The Melbourne Law School hosts two student-run academic journals which make notable contributions to legal scholarship in Australia, and beyond. The Melbourne University Law Review (‘MULR’) and Melbourne Journal of International Law (‘MJIL’) are both hallmarks of the legal academy in Australia and, as a JD student, you can get involved in the operation of these journals during your studies.
Which journal should I get involved in?
MULR is a generalist journal, which publishes legal academic research for an Australian audience. MULR articles contribute novel ideas to legal scholarship, which deepen the Australian legal community’s understanding of the law, spark debate about the law and sometimes even result in changes to the law! MULR receives submissions from authors from a range of backgrounds – including practising lawyers and advocates, academics, and even the occasional student. Articles which are accepted by MULR undergo a double-blind peer review process, and a rigorous editorial process. The Editorial Board, which is made up of MLS students, closely scrutinises each article to ensure the quality of each MULR issue.
MJIL is a student-run academic journal that was founded by five MLS students in 2000. The Journal aims to publish high-quality legal scholarship relating to international law and legal practice. MJIL publishes an annual volume, and its issues undergo a rigorous peer review and editorial process. The Journal also organises various events to educate and raise awareness of important issues in international law today. These events include the annual Kenneth Bailey Memorial Lecture, and various ‘In Conversation’ events which take place throughout the year.
The main point of difference between the journals is their subject matter. While MULR publishes generalist research, MJIL exclusively publishes research which is relevant to issues in international law. If you have a particular interest in international law, MJIL may be the journal for you! If you have a general interest in academic publications, and wish to be exposed to a broad range of legal issues, consider joining MULR.
What’s in it for me?
There are a range of benefits for students who join the editorial boards of the journals, or who participate in the journals as non-editorial members, and these benefits go far beyond getting to add something to your Linkedin profile (though that’s pretty cool too).
Both MJIL and MULR host incredible social and networking events throughout the year, with the goal of building a community among their editorial members and MLS alum who also served as members of the journals. MJIL hosts a variety of events throughout the year, and members are able to ask questions of MJIL alum, many of whom have gone on to establish successful careers in the international legal sphere. Being able to rub shoulders with these alum and seek advice, mentoring and professional support is an absolutely invaluable opportunity. MULR also hosts a range of social and networking events, highlighted by their annual dinner in semester two. Additionally, MULR organises a formal mentoring program which matches students with MULR alumni. MULR alum include the Hon Kenneth Hayne AC KC, Professor Hilary Charlesworth AM of the International Court of Justice, the Hon Kristen Walker KC and the current Commonwealth Solicitor-General, Dr Stephen Donoghue KC.
Becoming a member of the journals will also teach you a range of important skills which will prove essential as you step into the workplace. Time-management, attention to detail, and a capacity to communicate professionally with key stakeholders are all skills which MULR and MJIL members develop over the course of their work for the journals.
Also, and perhaps most importantly, you get access to the MJIL or MULR offices – no more fighting over seats in the library. Does it get any better than that?
How do I get involved?
MULR is currently accepting applications for editorial and non-editorial members to join the Review. Click here to find information about the application process, and the roles available.
MJIL has also recently opened applications for new editorial members. Click here to find out how to apply.
Both MULR and MJIL will be hosting a Pizza with the Journals event, tomorrow, 16 February 2023 at 1PM. This is your chance to score some free pizza, and ask questions of the current editors of the two journals. Head to level 2, in front of the MULSS offices if you’d like to find out more.