Each year the Review selects approximately 45 members from the rising Columbia 2L and Transfer Student class. The application for the Columbia Law Review includes four elements: (1) the writing component, (2) a personal statement, (3) basic personal information, and (4) grades. All students interested in applying to the Columbia Law Review must submit their application materials, including a grade release, during the response period. This year, the response period takes place from Friday, May 17 to Friday, May 24, 2013.
The Review’s membership selection process is administered through the computerized match system used by all CLS journals. A PDF of the complete writing packet—which includes (1) general information regarding journal applications; (2) the application for the Columbia Law Review; and (3) the writing component prompt and materials—will be available starting on May 17.
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 component topics vary from year to year—in the past students have been asked to write an essay justifying a position recently taken by a judge on a cutting-edge legal issue, write a bench memorandum, or complete a classic law school issue spotter. In a departure from last year’s component, this year the Bluebook exercise will be incorporated into the writing assignment.
All the information you will need to complete the writing component (including relevant Bluebook rules) will be included in the packet available on May 17; in the past, the amount of component material has ranged from forty to eighty pages. As such, it is not possible to prepare for the component before you receive the packet. You will not be permitted to consult with anyone else or to use any outside sources (exceptions are outlined in the writing packet). It is absolutely not necessary to “practice” using the Bluebook; the Bluebook exercise will be structured to test general reference ability and should not seriously advantage those with more Bluebook experience. The Bluebook exercise will be weighted far less heavily than the rest of the exercise. Please note that you will not need your own copy of the Bluebook for the purposes of the exercise.
The time allotted affords an opportunity to produce a well-organized and sophisticated piece. Some successful candidates felt they needed all seven days; others took the weekend off to recover from finals; others completed it in just a few days. Time spent on the writing component varies from person to person, and it may be hard for you to predict how much time you will need until you read the materials. While we encourage those with flexibility to plan their summer employment start dates around the dates of the writing component, we acknowledge that thinking and writing styles and summer plans vary from person to person. Some of you may be preparing to work abroad; some of you may be free of work obligations, but need time to process the materials in the packet. The component was designed to accommodate these varied circumstances.
In addition to the Writing Component, the Review requires each applicant to submit a personal statement. This statement is intended to offer applicants an opportunity to share information about their background, experiences, or 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.
Journal Selection Computerized Match
The Law School uses a computerized match system to match 1Ls with CLS journals. All 1Ls applying to journals will rank the journals to which they are applying. This means that each 1L will receive no more than one offer from a journal; each 1L will be matched with the journal they ranked the highest that also ranked them highly enough to fit within the journal’s desired number of 2L staffers. Because of the way the system works, it is essential that all 1Ls applying to the Review rank it first. If you do not rank us first, then the system may match you with another journal, and we will not be able to offer you a spot.
Learn More about the Columbia Law Review
There are several ways to learn more about applying to and working on the Review. Journal Day will take place during lunch on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 in JG 104. Also, we will be hosting an information session specifically about the Columbia Law Review during the lunch hour on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in JG 106.
Additionally, the Review will be sending out emails about other several other exciting events this April for interested applicants. The events include lunches with several affinity groups on campus, the CLR Women’s Wine & Cheese Mixer on April 18, the CLR Public Interest Alumni Panel on April 22, and the CLR Diversity Reception on April 24. Additionally, Review members will be holding informal coffee chats beginning on April 17. If you have any questions about these events, please do not hesitate to contact David and Angela at the email addresses below.
Please direct questions about the Writing Component or Transfer applications to the Executive Notes Editor, David Friedman (email@example.com), and all other questions (including questions about the application process) to the Editor-in-Chief, Angela Sun (firstname.lastname@example.org).