Alphabetical List of Student Organizations
AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was founded in 1920 by citizens concerned about mass arrests of suspected radicals by the Department of Justice. Since then, the ACLU has continued to fight to protect and secure the rights guaranteed by our Constitution, which occasionally requires it to defend the rights of unpopular groups and unsympathetic characters.
The Columbia Law School chapter, established in April 1991, serves to focus attention on constitutional law and civil liberties issues of national, regional, and campus interest, as well as to encourage hands-on involvement in protecting civil liberties. Past events have included debates, speaker panels, and training sessions. We also engage in activist activities such as petitioning state and federal officials, or distributing information to groups of citizens to inform them of their rights.
Chapter members can get involved in other activities as well, including assisting ACLU lawyers with legal research, helping out with the Stop & Frisk project at the NYCLU, drafting position papers about civil liberties issues, and speaking about civil rights issues. From year to year, the ACLU continues to refine its mission to meet the needs and interests of our members and the Law School and University communities. Students, faculty, and staff are all welcome to join and participate.
AMERICAN CONSTITUTION SOCIETY
The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) is a national organization of students, professors, practicing lawyers, and others who favor a progressive approach to the constitution and public policy. We believe in the fundamental principles of respect for human dignity, protection of individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, and access to justice and believe these principles should be central to American law. We hope to foster open, respectful, and informed political discourse.
To that end, our chapter sponsors many programs throughout the year, including speakers and panels, debates and discussions, and, on the fun side, happy hours, trivia nights, movies, and more. We also provide a connection between Columbia Law School students and an ever-growing network of like-minded alumni and local practitioners.
Thousands of people are in prison because of their beliefs. Many are held without charge or trial. Torture and the death penalty are widespread. In many countries, men, women, and children have “disappeared” after being taken into official custody. Still others have been killed without any pretense of legality. These human rights abuses occur in countries of widely differing ideologies. Amnesty International is an independent, worldwide movement of people dedicated to the protection and promotion of internationally recognized human rights.
The Columbia chapter shares this vision and works towards its fulfillment through campaigns touching on all areas of human rights. In addition to conducting monthly meetings and sponsoring letter-writing events, we work with other student groups and outside organizations to educate the law school community about pressing human rights issues through speakers, panel discussions, and film screenings. We invite you to get involved, and we welcome your questions and ideas.
ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) facilitates academic and professional development and hosts numerous social events throughout the school year. Our marquee programs include our annual conference focusing on issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community, our Mentorship Program pairing 1Ls with 2Ls and 3Ls to guide students through their law school experience, and our very well-received Academic/Professional series including study tips panels, resume review workshops with practicing attorneys, and fireside chats with firms in the spring semester. Through our numerous and very well-attended social events, members build incredibly strong friendships that carry us through law school and last well beyond graduation. We also work with APALSA chapters at other New York area law schools to build a network within our wider community. Overall, APALSA members are well equipped to succeed in law school and thereafter.
BLACK LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
The Columbia Black Law Students Association (BLSA) is an inclusive organization where students can learn and develop the tools necessary to achieve academic and professional success. BLSA provides academic support, alumni resources, and career opportunities to its membership. BLSA also raises awareness within the Law School community about issues that disproportionately impact poor and minority communities. BLSA actively facilitates the relationship between the student body and alumni, professors, practitioners, and university administrators. We organize numerous events throughout the year to create opportunities for students to explore their interests. These events include career panels, speaker series, and alumni mixers. Students are empowered to succeed through programming like the Resume Workshop, mentoring program, and Charting Your Course Academic Series. Additionally, events like Profiling Practice Areas and the Diversity Fireside Chats give our membership insight to facilitate firm selection during the recruiting season.
Building our community is equally critical to the student experience and overall success. During the fall semester we organize an off-campus retreat for all members of the organization, and host an annual reception to honor distinguished alumni. In the spring semester our marquee events are the Paul Robeson Conference and the Paul Robeson Gala. These events celebrate academic scholarship and excellence in practice across all legal disciplines. We also celebrate the sponsors who support us all year and the strength of the Columbia BLSA community. In addition, we support the National Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition (at Columbia Law School, a program made possible by the generous support of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP) and, in particular, those first-year students who participate.
BLSA is strongly committed to community service and addressing the difficulties faced by the black community. BLSA also reaches out to impoverished communities through voter registration campaigns, legal advocacy, and food and clothing drives. We have sponsored student caravans to New Orleans to provide a myriad of legal services for low-income and indigent communities.
BLSA is a chapter of the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA). NBLSA is the largest law student-run organization in the United States, with more than 200 chapters at law schools throughout the country. These chapters represent more than 6,000 black law students. The organization’s purpose is two-fold: to facilitate the academic and professional development of African-American students in law schools across the country and to instill in them a greater commitment to the needs of the black community.
The California Society of Columbia Law School is dedicated to representing and developing the ties of the many Law School students and alumni with an interest in California. In fact, at any given time, hundreds of Columbia Law School students are from California, and thousands of alumni live in the state. We are committed to developing a social, intellectual, and professional environment for students and alumni through events, job resources, panels, speakers, and mentoring programs. Through collaboration with other organizations and the administration, we aim to become the central resource for students and alumni in connecting California and Columbia Law School.
If you say sorry and it doesn't sound like "saw-ry", then you're probably Canadian (even if you're not, you're saying it right). You're not alone! Canadian Club was founded last year by some enterprising young (and old) Canadians who wanted a bit more of the Queen in their lives at CLS, and this year is going to be as big of a blast as the better side of Niagara Falls.
If you're interested in spending time with Canadians and the people who love us, regardless of your national origin (we're far too nice to hold it against you)*, then we're the club for you. Come out for social events (we have Thanksgiving at the proper time, cheer for real hockey teams, and don't balk at putting both cheese AND gravy on our fries) and academic sessions (Canadian-to-Canadian advice has a proven track record of saving one of our members hundreds of dollars and many headaches).
*If you're from Saskatchewan and think a hoodie is called a "bunny hug" then we're still deciding what to do with you. It's super adorable, though.
CHRISTIAN LEGAL SOCIETY
The Christian Legal Society (CLS) is a non-denominational Christian fellowship that conducts weekly meetings and social events open to all faiths and non-faiths. The focus of the gatherings is discussing and learning how the Christian faith can play a vital role in one’s study and practice of law. CLS weekly meetings generally involve student-led Bible studies, although outside speakers often are invited to speak. CLS also sponsors various outreach events, retreats, and meetings with other Christians at Columbia and in New York.
CIVIL RIGHTS LAW SOCIETY
The Civil Rights Law Society is an organization dedicated to initiating discourse on civil rights issues, both domestic and international. The Society provides a forum for scholars, practitioners, and law students to share their ideas and experiences through guest lectures, panel discussions, conferences, and community service/pro bono events. Past events have included a panel on careers in civil rights with practitioners from government, academia, private practice, and non-profits; a dinner and panel discussion on criminal law and civil rights; and a panel on voting rights 50 years after Brown vs. Board of Education. The Society also aims to help prepare Columbia Law School graduates to enter both the public and private sectors armed with a stronger consciousness of civil rights issues.
