Browse our frequently asked questions below. 

How does the lottery work?

Please review the handbook on our Resources page and The Faculty Resolution on the Allocation of Scarce Instructional Resources for detailed information on how the lottery works.

How do I pre-register for my externship/clinic?

Students cannot pre-register for externships or clinics. If you were accepted into an externship or clinic, Registration Services will register you prior to the start of Pre-Registration.  

Can I pre-register for non-law course?

No, students must complete and submit the online Cross-Registration Request Form to apply to take a non-law course. The cross-registration request form should be used only for Language courses, Graduate Level courses at other divisions of Columbia University, and Teacher’s College courses. Read more information about cross-registration. Please note that due to the change in semester start dates, cross-registration for NYU Law classes will be not be offered for Spring 2021. 

I want to take more than 15 points this term. How can I do that?

Please submit a digital Points Petition Form through LawNet requesting 16 points. Digital forms will be available in LawNet beginning January 7. Your form will be processed as soon as possible. Please note that you cannot petition for more than 16 points according to ABA rules.

If I want to take 16 points, can I petition to do so before the lottery is run?

The lottery will register you for no more than 15 points. You can petition to take 16 points in LawNet and your request will be considered after the lottery results are published.

I have a hold on my account. What should I do?

You can view your hold information by logging on to SSOL. Only the office that places the hold can remove it. Therefore, you should contact the following offices depending on your particular hold.

  • Financial Hold: contact Financial Services at 212-854-4400
  • Dean’s Hold: email Registration Services at [email protected]
  • Immunization Hold: contact Health Services at 212-854-7210

Does it matter when I complete my Pre-Registration?

Pre-registration is not time-sensitive, so students can enter their choices at any point during the pre-registration period and not be disadvantaged.

Is Professional Responsibility (PR) Direct Registration on a first come/first served basis?

Yes. Students can only Direct Register for available seats; the earlier you register, the more likely it is that there will be an available seat for you.

Can I take a pre-requisite for a course as a co-requisite instead? How do I arrange this?

Only our instructors can provide permission for this waiver and students must make the request directly to them. The professor can write to [email protected] and we can place the course that requires the pre-requisite on your Pre-Registration list.​

I want to pre-register for a course with a co-requisite, but the system won’t let me. How do I add it?

You will need to contact our office via email at [email protected] and we will add it on your behalf.

How do I pre-register for Negotiation Workshop?

Only Negotiation Workshop, section 1 is available to list among your pre-registration selections. Once you have added section 1, another window listing all the sections will appear and you can rank each section according to your preference. Please note that you must rank the sections in order to be placed in any Negotiation Workshop section. More information about Negotiation Workshop registration can be found in the handbook on our Resource page.

How do I pre-register for Minor Writing, Supervised Research, Unpaid Faculty Assistant, Teaching Fellow?

Research and writing registrations cannot be entered on your pre-registration ranking. You will need to complete a Registration Form which will be available on LawNet during Add/Drop.

What does “Seat Reserved” mean in LawNet?

This means you are being offered a seat in a course off the wait list. You will need to first resolve any conflicts, then accept the seat in the course.

I’m being offered a seat in a course off the waitlist but I want to wait until I can attend the course. Can I extend my wait list decision period?

The wait list is an automated process and you will have 12 hours to make a decision if you are offered a seat. For reasons of fairness to your classmates who are also on the wait list, it is not possible to extend this window.

Can I split the points for my Supervised Research Paper between the fall and spring semesters?

Yes, you would need to submit two separate signed J.D. Research Registration Forms available on LawNet that are clearly marked with the semester for which they should be registered. We will hold the spring form for registration before the start of the spring semester.

I want to drop an externship/clinic/course that required instructor permission but LawNet will not allow me. How do I drop it?

If you needed instructor permission to register, you will need instructor permission to drop the course. Our office will need an email confirmation and will manually remove the course from your record.


Am I allowed to take a non-law course? How many can I take?

All upper-year J.D. and LL.M. students are allowed to take non-law courses during their Law School career. Please see the rules for your particular program regarding how many points of non-law courses may count towards your degree. You can find more information on the cross-registration website.

I would like to take a Business School course that is not listed on the Business School cross-registration site. Is this possible?

No, you may only apply for those business courses listed on their cross-registration page. 

Can I apply for a SIPA course that is not listed on SIPA’s cross-registration site?

Yes, you may petition for a SIPA course that is not listed on the cross-registration site. There is no guarantee that we will be able to register you because SIPA determines which courses are open to Law students.

I am currently at 15 points and am applying/petitioning for a non-law course. Will this prevent me from getting into the course?

If we are able to register you in the non-law course, you will receive an email from our office requesting that you adjust your schedule by either dropping a course or petitioning and/or petitioning for 16 points using the digital points petition form which will be available on LawNet. Please monitor your Columbia email closely and let us know once you have adjusted your schedule so that we can register you in the non-law course.

How many law credits will I receive for my non-law course?

