About the Journal

The Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems (JLSP), established in 1965, is one of the oldest legal publications at Columbia Law School. Since its founding, one of JLSP’s missions has been to remind its readers of the law’s responsibility to serve the public good. To that end, the Journal emphasizes the sociological, economic, and political impact of legal issues. As a result, JLSP’s target audience includes not only judges and lawyers but also Congress, state legislatures, regulatory agencies, and members of the public.

JLSP is the only Columbia Law journal that is entirely student-written. Thus, members have an excellent chance to publish a Note. Because JLSP is a general interest journal covering the broad area of “law and social problems,” it is a forum for students interested in several legal areas, in a legal area not covered by any other journal, or uncertain about their particular area of interest. This general interest publication is valued in the legal community, as is reflected by JLSP’s numerous citations in opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court, federal appellate courts, federal district courts, and state supreme courts, as well as articles and treatises.


Membership on JLSP presents a valuable social and educational opportunity. Following the required training session, second-year staff members will begin their editorial assignments. From editing the content of Notes to checking the substantive and formal accuracy of citations, second-year staff members are vital to the editorial process. These detail-oriented responsibilities not only contribute to the generation of JLSP but also provide practical experience for staff members. Most importantly, all of our staff members are required to research and write a Note on an original topic for potential publication. Many take this opportunity to satisfy their major writing requirement or receive independent research credit. At the end of their second year, students may choose to serve in a wide array of positions on the JLSP Editorial Board. The editors supervise the writing, editing, administration, and production of JLSP. Editors may receive academic credit by completing a course at the end of the summer preceding their third year.