COLUMBIA CARD CLUB
The Card Club is dedicated to bringing members of the Law School class together for card games and tournaments, in addition to creating opportunities to meet fellow players. There is a special focus on poker, which is, in addition to fun and intellectually stimulating, a great networking tool. Players of all abilities are welcome, and we would love to hear about your game of choice. The Card Club is also committed to creating dialogue within the Law School and the legal community surrounding the legal and regulatory issues of card playing.
COLUMBIA ANTITRUST LAW AND ECONOMICS ASSOCIATION
The Columbia Antitrust Law and Economics Association (formerly the Columbia International Antitrust Law Association) was established in March 2010 as the first antitrust association in an Ivy League Law School. The purpose of the Association is to bring together Columbia Law School students, professors, and alumni interested in legal issues in connection with the study, practice, and development of antitrust law both in the U.S. and in other jurisdictions. Our goals include promoting integration among our members; fostering and promoting the study, practice, and development of antitrust law around the globe; organizing academic events; promoting contact with law firms, business organizations, governmental, and non-governmental agencies and organizations; organizing social events; and assisting incoming new students.
COLUMBIA BUSINESS AND LAW ASSOCIATION
The Columbia Business and Law Association (CBLA) is the Law School’s principal student group dedicated to the interaction between law and business. We recognize that lawyers with business training and business leaders with a legal background can gain a critical competitive edge in the current economy. CBLA therefore aims to provide a forum for students to pursue scholarship and professional opportunities in business, both within and outside of law. The organization routinely sponsors lectures, workshops, and networking events from traditional areas of interest such as investment banking, management consulting, venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, and entrepreneurship. CBLA also serves as a center for members of the Columbia Law School community interested in many aspects of business law, including corporate governance and securities regulation.
COLUMBIA GASTRONOMY SOCIETY
The Columbia Gastronomy Society is the student group dedicated to the art and science of food and cooking. Through a variety of tastings, formal dinners, casual outings, talks by chefs and other food connoisseurs, cooking competitions, and trips to farmers’ markets, members of this group come together over their love of good food.
COLUMBIA HEALTH LAW ASSOCIATION
The Columbia Health Law Association is Columbia Law School’s student organization dedicated to the field of health-related law and policy. Guided by a vision of professionals working together to solve some of today’s most important issues, we are building a community at Columbia Law School where students can engage and learn from physicians, law professionals, academics, and one another. Members have the opportunity to attend an annual series of lunches with health law attorneys hosted at different firms, to join the American Health Law Association as a student member, and to attend various lectures and colloquia on health care law trends and reform. Our goal is to create interest and awareness, through social and professional events, while providing a launching point for those already interested to get involved.
COLUMBIA INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION (CIAA)
The purpose of the Columbia International Arbitration Association (CIAA) is to bring together Columbia Law School students, professors, alumni, and arbitration practitioners interested in the study, practice, and development of International Arbitration as an individual discipline for many purposes, including: (i) to promote integration among its members; (ii) to exchange information and experiences about legal issues involving international arbitration; (iii) to organize academic events; (iv) to establish contacts with law firms, business organizations, and governmental and nongovernmental agencies and organizations; (v) to organize social events; and (vi) to assist incoming new students.
COLUMBIA LATIN AMERICAN BUSINESS LAW ASSOCIATION
The Columbia Latin American Law and Business Association (CLABLA) was founded by a group of LL.M. students at Columbia. Our purpose is to bring together students, faculty, and alumni interested in the relationship between the law of Latin American countries and the United States legal system. We promote integration among our members; develop contacts with law firms, business organizations, and governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations; and assist incoming Latin American students. CLABLA members will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
COLUMBIA LAW AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP SOCIETY
The Columbia Law and Entreneurship Society (CLES) is for law students with a business and entrepreneurial mindset. We bring together industry leaders in tech, sports, and law to discuss hot trends and the business and legal decisions they face. CLES also encourages entrepreneurial spirit on campus by serving as a breeding ground for new ideas. We are a supportive community that connects ambitious students and assists those seeking to launch the next big company.
COLUMBIA LAW IMPROVISATION CLUB
The Columbia Law Improvisation Club (CLIC) is a brand-spanking new club in its first full year of operation. It's even got that new club smell! CLIC is a group of improv-oriented comedy persons that like to make jokes off of the top of their heads instead of writing them down before hand. The organization exists to bring these kooky folks into one room each week for an hour to just go nuts and have a lot of fun. There is no requirement to attend weekly, so come when you feel like it, and if you don't feel like coming, well we never thought you were that cool anyway*. We hope to put together some kind of showcase in the spring where CLIC members will get to show their stuff in front of the rest of the CLS community.
COLUMBIA LAW ISRAEL ORGANIZATION (PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS KOLEINU)
Columbia Law Israel Organization (CLIO) is a community where students with an interest in Israel, the Middle East, and the practice of law in Israel come together and share ideas, exchange information, and learn from each others’ experiences. CLIO aims to promote education about Israeli law and society, and an open and respectful dialogue amongst the Columbia Law School (CLS) student body about issues affecting Israel and the Middle East. To that end, CLIO hosts educational, professional, and social and cultural events at the law school, including speakers and guests of all ideologies within the enormous Israeli spectrum. CLIO also plans and executes several long-term initiatives to encourage our students to work in or with Israel, support our Israeli student population at CLS, and otherwise counter any negative influences. Alongside the Center for Israeli Legal Studies at CLS, CLIO helps to bring major Israeli speakers to the law school, where there is a respectful environment to hear, question and discuss a wide range of topics with movers and shakers from Israel. CLIO is an inclusive group and we are eager to build a diverse membership and add new perspectives, experiences, and voices to our group. We look forward to your involvement!
COLUMBIA LAW OPERA AND CLASSICAL SOCIETY
The Columbia Law Opera and Classical Society brings together Columbia Law students who share a common interest in exploring New York’s unparalleled opportunities to learn about and enjoy opera and classical music. Our events range from lectures to dinners to live performances. No knowledge or experience is required to become a member.
COLUMBIA LAW REVUE
Columbia Law Revue is the Law School’s very own law student-written/directed/produced/performed musical comedy show. Each year, the Law Revue puts on two shows, one for each semester. The music is generally a parody of music from all genres, including classic rock, pop, hip-hop, and show tunes. We welcome performers, writers, and techies with all levels of talent and experience, and allow our members to determine their own level of involvement in each show.
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL COMPETITIVE TABLE SPORTS SOCIETY
The Columbia Law School Competitive Table Sports Society is a student group focused on promoting small-scale student interactions and building personal relationships through competitive table sports. These include time-honored American pastimes like Pool, Table Tennis, Snooker, Billiards, Mah Jong, Table Twister, and everyone's favorite, Manual Ping-Pong. Our mission is to make the CLS community feel smaller by creating opportunities for students to interact with each other in a more fun and intimate environment than the typical law school setting. We host various table sport events throughout the school year - tournament and bracket-style madness isn't just for March.
