Liesel LeCates, a 3L at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law, recently published an article in the Jurist, an online legal news and legal research publication. In the interview below, she describes the process that led to the article’s publication and explains why she was “surprised but relieved” when she got the good news.
Q. First, tell us about the process that led you to write and then submit your article, “A Fair Judiciary Amidst Egyptian Turmoil,” to the Jurist. For example, how did you get interested in the topic and what did you learn as you conducted the necessary research?
A: The Jurist sent Professor Amos Guiora an email regarding the opportunity for students to write an article on the given subject. I thought the topic was interesting and wrote a draft. As I conducted research, the subject gave me the opportunity to apply important principles to a facially simple scenario.
Q: What was your response when you first got the news that your article had been accepted for publication?
A: Surprised, but the article actually took more work than I thought, so I was somewhat relieved.
Q: How did Professor Guiora contribute to the article—research, guidance on approach, editing, inspiration, or all of the above?
A: This exercise was an extremely useful learning tool. I submitted many drafts to Professor Guiora, and he gave me feedback on my writing that not only applied to this piece, but critiques that will help me improve my writing skills in the future. It was very helpful to have an objective reader, who is familiar with the subject, give feedback on my writing style, organization, and validity of arguments. I also had a classmate who (thankfully) edited my final draft for me.
Q: How did your classes and other experiences at the College of Law help prepare you to publish this article?
A: The College of Law has a huge variety of courses; especially considering the size of the student body. As I have taken predominantly internationally focused courses, I have been able to learn and study an area I am passionate about. These class discussions have definitely inspired some ideas that I was allowed to further explore in the article.
Q: Any final thoughts?
A: I am very grateful to my professors and peers who, even though swamped, are always more than willing to go the extra mile to help. I think this is something unique at the U. All of my professors have made themselves available and have really provided guidance in my preparations for a future career.