Free Speech

Law Students: Interested in Helping With Proofreading on the Journal of Free Speech Law?

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Our new Journal of Free Speech Law is faculty-edited, but we'd love to have help from students with proofreading and bluebooking. (We may also need some help with cite-checking, though so far we're having faculty have their own research assistants do that.) We publish both electronically and in print, and our first articles should be out in late July.

I've lined up several UCLA law students for this, but I'd be glad to include others as well. In particular, we're going to need at least one person who can proofread an article in the next couple of weeks, and several who can help with our symposium articles (which are on regulations of social media platforms) in early July.

As you might gather from the job description, one thing we need is attention to detail. If your mind just absorbs information from written text, and doesn't bother you by alerting you to typos, then this will be a frustrating task for you. On the other hand, if errors just jump off the page at you as you read, you'd be perfect.

I realize that this is not like a normal law review: It will likely involve both less work and less responsibility. On the other hand, you'll get to read what we hope will be very interesting scholarship, participate in the process of publishing it (plus see your name in print on the masthead), and further practice your proofreading skills. If you're interested, please e-mail me at volokh@law.ucla.edu. (Just to be clear, as with other law reviews, we're looking for volunteers, though we hope that the students who participate will find this professionally valuable.)

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  1. I was very good at this in law review. It’s also an important skill which I hope has not been lost in this era of Twitter and auto fill and autocorrect. Too many lawyers pride themselves on not being “detail persons” but attention to detail is very important.

  2. When law students work on the law review at their own college, they usually get academic credit for it, and the prestige of being on the law review comes because you either got on the law review by being in the top few percent of your class or by writing on. Back when I did proofreading for a living, it was well-paid. Do it for free AND no academic credit AND pick up no prestige because it doesn’t seem like there’s a selective process? Uh, no. Sorry, prof.

    1. James, that was well-written. You are articulate, spell with distinction, know how to use commas, don’t dangle modifiers, and are attuned to the well-tempered hyphen.

      Go for it. There will be stars in your crown.

      Tell you what: I’ll take half of an article and you take the other half. My BA degree is in English and German from UTK. My degree in law is also from UT, Knoxville. Or we do the whole thing together.

      Be a sport.

      1. My high-school English teacher once told me that I couldn’t write. so, just five years later, I was a college granulate who was paid to write, edit and proofread. I had held a much, much more challenging job: As a “Product Evaluator” for a software publisher, I was expected to detect errors that were on the screen for only 1/30th of a second. A couple of times, I found problems that were only on screen for one frame. I had to fix the Japanese English text to American English, too. (Our products didn’t have “all your base are belong to us”-type language in them. There were some other challenges… we made the NES game for “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, but Nintendo didn’t allow either fascists or religious icons in games published for distribution in the US. They didn’t want us to reference the Holy Grail in the game, nor could the bad guys be identified as Nazis. this took the best line from the movie right out of our cut-scene…We couldn’t have Indy say “Nazis. I hate these guys…” They also wanted us to cut the whole first level, which was based on the “Young Indy” prologue from the movie, because that whole section was about the “Cross of Coronado and NES games weren’t allowed to have crosses in them unless the publisher was Konami, and the game was “Castlevania”. All the fuss from Nintendo about the Content Code meant that the game was late and didn’t hit store shelves for Christmas season, and we also missed the home video release of the movie. We didn’t sell nearly as many copies of that game as we needed to to cover the royalties we paid to get the license.
        the next year I went to work on Nintendo Power magazine, which made me a hero to 8-year-olds everywhere. I also designed, wrote, edited and proofread game manuals. I can say with a straight face that my first book was published with an initial print run of a quarter-million copies.

        1. You are one interesting character, and with wonderful precision of language too.

          Well, the professor wanted law students. And I am an old geezer pushing eighty, and you are a god-knows-what with a raft of gifts, and youth, I don’t have. Best to you, young fellow. Best to you in the world.

          1. My daughter keeps insisting that I am old, does not listen when I reply “am not am not am not AM NOT!” maybe I shouldn’t have let her go away to college and get married.

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