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Application Process

Your path to a J.D. degree from Columbia Law School starts here.

Columbia Law School students have many different strengths, but they all share certain key qualities: They are curious and resourceful, committed to excellence, and motivated to effect change and serve as leaders in their fields.

Accordingly, the Law School takes a holistic approach when assessing applications. We look beyond the quantitative criteria of test scores and grade point averages and focus on the unique contributions each applicant can make to our community. And because diversity of all kinds deeply enriches the Columbia student body, our admissions process is designed to be inclusive, seeking applicants with varied backgrounds and life experiences, which are integral to the social and intellectual life of our community.

For regular admission: Applications for the fall 2021 class opened on September 1, 2020, with a deadline of February 15, 2021. Learn more about the application process and see important deadlines below.



Applications for the fall 2020 class opened September 1, 2020, and were due February 15, 2021. Because applications are generally evaluated on a rolling basis, you should submit your application as soon as possible after September 1. Applications are not reviewed by the Admissions Committee until all required materials have been received.  

If you submit your completed application by December 31, 2020, you should receive a decision by March. 

If you submit all materials by February 15, 2021 (the application deadline), you should be notified by the end of April.

For more information, please review our list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Application Components

You may prepare your application for the fall 2021 entering class by reviewing a Preview Application (PDF). The application fee is $85.

In addition to the application form, you will need to submit all or some of the following components. Please review our application instructions and our Frequently Asked Questions to determine what you are required to submit.

2020–2021 Admissions Dates

Fall 2020

  • September 1: J.D. applications open
  • October 1: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms available to submit to the government 

Spring 2021

  • January 16: Last LSAT administration date that meets Columbia Law School’s regular admission deadline
  • February 1: Last GRE administration date that meets Columbia Law School's regular admission deadline
  • February 15: Financial aid application deadline
  • February 15: Regular Decision Plan deadline

Summer 2021

  • May 1: Enrollment deposit deadline
  • May 10: Housing application deadline
  • June 1: Deferral request deadline



You may be contacted for an interview during the admissions process via video conference.

The interview program allows applicants to learn more about the Law School and provides the Admissions Committee with greater detail about applicants’ interests and motivations. 

Please note that we are unable to consider requests for interviews.