The Rutgers Business Law Review has been a fixture at Rutgers Law School since 2002.
The journal underwent several cosmetic transformations, changing its name from the original Rutgers Bankruptcy Law Journal to the Rutgers Business Law Journal and in 2015 to its current name. Before Rick Madurski RLAW '20 and I were elevated to the positions of Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal in April 2018, the RBLR was unaccredited (meaning that members did not earn credits toward their transcript by virtue of their position on the journal), had not hosted symposia for several years, and had seemingly lost momentum.
However, Rick and I both knew that this journal had untapped potential and should and could very well rank among the top-tier of scholarly journals at Rutgers Law School and in the greater academic realm.
Over a whirlwind 12 months, the RBLR was radically transformed and given new life, and we are proud to be graduating with this legacy behind us and an even stronger Executive Board at the helm for the 2020-21 Academic Year across Newark and Camden.
Managing any organization is a challenge, and throughout undergrad and law school, Rick and I have held leadership roles in many student organizations. That being said, running the day-to-day of a law journal - especially one that had unfinished business - has been by far the most challenging and proportionally rewarding roles we’ve had.
Our journal had to navigate through the 1L summer write-on competition, which, after an aggressive marketing campaign in the weeks after our board took over, yielded a record number of submissions for our journal. We also made it our mission to expand our membership at the Camden campus, and Rick actually drove down to Camden to meet with students and spread the word about the RBLR. After grading the written submissions, we ended up with 27 Staff Editors in Newark and a further 11 in Camden - a 1000% increase from the prior year when we only had one Camden Staff Editor!
In addition, our next task was to give our members in Newark a comfortable workspace, as other journals enjoy. Together, with the support of the student organizations we share our room with, we were able to transform the office space into a fully-functioning journal suite that our members have taken advantage of throughout the year.
In terms of scholarship, we were also able to publish five student-authored Notes between our autumn and spring issues and successfully solicit four articles written by legal faculty from both the Rutgers system and other schools across the country. Notably, our staff editors worked incredibly hard to ensure these submissions were of publishable quality and we are proud of the scholarship we were able to produce this year.
Of course, the most challenging and time-consuming task we were faced with was earning the Rutgers Business Law Review accreditation status. Rick and I had to navigate our way through several rounds of meetings, draft a lengthy and detailed proposal outlining our journal’s strengths, future plans, and the theoretical and practical benefits our journal can contribute to the Rutgers Law School academic community.
I am proud to say that after six months of hard work and focus, we were successful in our efforts and the Budget & Planning Committee agreed to grant our journal accredited status. This means that from next year and beyond, our journal’s members will receive academic credit for all the hard work they put into researching and writing their notes, preparing other submissions for publication, and managing the journal on an executive level.
Finally, we had a symposium scheduled for the Spring 2020 semester, but unfortunately, this event has been postponed until the autumn due to Covid-19. We were, however, able to secure the participation of some amazing practitioners and law professors to serve as panelists during the symposium discussion, and CLE credits were to be offered to guests.
The entire 2019-20 Executive Board is eager to return in autumn as guests when the symposium can (hopefully) take place and a visual manifestation of our accomplishments can be showcased to the entire Rutgers, and indeed New Jersey, legal community.
Rick and I want to thank all of the 2019-20 members for their hard work and dedication over the past year. Without their efforts, none of the success our journal had would have been possible. We would especially like to thank our board members who gave up so much of their time to grade write-on submissions, oversee the spading process, and help the staff editors with their note research and writing. In addition, we want to thank Professor Kelly Deere for agreeing to serve as our journal’s faculty advisor in Newark - without whom our accreditation candidacy may not have succeeded!
Finally, we wish to congratulate and extend our best wishes to the 2020-21 Executive Board, comprised of some of the most outstanding students at Rutgers Law School. We cannot wait to see all that you accomplish as you lead the Rutgers Business Law Review through its continued upward trajectory.
Our three years at Rutgers Law School were filled with challenges both in and out of the classroom, and certainly guiding a journal through a transition period among the most difficult and exhausting. That said, we believe that the Rutgers Business Law Review is now in a position where it can meaningfully contribute to the law school’s academic discussion in a way that it hasn’t before and both the journal’s members, and the law school as a whole, are better off for it. Serving as co-Editors-in-Chief together was a rewarding experience that neither of us will soon forget or take for granted.
Congratulations and best of luck to our friends in the Class of 2020!