Membership Requirements

The Houston Business and Tax Law Journal is a student-managed law journal that publishes one volume annually, comprising of two to three issues. Each issue contains articles written by student members of the Journal and practitioners, including law professors, judges, and practicing lawyers.

The incoming 2L members (“provisional members”) engage in a variety of activities that help develop the skills necessary to excel in a legal work environment and help HBTLJ meet its organizational goals.

Membership with HBTLJ consists of completion of requirements in:

Article Editing: As a provisional member in HBTLJ, you will have the opportunity to improve your editing and research skills by editing and cite checking articles that will subsequently be published by HBTLJ under the supervision of current HBTLJ editors. This process not only supplies you with the skills to be more detail-oriented, but also gives you the experience of working as a team in a legal setting to take to future employment.

Notes & Comments: All provisional members are required to write either one 40-page comment or two 25-page case notes during the course of their time as a provisional member. Given that business law encompasses a wide range of topics, provisional members enjoy the freedom of writing about any particular area of law that interests them and is related to business in anyway. In the spring semester, several provisional member articles are selected for publication in HBTLJ.

Member on Duty (“MOD”) Hours: As a student-run organization, teamwork is important to the success of the business law journal. Provisional members are required to spend 20 MOD hours per semester. At HBTLJ, MOD hour requirements may include social mixers to network with each other, intramural sports to continue building team bonds, cite checking, case notes or comments, attendance at HBTLJ hosted events, and individual MOD projects that will be offered by the executive board.

Compliance Database Department: During Spring semester, members are required to assist in updating the Journal‘s Compliance Database cataloging Fortune 500 companies code of conduct yearly changes.

Becoming an editor: Upon completion of all membership requirements during the second year of law school, the provisional member is eligible to work as an editor during his or her third year of law school. Specific positions will be determined by the outgoing Executive Board through an application and interview process.

Joining HBTLJ

There are three ways to become a member of the Journal as a rising 2L:

1. Grade on: If you are in the top 20% of your 1L class, you will automatically be invited to be a member. A representative of HBTLJ will contact students that qualify when grades are finalized.  You will have a limited amount of time to respond to our invitation, so please be sure that your information is updated in Student Services.

2. Apply on: If you are in the top 35% of your section or made at least an A- in Legal Skills and Strategies class either semester, you are eligible to participate in the Apply-on competition. A representative of HBTLJ will contact students that qualify when grades are finalized. You will have a limited amount of time to respond, so please be sure that your information is current in Student Services. You may also apply prior to being contacted. Applicants must submit and will be evaluated based upon a combination of the following:

  1. A completed application form.
  2. A cover letter detailing why the candidate is qualified to join the journal and why he or she would be a valuable addition to the journal.
  3. A minimum seven page writing sample.
  4. A resume.
  5. An unofficial law school transcript.
    If necessary, a personal interview may be conducted by the Recruitment Committee.

The results of the apply-on competition will be announced on a rolling basis as applications are received.  Please note that each journal has its Apply-on process.

3. Write-on: All full-time students who are in the top 50% of their section are eligible to participate in the Write-on competition. All part-time students, who have successfully completed their entire first year and no more than 12 hours of their second year course work, are eligible to participate in the Write-on competition.

4. Transfer Students: Transfer students in the top 35% of their class, who made at least an A- in a legal writing course can participate in the Apply-on, and those in the top 50% can Write-on.  The transfer student Apply-on requirements are the same as the apply on requirements set forth above, including:  a cover letter detailing why you are qualified for journal membership and would make a valuable addition to the journal, a minimum ten page writing sample, and a resume which includes your 1st year LARC grades. The results of the Apply-on competition will be announced on a rolling basis as applications are received. Please visit Houston Law Review’s Write-On competition page for full and updated details about the Transfer Student Write-On Competition.



Note: Prospective transfer student winners will be notified after they have secured admission to the Law Center. The dates of the Write-on and Apply-on Competitions will be the same for transfer students and current students.

Assigned Case will be posted on the Competition Website

Friday, May 11, 2018, 8:00 A.M. – Apply-on Submissions – This will be the first day HBTLJ accepts Apply-on submissions.  HBTLJ will accept applications on a rolling basis, and the Journal will issue a decision within 7 days of the submission. The application may be downloaded here.

Sunday, July 22, 2018, 11:59 P.M. – Apply-on Submissions Due – All Apply-on submissions are due by 11:59 P.M.

Friday, June 1, 2018, 8:00 A.M. – Write-on Competition – The Write-on competition case citation will be posted here.

Monday, June 18, 2018, 5:00 P.M. –  Write-on Submissions are Due – All Write-on papers are due in Office of Student Services by 5:00 P.M.

Monday, June 25, 2018, 5:00 P.M. – Winner Notification – Write-on winners will receive invitations from the journals to which they have been selected.

Thursday, June 28, 2018, 11:59 P.M. – Acceptance – Selected students must respond via email to the journal they have selected to join.



All questions must be directed to the Chief Compliance Database Editor. Advice given by any other person will not ensure that your concerns will be properly addressed. We will try to be as accommodating as possible, so long as our decisions ensure the fairness of the competition to all participants.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the HBTLJ’s Chief Compliance Editor at