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 A 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.
Early Process (Not all journals participate in this process)
Application Period: April 2–14 (noon to noon)
Applicants Notified: April 24
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.
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: Editorial board credit is 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.
- 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 organizations are an integral and significant piece of the student experience at Columbia Law School. With more than 80 student organizations, ranging from professional interest organizations to social organizations, almost all of our students are active in at least one group.
If you have questions regarding the management of your organization's finances, space, event planning, and Law School and university policies about student organization events. Please email Jeff Bagares, our Assistant Director of Student Services.
Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA)
Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) facilitates academic and professional development and hosts numerous social events throughout the school year. Members build incredibly strong friendships that carry us through law school and last well beyond graduation. It also works with APALSA chapters at other New York area law schools to build a network within our wider community.
Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is an inclusive organization where students can learn and develop the tools necessary to achieve academic and professional success. It provides academic support, alumni resources, and career opportunities to its membership, and raises awareness within the Law School community about issues that disproportionately impact poor and minority communities. BLSA is a chapter of the National Black Law Students Association, the largest law student-run organization in the United States.
The California Society of Columbia Law School (CalSoc) is dedicated to representing and developing the ties of the many Law School students and alumni with an interest in California. With more than 300 members and more than a dozen events a year, it is committed to developing a social, intellectual, and professional environment for students and alumni through events, extensive job resources, panels, speakers, and mentoring programs.
At Columbia Law School, we recognize that many students come here in a committed relationship, a partnership, a marriage, with children, or with hopes of starting a family during law school. The Columbia Law Couples & Families Association (CL-CFA) welcomes student families and significant-others into the CLS community by encouraging and hosting events open to families and plus-ones. We also seek to help students and their significant-others make lifelong friends, and take advantage of the many family-friendly activities that NYC has to offer. Lastly, CL-CFA serves as an advocate and resource on behalf of all students who are balancing the rigors of law school with significant family obligations.
Columbia Law Students for Disability Rights is an inclusive organization where students with disabilities and allies can receive academic and personal mentorship while advocating for positive change. It provides support to students and faculty and encourages a more inclusive environment by raising Columbia’s awareness about issues that disproportionately impact people with disabilities. Our members include those interested in disability law as well as those with a general interest in advocacy work. Members leave with friendships and a support system that continues after graduation.
CLS Brazil was founded to aggregate current and former CLS students, faculty, professionals, and other individuals interested in the Brazilian legal environment and to facilitate academic, cultural, and business interchanges between Brazil and the United States.
The Columbia Law Feminist Society (CLFS) aims to promote feminist voices on campus and inspire Columbia Law School students to incorporate feminist viewpoints into their approach to the study of law and the legal profession, through social justice activities and engagement with contemporary issues.
Columbia Texas Society (TexSoc)
Howdy! The Texas Society (TexSoc) is committed to building a vibrant and close-knit community of students from the great state of Texas and of those who are interested in pursuing a career in Texas. The booming Texas legal market offers unparalleled professional opportunities paired with a strong respect for work-life balance, low cost of living, and a pioneering and proud culture. Join TexSoc for Texas-themed social events, firsthand information on Texas law offices and practice areas, intimate networking opportunities with Texas’s leading legal employers, and to become a member of our energetic and growing community!
CLWA is the law school’s leading organization for the equality and empowerment of all women in law. CLWA actively works to foster an inclusive community for all women at Columbia Law School (CLS) and to advance the position of women in CLS, the legal profession, and society at large. CLWA provides academic and career resources to both its members and the larger law school community starting with its expansive alumnae base and strong mentorship program.
District of Columbia Law Students is an organization for all law students interested in the practice of law in the nation’s capital–whether they are from the DC region, plan on returning, or are otherwise interested. We serve as a resource for all students who are seeking to work or volunteer in the area, or to meet other Columbia Law students interested in the region. The group also sponsors social events both in DC and on campus during the school year and over the summer.
Empowering Women of Color (EWOC) exists to champion diverse women at Columbia Law School in light of the unique challenges they face in the legal profession. The group provides a safe space for collaboration and dialogue about issues relevant to women of color, supports members in their development as full participants in academic, professional, and personal communities, and strives to ensure that the greater Columbia Law School community is an environment where all members feel valued, respected, and empowered.