One law point is equal to 50 minutes of classroom meeting time per week throughout the term. For example, a three-point class that meets for two hours will be worth two law points; a four-point class that meets for five hours will be worth four law points.

When will I find out about the decision of my petition for a non-law course?

Our office begins reviewing petitions for non-law courses during the start of the add/drop period. We will notify students as soon as possible of whether we are able to register them for the non-law course. We work closely with other schools' registrars, and they give their students priority for their courses. If a seat is available, we will work on getting you registered.

I am a non-law student. How do I take a law course?

Non-law students can apply to take a law course. Registration Services makes the final enrollment decision (not the instructor) and law students receive priority. You can learn more about the process here.

I am a non-law student and submitted the online cross-registration form to the Registration Services office. When will I find out if I got into the law school course?

Our office begins reviewing cross-registration requests from non-law students during the start of the add/drop period. We will notify students as soon as possible if we were able to register them for the law school course. Please note that priority is given to law students. 

Who can take a Columbia Law School Course?

Students enrolled as full-time Columbia University Graduate degree candidates.

How many courses can Non-Law students take?

Up to two Law courses per term and not more than four Law courses during their entire Columbia course of study.

What courses can Non-Law students take?

Most Lecture and Seminar courses are available for Cross-Registration, pending instructor approval.

  • Non-Law students CANNOT TAKE the following:
    • J.D. foundation courses (Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, Torts)
    • LL.M. foundation courses (Introduction to American Law, American Constitutional Law, American Contract Law)
    • Clinics and Externships
    • Legal writing
    • Research


NOTE: The policies of the host school apply for all cross-registrations, so if you are considering taking a Law course, please check carefully the Law School’s policies, including registration (adding and dropping courses), exams, and submission of written work. 

BOLE is listed on the Exam ID line on Examplify. How do I fix this?

Under Home Menu (in the top right), click on Settings

Under settings, click on Clear Registration and clear registration

After registration is cleared, open up Examplify and re-add the Columbia account by inputting "columbialaw"

Will all exams be administered remotely?
Yes, all exams will be administered remotely.

Where is my exam schedule?
The exam schedule can be found our website. This schedule includes the software that your professor has selected to administer your exams. All fixed date exams are scheduled to start at 11 a.m. EDT.

Where can I find quiet space in the Law School or on campus?
The University Library’s are available for reservation and information on how to reserve space can be found here. The Diamond Law Library will also be open from 10am-6pm. Shortly you will be able to reserve seats to use during the exam period. Additionally, 60 seats will be made available in classrooms in Jerome Greene Hall for students to take remote examinations. More information regarding these seats is forthcoming.

I am feeling extremely stressed. Who can I talk to?
It is completely normal to feel stress during this time. You can always reach out to either Student Services or the Office of Graduate Degree Programs to speak to an academic adviser. The University also still offers robust virtual/remote Counseling and Psychological Services and details on how to access those resources can be found here.

I’m sick and I have an exam, what do I do?

Please contact Registration Services as soon as you can in the event of an emergency. In order to balance your wellbeing with academic integrity, the sooner we learn of your emergency, the easier it will be for us to respond.

How can I receive accommodations for exams?
In order to receive accommodations for exams, you must self-register with Disability Services.

Disability Services will notify our office of your accommodations. You should receive an email from our office shortly before the exam period confirming your accommodations for each of your exams. If you do not receive this email or believe there is an error, please email us at [email protected].

I have approved exam accommodations through the Office of Disability Services.  Who should I contact if I have questions?
Students with approved ADA accommodations will receive communications and additional instructions from Christy Pastore ([email protected]) throughout the exam period. Our office works closely with the Office of Student Services' Jennifer Braden and the Office Disability Services to ensure students receive suitable services while taking their exams remotely.

What is the Law School’s Academic Integrity policy?
While the full text of the Law School’s Integrity policy is listed here the relative autonomy of the legal profession carries with it special obligations of self-regulation as outlined in the Columbia Law School Bulletin and that any violation of this certification will subject a student to discipline, including possible suspension or expulsion by the Law School, declination to certify for admission to the Bar, and sharing of information about discipline with Bar admissions committees. The Law School is required to notify Bar admissions committees if a student has been the subject of disciplinary proceedings, regardless of the outcome of those proceedings.

What constitutes an exam conflict?
There are two categories of exam conflicts:

  1. Religious Observance: An exam will be rescheduled if it conflicts with a religious observance on the day of the exam, including fasting.
  2. Law School exams scheduled for consecutive days -  exams can be rescheduled to allow a 36-hour period between the start of two exams. For example, a student having a Law School exams scheduled for both Monday and Tuesday can reschedule the Tuesday exam to Wednesday.

If you have any one of these conflicts the Reschedule Request form.

I have requested to reschedule an exam, when will I find out the date of my rescheduled exam? 
Registration Services will determine which exam will be rescheduled, and will notify you of the date of your rescheduled exam.

If you have not received an email, please send us an email at [email protected] as soon as possible.

How do I know if my take home exam was submitted late?
You should make note of when you download the take home exam. The system will give you a notification of the time you have uploaded your exam.

