Resources for Students

Resources for Students

The Center for Gender & Sexuality Law sees itself as a resource for students at Columbia Law School and at the Colleges of Columbia University and Barnard College.

We encourage students who are interested in developing events and programs focused on issues of gender, sexuality, reproductive rights, civil rights, and social justice advocacy to contact us - we are happy to co-support events and programs in the University community, and to promote your events and programs via our Social Media feeds.

We also are happy to provide support and insight to students at Columbia University who have concerns about issues of gender, sexuality, identity, and equal access to rights and resources on campus. 

If you are a student seeking support, either for events or programming or for another issue, contact Lilia Hadjiivanova, the Assistant Director of the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law:

Lilia Hadjiivanova 
Assistant Director
+1 (212) 854-0167
[email protected]

Other Institutes, Centers and Programs

The Center for Gender and Sexuality Law works closely with other Centers and Offices at Columbia Law School and Columbia University to provide Columbia University, Barnard College, and the wider community with events, courses, programs, and opportunities to explore issues related to social justice, advocacy work, and civil rights issues. A few of the prominent Centers and Offices we work with most frequently are listed below.

The Barnard Center for Research on Women

The Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW) brings scholars and activists together through its working groups, public events, publications, and multimedia projects to advance intersectional social justice feminist analyses and to promote social transformation. BCRW is committed to vibrant and engaged research, pedagogy, art, and activism, supporting the work of scholars and activists to create new knowledge and to challenge and refine how we understand the world around us. Since its founding in 1971, the BCRW has cultivated collaborative and accountable relationships with community organizations, activists, and cultural workers in New York City, across the US, and transnationally. From its signature annual Scholar and Feminist Conference to its peer-reviewed journal S&F Online, unique collection of feminist social movement ephemera (housed in the Barnard College Archives), constantly expanding video archive, and recently inaugurated Social Justice Initiative, BCRW remains committed to critical feminist engagement with the academy and the world.

The Institute for Research on Women, Gender and Sexuality

The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality is the locus of interdisciplinary feminist and queer scholarship and teaching at Columbia University. Offering an undergraduate degree program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and graduate certification in Feminist Scholarship, the Institute draws its core and affiliated faculty from many disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and from Columbia’s many schools. IRWGS provides rigorous training in interdisciplinary scholarly, pedagogical, and activist practice and prepares undergraduate students for professional work or advanced academic study. Undergraduate and graduate courses survey the history and theory of gender and/or sexuality studies and provide in-depth study of multidirectional engagements between gender, sexuality, race, class, and other markers of social difference. Graduate students are invited to join the Institute’s lively scholarly community as certificate students, Graduate Fellows, or Graduate Teaching Assistants. 

The Human Rights Institute

The Human Rights Institute serves as the focal point of international human rights education, scholarship and practice at Columbia Law School. The Institute currently focuses on a number of key themes, and,throughout the year, hosts a wide array of symposia, lectures, and other events to bring practitioners and scholars together.

The Office of Social Justice Initiatives

Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) provides career services and programming for students and graduates interested in public interest, international human rights, public service/government, and legal volunteer work. SJI also implements and oversees Columbia Law School's Pro Bono Program, which connects students with attorney-supervised projects in the public good, as well as the Law School's Guaranteed Summer Funding Program.

Professor Katherine Franke and the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law partner with the Office of Social Justice Initiatives to provide programs to new students at Columbia Law School interested in pursuing careers in social justice advocacy lawyering.

The Center for the Study of Law and Culture

The mission of the Center for the Study of Law and Culture at Columbia University (CSLC) is to facilitate interdisciplinary study, research, and scholarship on the intersections of law and culture. The Center for the Study of Law and Culture is directed by Professor Kendall Thomas

Starting from the twin premises that law is a cultural form and that culture carries the regulative force of legal practices and norms, the CSLC seeks to advance a wide range of work in law and culture studies. Embracing an expansive definition of culture as a concept whose boundaries range from the aesthetic to the political, the CSLC supports projects that understand law in a strict institutional or positivist sense, as well as those that approach law more generally as a regime for ordering social life, constructing cultural meaning, and shaping group and individual identities. 

The African American Policy Forum

Founded in 1996, The African American Policy Forum (AAPF) is an innovative think tank that connects academics, activists and policy-makers to promote efforts to dismantle structural inequality. The AAPF utilizes new ideas and innovative perspectives to transform public discourse and policy. The AAPF promotes  frameworks and strategies that address a vision of racial justice that embraces the intersections of race, gender, class, and the array of barriers that disempower those who are marginalized in society. The AAPF is dedicated to advancing and expanding racial justice, gender equality, and the indivisibility of all human rights, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Student Organizations and Publications  

Columbia Law School offers multiple opportunities for students to engage with issues regarding gender, sexuality, reproductive rights, civil rights, and racial justice outside the classroom through a variety of student-run organizations and publications.  The organizations below are a selection of all of those offered at Columbia Law.  A full list of Student Groups at Columbia Law School may be found here.

