Inside the German Law Journal

Chi Ewusi '17L shares her experience working on the German Law Journal, one of W&L Law's three legal publications. The German Law Journal is an online journal that publishes commentary and scholarship in the fields of German, European and international law. Its English-language treatment of comparative and international law attracts more than two million site visits from more than 50 countries each year. 

Perhaps of all of my experiences at Washington and Lee Law, my experience with the German Law Journal has been the most significant and influential. Participating in the Journal has allowed me to greatly expand my scholarship, improve my writing and editing abilities, and make lifelong connections. Career-wise, it's been great in shaping my narrative because of the Journal's world-wide recognition and the fact that it's always a conversation point in interviews. The GLJ was especially instrumental in helping me secure my 2L summer position early on because by the time I was interviewing in late summer, I had already been working on the Journal (before other rising 2Ls even find out that they're on a Journal) and could speak about my efforts and even direct employers to the content online. 

Since joining the Journal as a Junior Editor (JE) in the spring of my 1L year, I've been thrown into high-level, fascinating scholarship. The first publication I worked on was right after I started my 1L summer job in May 2015, and it was about the crisis in Ukraine. I was intrigued by the subject matter and the perspectives that the authors presented that were so different and deeper than anything covered by the media sources in America. I was also terrified that I was being given so much responsibility to substantively edit and comment on such pieces. It also presented unique challenges due to subject matter unfamiliarity and midnight deadlines. I recall a very frantic cross-continent/cross-time zone email chain among me and my fellow JEs trying to figure out how to properly reference the Crimean constitution--we weren't sure if such an authority was even recognized. This was when I got a sense of the importance and true opportunity I was being given through my affiliation with this Journal.  

My time with the GLJ has continued to present incredibly interesting content and unique challenges. For example, during my time on the board we've tackled corruption practices and privacy issues, and we're getting ready to publish extensive work on refugee and migrant issues. I love that the GLJ never shies away from complex and sometimes controversial areas. It makes the reading interesting and the work that we do all the more important. The Journal has also given me the opportunity to work on my own scholarship through my student note and even travel to Germany and France where I participated with other student editors in an intensive constitutional comparative study.  

My time spent with other editors on the board has been invaluable. The fact that our board members, by design, have similar interests and international life experiences has made it easy to make friendships. It's nice to have a built-in group of peers and mentors, especially if you are interested in entering the nebulous field of private or public international law.  

In February, I became the Executive Editor of the German Law Journal and now the Journal has given me a new challenge and reward--the task of leading this talented board and working closely with Professor Russ Miller, the GLJ Editor-in-Chief, to manage the year-long publication schedule and ensure the bright future of the Journal. It's a truly humbling and exciting opportunity. I hope to work with my fellow editors and Professor Miller to expand the scope of the GLJ, increase its presence at the law school and in the community, and maintain its status as a supportive and intellectual group of students.