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL CRAFT BEER CLUB
The Columbia Craft Beer Club is a student-founded organization devoted to the brewing and appreciation of craft beer, both local and international. As the craft beer community evolves and grows, it is increasingly recognized as an essential element of American culture and society. Our club’s mission is to expose the Columbia Law School community to the many facets of craft beer through tastings, outings, home-brewing sessions and tutorials, and other events open to all students.
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL YOUNG DEMOCRATS
The Columbia Law School Young Democrats provide a link between students and the Democratic Party. The group serves as a forum for information and discussion about political issues and provides a resource for political activism for Democratic causes. We campaign at both the national and local level and we work with various groups affiliated with the Democratic Party –including the New York Law Democrats and the New York Democratic Council-- to promote fair and informed elections.
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL MILITARY ASSOCIATION
The Columbia Law School Military Association (CLSMA) is a non-political, non-partisan social group whose purpose is to promote camaraderie and networking among Columbia Law School military veterans and civilian students; to explore and develop local veteran-elated volunteer and pro bono opportunities; and to stimulate thoughtful discussion about the military and its role in modern society. Military service is not a prerequisite for membership. In fact, many (if not most) of our members come from outside the armed services. Whether you’re interested in becoming a military lawyer, want to help out some local vets, or just want to learn something about the military and debate important issues with interesting, open-minded people, the CLSMA has something to offer.
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL DISC
Columbia Law School Disc promotes ultimate Frisbee and other disc-related sports at Columbia Law School. It hosts weekly co-ed games that are friendly, competitive, and open to all skill levels. Sign up at: http://groups.google.com/group/clsDISC.
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL REPUBLICANS
Columbia Law School Republicans is the hub for a progressively more visible community of Republicans at Columbia Law School. The organization welcomes Republicans of every stripe, color, affiliation, and denomination. We serve to provide forums for balanced political discussion, act as a place to meet and mingle with your co-politicos, and serve as a launching pad for networking and political involvement.
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL SOCCER CLUB
The Columbia Law School Soccer Club organizes weekly coed soccer games. Games are open to all skill levels. Sign up at http://groups.google.com/group/clssoccerclub.
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL SOFTBALL CLUB
The Columbia Law School Softball Club gives students a chance to get out of the library and spend Friday afternoons on the diamond. The Club hosts weekly games just a few blocks from campus. These friendly scrimmages are open to everyone—the more the merrier. Join us for a few innings of slow-pitch, and then follow us to a local watering hole for some drinks after the game. It’s Friday afternoon the way Nature intended it!
In addition to the weekly scrimmages, the Columbia Softball Club fields teams against the other New York City law schools, defending its crown in local tournaments. Then in the spring we travel down to Charlottesville to compete in UVA’s annual law school softball championship. The UVA tournament attracts over 1,000 law students from schools all over the country. It’s the best weekend in law school. So what are you waiting for? Put down the casebook and play ball!
COLUMBIA LAW WOMEN'S ASSOCIATION
The Columbia Law School Women’s Association (CLWA) works to advance the position of women in the Law School, legal profession, and society at large. CLWA works to foster an inclusive community for women within the Law School and to provide career and academic resources. Each year, CLWA’s mentoring program matches first-year students with second- and third-year peer mentors. CLWA also hosts academic panels, journal panels, and a Women- in-Firms panel to give our members insights from a female perspective. CLWA invites speakers to Columbia for discussions and forums on important issues such as women in public interest, women on the bench, international women’s rights, feminist jurisprudence, and the balance between professional and family obligations. Every spring, CLWA sponsors the Myra Bradwell Dinner, an event to celebrate women in the legal profession and Columbia alumnae and women in the legal profession. Past honorees have included Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem, and Geraldine Ferraro. CLWA serves as a liaison to alumnae and to the administration about issues of concern to women. The group also coordinates an outreach program to admitted women students and networks with women’s groups at the University.
COLUMBIA MUSLIM LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
The Columbia Muslim Law Students Association (MLSA) serves as a social and educational group at Columbia Law School for Muslim students and non-Muslim students interested in legal issues impacting Muslims at large and Islamic countries. The group welcomes Muslim and non-Muslim law students at CLS to form a community and explore legal issues facing the Muslim community and Islamic world, address misconceptions about Islamic law and the legal ramifications of non-Islamic laws for the Muslim community, and explore the law from a religious and cultural view. MLSA seeks to bring together a diverse community at CLS and to share a new perspective to the CLS legal and social community.
COLUMBIA SOCIETY OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
The Columbia Society of International Law (CSIL) is Columbia Law School’s principal student group dedicated to issues involving international law. The Society informs its members about opportunities to practice international law and current issues in international law; provides members in-person access to many of the top international firms; allows members the opportunity to meet leading scholars in the field; offers guidance and advice on career paths in the fields of public and private international law; and provides opportunities for American and international law students and alumni to form connections with each other that span the globe after graduation from Columbia Law School.
COLUMBIA STRATEGIC SIMULATION SOCIETY
The Columbia Strategic Simulation Society (CSSS) is a group of Law School students, faculty, and staff dedicated to the enjoyment of strategic simulations such as Risk, Settlers of Catan, and Battlestar Galactica. (That’s right, we get together and play games!) CSSS aims to benefit the Columbia Law School community by providing a group-oriented social outlet through promoting strategic board and card games. CSSS provides an extracurricular opportunity open to all members of the Columbia Law School community and actively seeks new members to teach the hobby of strategic gaming. We meet every other Friday at 7 p.m. in JG 304.
COLUMBIA URBAN AND REAL ESTATE LAW SOCIETY
The Columbia Urban and Real Estate Law Society (CURELS) aims to spark dialogue on issues facing cities nationwide as well as cover all elements of real estate law and development in metropolitan areas. Through seminars, discussions, tours, and networking events, CURELS hopes to bring a fresh look at how urban land is used and the ways in which law intersects with the built environment. We will focus on large projects and developments, corporate real estate law and finance, zoning, housing, infrastructure, urban policy and planning, and more. CURELS will also provide students with connections to careers in the public and private sectors practicing real estate and city law. This past year, we hosted panels on large developments in New York City, real estate careers, housing, urban policing, and more. New and current students interested in these topics should get in touch to bring their unique perspectives to CURELS and help us make this year a memorable one.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACTION NETWORK
The Criminal Justice Action Network (CJAN) is an organization of Columbia Law students dedicated to increasing actual justice in the criminal justice system. Our mission is to increase awareness of pressing criminal justice issues in the Law School community, assist attorneys and organizations working on criminal justice issues, and encourage interaction among students interested in improving the criminal justice system. In an effort to effectuate positive change in the system, CJAN advocates for issues such as the abolition of the death penalty, improved indigent defense, and prisoners’ rights. Each year, we organize spring break caravans, which in the past have given students the opportunity to travel across the country to places such as New Orleans, D.C., and San Francisco to work with organizations doing defense work. CJAN also organizes several pro bono projects throughout the school year in addition to sponsoring speakers, film screenings, and opportunities for students to visit prisons in the area. Whether you hope to become a defense attorney, prosecutor, or advocate, CJAN strives to provide support and guidance to students interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice, as well as those advocating for change!
