This program consists of two years of law study at Columbia Law School followed by one year of study at one of the former colleges at the University of London: University College London; London School of Economics; King's College (London); and the School of Oriental and African Studies ("SOAS"). Upon the successful completion of the three years of study, participants will receive the J.D. from Columbia and the LL.M. from the school attended. The curricula at the law faculties provide students an opportunity to select among a wide array of graduate law courses. Thus, participation in this program enables students to conduct advanced legal studies in a multitude of fields including, but not limited to: private international law, human rights law, intellectual property law, European law, Islamic law, Asian law, public international law, European financial law, etc.
Application Process for U.S. Students Columbia students must apply in their first year of study at Columbia (February or March). At the time of application, students must designate which school is their preferred "home" institution (i.e., UCL, SOAS, LSE or Kings). We try to accommodate students' preferences; however, in some instances this may not be possible and students may be assigned to another school. In addition to the written application, a resume and Columbia transcript should be attached. Applications are reviewed at Columbia and at the London School. Interviews may be arranged in addition to the written applications. To download an application to this program, please scroll down to bottom of this page.
Since academic performance is an important criterion for participation in this program, selected students must provide transcripts from their second year at Columbia for final approval by Columbia. In addition, students are required to complete the LL.M. application for the individual school to which they have applied.
Curriculum at Columbia Law School Students are expected to take all required Foundation courses during the 1L year, 31 law credits during the 2L year, and must meet all other requirements of the JD degree. Students will receive 18 credits for course work in London, and are required to take a supervised research paper (for 3 credits registered at CLS) under a Columbia Law professor, while abroad (making a total of 21 credits during the final year in London).
Note that language courses and courses outside the law school are not counted toward the JD degree for students participating in double degree programs. Participation in this program is subject to a final review of the second year transcript. Moreover, all course selections for the 2L year must be approved by the Office of International Programs.
Students should complete either their major or minor writing credit and pro bono requirement during the 2L year at Columbia.
Curriculum in London Year long courses are the norm and students generally enroll in four such courses. In addition to the year-long courses, there is a limited number of courses lasting one semester. Therefore, students may take from 4-6 subjects: 2 yearlong offerings plus either 2 additional yearlong or 4 semester-length courses.
Students may also elect to write a 15,000-word research paper in place of one course. Each school differs slightly in the organization of its courses; to see the particulars of each school as well as a list of their courses, please visit their websites:
It should be noted that the ABA does not permit Columbia to grant students academic credit for non-law courses. Therefore, all selections must be from one of the various law departments at the University of London.
For SOAS, King's and UCL the LL.M. program is one year (12 months) in duration and is operated on a trimester system. The first trimester begins in late September or early October and ends in mid-December; the second session is from early to mid-January through the end of March; and the third trimester is from the end of April through mid-June. The written examinations take place from mid-August through mid-September. Therefore participating students are not eligible to take the bar exam at the end of July, but have to do so in February following graduation.
Requirements for Student Performance and Grading Methods Classes are conducted as seminars or lectures meeting on a weekly basis for 1 to 2 hours. Students are generally evaluated through written assignments, research papers and tests, with primary emphasis on a major written examination for each subject at the end of the year. In the place of a written examination, students may be permitted to submit a supervised research paper for two subjects. Again, the rules differ from college to college. Attendance is crucial for successful completion of the program. Students are graded on a numerical basis that may differ slightly from one college to another. For example, at UCL a grade of 0-39 = Fail, 40-44 = Pass, 45-49 = 3rd class, 50-59 = 2:2 (lower second), 60-69 = 2:1 (upper second), 70+ = 1:1 (first class).
Eighteen academic credits are granted toward the J.D. after the year of LL.M. study in London in addition to the three Columbia supervised research credits earned during the year abroad. The Columbia transcript does not list courses taken or grades received at the University of London, but merely states that 18 credits were earned for foreign study abroad. The University of London College issues a transcript showing courses and grades. The ABA requires that Columbia receive and review copies of written work submitted at the University of London. Therefore, it is necessary for students to submit copies of all course-work at the end of each semester.
Tuition and Fees
Students pay full tuition for the 3 years of the program. Other fees at Columbia, including student activity fees, are waived during the third year. Insurance fees can be waived if proof of alternative coverage is provided. If alternative health insurance is provided, Health Service fees can also be waived. The London tuition is paid by Columbia. Students may be expected to pay some modest student fees while studying in London. Columbia students are eligible for the National Health Service.
Financial Issues Students' financial aid is not affected by participation in this program; the amount of financial aid awarded does not increase or decrease as a result of participating in this program. Depending on lifestyle, the University of London estimates that living in London for a year costs a student approximately £7,700-8,000 ($11,500-12,000; £1.00 = $1.49858 as of August 1, 2001). This may be slightly low and students also should expect to spend an additional £750.00 (plus airfare) to cover expenditures associated with relocation. Students have indicated that living in London is more expensive than in New York.
Housing It appears that finding accommodations in London on the open market is somewhat easier than in New York. Depending on the college, assistance in locating accommodations may be available. Housing provided through the University can run anywhere from £65-100 per week.
Our partner schools reserve the right to cancel any course for reasons of insufficient student registration. Students should receive due notice to that effect. If changes are announced prior to a student's departure from the U.S., and the student is unable to identify satisfactory substitute courses, he or she may choose to withdraw from the program. If cancellation occurs after the student has arrived in London, substitute courses must be selected and submitted for approval to the Dean of Comparative and International Programs of Columbia Law School.
Office of International Programs
tel: (212) 854-8170; fax: (212) 851-7691
Columbia Law School
435 W. 116th St
New York, NY 10027
Columbia Law School's Office of International Programs is located at:
William and June Warren Hall (WJ)
1125 Amsterdam Avenue, 6th Floor.