Explore our frequently asked questions below:
Where should I send the Form Law School Certificate or Dean's Certification for the bar?
You can mail the hard copy to the Office of Registration Services at:
435 West 116th Street, Box A-25, New York, NY 10027
You may email the form to [email protected]columbia.edu
What is the usual turnaround time for bar forms?
Our office processes bar forms and Dean's Certificates on a rolling basis. Usually, it takes about 10 business days to process your form. Please allow up to 5 business days before inquiring about the status of your form. However, depending on the time of the academic year, the Office of Registration Services is busier than usual (i.e.. final examination period, orientation, Add/Drop, etc.) and it may take longer to certify your form.
For students who graduated before 2014, additional time is needed to complete bar form as student files are kept off-site.
Forms will be mailed directly to the state bar associations and will not be mailed or emailed to the applicants. You will receive an email confirmation when the documents have been sent.
My state bar association requires a letter from the Law School stating that I have graduated. How can I obtain that letter?
Please email your request to the Office of Registration Services at [email protected]. In your email, please indicate the address where the letter needs to be sent. It can take up to 5 business days to complete your request.
One of my bar forms requires a transcript. Will one be sent automatically?
Yes. If the form clearly states that a transcript is required, our office will automatically send an official transcript to the state bar association, at no extra cost.
Does the Law School have a notary public?
Yes. Mr. Dean Lance at the Secretariat office is a notary public. Please email him at [email protected] to set up an appointment.
The state bar association requires a copy of my law school application. Can I get a copy to submit with my application?
No. A copy of your application will be sent directly to the state bar association. We cannot return or provide copies of any part of an application, transcripts, translations, score reports, recommendation letters, or supporting materials.
I'm not sure what I reported on my Law School application for Character and Fitness. Can you send me a copy of my application or tell me what I reported so it matches my Character and Fitness application to the bar?
No. We cannot return or provide copies of any part of an application, transcripts, translations, score reports, recommendation letters, or supporting materials. We recommend that you access your LSAC account and print a copy of all the materials, including the online application, that you submitted at the time you applied to Law school.
I need to amend my Law School application for Character and Fitness. How do I do this and what do I need to provide? Applicants who need to amend their Law School application related to Character and Fitness should use this FORM. Any and all details surrounding these circumstances must be disclosed as an attachment to this form.
I have many questions regarding my bar forms. Who should I contact or assistance?
It is recommended that you contact your state bar association or Board of Bar Examiners directly as they will have the most updated information and resources to better assist you.
I am a J.D. student and have questions about completing the NYS Bar application Certificate of Attendance section. How do I figure out how many credits count for each category?
Read the guidelines for completing the J.D. Certificate of Attendance section.
(SUSPENDED for JULY 2021) How can I complete the Handwriting Sample/Specimen of Applicant's Handwriting for the NYS Bar?
The Office of Registration Services holds about four sessions in April for students to complete the handwriting sample for the NYS bar. An email will be sent in March to current 3L and LL.M. students with the times and dates of these sessions, which can also be found on our website. The handwriting sample must be completed in the presence of a member of the Registration Services team and only takes 10-15 minutes to complete.
Please note that you must bring your Columbia ID card or a government-issued photo ID card to the session.
If you are unable to make one of these sessions, you may visit our office after commencement or email us at [email protected] to arrange an appointment to complete the handwriting sample.
(SUSPENDED for JULY 2021) I can't make it to any of the Registration Service's handwriting sample sessions. What should I do?
Please mail the notarized handwriting sample directly to the New York State Board of Law Examiners (BOLE). In addition, please notify our office if you will be doing this method so that we can update our records.
I have registered to take the NYS Bar exam on a laptop. Do I still need to submit a Handwriting sample?
Yes. All applicants are required to submit a handwriting sample regardless if they registrar to participate in the laptop program.
I am a J.D. student who will be taking the NYS Bar Exam. Do I need to submit the Certificate of Attendance Form to the Office of Registration Services?
