Early Decision

Candidates applying on an Early Decision basis commit themselves to matriculate at Columbia if admitted.

For early decision candidates, the application process is simplified and expedited considerably; it is less expensive in terms of time, effort, and money. Early decision candidates must complete their applications by November 15 and are generally notified of the Admissions Committee’s decision by the end of December. 

Successful early decision candidates may not initiate any new law school applications, must decline any acceptances they may have received prior to admission to Columbia and the Early Decision Plan, and must immediately withdraw other applications once notified of their Columbia acceptance in December. Failure to honor these commitments will result in Columbia’s revoking its offer of admission.

Some early decision applicants not offered admission will be reviewed again in April as part of the regular applicant pool; others will be informed that their application for admission has been denied and will not be evaluated again that year.

Application Components

You may prepare your application for the fall 2024 entering class by reviewing our Preview Application (PDF). The application fee is $85.

In addition to the application form, you may need to submit:

Read through our Frequently Asked Questions for clarification on application components. 

2023–2024 Early Decision Admissions Dates

Fall 2023

  • September 1: J.D. applications open
  • October 1: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms are available to submit to the government 
  • October: Last LSAT administration date that meets the Early Decision Plan deadline 
  • November 1: Last GRE administration date that meets the Early Decision Plan deadline
  • November 15: Early decision plan application deadline

Spring 2024

  • February 15: Financial aid application deadline
  • May 1: Enrollment deposit deadline
  • May 1: Prioritized housing application deadline
  • June 1: Deferral request deadline