Why Should I Join?

ELJ is entirely student-run. Students select, edit, and produce every article in every issue of every volume. At ELJ, we have a strong tradition of excellence in editing. We also have a friendly, collegial environment where we support each others’ efforts towards the common goal of producting an excellent product.

Our philosophy is simple: we seek to produce a consistently high quality journal that comprises timely and important environmental articles, and we strive do it according to the interests of the students involved. Consequently, we contribute significantly to legal discourse on the environment, and we have a pretty good time doing it. We encourage you to join us.

The Benefits of Membership

Membership in ELJ offers at least three general types of benefits, including academic enrichment, skills development, and a social network.

First, by editing and reviewing articles submitted to ELJ, members have the opportunity to review and discuss current issues in environmental law. Members usually develop an appreciation for academic discourse in environmental law, and learn to think critically about these topics.

Second, by editing the articles published in ELJ, members develop their writing and editing skills. The ability to edit can improve one’s own writing greatly, and good writing and editing skills are immensely useful for lawyers. ELJ provides a forum to learn by doing, with the assistance of experienced staff.

Finally, ELJ is a fun group! We have social events together and with our friends at the Environmental Law Society. The environmental community at Stanford is vibrant and open and the journal is a great way to get involved.

As you contemplate joining a journal, consider the following:

The Environmental Law Journal (ELJ) is:

  • Distinguished. ELJ is a top-ranking environmental law journal, publishing high-quality, timely, and important scholarship.
  • Non-hierarchical. We have few levels of management. We have succeeded by relying on member’s self-motivation and good judgement.
  • Supportive. Senior staff are accessible and helpful to members. We provide you with the information you need to develop your editing skills.
  • Friendly. We are both a work-team and a community. We maintain our convivial atmosphere with BBQs and potlucks, day trips about the Bay, and other social events.

As a member of ELJ, your work is:

  • Stimulating and substantive. Our members perform substantive elements of an edit, with no source-pulling (the worst part of an edit, required by other journals!)
  • Varied. Environmental Law is a large umbrella, covering a variety of topics, including natural resources conservation, international law, environmental justice, land use, pollution regulation, environmental economics, and more.
  • Worthwhile. Work on the Journal results in a valuable contribution to the field of Environmental Law.
  • Predictable. We are a professional, efficiently-run journal; we stick with our editing schedule, and we publish on time.

Why Should I Join a Journal?

  • An opportunity to hold a position on a legal publication as a 1L – valuable for easing into the law school experience and securing a legal job your first summer.
  • Preparation to hold senior journal positions as a 2L.
  • Familiarity with legal scholarship.
  • An opportunity to improve critical analytical and writing skills.
  • Introduction to basic skills such as Blue-booking and source-citing.

Organizational Structure

ELJ editing teams:
As a 1L, 2L, and 3L, you may participate in the journal as a member editor. Editors provide the power of the journal, and they are organized into several editing teams. Each team works together to produce one article. The efforts of the editing team are coordinated and overseen by a lead article editor. Article editors are assisted by executive editors, who collect and organize the sources relied on in the articles. Article editors interface with the author of the article that they are editing as well as the editor-in-chief (EIC) of the Journal.

ELJ article review:
Articles to be published by ELJ are selected by an article review board (ARB), which is supervised by an article review board chairperson. The ARB chairperson collects submissions, establishes the suitability of each article for ELJ, and then distributes submissions to the members of the ARB for critical evaluation. Members of the ARB evaluate the quality, originality, and timeliness of the authors’ research and writing, and provide feedback to the ARB chairperson. Based on the input of ARB members, the ARB chairperson and the EIC make offers to publish articles.

ELJ book reviews:
ELJ publishes review of books on environmental policy and other related topics. Book reviews are usually prepared by Stanford Law students. The book review editor is responsible for soliciting reviews, editing them, and preparing them for publication.

The Editor-in-Chief:
The editor-in-chief, who is usually a 3L, has ultimate responsibility for all aspects of ELJ’s operations. The editor-in-chief coordinates all activities, interfacing with the article review board, the article editors, and the book review editor, and is actively involved in recruiting new members. The editor-in-chief also establishes the editing schedule, does the final editorial review of every article, and supervises publication of the articles.