Columbia Law First Generation Professionals (FGP) is an inclusive community that works to provide support to working class, low income, and first generation college or graduate students at Columbia Law School. The FGP community is a conscientious network organized around principles of economic justice rather than identity. We seek to welcome and empower students from all walks of life who are at CLS chasing their own dreams, and who often represent the hopes and dreams of their families. FGP is open to anyone who wants to cultivate a community based on the common values of class-consciousness and mobility for all, regardless of whether they fit perfectly into any “first generation” category.
The Latinx Law Students Association (LaLSA) sponsors academic, professional, social, and community service activities to promote understanding of the Latino community, and serves as a liaison between its members and the administration, alumni, and other professionals in the legal field. The association also works to increase the number of Latinx students and faculty at Columbia Law School and to ensure that students receive the necessary support to achieve academic and professional success.
The Law in Africa Student Society is a dynamic and diverse community of students, alumni, and faculty that seeks to educate, encourage, and inspire interests in African jurisprudence, society, and institutions. Our goal is to provide avenues for discussion and a robust exchange of ideas on issues concerning Africa and how they inter-relate with the United States and the rest of the world.
Middle Eastern Law Students Association (MELSA)
Middle Eastern Law Students Association (MELSA) is an affinity group for students of Middle Eastern descent and all students who have an interest in Middle Eastern cultures, languages, and issues. It seeks to raise awareness and promote dialogue on a range of topics, including human rights, democratic transitions, gender issues, and the conflicts in the region. MELSA encourages students from all backgrounds and with all viewpoints to join.
The Midwest Society of Columbia Law School is committed to creating a cozy community of unabashed lovers of the Midwest. United by friendliness, we are dedicated to fostering the social, intellectual, and professional development of the many Columbia Law School students and alumni with an interest in the Midwest.
The Muslim Law Students Association connects Muslim students and allies, advocates for the particular needs of our community at the Law School, and provides relevant programming on justice-related issues affecting Muslims locally, nationally, and globally. We are a diverse group of law students from all walks of life and with varied professional interests. We hope to connect with you throughout your time at CLS and help make your law school experience one of mutual support, growth, and enjoyment.
The Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) fosters academic support for Native American students and others interested in American Indian legal issues and provides a social and academic network for students interested in indigenous legal and cultural issues by increasing awareness of viewpoints, cultures, and governments across the world.
The New England Law Students Association is an organization for students who hail from New England, plan to practice there after law school, or are otherwise interested in the region’s unique legal community. We sponsor a variety of professional and social events. Membership is open to everyone in the Columbia Law School community, regardless of your home state or Major League Baseball team allegiance.
Nihon Houritsu Kenkyuukai, or the Japanese Legal Studies Association, serves the legal community by organizing social, cultural, and educational events related to Japan, as well as providing information on the many opportunities available at Columbia and in New York for people with Japanese interests. In addition, it strives to facilitate interaction between Japanese members of the Law School community and those interested in Japan or Japanese law.
OutLaws is Columbia’s LGBTQ and ally law student organization, providing programming that spans the gamut from advocacy and policy work to academic mentoring to professional development to social events. It aims to create a strong LBGTQ and allied community at Columbia.
Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) serves as a safe space and an empowerment resource for QTPOC and QTPOC allies at Columbia Law School. This group recognizes that identity is intersectional and creates spaces where folks can embrace and celebrate gender expression, sexual orientation, as well as racial and ethnic backgrounds.
The Society for Chinese Law is for students interested in any and all things related to China, law, and politics. Society events provide a great way for students to network and to meet scholars and practitioners in the field of Chinese law. They are also a great way to get to know members and friends who hail from China, the U.S., and beyond, and have a great diversity of experiences working in or with China.
The Society for Korean Legal Studies (SKLS) is an organization for those in the community interested in Korea, organizing career, social, and academic events related to Korea and Korean interests. SKLS also aims to promote the study of Korean law and legal institutions.
The South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA) promotes discussion and awareness of issues affecting South Asians, particularly with respect to the law. We also strive to create a sense of community among students of South Asian heritage as well as those interested in South Asia by organizing numerous social, cultural, educational, and professional events throughout the year.
Taiwanese Law and Culture Club (TLCC) is a community of students interested in Taiwanese legal and cultural issues. We host panels, social events, and networking opportunities every semester. Students of all backgrounds are welcome to join!
