We’re excited that you’re considering running for a masthead position in JOLT! There are a number of exciting positions to run for, all of which are listed here. You can run for more than one position, and are encouraged to do so! Elections are sequential, not simultaneous, so if you are not elected to a position you run for first, you will have the opportunity to drop down.

Joining the JOLT masthead means being a part of an incredible team known not only for putting out a top notch journal, but also for incredible speaker events, social events, and having an incredible community of people interested in the same things you are.

Below is a guide to how elections work, from researching the different positions through the actual election mechanics. Don’t be shy to get in touch with the Editors-in-Chief (jolt@mail.law.harvard.edu) if you have any questions or concerns.

Researching Positions

The following basic procedure is a good starting point for individuals thinking about running for a position on the masthead:

  1. Read the position's description at JOLT Masthead.
  2. Contact the current holder of the position to express your interest.
  3. Meet with the current holder of the position to ask questions and find out more about the job.

For EIC candidates, we also recommend meeting with other members of the current masthead to develop your platform and determine how to improve JOLT. Successful EIC candidates in the past have made an effort to meet with many masthead and other members of the journal prior to the election. Please do not, however, send out a questionnaire to the entire JOLT email list (or any subset thereof) without first getting permission!

Declaring Your Candidacy

JOLT members may declare their candidacy by submitting a Candidate Declaration Form, including a Candidate Statement, before the deadline. Please keep a lookout for the JOLT Newsletter in January for Candidate Declaration

Candidate Statements

Candidates may submit a brief statement of no more than 300 words for each position they are running for. EIC candidates must submit a statement of no more than 600 words. These limits apply to individual candidates and to slates — both a slate of two and an individual candidate are limited to 300 words. Statements that exceed the word limits will be truncated. There are no requirements for what must be included in candidate statements. Common topics of discussion are the following:

  • Your qualifications for the position.
  • Any changes, suggestions, and ideas you have for the masthead position for which you are running.
  • For EIC candidates, big-picture views on the future of JOLT.

Campaign Guidelines

You are welcome to meet with current members of the masthead, the journal generally, and other possible candidates to discuss your candidacy. However, candidates may not send campaign emails to any of the JOLT email lists. Candidates are instead encouraged to leverage the JOLT Slack to publicize their platform.

Candidate statements will be emailed to all JOLT members. Members will have a chance to ask questions on election night.


Many JOLT positions are filled by slates of two people. Some further notes:

  • Slates of two typically fill the following positions: Editors-in-Chief, Outreach Editors, Speakers Editors
  • If you wish to run as a slate for any of the positions listed above, you must declare it on the Candidate Declaration Form.
  • If you decide to run as a slate, please be prepared to explain (1) why and (2) what advantages your slate will offer.
  • An individual cannot run both as an individual and as a slate for any given position. They can, however, run as an individual for some positions and as part of a slate for others.
  • If one member of a slate wins a position elected earlier in the elections process, the second member of the slate may choose to run as an individual in future races or to withdraw their name from consideration.
  • No new slates can be formed after candidate statements are due.
  • Two people running as a slate should only submit one Candidate Declaration form.

Election Procedures


Members of JOLT who have participated on the Journal for at least one semester are invited to run for a masthead position, but each position requires a unique set of skills that any potential candidate should consider when deciding what to run for. You may run for as many Masthead positions as you would like. JOLT elections are drop-down, meaning they proceed position-by-position and candidates not elected to a given position may elect to run for the next position. You must declare which positions you would like to drop down to in your candidate declaration form. We will try our best to order the elections such that everyone runs for their first position earlier in the night, but if that is not possible we will get in touch with the candidate to let them choose which positions to run for given the order.

Election Procedures

For each position, candidates first will have an opportunity to give a five-minute speech. After the speeches, voters will have an opportunity to ask questions of all candidates.

All candidates for the position at issue will then be asked to step outside of the room, giving the voters an opportunity to discuss the different candidates amongst themselves. We ask that the conversation be restricted to constructive feedback and only when the voter has experience working with them within JOLT. After discussion, a vote will be taken by secret ballot.


All candidates running for any position will have the opportunity to make a speech. Candidates are given three minutes each for their speeches, with the exception of EIC candidates, who are given six minutes per candidacy. There are no required topics for candidate speeches. Past speeches often discussed:

  • Past leadership experience with JOLT
  • Why you are interested in the position
  • Plans and initiatives for the coming year

Everyone at elections will have access to your candidate statement, so candidates should use their speeches to expand/elaborate on the key topics.


After all speeches for one position, voters will have an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates. Candidates will each receive approximately 30-60 seconds to answer each question, with the first candidate to answer rotating between questions. The Q&A session will be limited to approximately 5 minutes (10 minutes for the EIC position).


After the Q&A session, all candidates will be asked to leave the room. Voters will then have an opportunity to discuss the candidates. All voters may participate; individuals who have worked with the candidates on JOLT or can otherwise speak to their qualifications are strongly encouraged to participate. An outgoing member of Masthead will have each candidate's JOLT evaluations on hand and will give a brief synopsis (if requested) of the information. No names of the evaluators will be mentioned and no specific comments read aloud. The discussion will be moderated. While personal attacks are not permitted, voters should feel free to discuss the candidate's skills and weaknesses that are relevant to the position. All voters will be reminded not to share the discussion with the candidates after elections. Confidentiality enables people to speak candidly so that voters less familiar with the candidates have access to information relevant to their decision. Candidates will be instructed (and should remember) not to inquire into the nature/comments made by voters during the discussion.


Any current student who has participated on JOLT for at least one semester during the current school year and who attends the election is eligible to vote. Absentee voting is not permitted. Voters will be required to sign in upon arrival and sign out upon departure.

Votes will be cast electronically and by secret ballot. While the winner will be announced, the vote count will not be publicly announced or available.