Student Organizations and Journals

Enrich your law school experience with active participation in our community.

As a Columbia Law School student, you can build a network and bond with your extraordinary classmates through journals, organizations, and other opportunities offered both on and off campus. 

The Law School is home to 14 law journals, many of which are leading scholarly publications in their fields. Our 85-plus student organizations—ranging from the ACLU to the Columbia Real Estate Law Society, Yoga Club, and much more—reflect the diversity of our student body’s distinct backgrounds, interests, and experiences.

 

Much of the strength, richness, and diversity of the Columbia Law School experience stems from the leadership, hard work, and thoughtful programming of our student organizations. Nearly every Law School student is active in at least one organization.

Student Services is here to support your work in as many ways as possible—from assistance with event planning and room reservation to thinking through fundraising, generating publicity, and helping you manage your finances. 

Resources for Student Organization Leaders
Start with the Student Organization Handbook, then review our policies and resources

Offering Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) Through Your Event

Columbia Law School is certified by the New York State CLE Board as an approved provider of CLE programs. Here are the basic requirements for offering CLE credit through your event:

  • Each session must have at least:
    • One reading provided to the attendees that is substantial and legally related.
    • One practicing attorney (in good standing in any jurisdiction) serving as a presenter.
  • Each session must last at least 50 minutes (without breaks).

Submit all of the following documents to [email protected] at least two to three weeks before your event:

  • A copy of the timed agenda for the program, including a description of what each session will cover.
  • Copies of the readings assigned to each session.
  • Short bios for all speakers and panelists. The bios should indicate who is currently a practicing attorney and in good standing.

Recorded and Livestreamed Events

The recording or livestreaming of events raises serious issues regarding privacy and consent not simply for the invited speaker, but also for attendees. The privacy of our students, faculty, staff, and guests privacy must be respected by event organizers and every precaution must be taken to protect such privacy, even at the expense of publicity for the event or event speakers. For student organization events on the Law School campus, requests to have an event recorded or livestreamed should be made to [email protected].

Obtaining Consent to Record or Livestream

Prior to the event, every guest speaker should sign a Columbia University School of Law Speaker Permission Agreement If obtaining a signed consent form is not possible with respect to a particular guest, then prior consent via email must be obtained.  Once obtained, the consent form (or email) needs to be saved to your organization’s G: drive folder.

In addition, if the recording is going to be made public via any medium—or if the event will be livestreamed—the consent of all audience members who may appear or be heard during a Q&A session must be obtained by informing audience members of the recording and/or livestreaming via:

  1. A prominently-displayed notice at all entrances to the event space.
  2. An announcement at the start of the event and a reminder announcement at the beginning of any Q&A period.

Further, an alternate method for questions must be provided (e.g., providing index cards for written questions that can be passed to the moderator), so that audience members who do not wish to be recorded still have the opportunity to ask a question.

University’s Policy on Partisan Political Activity

Event Review Preparation Guide

Event Accessibility Checklist

Columbia is committed to assuring that events and programs are accessible to all students, including those with disabilities. Disability Services has created this checklist to assist student clubs, administrators, and meeting or event planners to create programs that are accessible to all. The purpose of this guide is to provide information for event planners about the elements of disability access that will foster full participation. Advance planning and communication is critical to making events accessible. Providing key details related to an event in advance, such as the agenda, format, and activities, will help participants determine what accommodations may be needed. This will allow the participant to request the necessary accommodations to best access the event.

Find helpful information in the Event Accessibility Checklist when planning an event.

Recording by Guest Speakers

Neither guest speakers nor any other non-university party may record or livestream an event at the Law School. Where consent has been obtained (as described above), a student organization may share the Law School’s recording with a guest speaker only for that speaker's personal use. 

Student Organization Logos, Banners and Trademarks

Columbia Law School student organizations are allowed to have their own logo and/or banners. The student organization’s logo/banners can be used for the following purposes:

  • To promote student group events within the Law School and throughout Columbia University Campuses.
  • To promote Columbia Law School Student organizations at conferences, workshops, career fairs, etc.

Use of School Name

In the text of letters, advertisements, and other documents, please use the full name of our school (“Columbia Law School”) wherever possible. If you need to use a shortened name, you may use “Columbia Law” but you may not use simply “CLS.” We also recommend that you use full name of your student organization instead of simply relying on the acronym.