No. Please do not email or submit the Certificate of Attendance Form to our office. We receive these forms electronically from the NYS BOLE for all Columbia J.D. students who are registered to take the July/February Bar Exam.
I am a LL.M. student who will be taking the NYS Bar Exam. Do I need to submit the Certificate of Attendance Form to the Office of Registration Services?
Yes, unless you do not require the LL.M. degree in order to sit for the bar exam. The guidelines for completing the Certificate of Attendance Form can be found on our resources page.
I have submitted all the documents for the NYS Bar Exam (Handwriting Sample and Certificate of Attendance) and want to inquire about the status of my paperwork. What should I do?
If you've submitted all your documents for the NYS Bar Exam, no further action is required of your part. The Office of Registration Services will electronically certify all NYS Bar documents in the second week of June, near the filing deadline (June 15). Students will receive an email when their Certificate of Attendance form has been certified.
What is the passing score for the UBE in New York?
The passing score for the UBE in New York is 266 on a 400 point scale.
I have to submit an employer affidavit for the NYS Bar. I'm having trouble obtaining the employer affidavit, despite multiple attempts to contact my employer/professor. What should I do?
If you attempted to contact your employer multiple times over a period of a month or two, but failed to obtain the affidavit from your employer, you can submit an affidavit to your Judicial Department's Committee of Character and Fitness explaining your good faith effort. We recommend that you keep and document all correspondences with the employer.
I'm having trouble logging/accessing my ExamSoft account for the NYS Bar. Who should I contact for help?
Please contact the NYS BOLE directly regarding any issues with your ExamSoft account for the bar exam.
I just downloaded Examplify for the NYS Bar Exam. Would the newly downloaded Examplify affect the one used during Law School final exams?
No. Examplify is able to handle multiple registrations; your law exams will be designated under your Law School account and you Bar Exam will be assigned under your Bar account. Please make sure that you select the correct exam file when you take your exam.
***The NYS BOLE website FAQ page contains specific questions related to the NYS Bar: https://www.nybarexam.org/faq/faq.htm
I am applying for the California Bar and I need my Columbia ID number. Where can I get this information?
The California Bar will accept your social security number in lieu of your Columbia ID, if you no longer remember the ID number. You can find your ID number on you Student Services Online (SSOL) account.
I am applying for the California Bar and they require my final transcript. How do I go about requesting my transcript?
Students do not need to request their transcripts. Our office will be mailing final transcripts to the Los Angeles office during the beginning of July.
I need to submit a Law School Certification with my D.C. Bar application, which is online. Will you be able to send a scanned copy to me?
Yes. Once the form has been certified by the Office of Registration Services, it will be scanned and emailed to the student.
What is the passing score for the UBE in D.C.?
The passing score for the UBE in D.C. is 266 on a 400 point scale.
I am applying for the Massachusetts Bar. When is the earliest that my Law School Certificate will be completed?
Our office will certify the Law School Certificate on the date of degree conferral (commencement). The Law School Certificate will be sent directly to the Supreme Judicial Court of Suffolk County unless the student requests to pick up the hard copy or have the form mailed to their home address.
The application deadline is prior to the date of conferral (commencement). Can I submit my Massachusetts Bar application without the Law School Certificate to meet the deadline?
No. The Massachusetts Bar will not accept incomplete bar applications. Applicants who graduate after the filling deadline must file their complete application no later than fourteen (14) days from the date of degree conferral.
I need to submit two (2) letters of recommendation with my Massachusetts Bar application. Is there a form letter that can be signed by Registration Services to satisfy one of these letters?
No. The letters of recommendation must be written by a person who knows you well and in accordance with the Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01. For general guidelines on the letters of recommendation, please click here.
What is the passing score for the UBE in Massachusetts?
The passing score for the UBE in Massachusetts is 270 on a 400 point scale.
I am applying for the Texas Bar and they require I upload a signed copy of my law school application. Can I get a copy to submit with my application?
No. A copy of your law school application will be sent directly to the Texas Board of Law Examiners. We cannot return or provide copies of any part of an application, transcripts, translations, score reports, recommendation letters, or supporting materials.