Student Publications Strive to Broaden Audiences, Increase Visibility

American University Washington College of Law student publications are working this year to increase their visibility in the law school and legal communities by embracing technology, working with local law firms, and expanding their mission statements.

The members of the Journal of Gender and Social Policy are creating a new website this year to expand their journal's readership base. The journal members have created a new digital editorial board position to organize blog posts and approve content before it is published on the website.

Ryan Gofus, 3L and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Gender and Social Policy, said that creating a website for the journal has been a major process, but one that he hopes will expand their reputation.

“Paper publications are on their way out,” said Gofus. “I think the website will really highlight all of the great work that we do, and all of the great articles and student pieces we publish. I think that AUWCL students are very tuned in and uniquely capable of addressing the issues of our journal, and feel passionately about them and working on them. The website will be a great channel for sharing this work.”

The members of the Administrative Law Review are focused on this year's write-on competition. 1Ls participate in this annual competition each year during spring break to gain membership on a journal. According to the staff, new members with fresh ideas keep the publication alive.

Editor-in-Chief Melissa Lim, 3L, said publishing good authors and quality articles that are often cited increases the visibility of the ALR and strengthens its connections within the administrative law community.

“We’re also starting an advisory board where we reach out to practitioners throughout the country that practice administrative law and have them serve as advisors to the ALR for two-year tenures,” said Lim.

According to Lim, a number of judges and practitioners from law firms and agencies throughout the country have agreed to be part of this new advisory board.  

The staff of the American University Law Review (AULR) is hoping to expand the visibility of their publication by hosting a Federal Circuit panel discussion at Baker Hostetler, a D.C. law firm. 

 “We’re holding it off campus, which we also did for our symposium,” said Peter Frechette, 3L and editor-in-chief of AULR.  “This is a way to get students into the legal world and get them downtown to help them interact with practitioners.  Sometimes there are limitations to the number of practitioners that can get to the law school during the day, so we’re trying to bridge that gap.”

The AULR is the only annual book in the country dedicated to the Federal Circuit Court’s decisions.

The Modern American joins the ranks of the other law school publications working to expand their readership by implementing new ideas.

According to Michelle Holland, 2L and editor-in-chief, the staff is working to expand the mission statement of the Modern American to make it applicable to more groups of people.

“Traditionally it seems that the publication was strictly about socio-economic and racial diversity, but we kind of think that diversity means more than that,” said Holland.  “It’s more than just someone’s sexual orientation or someone’s race or ethnicity, it encompasses different things about us that make us unique to everyone else.  We want to make it so that more social issues that may not have traditionally been encompassed by diversity can be brought in and can enter the discussion.”

View the list of student publications at American University Washington College of Law.