For Columbia students, this program consists of two years of law study at Columbia Law School followed by two years of study at one of the following schools at the University of London: University College London; London School of Economics; King's College (London). Upon the successful completion of the four years of study, participants receive the J.D. from Columbia and the LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws) from the University of London college. Thus, the number of years normally required for obtaining these degrees (three years at Columbia and three years at the University of London) is considerably reduced. Those graduates who have chosen to do a "qualifying LL.B." course of study in London qualify for admission to the bar examinations in both the United States and England. The aim of the program is to train lawyers who will be exceptionally well qualified to practice law on an international level. Students will have a solid grounding in U.S., English and European law, and will be eligible and well qualified to practice law in the U.S. and England. The program is especially well suited to students who plan to practice in the area of capital markets.
Application Process for U.S. Students
Columbia students 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 (UCL, LSE, Kings or SOAS). We try to accommodate students' preferences; however, in some instances this may not be possible and students may be assigned to another school. Applications are reviewed at Columbia and at the host school. Interviews may be arranged in addition to the written applications. Those students who are interested in private practice in both the U.S. and England are particularly strong candidates for this program. 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. In addition, our partner schools require students to complete their LL.B. application for final approval.
Curriculum at Columbia Law School Students are expected to take all required Foundation courses in the first and second years. In the second year of studies at Columbia, students must take 31 credits of law studies (under this program, language courses and other courses offered outside of the Law School are not counted toward the J.D. degree). Prior to the third year of study, students must take the Profession of Law course for 1 credit. Therefore, students take 62 credits at Columbia; the remaining 21 credits needed in order to graduate are taken in London. Students should complete their pro bono and writing requirements during their 2L year at Columbia.
Curriculum at the University of London
The Law Society and the Bar Council require that students take the "seven pillars of the law" in order to receive a "qualifying LL.B." that allows the recipient to qualify for practice. These subjects are: contracts and torts, administrative law, property and trusts, jurisprudence, criminal law, constitutional law, and European law. Our partner colleges in London have inquired with the Law Society and the Bar Council to determine whether courses taken at Columbia may fulfill some of these requirements. Thus, it is possible that one or more of the mandatory subjects may be waived for participants in this program. If we cannot obtain a waiver of some or all of the English core subjects, students will have to take the required subjects plus an additional 1 to 2 subjects of their own choosing. Each school differs slightly in the organization of its courses; to see the particulars of each school as well as a list of their optional 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.
The academic calendar in London may vary slightly from school to school. In general, the autumn term is from the middle of September to mid-December. The spring semester is from early January through the end of March. The final exam period is from the end of April through early June.
Requirements for Student Performance and Grading Methods Classes are held as lectures, tutorials, and seminars. Students are generally evaluated through written assignments, research papers, and tests, as well as a major written examination for each subject at the end of the year. Attendance is crucial for successful completion of the program and is mandatory in seminars and tutorials.
Students are graded on the following system: first class honors, second class honors, third class honors, and pass. Students who have not passed first year exams may retake exams in August or September of their second year at the University of London.
Twenty-one academic credits are granted toward the J.D. after the two years of study in London. The Columbia transcript does not list courses taken or grades received at the University of London, but will merely states that 21 credits were earned for foreign study abroad. The host school issues a transcript showing courses and grades. The ABA requires that Columbia receive and review copies of written work submitted while abroad. Therefore, it is necessary for students to submit copies of all course work at the end of each semester.
Tuition and Fees at Columbia and University of London
Students pay full tuition during the first 2 years of the program at Columbia. In each of the third and the fourth years in London, students are required to pay 50% of the normal tuition fees. Other fees at Columbia, including student activity fees, are waived. 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 tuition at the University of London is paid by Columbia. Students may be expected to pay some modest student fees while studying in London.
Students' financial aid is not affected by participation in this program. In the third and fourth years of the program, financial aid packages are split over the two years. Depending on lifestyle, our partners estimates that living in London for a year costs a student approximately £7,700-8,000 ($11,500-12,000 at an exchange rate of £1.00 = $1.55). This may be slightly low and students should also expect to spend an additional £750.00 (plus airfare) to cover expenditures associated with relocation. It should be noted that students have found London to be much more expensive than New York.
It appears that finding accommodations in London on the open market is somewhat easier than in New York. Depending on the school, accommodations may be obtained through the university. Housing provided through the University can run from £65-100 per week.
Our partner schools reserves 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 International Programs and Graduate Studies 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.