Candidates for the Board of the Emory Law Journal (ELJ) are selected in two ways. Students whose academic standing ranks them as one of the top fourteen students in the first-year class will be automatically offered a Candidacy, although the Executive Board reserves the discretion to deny any student Candidacy if the Executive Board has a good faith belief that a student has violated the Emory Law School Code of Professionalism or the Writing Competition rules. Up to an additional 22 students will be selected on the combined basis of grades and performance in the Writing Competition. The precise number selected will depend on the quality of the casenotes submitted. The Editor in Chief has the discretion to offer Authors of truly excellent casenotes Candidacy regardless of their grades.

Emory Law Journal, Emory International Law Review, and Bankruptcy Developments Journal traditionally conduct a joint Writing Competition. This competition is open to all rising second year members of the Emory University School of Law. The same writing sample can be submitted to all three journals for consideration. Each journal will select Candidates based on its own grading and selection process.

Casenotes submitted in accordance with the Writing Competition rules will be judged anonymously by ELJ Members. Each casenote will be read and graded by five graders and will be evaluated on the basis of style, analysis, and citation. The five individual grades for each casenote will be compiled and the average score received, will account for about two-thirds (2/3) of your total competition score. The Editor in Chief reserves the discretion to raise or lower these scores based on his or her independent assessment of the casenote.  The remaining one-third of your competition score will be determined by the applicant’s first year grades.  By submitting a casenote to the competition, applicants are deemed to have granted permission to the Dean's Office to release your grades to ELJ for this purpose. Exceptional papers may be scored without regard to grades.

ELJ will notify all Candidates of invitations to join ELJ as soon as possible, usually by early July.

Class ranks will not be available until well after the competition casenotes are due. Therefore, we recommend that all students interested in joining a journal submit a casenote. Those students who wish to "grade on" to one of the journals, and thus decide not to participate in the Writing Competition, still must submit a preference sheet with the appropriate information on one of the two due dates. If you do NOT participate in the Writing Competition and fail to submit a preference sheet, you will not be considered for Candidacy on ELJ (or, to our understanding, any of the other journals).

Joint Degree Students: (See also "FAQ" on joint-degree students).
Joint degree students who will be returning for their second year at the law school in the coming fall must participate in the Writing Competition this year in order to be considered for a position on one of the journals.

For joint degree programs requiring at least 6 more semesters of classes (i.e. JD/MBA program):

First-year students accepted and enrolled in any joint degree program and who will NOT be enrolled full-time in the Law School in the coming fall MAY elect to enter the Writing Competition until the spring before their second year at the law school. If a student is offered candidacy, either based on the Writing Competition or grades, ELJ will defer the Candidate’s slot until the next year. Therefore, a student must complete a preference sheet after the first-year of law school to be considered for a grades-based slot.

First-year students wait-listed in any joint degree program must participate in the writing competition in the summer following their first year. If the student is selected for Candidacy on ELJ based on grades or writing ability and subsequently receives admittance into a joint degree program, ELJ will defer the Candidate’s slot until the coming year. A student may not participate in the writing competition if she receives acceptance anytime before the commencement of the competition.

For joint degree programs requiring less than 6 more semesters of classes (i.e. JD/MPH program):

First-year students must participate in the writing competition in the summer following their first year of law school. If selected as a Candidate for ELJ, students will be expected to participate in all journal activities concurrently with their joint degree program.

Having outlined the heavy demands of participation on the Emory Law Journal in our section entitled "Responsibilities," the Editorial Board wishes to emphasize that membership is well worth the time and effort demanded. We believe that it is an honor to be a part of such a high quality scholarly publication. You will find it exciting to work so closely with other bright law students and to get to know each other informally.

Think about your own scholastic and professional goals. The task of any lawyer is largely one of effective oral and written communication. Your writing and editing experience on ELJ will hone your research skills, writing style, and analytical abilities. Developing those skills will serve you well not only in law school, but also in practice.

Emory Law Journal membership is a unique, albeit demanding, educational experience. Despite the substantial workload, ELJ participation is extremely rewarding, challenging, and enjoyable. The Editorial Board of the Emory Law Journal extends a cordial invitation to each rising second-year student to enter the Writing Competition. We look forward to receiving the competition casenotes and to working with the new Candidates next fall.

The Writing Competition consists of writing a casenote.  Detailed instructions for writing a casenote are provided each Spring for all prospective Candidates. In addition to these instructions, two sample casenotes are provided in the competition materials to help illustrate the process. The writing topic varies each year, and will be based on a recent judicial decision. In general, applicants will be asked to analyze the development of the relevant doctrines of law and to assess the holding of the topic case in light of those developments. The topic will not be disclosed or discussed prior to the competition.

This is a closed research competition. The selected case materials will be made available in a photocopied research packet. In addition to the topic case, you will receive related cases to be used in writing your casenote. This material, plus the ALWD Citation Manual or Bluebook, Black's Law Dictionary, a dictionary, and other non-law reference books described in these instructions are the only materials that may be used when writing your casenote.

Any use of additional cases, journal articles, internet references, or other materials will result in immediate disqualification from the Writing Competition and constitutes a violation of the Emory University School of Law Professionalism Code.

Professionalism Code
It is critical that you work independently during the Writing Competition. As always, you are subject to the Emory University School of Law Professionalism Code. Absolutely no discussion with anyone about any aspect of the casenote is allowed. You may not review any upperclassman’s casenote from previous years, except for the sample casenotes provided in the research packet. Finally, the casenote is to be written solely from the materials supplied in the research packet distributed by Kinko's; again, independent research is strictly prohibited. Any appearance of impropriety will be thoroughly investigated by the Executive Board, any may result in the automatic disqualification from the Writing Competition, as well as possible sanctions by the Emory University School of Law Honor Court.

Sample Competition Periods
Round #1 (the first Monday in May - the next Friday, eleven days later at NOON)

Participants: All current 1-Ls, except for those students working as Emory Trial Techniques Facilitators and joint degree students taking classes or finals during the first period, who may choose the second period.

Round #2 (the second Monday in May - the next Friday, eleven days later at NOON)

Participants: Emory Trial Techniques Facilitators and Joint Degree Students taking classes or finals during the first period.

Students may only participate in either round #1 or round #2.

Downloading the Research Packet
A packet comprised of the topic and other material relevant to the Writing Competition will be available through the Publications page of the Emory Law website at 9:00 a.m. EDT on the first day of round #1 and at 9:00 a.m. EDT on the first day of round #2.  Instructions for downloading the Writing Competition packet will be available on the Emory Law Publications page.

Submitting Your Casenote
On or prior to your round 1 or round 2 due date, you must submit your casenote, citation quiz, and preference form electronically. Instructions for submitting your materials are on the Emory Law Publications page.

Journal PreferencesWhen you submit your casenote and citation quiz electronically, you will fill out an online form indicating your preference in journals. None of the information provided on the preference form will be seen until all grading is complete. 

Applicants will only receive an offer from one of the journals. Where an applicant is selected by more than one journal, the journals will defer to applicant’s preference. The order in which a student ranks the journals will have no effect on the grading and evaluation of his or her casenote. 

If you are chosen to be a Candidate for one of the three journals, a member of the journal extending you an invitation will call you.