Nestled in the heart of New York City, Columbia Law School is part of Columbia University and one of five Ivy League law schools. It is generally ranked in the top five of the country's law schools by U.S. News and World Report (currently #4) and is one of the most selective, with a 2007 acceptance rate of 15.9%.
Columbia Law offers a first-rate legal education in one of the most exciting and most important legal cities in the world; if you want to be at the center of legal action upon graduation, Columbia Law is a great choice.
Columbia Law School's 3-year full-time Juris Doctor (J.D.) program operates from mid-August to mid-May; no part-time or evening programs are available. Housing information is available through University Apartment Housing.
435 W. 116 St.
New York, New York 10027
Fast Facts (Class of 2010)
Total enrollment: 371
Native American: 1%
Student to Faculty Ratio: 1: 9.5
LSAT Median: 172
LSAT Mean: 171
LSAT 25/75 Percentile: 169-174
UGPA Median: 3.70
UGPA Mean: 3.68
UGPA 25/75 Percentile: 3.56-3.81
Costs and Fees (2008-2009)
Mandatory fees (health services, activities and facilities): $1,550
Insurance/medical coverage (unless proof of coverage): $1,498
Total estimated budget for 9-month academic year: $68,000
Application fee: $75
Application deadline: Apply between September 1 and February 15 for admission the following fall.
Applicants can request a paper application or download a writable PDF version of Columbia Law School's application from the school's website. Electronic applications through the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) are also accepted.
Applicants must submit:
- Biographical Information Sheet
- Personal Profile Sheet
- Personal Statement/Essay
- Two letters of recommendation
Of approximately 400 applications received each year, 45-60 will be accepted and enroll. Transfer applicants must have a minimum of 28 and a maximum of 32 credits from a law school that is a member of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS); first-year performance in law school is of "paramount" importance.
Transfer applicants must complete the online application; deadlines are July 15 for the fall term and December 1 for the spring term.
For more information on transferring to Columbia Law School, see Transfer Admission.
Degrees and Curriculum
In order to earn a Juris Doctor degree, a student must acquire 83 points of credit. For specific requirements, see Rules for the J.D. Degree.
The first-year curriculum includes Legal Methods, Legal Practice Workshop, Civil Procedure, and Contracts and Torts in the fall; Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Property, Foundation Year Moot Court, and an elective in the spring. Students choose all courses during the second and third years of study.
Columbia offers several joint degree programs in which students can earn a J.D. along with another professional degree from one of Columbia's graduate or professional schools, or from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; applications to the programs must be filed separately.
Columbia Law School also offers degree programs for Masters of Laws (LL.M.) and Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.). More information on these degrees is available from the Office of Graduate Legal Studies.
Columbia has 13 semester study abroad programs in 11 countries, including Argentina, China, France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Singapore and South Africa. Students may also design their own study abroad programs with other universities.
Law Journals and Other ActivitiesColumbia Law School has 14 student journals, including Columbia Law Review, Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, and the National Black Law Journal.
Along with many student organizations, the law school has specialized Programs and Centers for specific legal interests including the Center for Public Interest Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Human Rights Institute.Bar Exam Passage Rate
A majority of Columbia Law students take the New York State Bar Exam and, in 2007, achieved a 95.6% pass rate. The overall pass rate for the NY Bar Exam was 77%.
From the 2006 graduating class, 99.2% were employed at graduation and the same percentage were employed nine months after graduation. Starting salaries in the private sector averaged $145,000, and $55,000 in the public sector.
Seventy-nine percent of the Class of 2006 secured work in law firms, 9% received judicial clerkships, 9% went to public interest, government or academic positions, and 3% entered the business field.