ACLU at Columbia

The Columbia Law School chapter of the ACLU 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. It also engages in activism, such as petitioning state and federal officials, election monitoring, or distributing information to inform citizens of their rights. 

Contact e-mail: [email protected]

American Constitution Society

The Columbia Law School chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS) brings together powerful, relevant ideas and passionate, talented people to advance progressive values in the constitutional, legal, and public policy debates that continue to shape our democracy. Our chapter works to amplify progressive voices and create an open and inclusive space for legal thinking at CLS. Things we do: protect the right to vote; advocate for reform in our broken criminal justice system; pursue justice for historically marginalized groups including racial and ethnic minorities and members of the LGBTQIA community; support a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented Americans; advance the scholarship of innovative, progressive legal thinkers; and so much more.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]

Civil Rights Law Society

The Civil Rights Law Society is an organization dedicated to initiating discourse on civil rights issues, domestic and international, both within and beyond the Law School community. The group seeks to support the academic and professional development of Columbia Law students who hope to one day practice in the area of civil rights law or who are committed to social justice. CRLS is also committed to connecting students to a variety of pro bono projects held in New York City and across the country.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]

Columbia Human Rights Law Review

The Columbia Human Rights Law Review (HRLR) seeks to publish and distribute legal analysis and discussion of civil liberties and human rights under both international and domestic law. HRLR believes that thoughtful discussion of human rights issues and broad dissemination of information about legal remedies for human rights violations promote human rights around the world.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]

Columbia Journal of Gender and Law

The Journal publishes interdisciplinary works rooted in feminist inquiry with the aim of promoting dialogue, debate, and awareness that will broaden the very concept of feminism as one that critically engages multiple and varied forms of social hierarchy and power differentials and their relation to the law.

Contact e-mail: [email protected] 

Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems

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.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]

Columbia Law Feminist Society

The Columbia Law Feminist Society (CLFS) aims to promote feminist voices on campus and inspire Columbia Law School students to incorporate feminist viewpoints into their approach to the study of law and the legal profession, through social justice activities and engagement with contemporary issues.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]

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 fosters an inclusive community for women within the Law School and provides career and academic resources to members and to the law school community.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]

Domestic Violence Project

The Domestic Violence Project raises awareness about domestic violence and provides legal services to survivors. Under its umbrella are four pro bono initiatives, including the Courtroom Advocates Project, which helps survivors obtain orders of protection against abusive partners; the Uncontested Divorce Workshop, which assists low-income women, who are also victims of domestic violence, obtain divorces from their batterers; the Human Trafficking Intervention Court Project provides immigration screenings to potential victims of trafficking who have been arrested for prostitution-related offenses; and the U-Visa project, which assists undocumented immigrants in abusive relationships in obtaining residency status.

All students with an interest in issues of domestic violence are welcome to join our pro bono initiatives and participate in DVP events.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]

Empowering Women of Color

Empowering Women of Color (EWOC) exists to champion diverse women at Columbia Law School in light of the unique challenges they face in the legal profession. The group provides a safe space for collaboration and dialogue about issues relevant to women of color, supports members in their development as full participants in academic, professional, and personal communities, and strives to ensure that the greater Columbia Law School community is an environment where all members feel valued, respected, and empowered.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]

If/When/How: Lawyering for Reproductive Justice

If/When/How is a national network of law students and professionals committed to promoting reproductive justice.  We fight to ensure everyone can decide if, when, and how to create and sustain families with dignity—free from discrimination, coercion, or violence. The organization educates, organizes, and supports law students with extensive resources, and career and advocacy opportunities to advance reproductive justice.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]


OutLaws is Columbia Law School’s LGBTQA student organization. Our primary goal to create a safe space for LGBTQA students to develop professionally, socially, and academically. We are friendly and inclusive and welcome the participation of all students.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]


Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) serves as a safe space and an empowerment resource for QTPOC and QTPOC allies at Columbia Law School. This group recognizes that identity is intersectional and creates spaces where folks can embrace and celebrate gender expression, sexual orientation, as well as racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]


Rightslink is a student-run human rights organization dedicated to fostering a human rights community within the law school. We provide students with opportunities to engage in human rights advocacy and research, as well as to connect with practitioners and academics around New York. Working closely with the Human Rights Institute, Social Justice Initiatives, and the Human Rights Clinic, Rightslink organizes a variety of events, research projects, and trainings on human rights issues throughout the year. 

Contact e-mail: [email protected]  

Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

The Society for Immigrant and Refugee Rights is dedicated to fostering a diverse community at Columbia focused on promoting the legal rights of refugees and immigrants. During the school year, SIRR sponsors guest panels, administers various pro bono projects, and leads trips domestically and abroad.

Contact e-mail: [email protected]