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

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:  
June 19 - June 28, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. 

Application Deadline:  
June 28, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Acceptance Offers:  
July 8, 2020

Acceptance Confirmation:  
July 13 by 2:00 p.m.

Apply for Experiential Credit


Apply Here!

Fall 2020 Experiential Learning Handbook (descriptions and important information of all the clinics, externships, practicum, labs, and simulation courses that will be offered)

Click Here to watch the Experiential Learning Application Overview

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. 

Learn More
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.

Learn More
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. 

Learn More
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.

Learn More
Brett Dignam

"Our goal is to infuse experiential education into every piece of the curriculum. Engaged experiential learning is central to legal education in the 21st century, and we should do all that we can to support and encourage it."


Brett Dignam, Vice Dean for Experiential Education