Membership Information

Membership Information

Offers to join the Belmont Law Review are extended according to Article II of the organization’s by-laws:

Article II. Membership
(current as of Jan. 25, 2016)

Section 1. Selection

(a)         Law Review Members shall be selected based upon academic excellence and legal writing and research skill. All provisions, obligations, and responsibilities imposed upon Members by these Bylaws shall be equally binding regardless of method of selection for membership. The specific methods are set forth below in § 2.
(b)         Subject to the terms and provisions herein, membership is limited to students who are enrolled full-time at Belmont University College of Law.
(c)         In accordance with and subject to § 2 below, invitations shall be extended each academic year to (i) fifteen percent of students in the first-year class and (ii) any second-year student who fulfills the requirements set forth in § 2(b). Invitations shall not be extended to any students in the third-year class.
(d)         The number of students eligible for membership in Law Review is subject to change at the discretion of the Editorial Board. This change shall be announced no later than one month after the American Bar Association (“ABA”) official recording date for the composition of the first year class, currently October 5th.
(e)         No hazing or discrimination will be used as a condition of membership in this organization.
(f)         Law Review agrees to adhere to Belmont University’s non-discrimination statement: Belmont University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, military service, or sexual orientation in its administration of education policies, programs or activities; its admissions policies; or employment.

Section 2. Eligibility

(a)  First-Year Students

(i)         First-year students are selected based upon academic excellence and legal research and writing skill. Specifically, fifteen percent of students in the first-year class shall be invited to join Law Review based on academic performance and normalized grading of the Appellate Brief completed in the first-year Legal Information and Communication course.

(ii)         In determining Law Review membership, seventy-five percent weight is given to first-year academic performance, as measured by the student’s cumulative grade point average (“GPA”) from the fall and spring terms of the first year. Normalized Appellate Brief scores are given twenty-five percent weight. The Faculty Advisor shall be responsible for normalizing the Appellate Brief scores and calculating the total indexed scores to determine membership.

(iii)         In the event that the calculation of fifteen percent of the class results in a decimal number, this number shall be rounded up to the next whole number. For example, 15.1 would be rounded up to 16 students.

(iv)         In order to provide adequate staffing to complete its mission, the Law Review seeks to have a minimum of 15 rising second-year students join the Law Review each year.  Consequently, if extending invitations to fifteen-percent of the first year class results in fewer than 15 rising second-year students joining the Law Review, by a unanimous vote of the executive board, additional offers shall be extended to the next highest scoring student or students based upon the formula set forth in Section 2(a)(ii) of these bylaws until there are 15 new rising second-year members of the Law Review.

(b)  Second-Year Students & Transfer Students

(i)  Second-year and transfer students may be extended invitation to join Law Review by having an entry selected in the Write-On Competition.

(ii)  Second-Year Write-On Competition. In order to be eligible to compete in the annual Write-On Competition, students must have completed at least two semesters of law school and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50. As many as two students may be selected to join Law Review based on their participation in this competition. However, quality alone will determine the number of invitations, and Law Review reserves the right to limit invitations to one or zero.

a.  The Write-On Competition shall be governed by the rules adopted by the Competition Committee. In accordance with Art. IV § 11(a) and (b), the Editorial Board shall select no fewer than three Members of Law Review to serve as the Competition Committee. Additionally, the Editorial Board shall select no fewer than three Members of Law Review to serve as the Scoring Committee. The Executive Development & Technology Editor shall serve as the head of both the Competition and Scoring Committees. Subject to these bylaws and the approval of the Executive Development Editor, the Competition Committee shall select the Write-On Competition topic, prepare the competition packets, establish specific rules governing the competition, and create the screening and scoring process.

b.  The Competition Committee shall decide the specific deadlines of the competition in coordination with the faculty advisor. For valid entry, the student shall submit the required number of copies in a sealed envelope with his or her Belmont University Student Identification Number (“BUID number”) written upon the outside of the envelope.

c.  All submissions will be evaluated on criteria including, but not limited to, writing skills, citation, organization, clarity, depth of analysis, and originality. Each member of the Competition Committee shall independently evaluate and rank the submissions. Upon receipt of the rankings, the Head of the Competition Committee shall reveal the top two entries in a full meeting of the Competition Committee. The Committee members may address any discrepancies and request reevaluation if appropriate. The Competition Committee shall then decide whether the top two entries meet the minimum quality threshold. If the threshold is met, the entries will be sent to the Scoring Committee, which will score citation on a pass/fail basis. If the entry passes, invitation to join Law Review will be extended by the Faculty Advisor. An author granted an invitation must give written notice of either acceptance or declination within two weeks of receipt of the invitation. Declination of an invitation is irrevocable.

d.  All submissions shall be anonymous. The only permissible identification on a submission shall be that student’s BUID number. Failure to comply with this requirement shall result in immediate disqualification.

If you have any questions regarding the membership selection process, please contact the Faculty Advisor, Professor Jeffery Usman, at jeffrey.usman@belmont.edu.