Yellows leaves on the cherry trees in Revson Plaza in autumn

Experiential Learning

Under the guidance of full-time faculty and distinguished practitioners, students gain hands-on training through clinics, externships, simulations, policy labs, and workshops.


Developing real-world lawyering skills is a fundamental part of a Columbia Law School education. The practical experience you acquire prepares you to be an effective and ethical lawyer—no matter what career path you choose to pursue.

Experiential Learning Requirements

J.D. students need six credits of experiential education to graduate.


J.D. students need six credits of experiential education to graduate


Clinics, the D.C. externshipNeighborhood Defender Service Community Defense ExternshipLawyering for Social Justice (Pro Bono Scholars Program), and the Public Education Policy Seminar and Practicum fully satisfy the requirement. 

All other externships provide four or five credits. 

Simulations and policy labs provide a range of credits.

Browse the online curriculum guide for courses tagged “experiential.” 



Deadlines for Experiential Application


Experiential Application Overview:  
An email will be sent out with information about the application process. 

Open Enrollment:  
April 1, 2021 at 12:00PM EST – May 4, 2021 at 5:00PM EST

Application Deadline:  
May 4, 2021 at 5:00PM EST

Acceptance Offers:  
May 14, 2021

Acceptance Confirmation:  
May 17, 2021 by noon (12:00PM EST)

Apply for Experiential Credit



Lawnet Application (opens April 1): Apply Here!

Fall 2021 Experiential Learning Handbook

Fall 2021 Experiential Learning General Information Session & Application Overview (Recording)

CPRL's Policy Lab - Early Action Process

a.       For students who have identified CPRL as your priority or one of your top EL choices and would like to interview and be considered early, access CPRL’s early action, non-binding application here.

b.       Deadline to apply early: Monday, March 22 at 5PM

c.       CPRL will notify students of early admissions decisions no later than the week of April 13.

The Health Justice Advocacy Clinic students stand in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building..


Work on behalf of real clients and gain experience as a counselor, mediator, litigator, advocate, and educator. 

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Hilary Krane speaks in front of a lecture hall


Choose from over 20 externships, covering many different areas of law and a wide variety of practice settings, to help clients solve legal problems.

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A student speaks in Moot Court

Moot Court

Starting in your first year of law school, participate in moot court programs on campus and around the country and the world. 

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Students Working


Choose from more than a dozen simulation courses to tackle hypothetical legal challenges in the classroom and delve deeper into practice areas that match your interests.

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Experiential Learning Offerings

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