The Deans’ Cup is one of the largest student-run events in America, an annual basketball competition between teams from Columbia Law School and NYU School of Law. Started in the spring of 2002, the Deans’ Cup raises funds for public interest organizations at both schools while uniting them in school spirit that rivals the best in sports. The Deans’ Cup fosters camaraderie between two of the foremost law schools in the city with firm sponsorship and widespread student dedication. It is one of the most exciting events of the year.
We are De Vinimus, Columbia Law’s Wine Tasting Society. We are a group of young wine enthusiasts, who, while doubling as law students, organize multiple tastings throughout the year for Columbia Law students, alumni, faculty and guests. The aim and focu of DeVinimus is to educate up-and-coming professionals about the vast world of wine in a fun and relaxing way. We are lucky enough to have wine from all around the world poured at our events and always have a great time at our tastings. So please look at our website and shoot us an email if you are interested.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROJECT
The Domestic Violence Project (DVP) raises awareness about domestic violence and provides legal services to battered women. Our activities include the Courtroom Advocates Project, Uncontested Divorce Workshop, Battered Immigrant Women’s Project, and Domestic Violence Awareness Week.
The Courtroom Advocates Project (CAP) is a joint program with five other New York City law schools. CAP participants help women obtain orders of protection against abusive partners by drafting petitions and advocating for them in family court. Several full-time attorneys and six different New York agencies that specialize in legal problems associated with domestic violence support the project. Through the Uncontested Divorce Workshop, students work with attorneys to assist low-income women who are victims of domestic violence to obtain divorces from their batterers. Students complete and file all the necessary papers in New York Supreme Court. Participants in the Battered Immigrant Women’s Project assist abused immigrant women in obtaining residency status under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petition process. Students are assigned a client and complete the petition from beginning to end, learning skills such as client interviewing and affidavit drafting. During Domestic Violence Awareness Week, DVP organizes speakers, panels, fundraising, and other activities aimed at raising awareness and educating the Law School community.
EDUCATION LAW AND POLICY SOCIETY
The Education Law and Policy Society (EdLaw) provides students who are interested in the interaction between the law and education with opportunities to hear from practitioners, develop their career networks, and gain hands-on experience in the field. EdLaw hosts informal and larger panel discussions with professionals who work on legal and policy issues related to education. In addition, the group organizes pro bono opportunities, visits to local schools, and networking events with other education-related groups. Please join us for fruitful discussions and opportunities to get involved with a broader community committed to education reform.
EMPOWERING WOMEN OF COLOR
Empowering Women of Color (EWOC) is the only organization at Columbia Law School committed to championing the successes and addressing the concerns of women of color. As an inclusive organization, EWOC is devoted to providing a safe space for collaboration and dialogue regarding issues relevant to this segment of the law school population. Our internal mantra is: "You don't have to be a woman of color to empower them." EWOC members represent multiple identities and intersect various ethnicities, genders, nationalities, orientations and beliefs.
Understanding that serving this community is a complex endeavor, we meet this unique challenge through ongoing programming and events. Past events have included career panels, faculty lunches, practitioner mixers, potlucks, and study skills sessions. Highlights from 2013-2014 included the first annual EIP Preparation Workshop Series, Judicial Clerkship Mixer, UN Women’s Lunchtime Talk, and the Summer Associate Panel. In addition to empowering our members through programming, EWOC members benefit from our mentorship program and community-building activities, as well as access to our resources, including the EWOC Outline Bank, Hornbook Library, Cover Letter Database, and extended Alumni network.
EWOC serves to facilitate the needs of our members at the law school and throughout the larger Columbia community. We are committed to communicating the ideas of our members regarding the law school and broader societal issues. Everyone is welcome to join us!
ENTERTAINMENT, ARTS, AND SPORTS LAW SOCIETY
The Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Society (EASLS) is one of the largest and most active student organizations at the Law School, with more than 70 members interested in legal careers in the professional entertainment, arts, or sports industries. EASLS explores legal issues and trends affecting these industries and educates students about career opportunities through panel discussions, roundtables, and lectures. EASLS members are afforded the chance to meet top entertainment and sports law practitioners, including many Columbia alumni. EASLS also tries to enrich the cultural life of the Law School community through many cultural offerings in New York City. In addition, EASLS members have access to job lists and job panels and to special deals and free tickets to sports, arts, and social events throughout the city.
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW SOCIETY
The Environmental Law Society (ELS) includes students who are concerned about environmental issues and/or interested in environmental careers. We have recently succeeded in expanding the environmental curriculum and we host events with top environmental practitioners from the government, public interest groups, and private law firms. In addition to panel discussions and informal lunches, we also hold an Earth Day celebration and outdoor events such as hiking trips, park cleanups, and tree planting. ELS offers ample opportunities for students to get involved, and 1Ls play an integral role in planning ELS activities.
FASHION LAW SOCIETY
The Fashion Law Society (FLS) was created to introduce students at the law school to the world of fashion. We seek to explore areas of the law that affect the fashion industry, including intellectual property, business and finance, international trade and government regulation, and consumer culture. FLS provides its membership with alumni resources, career and networking opportunities, and a space to discuss the latest in fashion.
The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies is a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. It is founded on the principles that the state exists to preserve freedom, that the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution, and that it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be. At Columbia Law School, we sponsor debates and events to help promote an awareness of these principles. We encourage everyone to join and participate.
THE FIDELIO SOCIETY AT COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL
The Fidelio Society at Columbia Law School is a group dedicated to investigating morality in the law and in society at large. In the past, the year has been begun by analyzing the different sources of morality and different philosophies of morality (natural law, utilitarianism, Divine morality, communitarian morality, etc.). As the year progressed, important moral issues facing contemporary society were addressed, such as distributive equality, abortion, family structures, tolerance, and religion in the public square. There have been more entertaining meetings as well that involved taking tours of the city and visiting important museums, all with an eye toward morality in the public square.
The Golf Club, in promoting golf at Columbia Law School, provides a recreational and social outlet. It gives law students the chance to develop and improve a new life skill and to play at some of the many golf courses in New York City and the surrounding area.
HARLEM TUTORIAL PROGRAM
The Harlem Tutorial Project is a joint effort between Columbia Law School and Columbia Business School. We provide tutoring to students at a secondary school in Harlem. Each tutor selects one day each week to meet with his or her student for tutoring and mentoring, making an enormous difference in that student’s life. Participation is a great way to escape the rigors of law school life and to give back to the local community.
HIGH SCHOOL LAW INSTITUTE
The High School Law Institute (HSLI) provides Columbia Law School students with the chance to teach students from New York City high schools. Our student teachers help their students build oral advocacy and writing skills through classes in criminal law, constitutional law, moot court, and mock trial. HSLI also focuses on sparking student participation and conversation; exploring the relevance of legal topics to students’ lives; and developing students’ ability to effectively articulate their opinions. We hold classes Saturday mornings on Columbia’s campus. Special events include College Day, a Mock Trial Competition, and a Graduation Ceremony.
