Membership Selection

In addition to three issues of the journal per year, HRLR publishes and sells A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual. Staff editors are involved in every aspect of the production and publication of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review and A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual, which means that every member of the HRLR team is given an opportunity to develop practical and professional skills while contributing substantially to the advancement of human rights.

A small portion of staff editors who are particularly interested in joining the JLM will have the option of exclusively working on JLM assignments throughout the year as part of a dedicated JLM-cluster. These dedicated JLM-only staff editors may apply through Columbia’s Early Application Process or through the Regular Application Process. The vast majority of staff editors, however, will contribute to both HRLR and the JLM as general staff editors, simultaneously gaining exposure to the academic and practical aspects of human rights work. General staff editors for HRLR may only apply through Columbia’s Regular Application Process.

Please note that all staff editors will have the option of writing a note or working on a JLM chapter, consistent with past practices, regardless of whether they apply as a general HRLR staff editor (working on both HRLR and the JLM) or a dedicated JLM-only staff editor.

How To Apply

I. Dedicated JLM-only Staff Editors

For consideration to become one of eight to twelve JLM-only staff editors, applications may be submitted on Lawnet during the early application or regular application period. Early applications to the dedicated JLM-cluster are due April 18, 2017.Required application materials are listed below and are the same for both the early and regular application processes. Your name should not appear on any of the documents you submit.

II. General HRLR Staff Editors

For consideration to become a staff editor on both HRLR and the JLM (a general staff editor), applications must be submitted on Lawnet during the regular journal application period and are due on May 23, 2017.Required application materials are listed below. Your name should not appear on any of the documents you submit.

Application Materials

  • Statement of Interest: Your statement of interest should be 400 – 750 words. As part of this statement, please tell us why you want to serve on the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Additional topics you may wish to highlight: any relevant writing, editing, or Blue Book experience that you will bring to HRLR and the JLM, language fluency that will allow you to understand and cite-check foreign sources, and your specific areas of interest in human rights, civil rights, or prisoners’ rights. If you are interested in working on the Spanish JLM, please include a sentence noting your language abilities and interest. For these purposes, Spanish fluency means that you can produce clear, detailed Spanish translations on complicated legal topics.
  • Legal Writing Sample: You may submit either the argument section of your moot court brief or the writing component—no preference is given to either format. If you choose your moot court brief, please include the question addressed by your argument section. Writing samples will be evaluated on grammar, writing style and organization, and consistency and correctness of citation.
  • Language Fluency: If you have proficiency in a foreign language, please indicate this on Lawnet even if you have written about your language skills in the Statement of Interest. This is especially important if you have Spanish fluency and would like to work on the Spanish JLM.
  • Resume: Your resume should be one page. You must remove your name, but please make sure to include your phone number.
  • Grades: You must release your grades on Lawnet.


For information about HRLR’s application and staff responsibilities, general information about HRLR or the JLM, or specific information regarding the JLM, contact HRLR at General information about the Journal Application Process at Columbia Law School can be found here.