Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Columbia Undergraduate Law Review?
The Columbia Undergraduate Law Review (CULR) is a journal of legal scholarship published by undergraduates at Columbia University. We aim to provide Columbia University and the public with an opportunity for the discussion of law-related ideas and pertinent legal issues.
How often do you publish your journal?
We publish 10-12 online articles every cycle. They can be found under the “Online” tab. We publish our print journal once in the fall and once in the spring.
How and what do you decide to publish?
We look to nationally recognized law reviews for guidance on what to publish, but are open to submission that cover a wide range of law-related topics and viewpoints. Some of our submissions are corrective and propose solutions while others are predictive and foresee problems. Some are theory driven while others are more practical. There are many approaches to take, and we welcome well worn as well as innovative paths. However, all of our published papers have had compelling and coherent theses and engaging and substantive arguments. Take a look at our previous editions to get an idea of what successful submissions have done.
How can I get published or contribute to the journal?
1. You can submit an article to our long-form print journal. We only accept external submissions to our print journal. For more information, click the “submit” tab up top.
2. Our online journal consists of contributions from our staff writers, who undergo an application and training process in order to publish short-form articles. You must be an undergraduate student at Columbia University in order to contribute to our online journal — applications open before the start of every school year.
3. If you are a Columbia student, you can also apply to be on our Business/Events team or apply to become a Print journal editor before every semester.
Application updates will be released via our newsletter and on our Facebook page.
How long should my print submission be?
We publish papers that are between 12 and 25 pages, not including citations.
Can I submit after the deadline?
If you send your submission after the deadline, there is no guarantee that it will be submitted for consideration by the staff. Please try to get everything in on time.
I am a college student that does not attend Columbia. Can I still submit?
Yes! We welcome submissions from undergraduates attending colleges and universities across the nation. We also accept submissions from international students.
Does the author have to be an undergraduate?
Generally speaking, yes. To publish a standard article in our journal, the author has to have been an undergraduate when he or she wrote it. We typically do not accept submissions from authors who have graduated more than a year prior to submission.
I am not a political science/sociology/English/philosophy major, but am still interested in submitting something to the CULR. Is that possible?
Absolutely! Many of our submissions do come from students who have written a thesis or paper for their social science or humanities. However, some of our strongest and most interesting submissions have come from those with philosophy, economics, or history backgrounds or with diverse interests in fields such as art history or technology. As long as your publication meets the criteria listed on our website, submit it!
Why was my submission rejected?
We reject articles that do not discuss legal related matters, are not written by undergraduates, or otherwise fail to meet our basic criteria. Unfortunately, due to the large number of articles we receive, we also have to reject many submissions every cycle that do fit into the guidelines we set. Submissions that cover topics that seem to have a social science rather than a legal bent, for example, have a more difficult time being accepted in our journal even if they are well written. Generally speaking, we look for quality, relevance, and substance, but believe that there are many paths to creating a successful submission.
What goes on behind the scenes in the selection process?
The Editorial Board reads all of the submitted materials and chooses about ten that best fit our mission. The entire staff then votes on four to five submissions from this pool. Next, each accepted submission is assigned to a lead editor and his or her team, who edit it for content, grammar, and stylistic consistency. Each team works exclusively on one submission, and uses Skype, email, and phone calls to work with the author and ensure that a collaborative and active editing process takes places. Overall, the teams work to preserve as much of the paper as possible, but authors should expect to devote a fair amount of time editing and re-working their papers.
My profile/the length of my submission doesn’t exactly fit into your criteria. However, I have a well-written and relevant submission. Would you be interested in publishing it?
Potentially. We will be offering space for submissions that are outside of what we usually receive. An analysis from a law professor or a short student reflection on a legal internship could be published in our journal. Send us an email about your non-traditional submission and why you think it should be published, and we can go from there.
How can I support CULR?
We’re glad you asked! There are several ways you can support and become more involved in CULR:
“Like” us on Facebook
Follow our Twitter
Subscribe or listen to our podcast
Apply to be a print editor, staff writer, or business team member (Columbia only)
Consider monetary donations to support our publication efforts
Spread the word at your undergraduate institution