starving Children, and participating in cancer walks. Such activities are an opportunity for Associates to give back.
All Associates will be required to attend a training on Sunday, August 14, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Hybrid students who cannot attend will not be required to, but will be required to do orientation in another fashion yet to be determined.)
How much time and work is being an Associate?Different people complete tasks at different rates, of course. Consequently, it is impossible to accurately predict how many hours it takes to be an Associate. Rough estimates of the length of time for each task are as follows. ACs – 1 to 5 hours; Proofs – 6 to 10 hours; Source Pulls – 6 to 10 hours. Some weeks students will have no work, and some weeks students will have lots of work. As a general rule, students should expect to spend approximately 5 hours per week working on Law Review tasks.
Who is eligible to be an Associate?Any student who has completed one year of studies and will not graduate before May 2022 is eligible to apply.
How do I become an Associate?
To become an Associate, you must be eligible and you must sign up for and complete the Write-On Process, which consists of writing a case note and completing a Bluebook quiz. Materials must be submitted by the deadlines, which are detailed below. Late submissions will not be accepted under any circumstances.
The write-on process is competitive. More information about the Write-On Process is below.
How many Associates will be invited to join MHLR Volume 48?The exact number of Associates will be determined at the end of the grading process, taking into account the quality of the submissions and the then-predicted needs of the journal.
Will Associates be published in MHLR Volume 48?
Student Case Notes on Recent Minnesota Supreme Court decisions; the student with the best Write-On case note in each of the topics will be invited to, under the supervision of a member of the faculty, expand and revise her or his Note to meet MHLR’s Long Paper requirements in time for publication in Issue 1. Students who do this will have then completed both MHLR’s Long Paper requirement and the School’s ARW requirement and will not need to write another Long Paper during the school year.
Associates who write their long papers in the fall semester will be considered for publication during the grading process. The Board will choose approximately 4 articles for publication in Issue 4 and may select additional papers for publication in our online issue, Sua Sponte.
Associates who write their long papers in the spring semester will not be considered for publication in Volume 43.
Even if an Associate is not published in Volume 48, it is the goal of MHLR that every Associate finish the year with a publishable paper that the Associate can take elsewhere for publication.
How do credits and registration work for MHLR?
Associates get three credits for their MHLR Volume 47 work. These credits can be taken in either fall or spring and they can be distributed between the semesters in any way. You can do all credits in one term or spread them out (subject to any registration guidelines, such as maximum number of credits per term or academic year – questions about this should go to the registrar).
Where you allocate your credits has no relationship to when you do your Associate duties. Even if you put all credits in the fall, you will receive AC assignments and do CS hours all year. Even if you put your credits in the spring, you can write your long paper in the fall. Most Associates allocate credits to the same semester in which they write their long papers, because a full load of credits from other classes plus MHLR assignments plus writing a long paper is a lot to take on.
All Associates must complete a long paper; there is no option to skip the paper and take just 2 credits.
Write-On participants should register for Fall 2020 as if they will not be an Associate. Once Write-On results have been announced during the summer, Associates will receive instructions about registering for MHLR. If you think you will want to allocate law review credits to the fall semester, you should have a class in mind that you can drop (pay attention to class-specific early drop deadlines).
If I am a student in the Hybrid program, how will my experience differ from that of bricks-and-mortar students?
For the most part, it won’t. All work, including Write-On Competition materials, AC assignments, and Long Paper materials, will be submitted via email. Most assignments are to be completed over a period of days (typical AC deadlines are 5 days from the day you receive it), so you have flexibility about when you do your MHLR work. Some CS hour assignments will require on campus work, but most will not. Hybrid students will be required to attend staff meetings remotely or watch recordings (details TBD). Some AC and CS hours assignments require using print materials from the Warren E. Burger Library; we will either move assignments around to give Hybrid students online-only work or scan materials for remote use. Hybrid students who are local may be asked to consider themselves BAM students for the purposes of MHLR, but we will work details out once we know who is on our staff, and we remain aware that Hybrid students entered Mitchell Hamline with the understanding that they would only be required to be on campus during specific periods.
Questions and Answers About the Write-On Competition
How do I sign up for the Write-On Competition?Complete the sign up form by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.
By signing up for the Write-On, you are certifying that you are eligible for membership in Volume 48’s staff, as defined above.
What exactly happens during the Write-On?
You will receive an email that contains the your competition ID and the Bluebook quiz. The Bluebook quiz is due via email to firstname.lastname@example.org [date TBA]. The following morning, [TBA]., you will receive your case note topic. Your 16-page case note and Honor Pledge will be due via email to email@example.com by [date TBA]. Late submissions will not be accepted under any circumstances.
During the Competition, you will research and write your case note and complete the Bluebook Quiz. See further information below regarding getting help during the competition and upcoming information sessions about how to complete your materials. The Handbook will contain detailed instructions on what you must submit and how the materials should be formatted.
Once the Competition has closed, MHLR Board members and Assistant Editors will grade the case notes and Bluebook quizzes. Each note will be graded by two people, and grading is anonymous. Case notes are evaluated in relation to other submissions from the same category; the Handbook contains a grading rubric.
