Why, I wrote onto the UCLA Law Review. (I was smart enough to resign before they gave me cite-checking assignments.)
What was I smoking when I decided to do this? Why did I decide to do this? My Academic Legal Writing book gives advice to students who are trying to write on to law review, but I realized that this advice is based on my now 16-year-old experience of writing onto law review during my first year of law school, coupled with my general knowledge about legal writing. Not nothing, but I figured I could do better. So I took several days — which, valuable as I think law review is, proved to nonetheless be several not very pleasant days — and did the write-on.
I naturally cleared this experiment with the higher-ups at the law review, both because I was creating more work for them (though less than 1% more, since I was one of about 140 people who participated) and because if they wanted 35 people and I made it as one of them, I wanted to make sure they understood that they'd also need to take the 36th. (It would be a pretty nasty turn if I ended up edging out some deserving law student.) But though the top people at the law review knew I was doing it, they didn't know my anonymous exam number, and most law review editors didn't know that I was participating at all.
And as it happens, I think my experiment did indeed prove very valuable to me. I learned quite a bit about the process that I hadn't thought of before, confirmed some things I thought I had known, and concluded that a few recommendations that I'd made were a good deal less sound than I thought they were. I plan to use what I learned when I'm working on the Third Edition of my book (which should be out in Fall 2007). And I plan to blog much of it here in the next few weeks, since I know that at many schools the law review competition is still coming up.
In the meantime, I just thought I'd mention my having done this, just as a reminder that, yes, I'm as odd a duck as I seem.
UPDATE: My favorite comment so far, from commenter wt: "How very Drew Barrymore in 'Never Been Kissed' of you!"