Columbia Antitrust Law and Economics Association (CALEA)
The purpose of the Columbia Antitrust Law and Economics Association (CALEA) is to congregate Columbia Law students, professors, and alumni interest in legal issues in connection with the study, practice, and development of antitrust law both in the U.S. and in other jurisdictions.
Columbia Business and Law Association (CBLA)
The Columbia Business and Law Association is the Law School’s only student group dedicated to the interaction between law and business. It aims to provide a forum for students to pursue scholarship and professional opportunities in business both within and outside of the law.
The Columbia Health Law Association aims to promote discussion of both public and private health law issues among Columbia Law School students, faculty, and health law practitioners. It covers a broad scope of health law topics, including government regulation of the healthcare industry, public health law, healthcare business and transactions, access to healthcare, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, mental health law, and bioethics.
The purpose of the Columbia International Arbitration Association (CIAA) is to bring together Columbia Law School students, professors, alumni, and arbitration practitioners interested in the study, practice, and development of international arbitration as an individual discipline.
The Columbia Latin American Business Law Association is dedicated to the business activity and projects with impact in Latin America, and the influence of the legal profession, including practitioners and scholars, in shaping and strengthening the business relationships between U.S. companies and Latin America.
The Columbia Law and Entrepreneurship Society is for law students with a business and entrepreneurial mindset. It brings together industry leaders to discuss hot trends and the business and legal decisions they face. CLES aims to host events featuring investment banks, venture capital firms, hedge funds, and startups to enable our members to start expanding their network and exploring their options.
The Columbia Real Estate Law Society (CRELS) aims to spark dialogue about real estate law, development, and property management; present networking opportunities with practitioners in those fields; and inspire creative approaches to real estate.
The Columbia Society of International Law is Columbia Law School’s principal student group dedicated to issues involving international law. The society informs its members about opportunities to practice international law and current issues in international law; provides members in-person access to many of the top international firms; allows members the opportunity to meet leading scholars in the field; offers guidance and advice on career paths in the fields of public and private international law; and provides opportunities for American and international law students and alumni to form connections with each other that span the globe.
CJAN is dedicated to all things criminal justice, from what the Department of Justice is doing to local public defense and policy work. CJAN's mission is threefold: to increase awareness of criminal justice issues in the Law School community, build community among students interested in improving the criminal justice system, and provide career development opportunities for our members. During the school year, CJAN takes new students to see arraignments in court, puts on panels on careers and hot topics in criminal justice, and organizes CLS' Mock Trial. CJAN also sponsors several spring break caravans to Public Defender and Prosecutors' offices.
The Education Law and Policy Society are for anyone interested in the interaction between law and policy as related to education. EdLaw organizes a wide range of events, provides pro bono opportunities and offers peer mentoring for 1Ls.
The Environmental Law Society welcomes students who want to learn more about the wide range of environmental issues that permeate the legal landscape. ELS assists students in developing careers in environmental or energy law, advocates for an administration and a curriculum that sufficiently incorporates environmental and sustainability policies and courses, and hosts and organizes environmental events at Columbia Law School.
The National Security Law Society promotes discussion around vital issues of national security, privacy, the laws of war, and more. It works both to promote greater understanding of the legal issues at the heart of current national security policy and to advance careers in national security law.
The Society for Law, Science and Technology is focused on science and technology and their influence on law and policy. Society topics of interest include patent law, cyberlaw and internet issues, biotechnology, privacy, telecommunications, information management and e-discovery, venture capital and startups, and general intellectual property issues. It organizes panels, lectures, and practitioner networking events that connect students to professionals in the field.
The Transfer and Visiting Student Organization (TVSO) is open to all students. The organization is designed to ease the integration of transfer and visiting students into the Columbia Law School community.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Bar Review, run by the Bar Czars, is dedicated to the social lubrication of Columbia Law students. Each week, the Bar Czars are entrusted to plan an exhilarating and freeing Thursday night at one of Manhattan's fantastic bars, complete with unbeatable drink deals for all CLS students. While many law schools across the country participate in a similar weekly ritual, none do it quite like these Bar Czars.
Columbia Air & Space Law Association (CALSA)
The Columbia Air and Space Law Association (CASLA) explores an ever-growing field of law that includes: international law; business and corporate law; international arbitration and dispute resolution; and government regulatory and administrative law. Organization members are afforded the opportunity to hear from and network with leading practitioners from both the public and private sectors.