Impact is a nonpartisan group of law students at Columbia organized to help protect the integrity of the voting process and to inform the Columbia Law School community of important issues in election law. Impact works to fulfill its mission by, among other things, organizing voter registration drives, providing students with opportunities for poll monitoring activities, and coordinating with groups active in the Morningside Heights area to provide local residents with information concerning the right to vote. To create a broad coalition of students, Impact uses existing national student networks, including the National Black Law Students Association, the Latino/a Law Students Association, and the National Lawyers Guild. Impact is a member of Election Protection, a coalition of more than 60 nonprofit organizations dedicated to ensuring that every citizen has the opportunity to cast a vote that will be counted.
InSITE is an entrepreneurial mentorship program that brings together the best and brightest students from Columbia and NYU business and law schools to support New York entrepreneurs in the development of their businesses and their pursuit of venture capital and angel investments. InSITE’s mission is to accelerate technology startups through their early-stage development, transitioning them from their seed stage into being venture-funded companies. Each semester, InSITE fellows get the opportunity to work closely with a different New York startup in the process of securing its first round of venture or angel funding.
J. REUBEN CLARK LAW SOCIETY
The J. Reuben Clark Law Society has been an organized association at Columbia for more than 20 years. Named for J. Reuben Clark Jr. (Columbia Law School Class of 1906), it serves members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the “Mormons”) and all others interested in participating in the group’s discussions and activities. We meet weekly to discuss topics of interest. In the past, we have invited scholars, attorneys, religious leaders, and students to lead these discussions. The group also sponsors social activities and an occasional forum. The Columbia chapter is part of the international J. Reuben Clark Law Society (www. jrcls.org), and is often included in events sponsored by the New York professional JRCLS chapter. Anyone is welcome to join us, no matter his or her degree of affiliation with the Mormon community.
JEWISH LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
The Jewish Law Students Association (JLSA) is an organization where Jewish law students of all backgrounds at Columbia Law School can come together for social, religious, and educational activities. JLSA offers a wide range of programming to satisfy the diverse social, cultural, religious, and intellectual needs of Jewish students, and to introduce the Law School community to issues of importance to world Jewry. We also serve as a resource for the unique needs of all Jewish law students, helping students find places for meals and services on holidays, working with faculty for students who miss class due to religious observances, and providing insight into academic success, summer jobs, and EIP.
We welcome any level of commitment and participation. We hope you will join us at events throughout the year and look forward to meeting you.
KOREAN LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (KLSA)
The Korean Law Students Association (KLSA) provides a forum for people to learn more about Korean culture and to interact with other similarly interested students. We are dedicated to exploring the intersection between Korea and the United States and providing relevant social, cultural, and professional opportunities to the Columbia Law School community. We organize activities from social outings to Koreatown and cultural celebrations to professional panels and academic resources. We are continually expanding our horizons and exploring ways to work together with other Columbia Law School groups, as well as to establish and maintain ties with the greater Korean community in New York City. Everyone with an interest in Korean culture is invited to participate! We highly encourage those with only minimal previous exposure to Korean film, history, or food to come and learn more about our vibrant community.
LATINO/A LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
The Latino/a Law Students Association (LaLSA) sponsors academic, social, and community service activities to promote understanding of the Latino community. LaLSA serves as a liaison between its members and the administration, alumni, and other professionals in the legal field. LaLSA also works to increase the number of Latino/a students and faculty at Columbia Law School, to create awareness of issues affecting the Latino community, and to ensure that students receive the necessary support to achieve academic and professional success. LaLSA offers various programs to ease the transition to law school and the legal profession, including a mentorship program in which upperclass students are paired with first-year students to provide advice and support. Several tutorials and review sessions take place throughout the year about topics ranging from exam preparation to finding summer employment. LaLSA welcomes everyone to join and participate. For more information, visit our website at blogs.law.columbia.edu/lalsa.
Law/Culture produces institutional space within Columbia Law School to question the meaning of law from diverse perspectives in the humanities and social sciences. Legal concepts and practices have long fascinated anthropologists, political theorists, artists, and other thinkers, yet students in a traditional legal setting are rarely exposed to the law but from the perspective of a legal scholar or practitioner. While this focus is effective for producing lawyers, we believe law students benefit from opportunities for informal yet serious engagement with law through other discourses. Through lectures, reading groups, symposiums, film screenings, and other fora, Law/Culture probes the way in which law shapes and is shaped by basic cultural concepts and categories, such as identity, the body, community, and space. By viewing the law as a cultural phenomenon and culture as suffused with legality, Law/Culture expands and deepens the discussion within the Law School community of the meaning and practice of law.
LAW IN AFRICA SOCIETY
The purpose of the Law in African Students Society is to promote, and provide a forum for students, professors, and professionals to meet and pursue their interest in African legal jurisprudence, cultures, societies, and job opportunities,. Our goal is to sponsor and support formal and informal events that provide insight into African law and culture, and into current issues concerning the relationship between Africa, the United States, and the rest of the world, while building a network between current members and alumni.
LAW STUDENTS FOR LIFE
Law Students for Life is an organization dedicated to promoting the dignity of human life at every stage. We aim to raise awareness and provide a forum for discussion around pro-life issues and provide community around pro-life perspectives.
LAW STUDENTS FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE
Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) is a national network of law students and lawyers committed to the promotion of reproductive rights and social justice. Our organization educates, organizes, and supports law students to prepare a new generation of advocates to protect and expand reproductive rights as fundamental civil and human rights. The Columbia chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice works to further these goals, to increase awareness of sexual and reproductive health issues in the law and in both global and local communities, and to stimulate dialogue on these topics within the Law School. To this end, Columbia LSRJ hosts on-campus events—such as panels, debates, and social and fundraising events—and participates in citywide events with a reproductive rights focus.
LAW STUDENTS FOR SOCIAL ENTERPRISE (LSSE)
Law Students for Social Enterprise (LSSE) is dedicated to exploring the field of social enterprise and to informing law students about unique opportunities for promoting social value. Members of this group reject the notion that we must choose between “selling your souls” and making money, on the one hand, and “saving the world” and making peanuts on the other. Instead, LSSE recognizes that lawyers can have a positive social impact through a variety of legal and non-legal careers. Through speaker series, volunteer opportunities, collaboration with other student groups, and an annual symposium, LSSE members connect with both students and professionals interested in social enterprise and learn about the range of possibilities in the space.
Maximus Gravitas Weight Lifting Club seeks to unify members of the Columbia Law School community interested in weight lifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, and general health and fitness. Fitness is a timeless and universal activity, and resistance training can be a fun stress-reliever and hobby. We encourage people of all levels of “buff” to join us.
MENTORING YOUTH THROUGH LEGAL EDUCATION (MYLE)
Mentoring Youth through Legal Education (MYLE) is the law student-run portion of the Legal Outreach program at Columbia Law School. Legal Outreach prepares urban youth from underserved communities in New York City to compete at high academic levels by using intensive legal and educational programs as tools for fostering vision, developing skills, enhancing confidence, and facilitating the pursuit of higher education. Legal Outreach uses law to attract junior high school students to academic programs that inspire and motivate them to strive for academic success. From the 8th through 12th grades, students work after school, on weekends, and during summers to build the skills and confidence they need to achieve their goals. An important part of the program is the debate program, which is facilitated through the invaluable assistance of Columbia Law School student debate coaches. Participating in Legal Outreach satisfies Columbia Law students’ 40-hour pro bono requirement.
