Columbia Law School offers an exceptional legal education. Whether you are hoping to explore a career in public interest, corporate law, or government service, the Law School’s course offerings and extensive resources will help prepare you for excellence in your chosen field. The Columbia Law School Black Law Students Association (BLSA) spends considerable time, energy, and resources on preparing first-year students for academic and professional success.
BLSA, one of the most active student organizations at the Law School, is a local chapter of the National Black Law Students Association. The organization focuses primarily on the academic and professional development of members with a secondary focus on community service. Each year, the Columbia BLSA chapter conducts a number of programs and dozens of events toward these aims. The Columbia chapter is one of the largest and most lively in the United States.
For new students, BLSA offers programming that includes:
- Formal mentoring by upperclassmen.
- Lunchtime events on various legal practice areas.
- Panels on studying and test preparation.
The organization also hosts a welcome dinner, a faculty dinner, and an alumni reception to build community ties between membership and the Law School community. Additionally, a significant portion of our first-year membership competes and places competitively in the National Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition every year.
The Columbia Law School Experience
BLSA's efforts are part of the extensive offerings at Columbia Law School. Students have access to rich curricular choices and numerous experiential learning opportunities that truly enrich the academic experience.
Columbia Law School students can receive funding during summer breaks to pursue public interest employment. There are also options to enroll in popular study-abroad programs across the globe. Columbia’s pro bono opportunities, various externship programs, and clinical offerings further demonstrate the Law School’s commitment to an education that is not limited to the classroom.
The programs and courses at the Law School are led by an extraordinary faculty that is world-renown. In particular, the Law School faculty includes an unmatched cadre of African-American legal scholars including:
Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, an innovator in critical race studies.
Kendall Thomas, an expert in constitutional law and gender and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues.
Conrad Johnson, a professor with a background in civil rights.
Patricia J. Williams, an expert in the area of race and gender and the law. Williams is also a recipient of the McArthur “Genius” Award.
Janice Tudy-Jackson, a mediation and negotiation expert.
Olatunde Johnson, a former Supreme Court clerk with an extensive public interest background.
Jamal Greene, a former Supreme Court clerk and specialist in constitutional law.
The Law School also provides superior student services. An academic counselor is always on hand to discuss your course selections or any other academic concerns. Career Services offers extensive resources to aid you in your career goals. The Alumni and Development department works extensively to integrate alumni into an institutionalized part of your experience at the Law School. Your health and well-being during your time at Columbia is also a priority, and there is an abundance of resources to ensure you have a healthy and well-balanced experience to accomplish your goals. Columbia also offers help with housing accommodations so New York City rent payments are affordable for the duration of your studies.
For these and many other reasons, Columbia Law School was the first recipient of the National Bar Institute’s Educational Achievement Award presented in 2002. The award is given to an individual or institution that seeks to promote excellence in legal education by establishing a solid foundation for individuals to achieve intellectual, social, and civic success.
BLSA wishes you well as you consider your choices and hopes to welcome you to Columbia Law School.