Spring 2022 Pre-Registration

Below are the timelines for Pre-registration for 1Ls and 2Ls/3Ls/LLMs. 3Ls and LLMs, please take note of the direct registration timeline for Professional Responsibility as well. To learn more about Pre-Registration, review the Pre-Registration Handbooks on our Resources page.

  • 2Ls/3Ls/LLMs: Thursday, November 4 at noon EDT - Thursday, November 11 at noon EST
  • 1Ls: Friday, November 5 at noon EDT - Thursday, November 11 at noon EST
    • Pre-Registration for Legal Methods II and 1L Electives

Please review the Pre-Registration Handbooks available on our Resources page for the most up-to-date information about Pre-Registration.

    Before Pre-Registration begins ensure that you do not have any holds on your student account as these can prevent you from participating in Pre-Registration. Check your hold status via Student Services Online (SSOL), where you will find guidance on the three types of holds that will prevent Pre-Registration when placed on a student’s record:

    The first step in Pre-Registration is to identify the courses you might want to take.

    Up-to-date course information can be found in the course guide. Course evaluations are available in LawNet under "Course Evaluation Reports."

    Once you perform a search you have two options for saving the course information: create an excel spreadsheet or create a "favorite courses" by clicking the heart icon next to the next course (you will need to log in.) You will also be able to access it. For the latter, this information will be in LawNet when you add courses to your Pre-Registration choices

    JDs should also review their Degree Requirement Status (DRS) Report in LawNet.

    Included in Pre Reg Excluded in Pre Reg
    Lectures and Seminars

    Clinics and Externships
    Courses that require instructor permission
    Foundation Courses
    Journals and Moot Court
    Non-law Courses
    Non-regularly scheduled class registrations
    NYU Courses
    Major/Minor Writing
    LLM Writing Project
    Supervised Research
    Supervised Experiential Study
    Teaching Fellow
    Unpaid Faculty Research Assistant

    Pre-Registration is NOT time-sensitive. You can change your selections at any time during the Pre-Registration period.

    Once you log into LawNet, select ‘Pre-Registration.' You will then have three options for identifying courses to add to your Pre-Registration choices:

    • Browse all available courses – this will show you all the fall 2021 courses;
    • Add from My Favorites – this will show you all the fall 2021 courses you identified as your favorites in the Curriculum Guide
    • Search courses – this enables you to reproduce the search functionality of the Curriculum Guide.

    Identifying Primary and Alternate Choices

    The Lottery will try to register you for up to 15 points of academic credit (notwithstanding the Clinics, Externships, permission courses and Journals into which you have been accepted) and you can pre-register for multiple courses up to these maximums:

    • 3Ls and LLMs – can pre-register for up to 6 primary and 6 alternate courses
    •  2Ls – can pre-register for up to 8 primary and 8 alternate courses
    • The lottery can register you for primary course choice and alternate course choice
    • The lottery can waitlist me for primary course choice only. 

    Adding Primary and Alternate Choices

    Having added one primary course choice to your Pre-Registration selection as described on Page 8, you can continue to add primary and alternate courses up to the limits based on your class standing:

    • 3Ls and LLMs – can pre-register for up to 6 primary and 6 alternate courses
    •  2Ls – can pre-register for up to 8 primary and 8 alternate courses

    Primary course choices:

    • To add – click on the green plus button to add a new course
    • To change the order of priority of a primary choice – click on the course box and drag it above or below other classes on your Pre-Registration List

    Alternative course choices:

    • To add – click ‘add alternative’ option in the primary course box
    • To change the order of priority of an alternate choice – click “delete” to remove the course from the relevant primary course choice and add it to a different primary course choice by clicking “add an alternate”.

    You can continue to add, move, and delete primary and alternate course choices until the close of Pre-Registration. At that time, your Pre-Registration choices will be finalized and you can access the record through LawNet.

    How the Lottery Works

    The Lottery was established by the Faculty of Law Resolution on the Allocation of Scarce Instructional Resources and all students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these rules. Simply stated, the Lottery assigns class registrations on the basis of student preference and class standing (i.e. 2L, 3L, or LLM), along with a randomly assigned Lottery number. However, the picture becomes more nuanced when we look at the multiple steps that make up the entirety of the process

    There are four possible outcomes for each of the steps identified below:

    1. A student is registered in their primary choice and not waitlisted for their alternate choice; OR
    2. A student is waitlisted for their primary choice and registered for their alternate choice; OR
    3. A student is waitlisted for their primary choice and not registered for their alternate choice because no seats are available; OR
    4. A student is neither registered nor waitlisted for their primary or alternate choice because the student has been registered for a higher ranked course that meets at the same time.