MYLE also helps to facilitate social events between the debate coaches, students and mentors, and assists in recruiting new debate coaches each year.
MIDDLE EASTERN LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION (MELSA)
With the Middle East becoming one of the most active regions in the world, the need for understanding its continuous development, cultural wealth, interesting history, unique challenges, and legal landscape is felt more than ever before. The Middle Eastern Law Students Association (MELSA) works hard to expand the understanding of our fellow law students, and promote the discourse regarding these important issues. We actively seek to raise awareness with an unbiased approach, and hope to be a positive and constructive force in this regard.
But MELSA does not stop there. Our social events such as Mediterranean Nights and Passport to Egypt have for years attracted many students. With Shisheh (hookah) smoke in the air, Arabic music in the background, and delicious Middle Eastern cuisine, we give you the chance to experience Cairo, Istanbul, and Tehran right here in New York City.
In addition, our coordination with student organizations of other law schools in particular NYU, and many practicing attorneys, public interest organizations, Bar associations, and law firms from around the country allows you to expand your network beyond Morningside heights and Columbia University, and tap into a great resource that took many years to build.
These are just a few of the benefits MELSA provides to the students at Columbia Law School. We encourage you to sign up on our mailing list so we can inform you of our great activities throughout the year. But if you want more, MELSA’s fresh energetic board is looking to go beyond previous years, and is providing a unique opportunity for 1L members to join its board for the first time.
To learn more about MELSA and its activities, visit us on our website or contact us at: Website: www.cumelsa.org
The Midwest Society of Columbia Law School is committed to creating a cozy community of unabashed lovers of the Midwest. United by friendliness, we are dedicated to fostering the social, intellectual, and professional development of the many Columbia Law School students and alumni with an interest in the Midwest. Our panels, speakers, and events will give the Law School community a chance to connect substantively with Midwestern happenings, dispelling forever the misconception that we are just a bunch of flyover states. Our mentoring programs and job resources will bring a much-needed taste of Midwestern goodness and pragmatism to New York City. And our social events will, of course, lead to the inevitable conclusion that Midwesterners are just the nicest people around.
Columbia University's Moot Court Programs consist of the first-year Foundation Program, the Harlan Fiske Stone Honors Competition, and the Jerome Michael Jury Trial. Each provides students with the opportunity to develop their written and oral advocacy skills. Participation in the first-year Program is mandatory for all first-year students, whereas Stone and Jerome Michael are elective activities for upperclass students. In addition to these intramural programs, Columbia participates in other national moot court competitions (e.g. Frederick Douglass, NALSA, VIS, AIPLA, LALSA, Environmental Law and Jessup). First-year students may use participation in these national competitions to satisfy their Foundation Moot Court requirement.
NATIONAL LAWYERS GUILD
The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is a radical coalition dedicated to the need for basic change in the structure of our political and economic system. We seek to unite United States lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as a political and social force championing civil rights and liberties in the face of oppression.
NATIONAL SECURITY LAW SOCIETY (NSLS)
The National Security Law Society (NSLS) was founded in 2010 to promote discussion around vital issues of national security, privacy, the laws of war, and more. By organizing forums and panels on current events and broader long-term issues, connecting students with Columbia Law’s preeminent national security law faculty, and hosting meetings for students with practitioners in the field, NSLS works to both promote greater understanding of the legal issues at the heart of current national security issues and advance careers in national security law.
NATIVE AMERICAN LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
The Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) was founded in 1989 to foster academic support for Native American students and others interested in American Indian legal issues. NALSA provides a network for students interested in indigenous legal and cultural issues. NALSA seeks to increase awareness of Indian issues, viewpoints, culture, and societies. In addition to providing support and help to Native American law students, NALSA has focused on increasing Indian recruitment in response to the historically low Native American enrollment at law schools.
NALSA sponsors several educational and social events annually. These include cultural events, speaker presentations, potluck dinners, and the Annual Columbia Powwow. NALSA played a central role in the 1993 presentation of the Pueblo Jemez Repatriation Project, the largest repatriation in United States history of sacred Indian objects. Members of NALSA attend the Annual Federal Indian Bar Conference conducted each spring in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and attend the midyear D.C. Indian Conference. Some NALSA members participate in the Human Rights Program and receive grants to work in their respective native communities or other indigenous communities during the summer.
NEW ENGLAND LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
The New England Law Students Association (NELSA) is an organization for students who hail from New England, plan to practice there after law school, or are otherwise interested in the region’s unique legal community. We sponsor a variety of professional and social events with the goal of building a strong network of current students and alums. Membership is open to everyone in the Columbia Law School community, regardless of your home state or MLB-team allegiance.
NHK: JAPANESE LEGAL STUDIES ASSOCIATION
As a proud contributor to Columbia University’s unrivaled commitment to Japanese studies, Nihon Houritsu Kenkyuukai (NHK), or the Japanese Legal Studies Association, serves the legal community by organizing social, cultural, and educational events related to Japan, as well as providing information on the many opportunities available at Columbia and in New York for people with Japanese interests. We have organized a fundraiser for the Tohoku earthquake in the past, and hope to continue that tradition. In addition, we strive to facilitate interaction between Japanese members of the Law School community and those interested in Japan or Japanese law. Many of our members come to Columbia as accomplished business, government, or legal professionals in Japan and provide an opportunity to exchange ideas about Japanese and/or international law and practice. Many of our J.D.s have also had summer internship experiences in Japan. We welcome anyone with an interest in Japan, regardless of level of familiarity with Japan, its culture, or language. Please feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have.
OUTlaws is Columbia Law School’s LGBT student organization. Our primary goal is to create a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied students. We offer professional, social, and academic programming throughout the year. OUTlaws is friendly and inclusive, and we welcome the participation of all students, including those who do not identify as queer.
POINT OF LAW
We are group of dedicated fencers who enjoy the precision and sport of foil, epee and sabre. Weekly bouts provide the opportunity to sharpen our fencing skills and leave the study chair for some fast paced exercise, followed by some slow-paced happy hours.
PUBLIC INTEREST LAW FOUNDATION
The Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation founded in 1980 by members of the Law School community. PILF is a privately funded organization of law students, faculty, alumni, and friends that raises money through membership dues, donations, and renowned events to support public interest pursuits at Columbia Law School and organizations across the country.
PILF donates approximately $100,000 annually to the Law School community and beyond. Each year, PILF helps to finance the Guaranteed Summer Funding program for Columbia Law students pursuing unpaid public interest internships. Additionally, PILF provides annual grants to nonprofit organizations around the country. For the 2013–2014 academic year, PILF awarded $45,000 in community grants.
Each fall, three 1L representatives are elected to the board of directors, though the majority of law students participate in PILF in some form. Students, alongside PILF members, plan and attend the annual fall PILF dinner honoring a distinguished public interest lawyer, staff the much-anticipated PILF live auction, and play in the Deans’ Cup Columbia-NYU Basketball Game. In addition to hosting a variety of public interest informational and social events, PILF operates a used bookstore where students can buy textbooks and study guides (including those for Legal Methods!) for $10–$40. All of the money PILF raises enriches our community. We look forward to welcoming you to Columbia and to the PILF network of supporters!