Columbia Card Club
The Card Club’s purpose is to connect poker enthusiasts within the law school community, and to participate in the Intercollegiate Poker Association.
Columbia Gastronomy Society
The Columbia Gastronomy Society fosters the understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of the art and science of food and cuisine amongst Columbia Law students, and endeavors to take members behind the scenes of gastronomy.
Columbia Language Network
The Columbia Language Network was founded with the mission of providing foreign language instruction to law students, advocating for formal multilingual programming in the law school, and creating a bridge among the JD and LLM communities through our common appreciation of languages. To this end, CLN sponsors several academic, professional, and social activities throughout the year to build a diverse language community within Columbia Law School's faculty and general student body. We are committed to advancing our members’ linguistic skills and promoting cultural competence in our future legal practices.
The Columbia Craft Beer Club is a student-founded organization devoted to the brewing and appreciation of craft beer, both local and international. As the craft beer community evolves and grows, it is increasingly recognized as an essential element of American culture and society. Our club’s mission is to expose the Columbia Law School community to the many facets of craft beer through tastings, outings, home-brewing sessions and tutorials, and other events open to all students.
The Columbia Law School Softball Club hosts weekly games just a few blocks from campus, fields teams against the other New York City law schools, and competes in the University of Virginia's annual law school softball championship, which attracts more than 1,000 law students from schools all over the country.
DeVinimus is the Columbia Law Wine Society. We host a series of tastings and social events throughout the year to educate law students about the world of wine and expand the palates of wine novices and enthusiasts alike.
The Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Society are for students interested in legal careers in the entertainment, arts, or sports industries. It explores legal issues and trends affecting these industries and educates students about career opportunities through panel discussions, practitioner lunches, roundtables, and lectures. Organization members are afforded the chance to meet and network with top entertainment, arts, and sports law practitioners, including many Columbia alumni.
The Columbia Law Revue is one of the world’s leading organizations for making fun of legal scholarship and tradition. Founded in 19??, the Review is an independent nonprofit organization that produces a fall and spring semester show written and performed entirely by students at Columbia Law School. It is one of a handful of law school musical parody groups in the nation that performs twice a year and produces no actual legal scholarship. The Revue is one of the most celebrated and criticized law Revues in the country. It receives about X auditions per year and selects approximately all of them to perform in the show each semester, in addition to the Law Revue Band. In 2007, the Revue expanded its audience with the launch of a YouTube channel where it posts its videos. Columbia Law Revue Online, not to be confused with Columbia Law Review Online, does not exist apart from a Youtube channel and a highly secret Facebook group where we share Air Bud puns and memes. It brings together a diverse group of legal scholars, practitioners, community leaders, and judges, into one forum for mercilessly mocking the legal profession.
The Yoga Club provides weekly open-level yoga classes to the Columbia Law School community. Classes are in the flowing vinyasa style and are taught by Om-certified yoga instructors.
The Morningside Monocle, otherwise known as The Monocle, is Columbia Law School's student-run literary magazine. We publish poetry, prose, photography, and art by students from law school.
The Columbia Law School Murder Mystery Society is a group dedicated to writing and producing live-action murder mystery games for CLS students to participate in.
The National Lawyers Guild is the nation’s oldest and largest progressive bar association and was the first one in the US to be racially integrated. Our mission is to use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights over property interests. The NLG is dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. Our aim is to bring together all those who recognize the importance of safeguarding and extending the rights of workers, women, LGBTQ people, farmers, people with disabilities and people of color, upon whom the welfare of the entire nation depends; who seek actively to eliminate racism; who work to maintain and protect our civil rights and liberties in the face of persistent attacks upon them; and who look upon the law as an instrument for the protection of the people, rather than for their repression.
VES is dedicated to promoting student camaraderie among members of the Law School class by hosting a weekly meeting to discuss and play video games. Members are well aware of the cutting edge legal and business issues in one of the largest and most important entertainment industries globally. As the virtual entertainment community evolves and grows along with the technology sector, VES will be sure to produce informed lawyers prepared to tackle the novel legal issues that will inevitably arise.
The Whiskey and Spirits Club is a student-founded organization dedicated to bringing members of the Law School together for a well-crafted glass of whiskey or cocktail. The Club’s membership is inclusive and all preferences—from Speyside single malts to Dominican rums—are welcome!
