Membership Selection

Membership Selection

CJEL was founded in 1972 with a grant from the Ford Foundation. We are one of the nation's oldest and most preeminent environmental law journals. We have a reputation for publishing innovative scholarship on emerging areas of environmental law, and our articles have substantially influenced the law's development. CJEL is read and cited by numerous judges, scholars, practitioners, and policy-makers, and we have significant international readership.

We publish two issues of the journal per year, typically with two to three Articles and several student Notes or Comments per issue. CJEL is looking for 2L members who are enthusiastic about the work we do, who are interested in our issues, and who are committed to doing what it takes to get the job done right.

Aside from the broad array of experience in editing and in environmental law that we offer, you might be interested to know that:

  • CJEL is one of the most-cited environmental law journals in the nation in terms of citations per article according to Washington and Lee's Law Journal Submission Service.
  • Since we publish two issues per year, our cite-checking assignments are more manageable than those of other journals. Moreover, 2Ls have the opportunity to make substantive editorial decisions.
  • Our note publication program is voluntary and based entirely on your own interest. This ensures that all staffers who commit to writing a note receive substantial guidance and encouragement throughout the editorial process. 
  • Our staffers have direct contact with environmental law practitioners working at law firms, environmental organizations, and government agencies. However, we do not require prior knowledge of or experience in environmental law.
  • We use and enjoy our substantial budget for social events.

The Journal also enthusiastically recruits students joining the CLS community from other law schools and has a strong tradition of transfer participation. Several of our recent board members,  joined us after transferring from other law schools.

Applications to CJEL should include:

  1. A 5-10 page writing sample such as a moot court brief, an entry from a legal writing competition, or a comparable piece of writing;
  2. A personal statement explaining your interest in being a part of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law (2 double-spaced pages maximum);
  3.  A copy of your current resume;
  4.  A copy of your law school transcript.

Please make sure that your name appears at the top of all submitted materials. The personal statement will receive particular attention, but we will consider the application as a whole in making a determination.  Continuing student recruitment begins at the end of the Spring semester; transfer student recruitment typically begins in August. 

Please contact the Editor-in-Chief at if you would like to discuss the journal in more detail.