Rightslink is a student-run human rights law outreach and research organization based at Columbia Law School. Working closely with the Human Rights Institute and other Columbia University entities, Rightslink organizes a variety of academic, social, and professional networking events throughout the year to foster a human rights community at the Law School and to connect students with scholars and practitioners around New York. Leveraging the vast research resources available to Columbia students, Rightslink also provides free legal research services to human rights groups that lack the capacity or political freedom to conduct their own research. Students interested in human rights have an opportunity to contribute to innovative projects covering a broad range of domestic and international issues such as human trafficking, transitional justice, ethnic discrimination, and political freedom.
RUNNING FROM THE LAW
Running from the Law seeks to bring members of the Law School community together and provide an escape from everyday student life through exercise and the enjoyment of running. Whether you are just starting to run or are an experienced runner, we welcome all to join us to explore the best routes in the City.
SAINT-EX LITERARY DINNER CLUB
The Saint-Ex Literary Dinner Club (SELDC) is a literary organization at Columbia Law School. We are dedicated to bringing a taste of literature to students overburdened with casebook reading. The club is very low-stress, as we meet to discuss novels, poetry, etc. related to a particular theme. You’ll get to enjoy great food and great company, and the best part is that there is no extra reading required.
SOCIETY FOR CHINESE LAW
The Society for Chinese Law is for students interested in any and all things related to China, law, and politics. Our events and activities fall into three main categories: career, academic, and social. They provide a great way for students to meet scholars and practitioners in the field of Chinese law, as well to meet one another.
Recent career events have included a discussion panel with corporate lawyers who are members of the board of the New York-based China Business Law Association about private practice opportunities in China, and a similar panel focusing on public interest opportunities with speakers from the Open Society Institute and Legal Aid. Throughout the year, heads of American law firms’ offices in China as well as partners from leading Chinese firms come to discuss their work.
Our lunchtime academic panels have touched on a variety of subjects, including Taiwan’s legal development and employment discrimination in mainland China. The range of speakers has been equally broad and has included American legal scholars, as well as Chinese NGO activists. Speakers often stay after the discussion to chat with students, answer questions, and sometimes go out for a meal, providing a great networking opportunity for students.
On the social front, we have been known to undertake epic hotpot and karaoke outings, and to throw parties with plenty of Chinese food and drink. The social events are a great way to get to know our members and friends who hail from China, the U.S., and beyond and have a great diversity of experiences working in or with China. We take seriously our mission of educating ourselves and the larger Law School community about legal developments in China, and we also know how to have a good time!
SOCIETY FOR IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE RIGHTS
The Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (SIRR) is dedicated to promoting a dialogue about legal rights of refugees and immigrants in the United States and globally. SIRR is also committed to building relationships between student organizations with similar interests, so as to get as much participation from the student body as possible. SIRR sponsors a competitive moot court team which allows interested students to delve into immigration law through a fun, yet intense, two-semester program. The program culminates in a weekend competition against other teams from across the country. For those looking for the law-school equivalent of alternative spring break, SIRR co-sponsors several week-long caravans enabling groups of students to volunteer at organizations involved with immigration and refugee law, both in the U.S. and abroad.
SIRR provides meaningful opportunities to do pro-bono legal work during the year. The group coordinates the Immigration Advocacy Project. Additionally, SIRR directs the Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project and the African Services Committee Project. The Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) organizes attorneys and law students to help refugees from Iraq and other areas escape persecution and navigate the rules and processes of resettlement in the U.S.
SOCIETY FOR KOREAN LEGAL STUDIES
The Society for Korean Legal Studies (SKLS) is an organization for those in the community interested in Korea, organizing career, social, and academic events related to Korea and Korean interests. SKLS also aims to promote the study of Korean law and legal institutions and bring together students, scholars, and practitioners who share a common academic and professional interest in Korean law, society and its relationship with the international legal system. We welcome anyone with an interest in Korea and look forward to meeting you.
SOCIETY FOR LAW, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY
The Columbia Law School Society for Law, Science, and Technology (SLST) is a student group that promotes discussion of technology and its influence on law and social policy.
The SLST organizes various events, like speaker panels, lectures, and reading groups, that bring interesting thinkers on technology law to Columbia. SLST is also a way for Columbia Law School students interested in science and technology to meet each other and others in the metropolitan area.
Our topics of interest include the Internet, telecommunications, biotechnology, computer law, and intellectual property, but have ranged further afield to topics like video games and careers in technology law. While the field is sometimes known as cyber-law or information law, our aim is to be broad and inclusive: we try not to be restricted by labels.
SOUTH ASIAN LAW STUDENTS ASSOCIATION
The South Asian Law Students Association (SALSA) promotes discussion and awareness of issues affecting South Asians and South Asian Americans, particularly in law, and also focuses on providing networking opportunities between students in the law school as well as with practicing South Asian lawyers. This past year, SALSA has maintained its peer mentorship program and built a database of SALSA Alumni. We are looking forward to planning more events with these alumni and instituting a mentorship program with them as well. Additionally, SALSA held multiple workshops about career advice, study tips, and course selection throughout the year. SALSA also hosted the 2013 NASALSA (North American South Asian Law Student Association) Conference, which hosted a number of students and leaders in the South Asian legal community. SALSA has an active social presence, annually hosting Mela, one of CLS’s largest social events (held in Low Library), and smaller happy hours and dinners, to foster a sense of community within the law school.
The Squash Club is CLS' prime spot to enjoy the great game of squash. We arrange several tournaments and subsequent happy hours, which are great places to meet new squash players and find someone to compete with. Other events include squash instruction that allow members to increase their proficiency and trips to professional squash tournaments in the area. We normally play at Dodge Fitness Center. Check out our website for more information.
ST. THOMAS MORE SOCIETY
The St. Thomas More Society of Columbia Law School invites Catholics and the curious to explore how legal practice can be a channel for, but also a challenge to, our personal and professional values. Our speakers, panels, and parties provide a social and spiritual atmosphere for us to discuss and deepen our perspectives.
STUDENT ANIMAL LEGAL DEFENSE FUND
The Columbia Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) is a student chapter of the national group Animal Legal Defense Fund. SALDF seeks to advance the interests of animals through the legal system. With film screenings, lunches, and other events, we bring together students with a shared interest in animal welfare and/or animal rights. We also help connect students to pro bono and career opportunities in the field of animal law.
STUDENT PUBLIC INTEREST NETWORK (SPIN)
Student Public Interest Network (SPIN) strives to build a community for students interested in pursuing public interest law and provide a network for public interest collaboration at CLS. We defines “public interest law” broadly, including plans to work in a non-profit, the government, an international organization, or a for-profit institution that does public interest work, either directly after law school or at a later time. SPIN is deliberately a cross-issue student group, one that welcomes students who are interested in all issues within public interest law.
We work to build community for public interest students through monthly social events and mentoring programs. We also provide public interest career support through events, panels, and trips to public interest law conferences. Through our function as a network of student groups, we plan to facilitate communication and collaboration on public interest issues among the law school community.
