Academic Programs and Resources FAQ
For what areas of study is Columbia Law School best known?
Columbia Law School has unique strengths in many areas of legal scholarship in terms of institutional resources, curricular breadth and depth, and faculty research and practice. Some of these areas are:
- International, Foreign, and Comparative Law
- Public Interest and Human Rights Law
- Corporate, Securities, and Transactional Law
- National Security Law
- Environmental Law
- Intellectual Property Law
- Gender and Sexuality Law
- Legal History and Legal Theory
View a full list of courses available at Columbia Law School.
Does Columbia Law School offer joint degree programs? What is the process like?
Columbia Law School offers numerous joint degree programs—most with the graduate and professional schools of Columbia University and a handful with non-Columbia graduate programs. Applications to the two programs must be filed separately, and prospective joint degree students may apply concurrently or during the first and sometimes second years of either program.
Read more detailed information about these opportunities.
Can I study abroad during my time at the Law School?
J.D. students may choose from 30 study abroad programs in 14 countries or create their own semester-abroad program through the Law School’s Independent Study Abroad option. Columbia Law School students in good academic standing may spend time abroad during either their second or third year.
We also have an International Programs Office that serves as a resource for interested students.
In what student law journals can I participate at Columbia?
Columbia Law School is home to 14 student law journals, including the Columbia Law Review, many of which are the leading scholarly publications in their respective fields. J.D. students may actively participate in all of the student journals, with most of the journals selecting their members through a writing competition at the end of the first year. With some exceptions, students participate in law journals during their upperclass years.
What degrees are offered at Columbia Law School?
Columbia Law School offers three degrees:
- The J.D. (Juris Doctor) is the first postgraduate law degree awarded in the United States. Upon successful completion of the Bar exam, individuals holding the J.D. degree are qualified to practice law in this country.
- The LL.M. (Master of Laws) is a one-year program primarily geared toward foreign-trained lawyers who, having already earned their home country’s J.D. equivalent, are interested in studying the American legal system. If you would like to learn more about our LL.M. program, please contact the Office of Graduate Legal Studies directly.
- The J.S.D. (Doctor of the Science of Law) is a doctorate degree for which a prior law degree, as well as the submission and oral defense of a dissertation, is required. Admission to the J.S.D. program at Columbia Law School is normally restricted to applicants who desire a career in legal academia. If you would like to learn more about our J.S.D. program, please contact the Office of Graduate Legal Studies directly.
What support systems are in place for disabled students?
Columbia Law School works directly with the University's Office of Disability Services (ODS) to make personalized accommodations for enrolled law students with disabilities.
Does Columbia Law School have a part-time or evening program?
Columbia Law School does not offer any part-time, evening, summer, or distance-learning programs.