Founded in 1942, the New York University Annual Survey of American Law is a student-edited journal at New York University School of Law. The Annual Survey is NYU’s second-oldest legal journal and was originally compiled by NYU faculty members as a comprehensive annual reference to developments in American law. Now a quarterly publication, the Annual Survey continues its dedication to exploring contemporary legal developments in the United States from a practice-oriented perspective. Annual Survey articles analyze emerging legal trends, interpret significant recent court decisions and legislation, and explain leading legal scholars’ and judges’ perspectives on current legal topics. The journal is widely distributed throughout the world, giving lawyers both inside and outside the United States insight into American law and legal issues.
Second year law students serve on the journal as Staff Editors, while third year students serve as either Articles Editors or in various board positions. The journal offers its members numerous benefits, including a presumption of publishability, networking opportunities with alumni, and more. Additionally, Staff Editors have the opportunity to contribute to the overall direction of the journal by serving on one of our many committees. For their work, Articles Editors receive 1 credit and members of the board receive 2 credits in their third year of law school. Below you will find more specific information about the various responsibilities and opportunities for members of our journal.
If you have any questions about journal membership, please email Editor-in-Chief Elan Weinberger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How Does Annual Survey Select Staff Editors?
Given our practitioner-oriented mission, Annual Survey places a heavy emphasis on both the Bluebook and writing sample components in choosing our Staff Editors. Cite checking, editing, and strong legal writing are important to any practitioner. Therefore, this year we are permitting the submission of either the writing competition casebook comment or your lawyering brief as a writing sample. We want rising 2Ls to put their best foot forward and we believe that providing this option allows prospective members to best demonstrate their writing abilities.
What are the Primary Responsibilities of Staff Editors?
Staff Editors are expected to complete two hours a week of in-person C&S (Citation & Substance) hours. Under the supervision of 3L Executive Articles Editors, Staff Editors perform vital citation and fact-checking tasks that ensure the quality of the articles we publish. C&S hours not only enable Staff Editors to perfect their Bluebooking skills, but provide a space for building community within the journal and eating delicious snacks.
Outside of C&S Hours, What Other Opportunities Do 2Ls Have to Get involved?
In addition to weekly C&S Hours, Staff Editors serve on several committees, including Alumni, Development, Diversity, Online, Social, and Solicitations. Committees are a great way for Staff Editors to meet other members of the journal beyond C&S hours and engage in substantive work. Time commitment and ability to work remotely varies amongst the committees. Staff Editors are required to serve on at least one committee, but may serve on multiple committees if they so choose. The available committees are as follows:
The Alumni Committee assists in engaging our alumni across the country. Annual Survey has a number of very prestigious alumni including federal judges, law firm partners, and attorneys throughout both government and public interest organizations. Members of the Alumni Committee will engage with these alumni to update them on journal developments and create events honoring our broad alumni base.
The Development Committee (DevComm) gives Staff Editors the opportunity to get involved in Annual Survey’s article selection process. DevComm members meet with the Managing Editor for Development once every two weeks during the beginning and middle of each semester to discuss the merits of articles submitted to the journal and help make editorial decisions. Meetings are great opportunities for Staff Editors to explore their legal interests in an informal, no-pressure environment.
Diversity Task Force:
The Diversity Task Force (DTF) assists the journal in cultivating a diverse and inclusive community. It supports journal members of diverse backgrounds, ensures appropriate diverse policies of the journal and recruits a diverse pool of submissions for the journal. Over the past year, the DTF has updated the Journal Style Guide to keep up with social understanding/norms and held a Diversity Panel welcoming authors advancing gaps in diversity and inclusion efforts in the legal community at large.
The Online Committee acts as an advisory and executive body for the Annual Survey’s online and digital strategy as well as for the management of the Forum, our online publication. Staff Editors maintain both our website and social media accounts to increase functionality and expand our online presence.
The Social Committee helps bolster community spirit among journal members by providing them with opportunities to socialize with one another outside the academic setting of the journal. In the past, the Social Committee has hosted study breaks, beer pong tournaments, movie nights, and trivia nights at local bars. We are looking forward to many more fun events together in the future.
The Solicitations Committee is responsible for managing Annual Survey’s relationship with the academic and professional legal community. The role of the Solicitations Committee in fostering relationships with practitioners and academics includes planning our annual symposium, reaching out to professors to submit articles to our journal, and serving as a conduit for journal members who have written notes to receive feedback from the NYU Law community at large.
Can I Get Published as a Member of the Journal?
Annual Survey members enjoy a presumption of publishability. The journal offers numerous avenues to publish both longer (Option A) and shorter (Option B) pieces. The journal will help you every step of the way including developing a paper topic, to writing the piece, and marshaling it through the editing process. Given that we are a generalist publication, you can write about any legal topic. Below you will find more information on how Annual Survey can help you publish your work.
Notes Writing Program:
The Notes Writing Program provides 2Ls and 3Ls the opportunity to work directly with a Notes Editor on perfecting a piece of writing for print publication in the journal. NWP serves as a perfect pipeline for students wishing to turn their Option A or B seminar papers into publications they can put on their resumes or clerkship applications. Students involved in the either year-long or spring-only sessions of the NWP meet regularly with their Notes Editor and several peers to set deadlines, discuss ideas, and work through roadblocks in the writing process.
The ASAL Forum is an online-only publication that features articles, think-pieces, and practice notes submitted by professors, practitioners, and students. It is an ideal platform for students seeking to turn a shorter piece of writing, like an Option B paper, into a published piece. It is edited by Annual Survey’s Online Editors. Check out the ASAL Forum tab at the top of the page for more information.
What kind of events does Annual Survey put on?
Over the course of the year, Annual Survey hosts a number of events on legal topics important to practitioners. These include our symposium and dedication. We also are involved in cosponsoring numerous intellectual life events throughout the year. In addition, we also host social and networking events for our editors and alumni. Please see below for more information, or click the “Events” tab at the top of the page.
Each year the Annual Survey puts on a symposium of a pertinent legal topic of our choosing. Past topics have included the future of Copyright law, the Internet and Data Privacy, and the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. This coming fall, we will be leading a symposium focused on the challenges and opportunities in litigating Second Amendment claims today. Typically, our symposia include one panel on litigation and one panel on policy considerations, with a keynote speaker in between the two panels.
Every year, Annual Survey dedicates our volume to an influential legal scholar or practitioner. We invite this person to the law school to celebrate them and their contributions to the legal field. These dedications allow us to hear directly from our dedicatee, learning about their passion and drive as well as tips and tricks for a successful legal career. This year, we honored Barbara Underwood, who currently serves as the Solicitor General for the State of New York. In past years, we have dedicated to Hilary Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, and countless other big names. For more information on our dedication events, click the Dedications tab above.
Social and Alumni Events:
Annual Survey puts on a number of social events to foster a sense of community with the current members of the journal. These include, inter alia, happy hours, beer pong tournaments, and movie nights. In addition, this year, we will be putting on a number of alumni events to facilitate networking between current members and alumni.