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 Details


Experiential Education Requirements for J.D. Students

J.D. students must complete six credits of experiential education to graduate. 

This requirement can be fulfilled through various options: Clinics, the D.C. externship, Lawyering for Social Justice (Pro Bono Scholars Program), and the Public Education Policy Seminar and Practicum each fulfill the requirement entirely. 

Other externships typically provide four or five credits, while simulations and policy labs offer a range of credits. For more details, students can refer to the online curriculum guide and look for courses tagged as "experiential" under "additional attributes."


Apply for Experiential Courses

Enrollment for most experiential learning offerings takes place through a combined application process each spring.

Learn more about Experiential Enrollment

Experiential Course Schedules/Credits for 2024-25

Apply on LawNet for Experiential Courses

A student and professor work in a clinic at a desk with a laptop computer.


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