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
The Columbia Law School chapter of the ACLU serves to focus attention on constitutional law and civil liberties issues of national, regional, and campus interest, as well as to encourage hands-on involvement in protecting civil liberties. Past events have included debates, speaker panels, and training sessions. It also engages in activism, such as petitioning state and federal officials, election monitoring, or distributing information to inform citizens of their rights.
American Constitution Society (ACS)
The Columbia Law School chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS) brings together powerful, relevant ideas and passionate, talented people to advance progressive values in the constitutional, legal, and public policy debates that continue to shape our democracy. Our chapter works to amplify progressive voices and create an open and inclusive space for legal thinking at CLS. Things we do: protect the right to vote; advocate for reform in our broken criminal justice system; pursue justice for historically marginalized groups including racial and ethnic minorities and members of the LGBTQIA community; support a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented Americans; advance the scholarship of innovative, progressive legal thinkers; and so much more.
The Christian Legal Society is a non-denominational Christian fellowship that conducts weekly meetings and social events that are open to people of all religious and non-religious persuasions. The group’s main focus is forging a Christian community in the Law School, as well as discussing and learning how the Christian faith can play a vital role in one’s study and practice of law.
The Columbia Law School Military Association is a non-political, nonpartisan social group whose purpose is to promote camaraderie and networking among Columbia Law School military veterans and civilian students, to explore and develop local veteran-related volunteer and pro bono opportunities, and to stimulate thoughtful discussion about the military and its role in modern society. Military service is not a prerequisite for membership.
Columbia Law School Public Defender Students
CLS Public Defender Students is a professional development community for students pursuing careers in all areas of public defense, including criminal, immigration, prisoners' rights, and civil defense.PDS hosts info sessions with current students to share information about classes, externships, and summer jobs, and facilitates individual connections between students to discuss experiences at different offices. PDS also brings public defenders to speak with students on campus.
The Columbia Law Democrats provide a link between students at Columbia Law School and the Democratic Party. Its objective is to provide a forum for discussion, debate, and activism reflecting the broad principles of the Democratic Party.
CLSP is a student group working to raise awareness of the legal issues that Palestinians face. CLSP is devoted to promoting a lasting peace in Palestine/Israel that is grounded in international law, self-determination, and respect for the rights of all peoples.
The Domestic Violence Project raises awareness about domestic violence and provides legal services to survivors. Under its umbrella are four pro bono initiatives, including the Courtroom Advocates Project, which helps survivors obtain orders of protection against abusive partners; the Uncontested Divorce Workshop, which assists low-income women, who are also victims of domestic violence, obtain divorces from their batterers; the Human Trafficking Intervention Court Project provides immigration screenings to potential victims of trafficking who have been arrested for prostitution-related offenses; and the U-Visa project, which assists undocumented immigrants in abusive relationships in obtaining residency status.
All students with an interest in issues of domestic violence are welcome to join our pro bono initiatives and participate in DVP events.
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of independent-minded law students interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to the U.S. Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.
The Harlem Tutorial Project is a joint effort between Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School, and provides tutoring and mentoring to students at a secondary school in Harlem.
The High School Law Institute provides Columbia Law students the chance to teach students from New York City high schools. The institute’s student-teachers help their students build oral advocacy and writing skills through classes in criminal law, constitutional law, moot court and mock trial. It also focuses on exploring the relevance of legal topics to students’ lives and developing students’ ability to effectively articulate their opinions.
Read more about the program.
The Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA) is a social, cultural, educational, and religious organization that welcomes all students interested in Jewish life and culture, regardless of background or level of observance. In addition to serving as a helpful resource for Jewish students on campus, JLSA seeks to bring together and cultivate a warm, pluralistic community at CLS through events such as holiday parties and celebrations, Shabbat meals, and study breaks. JLSA also provides a place to explore the law through a Jewish lens, along with other relevant topics of interest, through educational events such as guest speakers and panel discussions.
If/When/How is a national network of law students and professionals committed to promoting reproductive justice. We fight to ensure everyone can decide if, when, and how to create and sustain families with dignity—free from discrimination, coercion, or violence. The organization educates, organizes, and supports law students with extensive resources, and career and advocacy opportunities to advance reproductive justice.