Can I print out my online take home exam?
Yes, you can download a PDF version of the exam which is printable.

What can I use to write my take home exam?
You can use the word processing software (Microsoft Word, Apple Pages) of your choice. Please do not use Google Docs.

My laptop crashed, can I borrow one?
Our IT Department has a limited amount of loaner laptops. You may contact them ([email protected] or 212-854-1370) to inquire about borrowing one during the exam period.

How do I download Examplify and my exam files?
Read instructions on how to download Examplify as well as each of your exam files.

I switched computers and cannot download the exam files a second time. What do I do?
Please email us at [email protected] with the name of the exam. We will need to reset your downloads in the ExamSoft database.

What if I have technical issues during the administration of my exam?
Law School exams are anonymously graded (additional information about anonymous grading can be found in Registration Services Handbook: Chapter 4 Remote Exams available on our Resources page. Students should NOT contact a faculty member about any issues during an exam. Below please find different ways you can get in touch with the appropriate office should you find yourself facing technical issues during the administration of your exams.

You can reach us:

  1. via email: [email protected]edu
  2. via Zoom drop-in:
  3. via Zoom phone number: +1 646 876 9923 US (New York) (Find your local number:
  • Examplify Technical Support: 954-429-8889
  • Law School IT Help Desk: can also offer limited technical support (software installation and basic equipment assistance) and can be reached in the following ways:
    1. Email: [email protected]
    2. Phone: 212-854-1370

What if my internet goes out?
Please contact Registration Services as soon as possible (contact information is listed above). Please note students need internet to download the exam and upload your responses. Students do not need internet to write their exam answers.

Will artificial intelligence be used as a virtual proctor during the administration of the exams?
No, we will not use artificial intelligence or any type of virtual proctoring during the administration of the exams.

I have never used Examplify or Electronic Blue Book or I think I used the software once or twice but can’t remember. Is there anything I should to ensure I am prepared to take my exams?
Absolutely. The Registration Services Handbook: Chapter 4 Remote Exams, which is available on our Resources page, contains information on things you can do before the exam and directions for how to successfully complete and submit your exam. We strongly encourage you to read the handbook in its entirety.

I just downloaded Examplify for the Bar exam. Will this cause a problem with using Examplify for CLS final exams?
Students who plan on taking the NY Bar Exam will need to download Examplify from the ExamSoft NY Bar Portal Website. This is necessary to complete their registration as well as ensure they are using the latest version of Examplify. When students download Examplify for the Bar and install it, it will automatically update their Examplify to the latest version used for the NY Bar.  As of right now, Columbia Law School and the NY Bar are both utilizing the latest version of Examplify, therefore there should not be any issues using Examplify for both Columbia Law and the NY Bar. Examplify allows users to register multiple accounts (by clicking on “Switch User” on the lower right hand corner of the Examplify Home window), so students will be able to use one copy of Examplify for both institutions.

How do I use spell-check on Examplify?
You will be able to use spell check during your exam in a similar fashion to a word processing program. If there are any misspelled words, they will be indicated by a red line. Simply right-click or shift-click on the misspelled words, and a list of suggestions will appear. Choose the appropriate spelling from the list, and the misspelled word will be changed to the selection you made.​

  • KNOWN ISSUE: Spell check is not consistently identifying misspelled words on Windows and Mac. This is being actively investigated and we will notify instructors of this issue. To improve the functionality of spellcheck, follow the instructions to set your spellcheck language to the language you will most commonly be typing in.

How do I use the word count on Examplify?
Examplify automatically counts the number of words and characters contained in an essay question's response.  The character count is displayed in the gray area above the answer text field. To get a more detailed word and character count, click on the Page icon above the answer text field. ​This window provides the total number of words, characters, and characters without spaces for the essay response. If text is selected in the current question, Examplify provides the same information for the text that is selected. 

Do I have to rank all the courses?
Yes, you need to rank all courses.

How many seats are available in upper-year electives?
Approximately 20 percent of the seats in upper-year electives are allocated for 1L students.

What happens if I don't complete my pre-registration?
Students who do not finalize their Legal Methods II and/or 1L Elective pre-registration by the deadline will not be included in the lottery. They will be registered for an elective that has available seats after all students who pre-registered are placed.

Is pre-registration time sensitive?
No, it is not. Results will be decided by lottery, not on a first come, first served basis.

Can I take a course that is not on the electives list?
No, students can only take one of the approved elective courses.

What grading curve applies to 1L Electives?
All 1L electives (including the upper-year offerings) will be graded on the upper-year curve.

Will I be able to change my elective?
After schedules are released, students can request to change their elective through this form (form will be linked after the lottery is run). No change is guaranteed.

Will I be able to change my Legal Methods II section?
After schedules are released, students can request to change their Legal Methods II can change their elective through this form (form will be linked after the lottery is run). No change is guaranteed.

After I submit the form, when will I find out if my elective change has been approved.
You will find out if you have been approved for an elective change by the end of Add/Drop.

If you have a question not covered here, please feel free to email us at [email protected].