Recruitment to the Editorial Board
About the Journal
As one of Australia’s leading academic legal journals, and one of the few to be entirely produced by a student board, the Journal is UNSW Law’s flagship publication and one of the most widely cited legal reviews in Australia. Supported by premier sponsors, Allens, Herbert Smith Freehills and King & Wood Mallesons, the Journal publishes four Issues a year. Each Issue includes both a general component, in which articles can address any legally significant topic, and a thematic component, in which articles focus on a particular area of law with contemporary importance. Read more about our launch schedule here.
Who reads the Journal?
The UNSW Law Journal has a diverse and influential readership. It is distributed among Justices of the High Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia and Supreme Court of NSW. Subscribers also include government departments, non-government organisations, law firms and over 250 universities worldwide. Submissions for publication are received from local and international academics, judges and a wide range of legal professionals.
What are Journal launches?
Each Issue of the Journal is launched with a formal evening held at the offices of a leading Sydney law firm, at which the Issue editor and a specially invited keynote speaker introduce the material for the thematic component. The keynote speakers comprise national or international leaders in the legal field, with recent examples including Greg Smith SC MP, former Attorney-General and Minister for Justice of New South Wales, the Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG, Julian Burnside AO QC and Terrance Cole AO RFD QC.
What is the Editorial Board?
The Editorial Board is the body of students responsible for the production of the UNSW Law Journal. The responsibilities of General Members of the Editorial Board include:
- editing papers from leading legal academics and practitioners that are selected for publication in the Journal;
- attending Journal Issue launches, dinners and other social events. In 2014, the Journal’s launches were held at the offices of our premier sponsors: Allens, Herbert Smith Freehills and King & Wood Mallesons, with one launch held at UNSW; and
- attending meetings of the Editorial Board.
If later elected to the Executive Committee after serving as a General Member of the Board, Members of the Editorial Board also have the opportunity to assume editorial responsibility for an Issue of the Journal. Course credit is awarded for these positions.
Why join the Editorial Board?
Membership of the Editorial Board exposes students to the most recent critical analyses of legislation, legal policy and judicial decisions, and presents a unique opportunity to make a lasting contribution to the Law School. Appointment as a member of the Board is highly sought after, attracting considerable prestige within the legal community at-large, and in particular among employers and postgraduate scholarship committees. Journal alumni have held tipstaff or associate positions in various courts, including the High Court of Australia and Supreme Court of New South Wales. Moreover, two of Australia’s Rhodes Scholars from 2015 are recent alumni of the Journal.
What is the Executive Committee?
The UNSW Law Journal is managed by an Executive Committee, chosen each year from the Editorial Board through a competitive election process. The Executive Committee comprises six members.
- The Executive Editor is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Journal. The Executive Editor chairs meetings and deals with issues that may arise with the rest of the Executive Committee, liaises with sponsors and printers, ensures issues are sent to legal deposits, oversees financial and budgetary concerns, responds to copyright release requests, coordinates launch organisation and manages general inquiries from the public.
- Four Issue Editors produce the Journal's Issues over the year, comprising general and thematic components. As part of the election process for the Issue Editor position, the Editors formulate their Issues’ thematic topics. In the course of producing their Issues, the Editors liaise with academics, anonymous peer reviewers and the Editorial Board to coordinate editing. In addition, they organise distinguished keynote speakers for the Issue launches.
- The Digital Editor is responsible for developing the Journal’s online presence. The role involves writing news events for the Journal, coordinating photography and videography for launches, updating social media, and maintaining an alumni register and online database of back issues. The Digital Editor also manages the UNSWLJ Student Series initiative, which offers UNSW law students the opportunity to distribute their academic works online.
With an Editorial Board member
Name: Anna Rienstra
Year and Degree: 5th, Arts/Law
Board Member since: Semester 1, 2013
Why did you decide to join the Editorial Board?
I was interested in reading and writing about the broader policy issues raised by the law. I thought that being on the Editorial Board would help satisfy my desire to better understand emerging legal issues and to contribute to the publication of discussion about law and policy. I had found readings in my coursework from the UNSW Law Journal interesting and I was keen to engage more deeply with such articles. I also hoped that I would gain some insights into academic publication.
What has your work on the Board involved?
Each issue I have been responsible for editing one article. This has involved accessing print and online resources to check the accuracy of citations, ensuring compliance with the AGLC and modifying expression where necessary. Each edit has taken me somewhere between a few days and one week to complete. Just before publication the Editorial Board meets and collectively undertakes a final proof of the issue. Editorial Board members attend the launch of each issue as well as the occasional meeting and social event.
What have you most enjoyed in your time on the Board?
I have really enjoyed the companionship of other members of the Editorial Board, particularly their enthusiasm and good humour. I have also found editing itself engaging and immensely satisfying.
With a Journal alumnus
Name: James Emmett
Profession: Barrister at 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers, and lecturer at UNSW for the courses Conflict of Laws and Statutory Interpretation
- Board Member: 2001-2003, Editor for Issue 26(2) (2003)
What skills did you gain from your time on the Editorial Board?
The main skills I gained while on the Law Journal were improved legal research, improved legal writing and greater precision in formulating arguments. I also learned a lot of interesting things about areas of law I wouldn't otherwise have pursued, in the course of proofing articles.
What was your favourite aspect of Board membership?
My favourite aspect of Board membership was, on a personal level, the other Board members. On a professional level, it was the opportunity to be quite closely involved in the academic process, in a way one's not often able to as an undergraduate.
Would you recommend the Law Journal to students today?
I would recommend the Law Journal without hesitation to any student who is interested in the law as an intellectual pursuit (whether in the academy or in the profession).
Recruitment to the Editorial Board comprises a three-stage process. First, applicants are required to submit their most recent academic transcript, their curriculum vitae and a cover letter detailing relevant skills, experience and reasons for applying. Second, applicants selected to proceed must complete a substantial editing exercise and attend an interview with members of the Executive Committee. Finally, the current members of the Board will hold a meeting to elect the best candidates to the Board.
Applicants must have at least two semesters of university remaining at the time of applying. They must also have completed at least one semester at law school. While a strong interest in editing academic articles is essential, prior editing experience is not.
Please email applications (or questions about the application process or about journal editing) to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject heading ‘Application for UNSWLJ Board’.