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Business law students at New York University School of Law in Greenwich Village have lacked a certain practical opportunity afforded their uptown rivals at Columbia Law School — namely, their own campus journal focused on corporate legal matters. So this year the downtowners did something about it: The debut issue of New York University Journal of Law and Business will be published in December. While the new twice-yearly journal is intended as direct competition for the well-established Columbia Business Law Review, the student editors at NYU Law plan what they say will be a more workaday tone. “Basically, academics write law journal articles. They’re good scholarly articles, but sometimes they’re not relevant to real life,” said Grasford W. Smith Jr., 22, a third-year NYU Law student and executive editor of the journal. “We want this to be applicable to the practitioner.” Consequently, he said, the new publication plans to target senior associates, junior partners and in-house counsel — not only as subscribers but as authors, too. “They’re in the field,” he said. “They know what’s relevant, what’s hot.” Elisia Abrams, 26, a third-year student at Columbia Law and executive editor of its Business Law Review, said her journal was likewise directed at corporate practitioners even though many articles are written by academics. In the decade of the Columbia Law publication’s life, issues of the Business Law Review have run about 300 pages, said Abrams. The first issue of the NYU Law journal will be between 200 and 300 pages, according to David B. Chubak, 23, its editor-in-chief. Because NYU Law “has so many students who end up entering the corporate arena,” Abrams said, “we welcome other law journals dealing with our area of interest.” Students at NYU Law will be able to submit notes to the new journal and professors will be hardly discouraged from submitting essays. “But instead of longer pieces,” said Larry D. Kramer, associate dean for research and academics at NYU Law, “we expect academics will write shorter, more focused pieces on major developments.” Kramer was the faculty go-to guy for Chubak, a second-year student and president of the campus Law and Business Association, and managing editor Christopher Murillo, 25, a third-year student. Guided by Kramer, Chubak and Nathan M. Pierce, a 26-year-old first-year, wrote a 100-page proposal setting down the journal’s editorial mission, marketing plan and budget. Along with a year’s effort by other corporate law students in meeting with faculty members, the proposal finally won underwriting commitment by the NYU Law administration to the tune of $30,000 annually. “We had our social events, but when it came to actual academic opportunities, things were lacking,” said Chubak. “We could meet with attorneys or take classes, but we needed another way to get involved with the world of corporate law.” Helpful in the cause of staking out a largely practitioner-minded editorial mission were professors William T. Allen and Helen Scott, who eventually signed on as faculty advisors to the student publication. “We were encouraged by faculty to break away from the regular academic journal archetype,” said David D. King, 23, a second-year student who will serve the journal as senior notes editor. “We’re going for a certain level of sophistication in our readership. They’re going to be well versed.” Likewise, students who pushed for the journal over the past year demonstrated to faculty and administrators they meant business. “The two other journals approved this year were efforts that were really championed by professors,” said Pierce. “So our unique experience was in maneuvering the bureaucracy of an institution with a lot of determination.” In the months ahead, said Pierce, as he and other NYU Law students fan out across the country as summer associates, they will also be looking for “prime candidates for writing articles.” For the short term, the new publication’s “biggest hope is to give Columbia a run for its money,” said Vincent J. Mareino, 23, a second-year student who will serve as senior articles editor. “Once we come out, we’ll see increased quality at Columbia,” he predicted. “Then, of course, we’ll come back with even higher quality.”

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