Participants who receive the highest combined score for their case note and Bluebook quizzes are invited to join MHLR Volume 48. Participants will be notified of the outcome of the competition in mid-July.
Can I get help during the Write-On?
You may not get help with substantive analysis, writing style, or citation.
You may ask Notes & Comments Editors Sheena Denny and Allison Dohnalek procedural questions, but for the most part, you are own your own. The Notes & Comments Editor can provide general guidance and answer questions about the Write-On process. You may not submit written portions of your case note to the Notes & Comments Editor.
You may ask librarians or library staff specific questions about how to complete a research step you have already identified, such as where to find a book or how to use a specific database features, but you may not ask questions that require a judgment on how best to research your topic. Part of the Write-On is showing that you know how to do legal research.
Otherwise, you may not discuss your paper with others until the Competition has closed.
What is the Bluebook Quiz like and how do I prepare for it?
The Bluebook quiz comprises 40 citations that must be corrected according to the relevant rules in the 20th edition of the Bluebook and the Chicago Manual of Style. The sources cited are fictional. Some citations have no errors; others have several. It is your job to determine what errors exist, and how they should best be corrected.
There is no one right way to prepare for the Bluebook quiz. Since the quiz will likely contain citations that are unfamiliar to you, it is best to familiarize yourself with the Bluebook’s index and the table of contents and to look over sections of the Bluebook that you are unfamiliar with.
Given the length of the Bluebook quiz, it is recommended to complete a certain number of quiz questions per day instead of trying to do the whole quiz at once.
Lastly, the Library has a page with resources and tips that may help you when dealing with Bluebook questions.
What is a Case Note and how do I write one?
There are three forms of legal writing traditionally found in law reviews: the comment, the note, and the case note. The paper that you are required to write is called a case note. The case note is a piece of writing that focuses on the significance of a single case. It is an in-depth analysis of the issues raised in the opinion. You will write on a case assigned to you at the opening of the competition; the case will be from one of six substantive areas of law (Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, or Torts). If the Volume 47 Board is unable to find a suitable case in any of the six areas, that topic will not be used for the Write-On Competition. Your case note must have at least eight pages of text and eight pages of endnotes and must not exceed twenty pages. You will turn in one version containing endnotes and another version containing footnotes. Case note text and citations should conform to the Bluebook, 20th edition. All text should conform grammatically and stylistically to the Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), available online via the Warren E. Burger Library.
For more information about what case notes are and how to write them, attend Prof. Knapp’s presentation, or watch the recording of it; details below. Additionally, examples of Write-On case notes will be provided in the Write-On Handbook.
Do my grades or other qualifications factor into the Associate selection process?No. The Write-On is completely anonymous and no information about your grades or other qualifications is collected. Only the Editor-in-Chief and Notes & Comments Editor will have complete information on who signed up for the competition and who has what competition ID; they will not be grading any Competition materials.
Where is the Write-On Handbook?The Write-On Handbook for Volume 48 is not yet available. It will be posted here once finalized.
What are my chances of being selected to be an Associate?
Like many things in law school, it depends! We have no way to know how many people will complete the write-on process, so don’t worry about the odds and just do your best work!
What happens if I’m not selected?
You are welcome to try again for Volume 49, if you meet the eligibility requirements set for that Volume (such as not graduating before May 2023). You may also consider participating in other journals at Mitchell Hamline; some select staff members before MHLR, some do so after.
For those who are not selected, their Write-On submissions are their property and a student can revise her paper and attempt to have it published elsewhere.
Trainings and Information Sessions About MHLR and the Write-On Competition
One of the Information Sessions and all of the other sessions listed here will be recorded and posted on this page. You may view these recordings any time before or during the Write-On.
Information Sessions with the Volume 48 Board[Date and Time TBD].
Several members of Volume 48’s Board will give a presentation and take questions.
“How To Write a Case Note” Presentation
A Mitchell Hamline professor will give a presentation on what a case note is and how to write it. They will recommend step-by-step instructions on how to approach a case note. This presentation has been helping students successfully complete the Write-On for years, and there are many opportunities to ask questions.
The exact date and time are TBA, but the presentation will be held between finals and before the write-on competition starts. The presentation will be hosted via Zoom. Everyone who signed up for the write-on will receive an email with details.
View the video from last year’s session here.
View the video from the 2016 session here.
Did you read this entire, extremely long page and still find your questions unanswered?
Please email the Notes & Comments Editors at MHSL.Submissions@gmail.com ; we’ll try to incorporate any new questions on this page.
You can also talk to any Board Member about the Law Review:
Editor-in-Chief: Katherine Raths
Associate Editor-in-Chief: Andy Taylor
Notes & Comments Editors: Sheena Denny, Allison Dohnalek, Rachel Lantz, Sara Westerberg
Symposium Editor: Maggie Green
Online Editors: Deborah Alexander, Amy Anderson
Articles Editors: Madalyn Elmquist, Robert Kringler, Kiralyn Locke, Alicia Neumann
Managing Editors: Carrie Backman, JP Dees, Lindsay Dreyer, Becky Erickson, Mykah Henschel, Ben Larson, Maria Nowak, Rudy Porter