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 application period will open on July 6, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT and close on July 20, 2020 at 12:00 pm EDT. Offers to accepted transfer students will be given by phone no later than July 26, 2020. Successful applicants will be expected to attend Orientation, which takes place before the beginning of the fall semester of the 2020–2021 academic year.

Because of the disruption and displacement caused by the novel coronavirus and subsequent responses to the pandemic, we will host Orientation beginning on one of the following dates: August 3, 2020; August 10, 2020; August 17, 2020; or August 24, 2020. The dates and structure of Orientation are subject to change. Given the current uncertainty, we will continue to communicate with you as we are able to confirm additional details.

Writing Component

The Writing Component consists of (1) a closed-universe prompt that asks you to analyze a legal question and fact pattern presented, and (2) a citation 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, a bench memo, or a classic law school-like issue spotter response.

All the information you will need to complete the Writing Component—including relevant, modified 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 citation exercise will be weighted less heavily than the writing 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 period, but rather to accommodate the varied obligations of students during that time.

Personal Statement

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, identity, life or work experiences, areas of legal interest, 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.


To apply, please follow the steps below:

  • Email the Columbia Law Review Business Office ( prior to July 14, 2020 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. Note that applicants who register after July 6, 2020 will have less time to complete the application.
  • On July 6, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT(or at a reasonable time if you registered after the application process started), 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 ( prior to 12:00 PM EDT on July 20, 2020.

Any questions about the transfer application process or the Law Review in general should be directed to Oluwatumise Asebiomo at Questions about the Writing Component should be directed to Eitan Arom at