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 and the Jailhouse Lawyers Manual, 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.

 

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.

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 cle@law.columbia.edu 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 avrequest@law.columbia.edu.

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 helpdesk@law.columbia.edu. 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 helpdesk@law.columbia.edu.

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 (helpdesk@law.columbia.edu). In your email, please copy Jeffrey Bagares (jb3861@columbia.edu) 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 (helpdesk@law.columbia.edu). In your email, please copy Jeffrey Bagares (jb3861@columbia.edu)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.

Timeline Overview
Early Process (Not all journals participate in this process)

Application Period: April 2–14 (noon to noon)
Applicants Notified: April 24

Regular Process
Applications Period: May 18–June 1 (noon to noon)
Applicants Notified: June 29–30

Transfer* & LLM Application Process
*Columbia Law Review runs a separate transfer application process
Applications Period: August 17–24 (noon to noon)
Applicants Notified: September 4

Application Cycle Details
Journal Day: March 31

The 2020 Journal Application Cycle will kick off with Journal Day on Tuesday, March 31, with details to be distributed via email to the Class of 2022.

Early Application Process: April 2–14
Some journals fill a limited number of spots during the early application process (from April 2 to April 14). With one exception, which allows matched participants to also apply to Columbia Law Review during the regular application cycle, the early process is binding.  However, it is an appealing option for students with a particular interest in a specific journal.

All materials for the early application process may be submitted on LawNet. Aside from a brief personal statement, applicants should already have the materials needed for this process (e.g. résumé and transcript), and the application process should be quick and easy. Given the overwhelming majority of available staffer positions are filled during the regular application process, students who do not match during this cycle are encouraged to reapply during the regular application process.  

Details regarding participating journals and required application materials are released on Journal Day.

Regular Application Process: May 18–June 1
Registration and application submission take place on LawNet. As a part of this process, students can apply to any or all publications and rank them 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.

The window for the regular application process is longer in duration than other processes.  However, the process is not designed to occupy the entirety of the designated window; rather, the window is deliberately long to provide students with flexibility in managing the ongoing demands of their personal and professional lives.

Transfer* & LLM Application Processes: August 17–24
Registration and application submission will take place on LawNet. As a part of these processes, students can apply to any or all participating publications and rank them in order of preference. While these processes are conducted simultaneously, they are also run separately: journals maintain distinct transfer and LLM applicant pools.

*Columbia Law Review does not participate in this process. Transfer students interested in Columbia Law Review are encouraged to explore the Publishable Notes Program.

Contact
Please direct questions about Journal Day or the journal application processes, including accommodation-related inquires, to Jennifer Braden in Student Services.

 

J.D. students can obtain two types of academic point credit in connection with journal work (supervised research credit and editorial board work credit). 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 or publish 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.
  • Editorial Board 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 83 points of credit required for graduation.
      • 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 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 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

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