Student Organization Logo Approval Process

The use of the Columbia Law School and/or Columbia University name, logo or crest, as well as other symbols and marks that are representative of Columbia University, may be used only with formal permission of the university. The policy restricts the use of the Columbia name or other impressions on business cards, advertisements, posters, letterheads, and clothing or in any communication to nonmembers of the Columbia University community without prior approval.

Columbia Law School Visual Style
(Logo, Colors, Photography, Letterhead and, Posters)

A consistent visual style and voice can positively influence how people view Columbia Law School. Columbia Law School’s Communications Team created guidelines for colors, logos, photography, and typography to help you maintain our brand identity. Everything you say and do on behalf of the Law School is part of that living brand and conveys the Law School’s story. You can view these guidelines at law.columbia.edu/communications/visual-style.

Organization letterhead must be approved by the Law School before it may be used on behalf of your organizations. If you are interested in creating letterhead, please speak with Jeffrey Bagares. Following approval, you may go to the Faculty Secretariat in Jerome Greene Hall, Room 711 to obtain stationery. Your organization will be responsible for any charges incurred.

Student Trips

Student organizations that are sponsoring trips, either domestic or international, should consult with Jeffrey Bagares from the Office of Student Services regarding their travel plans. When you plan to attend student organization trips, you are representing Columbia University and the Law School. All ethical standards must be followed while you are away.

Each student attending a student organization sponsored trip must register with the university using this form at least three weeks before the date of travel. You can find more resources about international travel at Globaltravel.columbia.edu

Websites

If your organization would like to create a website on the Law School’s domain, contact the Law School’s IT Team at [email protected]. All web pages should be housed on the Columbia University Law School server, which is run by the Columbia Law School Information Technology Department. If you are unsure whether your group has a web page, please contact the Jeffrey Bagares and the IT helpdesk at [email protected].

All student organization web pages must comply with both the Law School’s and the university’s policies about web page creation and usage, as well as with federal law such as copyright laws and restrictions on data transmissions. Please thoroughly familiarize yourself with the Law School’s and the university’s policies and recommendations, which can be found at the following links:

https://finance-admin.law.columbia.edu/content/technology-student-organizations
http://cuit.columbia.edu/web-publishing
http://cuit.columbia.edu/cuit/it-policies

You should specifically note the following, as stated in the Columbia University policies:

  1. Columbia University does not sponsor, review or monitor the contents of the personal home pages of its faculty, students, or staff on websites using university facilities, nor does the University endorse the contents of any such personal home pages.
  2. You are personally responsible for what you do on the network as a member of the Columbia community.
  3. No university system or network may be used for any purpose or in a manner that violates university rules or regulations or federal, state or local statutes or regulations.
  4. Use of university systems or networks for commercial purposes, except where explicitly approved, is strictly prohibited.

As members of the Law School community, you are expected to exhibit professionalism, courtesy, and respect for the rights of others. Your organization's web page should reflect this responsibility.

Further, the following disclaimer must appear prominently on the home page of your organization web page:

“Columbia University and Columbia Law School do not sponsor, review, or monitor the contents of World Wide Web sites on university facilities, nor does the university or the Law School endorse the contents of any such web page.”
 

Email Accounts

Your organization has a unique email account. The outgoing board should have the password for the account. If you are unable to access your email account or if you are a new student group in need of an email account, please contact the Law School's IT Helpdesk ([email protected]). In your email, please copy Jeffrey Bagares ([email protected]) so that he can approve your request.

A member of your student organization should be assigned to monitor this email account, as it is the primary means for people to communicate with your group. It might be wise to have the person in charge of the account forward all emails to an account that they regularly check, in order to make sure that your group receives important emails.

Note: Your email account is NOT the means of communicating with the Law School community broadly; you should use your Google Group for that. Your email account, however, may be used for direct correspondence with one or several individuals.

