Each year the Columbia Law Review selects 45 members from the rising Columbia 2L student class as well as potential additional transfer students. The application process for rising 2Ls takes place in May. A separate application process for transfer students occurs in July.
Columbia 2L Application Process
The application for rising 2Ls has three parts: (1) the writing component, (2) a personal statement, and (3) voluntary personal information form. This year the response period is from 12 PM EDT on Friday, May 12 to 12PM EDT on Tuesday, May 23. Successful applicants will receive offers during the week of June 26, and those who accept must return on Monday, July 24, for orientation and to begin editorial duties.
The writing component consists of two parts: (1) a prompt that asks students to analyze a legal question and fact pattern presented in the packet and (2) a Bluebook exercise. Writing component topics and answer formats vary from year to year—in the past, students have been asked to write a brief or bench memo. The Bluebook exercise is weighted far less heavily than the rest of the exercise.
All the information students need to complete the writing component, including relevant sources and Bluebook rules, will be included in the application packet, which will be made available on May 12. Students are not permitted to consult with anyone else or to use any outside sources.
The writing component is not designed to take the entire response period. Rather, the eleven-day response period is meant to accommodate any obligations students might have in the week after exams, like traveling or working, while still giving students time to write a well-organized and sophisticated response.
In addition to the Writing Component, each applicant must submit a personal statement. This statement is intended to give students an opportunity to share information about their background, experiences, and other relevant information that will help them contribute to the work and the community of the Review. The prompt for the personal statement will be in the application packet.
Journal Selection Computerized Match
The Law School uses a computerized system to match 1Ls with CLS journals. All 1Ls applying to journals will rank in LawNet the journals to which they are applying. Because of the way the system works, all 1Ls applying to the Review must rank it first. Ranking the Review first will not hurt your chances of being accepted to another journal if you are not accepted to the Review or if you decline the offer to join the Review.
Learn More about the Columbia Law Review
We will be hosting the following events to help rising 2Ls learn more about applying to and working on the Review.
April 5 (10 AM – 2 PM):
Journal Day Tabling, JG Lobby
April 6 (12:10 – 1:00 PM):
General Interest Lunch, JG 103
April 6 (5 – 7 PM):
Open House, Little Warren, 8th Floor
April 11 (12:10 – 1:00 PM):
Outlaws, QTPOC, CLWA, CLFS, & EWOC Lunch, Big Warren, 417
April 12 (12:10 – 1:00 PM):
BLSA, LaLSA, & FirstGen Lunch, Little Warren, 8th Floor
April 12 (6 – 8 PM):
Diversity Reception & Open House, Little Warren, 8th Floor
April 18 (12:10 – 1:00 PM):
APALSA, SALSA, MELSA, & NALSA Lunch, JG 304
April 19 (12:10 – 1:00 PM):
JLSA, MLSA, & CLS Lunch, JG 908
Transfer Application Process
The transfer application for the Columbia Law Review consists of two elements: the writing component and the personal statement. This year, the transfer response period will take place from Thursday July 6 at 12pm EDT to Friday July 14 at 12pm EDT. Offers to accepted transfer students will be given, by phone, no later than Thursday July 20. Successful applicants will be expected to be present at Staffer Orientation on Monday July 24.
The writing component consists of (1) a prompt that asks you to analyze a legal question and fact pattern presented in the packet, and (2) a Bluebook exercise. Writing exercise topics vary from year to year—in the past students have been asked to write an essay justifying a position on a cutting-edge legal issue, write a bench memo, or complete a classic law-school issue spotter.
All the information you will need to complete the writing component (including relevant Bluebook rules) will be included in the packet. You will not be permitted to consult with anyone else or to use any outside sources. The Bluebook exercise will be weighted far less heavily than the rest of the exercise.
The time allotted to complete the writing component affords an opportunity to produce a well-organized and sophisticated piece, taking into account that transfer students will likely be working during the same period. As such, the component is not designed to take the entire eight day period, but rather to accommodate the varied obligations of students during that time.
In addition to the Writing Component, the Review requires each transfer applicant to submit a personal statement. This statement is intended to offer applicants an opportunity to share information about their background, work experiences, areas of legal interest, and other relevant information that will help them contribute to the work and the community of the Review. More information about the personal statement will be available in the application packet.
To apply, please follow the steps below:
- Email the Columbia Law Review Business Office (firstname.lastname@example.org), prior to July 12 with your name, law school, graduation year, and telephone number. You will then receive an anonymous registration number during regular business hours that day or the following day.
- On July 6 at 12pm EDT (or at a reasonable time if you registered after July 6), you will receive the transfer application packet.
- Complete your application by following the instructions in the transfer application packet. Those instructions include only using your anonymous registration number, and not your name, on all documents.
- Email your completed application to the Business Office (email@example.com) prior to July 14 at 12pm EDT.
Any questions about the transfer application process should be directed to Megan Ji at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve listed some answers to frequently asked questions on our FAQ page.
Please also feel free to direct questions about the Writing Component or transfer applications to the Executive Notes Editor, Megan Ji (email@example.com). Please direct all other questions to the Editor-in-Chief, Kelsey Ruescher (firstname.lastname@example.org).