    Because an individual student’s chance of being registered for any individual class is dependent upon both the randomly assigned lottery number AND the expressed preferences of other students, no lottery outcome is guaranteed and so you should focus on what is in your control:

    In your control What you can do

    Your Interests

    Prioritize the classes in the order of their importance to you
    Seminars Consider prioritizing some seminars over lectures, because seminars are typically capped at 18 students so there are fewer available seats.
    Mix it up Do not solely pre-register for seminars; add lecture classes to your selections thus increasing your chance of getting into your chosen courses.
    High demand classes Review the list of courses that are typically in high demand and rank them higher in your order of preferences.

    Utilize the alternate course selection feature:

    - This will give you a second opportunity in each Lottery step to be registered in a course of interest.

    - If your primary choice is full, you can be registered for your alternate if there are seats AND be waitlisted for your primary choice.

    - Remember that you will never be waitlisted for an alternate course

    Time conflicts

    - Minimize time conflicts between your primary choices because you will not be registered or waitlisted for any choice if it conflicts with a higher-ranked course for which you are registered or waitlisted. 

    - Try to place time-conflicting classes as alternates to each other

    Sections Sections of the same course are treated as separate courses, so you can list all the sections in your preregistration choices if you wish. This gives you a greater chance of taking a course that is important to you.
    Pre- and Co-Requisites

    You can not be registered for a course if you do not have the necessary requisites. 

    - Only the instructor can provide a waiver to requisites.

    - If you receive a waiver, write to [email protected] and Registration Services will add the course to your Pre-Registration list.


    There are multiple sections of Negotiation Workshop which meet on Thursdays and Fridays. To ensure students have the best chance of registering for one of these sections, the Pre-Registration process is slightly different

    • Only Section 1, which is not associated with an instructor, will be available for pre-registration and you should rank this section along with your other course selections
    • Once you add Negotiation Workshop to your list of choices, an additional window will appear, providing you the opportunity to rank all the different sections which are associated with a particular professor

    Because Professional Responsibility (PR) is a graduation requirement for JD students and necessary for LLMs who want to take the NY Bar Exam, there is a special lottery for PR.

    • Open to 3Ls and LLMs only (2Ls can add PR to their general Pre-Registration selection of courses)
    • Both fall and spring PR courses are included
    • 2Ls can add Professional Responsibility to their general Pre-Registration selection of courses


    1. Log in to LawNet Select "Register for PR Course" under the "Registration Services" Menu
    2. Click on the plus sign to add our PR course and confirm via the pop-up on your screen.
    3. Once you select ‘OK’ your PR Registration is complete.

    Note: You will be able to change your PR registration during Add/Drop

    Special note for 3Ls and LLMs who participated in the Professional Responsibility lottery in July 2021:

    • If you were registered for a Spring 2022 PR class through the lottery and now wish to register for a different Spring 2022 PR class, you will have to ask Registration Services to remove the current class from your registration so that you can add a new class. Please email Registration Services by no later than 3 p.m. on Friday, November 5 for us to remove your current registration so that you can add a new class.
    • Pre-Registration Record: The record of your Pre-Registration choices is stored in the Pre-Registration module in LawNet.
    • Lottery Results: The Lottery will try to register you for up to 15 points of academic credit. The fall 2021 results will be published in LawNet on Tuesday, August 10. The results will include the classes for which you are registered and the classes for which you are waitlisted. You will also see your position on these waitlists
    • Waitlists: When the Lottery results are published, you will have the option to remove yourself from any waitlists for courses in which you are no longer interested. Because this will help other students better assess their actual waitlist position and give them a better chance of registering for these courses, please be sure to remove yourself from unnecessary waitlists.
    • Exam Schedule: A tentative exam schedule will be published by the end of Add/Drop.
    • During the Add/Drop period, students can:
      • Drop classes in which they are registered
      • Register for classes, or add themselves to a waitlist
      • Register for:
        • supervised research
        • experiential projects
        • teaching assistantships or research assistantships
        • writing credits
        • Cross-Register for other Columbia University classes
        • NYU courses

    Pre-Registration Checklist



    Clear Holds

    Review Handbook

    Make Course Selections

    Pre-Register for up to 8 primary and 8 alternate courses

    Watch academic advising webinar and meet with an academic advisor

    Review your graduation status in Degree Requirement Status tool in LawNet



    Clear Holds

    Review Handbook

    Make Course Selections

    Pre-Register for up to 6 primary and 6 alternate courses

    Pre-Register for Professional Responsibility (PR)

    Pre-Register for Legislation and Regulation

    Watch academic advising webinar and meet with an academic advisor

    Review your graduation status in Degree Requirement Status tool in LawNet



    Clear Holds

    Review Handbook

    Make Course Selections

    Optional: Pre-Register for Professional Responsibility (PR) (required for students taking the NY Bar Exam)

    Pre-Register for up to 6 primary and 6 alternate courses