G: Drive

It is important that your organization has a folder on the Law School’s G: drive to store your organization’s financial ledger and other important documents. This will greatly facilitate your group’s ability to pass on critical operational information from outgoing to incoming boards. It is much less efficient and potentially detrimental to your organization to have to transfer electronically-stored records from laptop to laptop each year. To have a folder created, email the Law School’s IT Helpdesk ([email protected]). In your email, please copy Jeffrey Bagares ([email protected])so that he may approve your request

Google Groups

The Law School has created a Google Group for each organization to use to publicize its events and otherwise post announcements of activities to interested students. Group membership is limited to Law School students. When created, Google Groups are populated with all current Law students. Thereafter, all entering Law students will be made members of the Groups of all student organizations. At any time, a student has the individual option to withdraw from any or all of the Groups of which they are members. Responsibility for populating Groups belongs solely to the Law School, and there is nothing that individual student leaders need do in this regard. Requests for membership on behalf of non-Law students may be made by an organization’s president directly to Jeffrey Bagares and will be considered under exceptional circumstances.

Print Services

Columbia University Print Services (located in the basement of the School of Journalism on Broadway and 116th Street) can provide Law School groups with a broad range of services, including printing services, poster design and enlargement, copying, brochures, invitations, and flyer printing. To pay for these services, your student organization will need to provide Printing Services with a “chart string.” The chart string for each organization is available from Student Services. Your organization will be later charged for any services provided. For more information, please visit print.columbia.edu.

Mailboxes, Mail Services, and Postage

All student organizations should arrange all mail, including invoices, donor checks, and packages, be sent to:

[Name of Your Student Organization]
c/o Student Services
435 West 116th Street Mailbox B-25
New York, NY 10027

The Information Center and Student Services will notify the student organization President and/or Treasurer when mail has arrived. 

Students may leave packages to be mailed via USPS with the Information Center, located on the first floor of Jerome Greene Hall.  Students can also obtain metered postage from the Information Center. The postage cost will be charged directly to your student organization's Law School account.

Student Services Fax Machine

Student Services maintains a fax machine for organizations to send and receive faxes. The incoming fax number is 212-854-8843. The recipient’s name and the student organization must be clearly marked on all incoming and outgoing faxes.

Columbia Law School is home to 14 law journals, many of which are leading scholarly publications in their fields. Working on a law journal gives you the opportunity to hone your writing and editing skills, immerse yourself in top-quality scholarship, participate in American legal culture and tradition, and join a thriving micro-community within the Law School.

If you have any questions regarding journal participation, contact Jennifer Braden, assistant director of counseling and student support. To learn more, review the Journal Day Handbook.

Timeline Overview

Early Process (Not all journals participate in this process)
Applications open: April 4–16 (noon to noon)
Notification deadline: April 26

Regular Process
Applications open: May 17–28 (noon to noon)
Notification deadline: July 1–2

Transfer Process (Columbia Law Review runs a separate transfer application process)
Applications open: July 16–23 (noon to noon)
Notification deadline: July 29

LL.M. Process (Not all journals participate in this process)
Applications open: August 19–26 (noon to noon)
Notification deadline: September 6

Application Cycle Details

Journal Day: April 1
The 2019 Journal Application Cycle will kick off with Journal Day on Monday, April 1. Presentations will take place from 12:10 p.m. to 1:10 p.m. in JG 104, and journal representatives will be tabling outside of JG 104 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Early Application Process: April 4–16
Some journals participate in the Early Application Process from April 4 to April 16 to fill a limited number of spots. Because the early process is binding (with one exception described below), you should only participate in this process if you have a clear idea about which journal you would like to join. Most students opt not to participate in the Early Application Process and instead wait for the Regular Application Process in May.

All materials for the Early Application Process may be submitted on LawNet. Aside from a brief personal statement, you should already have the materials you need for this process (e.g. résumé and transcript), and the application process should be quick and easy. You will receive more information about the participating journals and required application materials following Journal Day.

Rules:

  • You may apply via Early Application Process to only one journal.
  • If you are invited to join that journal, your application will be binding, and you will be required to accept that invitation and—with one exception—will not be permitted to apply to any other journals during the Regular Application Process.
    • Exception: You may still apply to be a member of the Columbia Law Review during the Regular Application Process. 
  • If you are not invited to join a journal during the Early Application Process, you can still participate in the Regular Journal Application Process in May, and you may apply to as many journals as you wish in that process.
  • Journals may only fill one-third of their available slots, or eight slots (whichever is smaller), during the Early Application Process. Therefore, if you are not invited to join a journal at this stage, there is still a very good chance that you will be invited to join that journal or another one during the Regular Application Process in May. We encourage you to reapply!

Regular Application Process: May 17–28
Registration and application submission take place on LawNet. You can apply to as many journals as you would like and rank those journals in order of preference. 

