Membership Selection

Each year the Columbia Law Review selects 45 members from the rising Columbia 2L student class. The application process for rising 2Ls takes place in May. This page has more information about all aspects of the application process. We’ve listed some answers to frequently asked questions on our FAQ page.

The Columbia Law Review also reviews applications from transfer students, and may select additional members from these applications. A separate application process for transfer students occurs in July. If you are a transfer student, please see the separate Transfer Application Process page.

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 (2019) the response period is from 12:00 PM EDT on Friday, May 17 to 12:00 PM EDT on Tuesday, May 28. Successful applicants will receive offers during the week of July 1, and those who accept must return on Monday, July 22, for orientation and to begin editorial duties.

Writing Component

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 15. 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.

Personal Statement

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.


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, Daniel Fahrenthold ( Please direct all other questions to the Editor-in-Chief, Mary Marshall (