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: Provisional members in HBTLJ have the opportunity to improve their 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 a provisional member with the skills to be more detail-oriented, but also allows the experience of working as a team in a legal setting, which can be applied 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 DepartmentDuring Spring semester, members are required to assist in updating the Journal‘s Compliance Database cataloging yearly changes to Fortune 500 companies’ codes of conduct.

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 are 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: All rising 2Ls who finish in the top 20% of their 1L class are automatically invited to join the Journal as a provisional member. An HBTLJ representative will contact qualifying students when grades are finalized and class rankings are released.

2. Apply on: All rising 2Ls who (a) finish their first year within the top 20%–35% in their section or (b) made at least an A- in Legal Skills and Strategies class either semester is eligible to participate in the Apply-on competition. An HBTLJ representative will contact qualifying students when grades are finalized and released. 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 own 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 that 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 may participate in the Apply-on, and those who are within the top 50% of their 1L class 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 the student is qualified for journal membership and would make a valuable addition to the journal, a minimum seven page writing sample, and a resume that includes his or her 1st year legal writing course 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 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, 2019, 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, 2019, 11:59 P.M. – Apply-on Submissions Due – All Apply-on submissions are due by 11:59 P.M.

Friday, May 31st, 2019, 8:00 A.M. – Write-on Competition – The Write-on competition case citation will be posted here.

Monday, June 17, 2019, 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 24, 2018, 5:00 P.M. – Winner Notification – Write-on winners will receive invitations from the journals to which they have been selected.

Thursday, June 27, 2019, 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, provided our decisions ensure competitive fairness to all participants.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact