Prospective Members

Welcome to the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy (BJALP)!

BJALP provides Berkeley Law students the opportunity to edit and publish a scholarly periodical focusing on legal and policy issues of concern to African-Americans. We strive to explore legal issues, expand understandings of legal systems, create and sustain a forum for expression of diverse points of view, provide students with an opportunity to gain law review experience, share information and ideas, and – while acknowledging diversity within the African-American community – promote unity both within the community and outside it.

As a journal member you will be challenged to think critically, edit precisely, publish your own writing, and produce a polished scholarly journal in cooperation with other students. Because BJALP generally has a smaller membership than many other Berkeley Law journals, new members are involved meaningfully in selecting and editing pieces. All members are encouraged to submit manuscripts for publication. Even though the goal of BJALP is to address issues salient to African-Americans and the African Diaspora, BJALP is open to ALL students who are interested.

Membership Requirements

BJALP depends on the cooperation and good-faith efforts of all its members to ensure the accuracy, quality, and timeliness of each issue. Any student who commits to completing the following requirements may be a member of BJALP.

General Member Requirements

  1. Complete one editing process per semester. This includes the following and other assignments as determined by the Editor(s)-in-Chief, Senior Articles Editor, and Associate Articles Editors:
    1. Macro-Edit: This is an opportunity for general members to participate in the substantive editing process. Once an article has been accepted the Associate Articles Editor assigned to the article will conduct a meeting with at least three other journal members who have also read the article. At this meeting the article will be assessed for coherency, clarity, organization, and other macro editorial issues. Members are encouraged to sign up for articles concerning a subject in which they have particular expertise or interest.
    2. Source Collection: Members will be asked to collect all the sources listed in a particular section of the manuscript.
    3. Micro-Edits/Line Edits: Members will be asked to check for typographical errors, sentence construction, subject-verb agreement, punctuation, and other micro editorial issues in a section of the manuscript. Please refer to the Micro-Edits/Line Edits handout for further information.
    4. Cite-Checking: Members will be asked to edit citations in a section of the manuscript. All citations must be checked for proper Bluebook format and source support. In addition to protecting BJALP from plagiarism, cite-checking aids our readers, who use our published articles as references and sources for the work they are doing. For this reason, the efforts put into cite-checking must be meticulous. (For more information on cite-checking, consult the Cite-Checking Manual.)
    5. Bluebook: Members will be asked to conform all citations to the Bluebook.
  2. Complete 25 Journal hours per year. Each member is responsible for tracking their hours and reporting these to the Managing Editor. The following qualify for hours:
    1. Successful completion of the editorial process described above.
    2. Attending lunch-time general membership meetings (max. 1 hour)
    3. Assisting with administrative/office tasks, including cleaning the office, addressing and stuffing envelopes, and other tasks determined by the Editor(s)-in-Chief.
    4. Extra assignments given by Articles Editors.
    5. Assisting with BJALP events, including planning, set-up and cleanup.
    6. Attending BJALP or BJALP-sponsored events.
    7. Other duties as determined by an Editorial Board Member.
  3. Pay dues. Dues are currently set at $20 per semester/$40 per year.

Membership for Academic Credit

Second- and third-year students may register to earn a unit of academic credit for Journal membership per semester. To receive the credit, a student must register using the CCN provided by the Managing Editor at the beginning of the semester, and must complete at least 56 verified hours per semester. At Berkeley Law, each student may earn a maximum of two journal units – from any journal – to be applied toward the total required for graduating. If you are interested in receiving academic credit for your work on the journal please see the Managing Editor within the first few weeks of the semester. At the end of the semester the Editor(s)-in-Chief will determine whether the student has actually completed the commitment.