Membership

What is the Civil Rights Law Journal?

The Civil Rights Law Journal (CRLJ) is a student-run publication at George Mason University School of Law. CRLJ publishes articles that span a wide spectrum of topics relating to civil rights, including issues arising under the Bill of Rights and Fourteenth Amendment. Recent articles have addressed issues on race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, free speech, abortion rights, cruel and unusual punishment, search and seizure, voting rights, rights of the disabled, and the Second Amendment. CRLJ encourages legal scholars, attorneys, and judges to submit articles for publication that promote a greater understanding of the law, serve as a catalyst for evolution in the law, and provide a source of legal authority and analysis for the legal community.

Membership Selection Process

First year day and evening students and second year evening students with a GPA of 2.75 or higher are eligible for membership. To apply, all eligible students must participate in the end of year Write-on Competition. CRLJ will select 15-30 students on the basis of their weighted scores. Each student’s write-on submission and GPA will each compose 45% of their weighted score with a Bluebook exam composing the remaining 10%. Additionally, CRLJ reserves the right to select as much as 10% of its incoming Candidate Member class based on an overall evaluation of the Candidate Member’s application.

Reasons to Join Civil Rights Law Journal

CRLJ offers students an important opportunity to build their resumes while also honing their research, writing, and editing skills. Law firms, government agencies, judges, and other employers weigh journal membership heavily in their hiring decisions because of the practical training it provides and the hard work and dedication it demonstrates. In addition, CLRJ membership provides an opportunity to meet new people and build close relationships while learning about exciting areas of law. While CRLJ members are hard working, the environment is relaxed and friendly. Fellow journal members serve as a valuable source for class outlines and notes; recommendations on fall and clerkship hiring; and mentoring on Candidate Member casesnotes or comments. Finally, in completing their casenote or comment, each Candidate Member has an opportunity to compete for the honor of being published in the following year’s volume.

Candidate Member Responsibilities

Candidate members have several responsibilities. First, a candidate member is required to write a scholarly article exploring a body of law pertaining to civil rights from a unique perspective. The typical article is anywhere from 25-50 pages double-spaced. To help candidate members write their first scholarly article, the law school offers a one-credit course, aptly titled “Scholarly Writing,” in which all candidate members must enroll. Candidate members are also assigned 9 “spading” assignments throughout the year. Spading consists of reviewing the footnotes in a forthcoming article to ensure that the cited material supports the statement the author asserts and that the citations follow proper Bluebook formatting. A typical spading assignment takes 3-4 hours, and is usually due within 3-5 days of being assigned. Full membership is contingent upon satisfactory completion of all spading assignments and composition of an article of publishable quality.

Contact Information

If you have any further questions regarding the CRLJ, the membership selection process, or candidate member requirements, please do not hesitate to e-mail the Board of Editors at membership@civilrightslawjournal.com or contact the CRLJ Managing Editor at managingeditor@civilrightslawjournal.com.