For more information, including how to sign up as a member, please email us at SPIN@law.columbia.edu
The Student Senate is the official representative body for all Columbia Law School students. It is comprised of approximately 40 students: 12 students are elected from each J.D. class, four students are elected from the LL.M. and/or J.S.D. classes and one student is elected to serve as a representative to the University Senate. The Senate’s primary responsibility is to address student concerns, either through direct action or by acting as a liaison to the administration and faculty.
All senators are required to be members of at least one student-faculty committee. Other functions include: the organization of school-wide social events; the allocation of funding to all recognized student groups; the coordination of orientation and graduation activities; and the general oversight of student-run extracurricular affairs. Overall, the Senate’s job is to serve the student body and to make life at Columbia as interesting, rewarding, and enjoyable as possible.
SUSPENSION REPRESENTATION PROJECT
The Suspension Representation Project (SRP) is an advocacy group whose mission is to safeguard the right to public education by training law students across New York City to represent NYC public school students in suspension hearings. Working in teams, law students develop valuable legal skills by interviewing clients, gathering evidence, conducting direct and cross examinations, and delivering closing arguments. It is also a great way to work with law students from other local law schools.
TENANTS' RIGHTS PROJECT
The Tenants’ Rights Project (TRP) is operated in partnership with the Goddard Riverside SRO (Single Room Occupancy) Law Project. The SRO Law Project is staffed by attorneys and tenant organizers who work with SRO residents to preserve their buildings and improve conditions. The Law Project was founded in 1981 in response to the alarming decline in SRO housing as a result of emptying tactics used by many owners who wanted to convert their buildings to luxury housing.
TRP works closely with the SRO Law Project and Manhattan Legal Services to provide effective legal representation to low-income individuals and tenant groups in housing court. Participants in the project will meet with tenants, investigate and document the conditions of their building, draft and file papers required to initiate litigation, and accompany the tenants to housing court. Once in court, students will observe the proceedings and may have the opportunity to participate directly in arguing motions, negotiating settlements with landlords, and sometimes advancing a case all the way to trial under the supervision of a Law Project staff attorney. Participants in the project may also take an active role in the enforcement process once an order has been given in their case.
TRP aims to give all participants the opportunity to work on a case from its inception to its official entry and, depending on the size and complexity of the case, exit from the court system.
The Texas Society (TxSoc) is a group of students interested in the practice of law and/or culture of the State of Texas, or anywhere in the South. TxSoc is geared towards helping students interested in working in Southern states network with each other and with practitioners,, as well as appreciating and celebrating the world of BBQ, Tex-Mex, and college football (among other things). We are not limited to students from Texas – anyone with an interest in Southern culture is welcome to attend our networking events and career panels. Once every semester, we hold a “Working in Texas” career panel, which covers both private and public sector employment. Each year, a number of Texas-based or Texas-affiliated firms also invite our members to dinner with their attorneys to get to know us and discuss their own career paths.
TRANSFER AND VISITING STUDENT ORGANIZATION
The Transfer and Visiting Student Organization (TVSO) is open to all students. The organization is designed to ease the integration of transfer and visiting students into the Columbia Law School community. TVSO aims to achieve this goal by (1) establishing a support network through which students may gain insight and information about the law school from experienced students and faculty, and (2) providing opportunities for transfer and visiting students to gather and discuss important issues particular to their status.
UNEMPLOYMENT ACTION CENTER
Each year in New York City, more than 25,000 claimants appear before administrative judges to seek unemployment insurance. Many cannot afford a lawyer. The Unemployment Action Center (UAC) gives law students a chance to represent some of these claimants at their hearings. Beginning their first semester of law school, advocates handle all stages of the case, by themselves or with a partner: interviewing the claimant, researching the law, developing a theory of the case, and arguing the case before an administrative law judge. UAC offers students a unique opportunity to take complete responsibility for a case, gaining practical litigation experience while making a meaningful difference for a real client.
VES is dedicated to promoting student camaraderie among members of the Law School class by hosting weekly meeting to discuss and play video games. Members are well aware of the cutting edge legal and business issues in one of the largest and most important entertainment industries globally. As the virtual entertainment community evolves and grows along with the technology sector, VES will be sure to produce informed lawyers prepared to tackle the novel legal issues that will inevitably arise.
Windmeadow Glens/Older and Wiser Law Students Association (OWLS)
Windmeadow Glens is Columbia Law School’s premier organization for older and non-traditional students.
Do you remember when life used to be simple—when streets connected neighbors and people still stopped to say hello? When kids splashed in old-fashioned swimmin’ holes and lemonade was sipped under the porch lights on Indian summer nights? Imagine if you could return to those days—if life could once again be unhurried, uncluttered, uncomplicated.
Welcome home to Windmeadow Glens—a charming, active community where gracious law school living meets small-town values. Nestled between the emerald waters of the East River and the backdoor of historic West Harlem, Windmeadow Glens is just moments away from everything, yet miles away from the stresses of modern life.
With year-round sunshine and pleasant temperatures, the law school lifestyle is best enjoyed outdoors. That’s why Windmeadow Glens pays as much attention to our community amenities as we do to our classes. We understand that for an academic experience to be more than just a bunch of students, it needs to provide places for people to meet, interact, and enjoy life together.
So whether it’s fishing for large-mouth bass or teeing off on a championship golf course, serving up fun on the courts or simply going for an evening stroll—it’s all here, at Windmeadow Glens. All are welcome.
Workers’ Rights Student Coalition
Workers’ Rights Student Coalition aims to promote the rights of workers throughout the world. We hope to educate and bring together members of the Law School community to engage in discourse about workers’ rights, and to provide opportunities to bring justice to the workplace. We look at workers’ rights from a multidimensional perspective, taking into account other issues, including, but not limited to, poverty, racism, gender, globalization, immigration, sexual orientation, and disability. Our hope is to empower workers, students, and lawyers, and to develop a presence on the Columbia University campus that contributes to workers’ rights both in New York City and throughout the globe.
The goal of Y’allSA is to bring the best parts of Southern culture to Columbia Law School, including—but not limited to—barbecue, sweet tea, SEC football, a love of people, and basic courtesy. Y’allSA hosts a variety of events featuring these elements, such as bourbon tastings, game days at local bars, and any other excuse to combine food with friends. Y’allSA also helps students interested in working in Southern states network with students who have done the same and their employers. Though a Southern accent is certainly a bonus, Y’allSA welcomes students from all over the world interested in experiencing Southern culture.
Build strength, stretch out, and de-stress with yoga! The Yoga Club provides weekly open-level yoga classes to the Columbia Law School community. Classes are in the flowing vinyasa style and will be taught by Om-certified yoga instructors. Classes are 75 minutes long and held in Jerome Greene Annex. Space is limited, so arrive early to get a spot. Please bring your own yoga mat and wear comfortable clothes suitable for yoga. $5 suggested donation. Dates and times to be announced.
YOUTH JUSTICE ASSOCIATION
The Youth Justice Association (YJA) was founded to focus students’ attention on juvenile justice, child welfare, and education. We are dedicated to getting involved in community projects and promoting awareness of youth justice and advocacy issues. We bring leading practitioners to Columbia to discuss their work and experience in youth advocacy as well as sponsor panel discussions about current issues and problems.