The Columbia Law and Political Economy Society is the Law School’s student-led chapter of the national Law and Political Economy Project (LPE Project), dedicated to bringing together a network of scholars, practitioners, and students to develop innovative intellectual, pedagogical, and political interventions to advance the study and practice of the law.
Specifically, we are students concerned by the law’s role in facilitating ballooning inequality and economic precarity, political alienation, the entrenchment of racial hierarchies and intersectional exploitation, and ecological and social catastrophe. We aim to reverse these trends by promoting and engaging with work that traces and identifies these legal iniquities, and that develops ideas and proposals to democratize our political economy and build a more just, equal, and sustainable future.
We are an intellectual and social forum that allows Columbia students to critically examine the economic and political assumptions embedded in the law, and simultaneously, the role that law plays in creating and maintaining unjust hierarchies of class, race, gender, and sexuality, as well as ecologically unsustainable economic systems.
For more information on future events and how to get involved:
Mentoring Youth through Legal Education is a debate coaching program at Columbia Law School, which functions as the law student-run portion of Legal Outreach. Legal Outreach prepares youth from underserved communities in New York City to compete at high academic levels by using intensive legal and educational programs as tools for fostering vision, developing skills, enhancing confidence, and facilitating the pursuit of higher education.
Prison Healthcare Initiative is an advocacy group working to help people who are incarcerated access healthcare while in prison. Student volunteers will review files, conduct prison advocacy, and complete research tasks as needed. For more information and to get involved, please
The Public Interest Law Foundation is an organization devoted to the public interest. It is an independent, not-for-profit corporation that raises money and uses it to support public interest pursuits at Columbia Law School and beyond. The foundation helps to enable students to pursue unpaid public interest internships through the annual PILF auction, and provides grants to nonprofit organizations around the country, donating approximately $80,000 to $100,000 each year.
Rightslink is a student-run human rights organization dedicated to fostering a human rights community within the law school. We provide students with opportunities to engage in human rights advocacy and research, as well as to connect with practitioners and academics around New York. Working closely with the Human Rights Institute, Social Justice Initiatives, and the Human Rights Clinic, Rightslink organizes a variety of events, research projects, and trainings on human rights issues throughout the year.
The Society for the Advancement of Law and Talmud (SALT) is for all Columbia Law students interested in the study of Talmud, Talmudic Law, or the intersection between Talmudic Law and US Law. It seeks to create a community for Talmud scholars of all levels and to help them excel in their academic and professional development through facilitating daily or weekly study sessions, holding monthly talks by members of the Society, conducting panel discussions, or hosting guest speakers.
The Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is dedicated to fostering a diverse community at Columbia focused on promoting the legal rights of refugees and immigrants. During the school year, SIRR sponsors guest panels, administers various pro bono projects, and leads trips domestically and abroad.
The Society of Law and Ethics seeks to explore the ethical issues that arise in the practice of law. Through panels and featured guest speakers, the society’s aim is to critically examine a range of professional contexts in which law and ethics seem in tension, and to determine ways in which they can be reconciled. In these debates and discussions, the society wishes to provide a forum for students to navigate the dilemmas they may face as future legal practitioners, whether in private, public, or government practice. SLE insists on respect for well-considered points of view and takes no normative position as an organization.
The Student Animal Legal Defense Fund exists to educate the greater law school community about animal welfare issues and how the law may protect—or not go far enough in protecting—animals. The Fund also interacts with New York-based animal rights groups through pro bono assistance.
Student Public Interest Network (SPIN) strives to build a community for students interested in pursuing public interest law and provide a network for public interest collaboration at Columbia Law School through monthly social events and mentoring programs.
The Suspension Representation Project is an advocacy group whose mission is to safeguard the right to public education by training law students across New York City to represent NYC public school students in suspension hearings. Working in teams, law students develop valuable legal skills by interviewing clients, gathering evidence, conducting direct and cross-examinations, and delivering closing arguments.
The Tenants’ Rights Project works to provide effective legal representation to low-income individuals and tenant groups. Participants can expect to defend clients in housing court, draft motions in preparation for trial, and perform client intake interviews. It also functions as space for participants to discuss housing policy and direct services in New York City and beyond through on and off-campus events.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
Along with the Student Organization Handbook and the Planning Virtual Events guidelines please email our Assistant Director of Student Services, Jeffrey Bagares, who is available to assist you with the management of your organization's finances, space, event planning and law school and university policies about student organization events.