Requirements vary by journal, but all journals request a résumé, transcript, and personal statement or statement of interest. Many journals also request a writing sample. During this process, many students participate in the Writing Exercise run by the Columbia Law Review. All journals accept the Writing Exercise as a writing sample; however, with the exception of the Law Review, none require it.

It should not take you 11 days to complete the Regular Application Process; rather, the window is deliberately long to provide students with flexibility regarding their travel and work schedules in May.

Transfer Application Process: July 16–23
Registration and application submission will take place on LawNet. You can apply to as many journals as you would like and rank those journals in order of preference. 

Columbia Law Review does not participate in this process. If you are interested in working with them, please look into their Publishable Notes Program

Learn more about this process in the Transfer Journal Process Handbook.


LL.M. Application Process: August 19–26
Registration and application submission will take place on LawNet. You can apply to as many journals as you would like and rank those journals in order of preference. 

Learn more about this process in the LL.M. Journal Process Handbook.

Contact
If you have any questions about Journal Day or the journal application processes, contact Jordan Carr in Student Services.

 

J.D. students can obtain three types of academic point credit in connection with journal work. You can also use a note to satisfy one of the J.D. writing requirements.

See guidelines below and contact an academic adviser in Student Services with further questions.

Academic Point Credit

  • Supervised Research Credit
    • You may receive supervised research credit if you write a note for your journal under the supervision of a Columbia Law School faculty member (including visiting/adjunct faculty).
    • Register for supervised research credit by completing the J.D. Research Registration Form, having your faculty supervisor sign it, and submitting it to Registration Services by the date listed on the form.
    • Credit Limit: You may receive a maximum of three points per term and four points per academic year in connection with work that qualifies either as Supervised Research or as Supervised Experiential Project.
    • Timing: You may opt to receive supervised research credit for your note during either the fall or spring semester or to split your points across multiple semesters (subject to your supervisor’s approval). Regardless, we encourage you to begin contemplating your topic and reaching out to potential faculty supervisors as soon as possible, as professors tend to book up quickly.

 

  • Journal Credit (Publication and Editorial Board)
    • Publication Credit: If your note is accepted for publication in a Columbia Law School journal, you may be eligible (upon approval by the Journals Committee and a faculty evaluator) to receive one additional ungraded point of credit
    • Journal Editorial Board Credit: Upon recommendation by your editor-in-chief and approval by the Journals Committee, you may receive up to two points of ungraded point credit (one point per term) for your editorial board work.
    • Credit Limit: Journal publication credit and editorial board credit are in the same “bucket” as Independent Moot Court Coaching credit. A maximum of three total points of such credit may be counted toward the 84 points of credit required for graduation.
      • The 84-point credit requirement applies only to students who first matriculated at the Law School in 2017. All other J.D. students must complete a total of 83 credits in order to graduate.
      • NOTE: The three-point cap does not apply to point credit earned in connection with supervised upper-level work on an internal or Foundation moot court (which is subject to a separate four-point cap).

 Graduation Writing Requirements

  • Writing a note is also an excellent way to satisfy either your Major Writing or Minor Writing requirement, regardless of whether you also receive Supervised Research credit.
  • You may register for Major/Minor Writing credit by filling out the J.D. Major/Minor Writing Registration Form, having your supervisor sign it, and submitting it to Registration Services by the date listed on the form.

Timing: 

  • You must register for Major Writing credit no later than the end of Add/Drop of your penultimate semester, and for Minor Writing credit no later than the end of Add/Drop of your final semester.
  • If your supervisor is a visiting/adjunct professor, you must register for credit during the term in which they are appointed to teach.
  • In order to satisfy the Major Writing requirement, you must submit a complete draft of your note to your supervisor by February 1 of your 3L year, and a final draft by the first day of the month preceding the month in which you anticipate graduating.

LL.M. students are not eligible to receive credit for publication or editorial board work. However, you may receive Supervised Research credit for writing a note under the supervision of a Columbia Law School faculty member if you complete the LL.M. Supervised Research Registration Form and submit it to Registration Services by the date listed on the form. If you have any questions about the rules or restrictions that apply to LL.M. journal members, please contact Marissa Zalk in the Office of Graduate Legal Studies.

Student Groups

The Columbia Law Review, founded in 1901, is a preeminent publication within the Law School as well as one of the most widely distributed and cited law reviews nationwide.