Three students speak at the top of the stairs outside Jerome Greene

Financing Your J.S.D. Degree

When you pursue a J.S.D. degree at Columbia Law School, you are making a sound investment in your legal scholarship.

Tuition and mandatory fees are waived for J.S.D. candidates in residence. However, the J.S.D degree is still a substantial investment, and one for which you should begin planning early. J.S.D. candidates are required to remain in residence for one year and may request to remain in residence an additional year (immediately following the first year of residence).

In many cases, based on financial need, we are able to offer J.S.D. candidates a small grant to help defray living costs during the first year in residence. If you wish to be considered for a living expenses grant, you must complete the financial aid section on your application for admission. This way, the admissions committee can determine the best financial aid package to award you. Because our financial aid funds are limited and our grants, when offered, will not cover the full extent of living costs in New York City, you should also seek assistance from other sources if you will require financial assistance to attend Columbia Law School. 

If you do not submit an application for financial assistance with your application for admission, you will not be considered for financial aid, even if you request it after the admission deadline. If you later decide you do not need financial assistance, you may withdraw your financial aid application by sending an email to g[email protected].

If other funds become available to you, you must notify the Office of Graduate Degree Programs within seven days of learning of such an award. Since Columbia Law School offers financial assistance mostly on the basis of need, the Law School reserves the right to reduce the amount of any financial aid it has awarded in such a case.

The following Columbia Law School awards are available to J.S.D. candidates:

The Appel Fellowship on the Regulation of the Multinational Enterprise
The Appel Fellowship was established in 2001 by Mark Appel. It awards an annual prize—up to full tuition for one academic year—to an LL.M. or J.S.D. degree candidate who intends to focus their research on regulatory or policy issues emerging from the trans-boundary operations of multinational or transnational enterprises, with priority given to students from emerging economies. 

The fellow is expected to participate in a relevant research seminar culminating in a workshop on the subject that brings prominent scholars and practitioners to the Law School. Topics may include issues relating to corporate governance, labor issues, environmental concerns, or human rights. 

To apply:

  • Submit a complete application for admission to the J.S.D. Program.
  • Submit a separate two-page essay describing your background, interest in this area of law, and the research you would undertake at the Law School if you were awarded the fellowship. 
  • Label the first page of your essay “Application for Appel Fellowship” and upload it to the appropriate section of the LSAC online application. 

Only successful applicants will be notified.

Herman N. Finkelstein Memorial Fellowship Fund
This fund was established in 1978 by family and friends in memory of Herman N. Finkelstein ’24, one of the first recipients of a J.S.D. degree. The fund is primarily designed to provide support for a J.S.D. candidate.

Morris Fellowship
Established in 1924 by Newbold Morris 1891 in memory of his father Augustus Newbold Morris, Columbia College 1860, Law 1864, the fellowship is awarded to a student of public or private law who may be a candidate for the J.S.D. degree.