Submitting Applications FAQ
What are Columbia Law School’s application deadlines?
The earliest that we begin to accept applications for the 2019-20 admissions season is September 1, 2019. For the 2019 entering class, the deadline for our binding Early Decision Plan (EDP) is November 15, 2019, and the Regular Decision deadline is February 15, 2020. However, we encourage all applicants to complete their applications as early as possible, considering that applications are evaluated on a rolling basis in the order in which they are completed.
What application should I submit if I have attended law school in the past?
Candidates who have already completed one year of a J.D. program at a U.S. institution are not eligible to apply for regular admission and must apply for Transfer admission. Candidates who have already completed at least two years of J.D. coursework are eligible to apply for Visiting admission. Applicants who have an LL.M. degree from Columbia Law School must apply for Transfer admission, while applicants who have an LL.M. degree from another institution must apply for Regular admission.
Does Columbia Law School offer application fee waivers?
Unless you are a currently enrolled undergraduate student in a degree-granting program at any of Columbia University’s schools (please see more on this below), Columbia itself does not process requests for fee waivers. Rather, Columbia utilizes the application for determining eligibility for fee waivers directly through Law School Admission Council's mechanism. Once eligibility has been established and approved by LSAC, candidates will automatically receive a fee waiver for Columbia Law School upon submitting an application for admission. For additional details about fee waivers, visit www.lsac.org/jd/lsat/fee-waivers.
How do I obtain an application fee waiver if I am currently enrolled in a degree-granting undergraduate program at Columbia University?
If you are a currently enrolled (alumni are not eligible) undergraduate student in a degree-granting program at any of Columbia University’s schools—Barnard College, Columbia College, Columbia School of General Studies, or The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science—then you may request a fee waiver in writing to [email protected]. Please be sure to include in your request your UNI and the school at which you are currently matriculated as a student. Upon receipt and verification of your request, we will respond with a fee waiver code, which you must enter before you submit your application. Please note that if you pay the application fee, we are unable to award a fee waiver retroactively.
Does the Admissions Committee prefer to receive electronic applications?
Columbia Law School only accepts electronic applications. You may apply through LSAC.org.
What if some application materials arrive before my application is submitted?
Occasionally, certain application materials (e.g., letters of recommendation), arrive prior to the receipt of an application for admission. To facilitate completion of your application, all submitted materials should contain your full name and LSAC number (and/or social security number).
How do I check the status of my application?
Applicants are expected to monitor the submission and completion of all application requirements. You may check the status of your application for admission at any time by visiting our online status check. In order to protect every applicant's confidentiality, status check requests over the phone cannot be granted. In the event that the status check mechanism is unduly delayed, applicants may submit requests in writing by email ([email protected]) to the Office of Admissions.
When will I receive an admissions decision?
As a general matter, applications are evaluated on a rolling basis in the order in which they are completed. Typically, the Admissions Committee begins rendering Regular decisions in late January and continues to release decisions through the end of April. Early Decision candidates are generally notified of their decisions in December.
Does Columbia Law School offer merit scholarships or need-based financial aid?
Columbia Law School offers a number of highly-competitive merit-based scholarships. There is no separate application procedure; scholarships are awarded based on a holistic review of the entirety of your application for admission. Applicants are generally awarded merit-based scholarships at the time of admission.
CLS also awards need-based grants and loans. Please see the Financial Aid section of our website for more information.
How do I submit a request for a deferral?
Columbia Law School maintains a liberal deferral policy—one to two years after admission. Admitted students who have submitted a seat deposit must notify the Office of Admissions of their wish to defer no later than the deadline printed in their acceptance materials.
Admitted students who have been granted deferred admission are required to:
- Submit an additional, nonrefundable deposit that will be applied to tuition at the time of matriculation; and
- Sign an agreement that indicates the individual has withdrawn all prior applications to other law schools, does not currently hold deferred status at another law school, and will not submit new applications to other law schools.
Applicants admitted from our Reserve category cannot defer admission.