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Southeastern Environmental Law Journal

Joining SELJ

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USC School of Law students earn membership on SELJ and other Journals at the School of Law by participating in the Joint Journal Writing Competition held each Spring. Once the members are selected, new members are notified by letter during the summer between the 1L and 2L years. Each new member is expected to attend an editing workshop and orientation the Saturday before the new Fall semester begins. Work on an article commences very soon after the start of the new year.

The Joint Journal Writing Competition

In order to gain membership on SELJ, 1Ls must compete in the Joint Journal Writing Competition held each Spring by the Journals at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Please be advised that all prospective Journal members should:

Attend the Competition information meeting.
While this meeting is not mandatory, it provides the best opportunity to hear from each Journal regarding membership requirements. Here, students can ask questions and get a feel for what the Competition involves. Information packets are passed out at this meeting, which provide important dates for Competition and rules and regulations regarding the Competition. Students often find it difficult to get the information needed if they do not attend this meeting. If a student cannot attend, he or she should ask a classmate to pick up a Competition info pack. Students need to read the USC School of Law newsletter and watch out for flyers around school and in mailboxes for the location, date, and time of this annual meeting. This meeting is often held in mid-Spring, around Spring Break time.
Compete in the Competition.
All information about the Competition, dates and times of packet pickups are available at the Competition information meeting held in mid-Spring. The Competition will begin with packet pick-up on a Thursday morning and will end with packet turn-in on the following Monday. These times and dates are concrete and no exceptions will be made, unless prior permission is granted. The Competition is totally anonymous and students must work alone and without any outside sources. Talking about the Competition problem before, during, or even after the Competition is strictly forbidden by the USC Honor Code. Students may wish to pick up packets even if they are still undecided about competing. A student is not required to complete a packet if it is picked up, but he or she must turn that packet back in on Monday.
Await Competition results.
All current Journal members grade the Competition packets individually and anonymously. Because grades are not calculated until late May/early June, the final results of Journal selections will not be available until mid-June at the earliest. All the Journals must also bid on new members based on the rankings that each competitor entered. Typically, acceptance and rejection letters are sent out in early- to mid-July. Students will only get one offer from a Journal.
Attend Journal Orientation.
Each Journal holds an orientation, information, or training session in August before school starts for new members. This is required by all Journals and is used as a tool to train and acclimate new members to the Journal process.

Membership Requirements

Prospective Members

SELJ picks its new members based solely on their performances in the Joint Journal Writing Competition. During the Competition, prospective members are expected to complete Bluebooking exercises and a writing sample. All competition packet grading is done anonymously by the current editorial staff.

Current Members

Current SELJ members must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Write a Student Note in the Fall or Spring semester of the 2L year. For more information on Student Notes, click here.
  • Editing articles as a Member Editor during the 2L year. For more information on this, click here.
  • Attend monthly meetings.
  • Participate on the Editorial Board during the 3L year or become an Associate 3L member. For a description of SELJ Editorial positions, click here.