Students at graduation wearing caps and gowns, seen from behind

Information and Messages From Departments

Members of the Class of 2024: Find important information and updates and read messages from Columbia Law School offices and departments.

The Law Library will be closed for renovation beginning shortly after Commencement. Your CUID will provide access to study space in William and June Warren Hall as well as other libraries on campus throughout the summer. 

For up-to-date information on resources available to alumni, including access to library spaces after the summer, please see the Guide to Law Library Services and Policies, Columbia University Libraries’s webpage for alumni, or contact the reference librarians at [email protected]. You’ll always be welcome to use and visit the Columbia University Libraries, including the Law Library!

Many law firms have borrowing privileges at the Law Library via the Columbia Law Library Subscription Service. As alumni, you can reach out to us directly and we can let you know whether your firm is a subscriber, or you can ask your firm librarian. If your firm does subscribe, the firm’s library would be the best way for you to obtain print or scanned materials from the collection of the Law Library or other Columbia University libraries. Your firm’s authorized contacts should email your requests to [email protected].

If your firm is not a member, the Law Library may still be able to scan material for you or your firm’s library. Contact the Law Library’s Document Delivery Service at [email protected].

Congratulations! As you begin to prepare for graduation, please review the housing guidelines and available move-out options below.   

Bar Housing Extensions

Graduating Law students who are in good standing with the University may apply for an extension to their housing agreement to study for the New York Bar Exam.

Bar Housing Extension Move-out Date: August 2, 2024
Application Deadline: March 15, 2024
Decisions on Bar Housing requests sent: May 5, 2024

Applying for a Bar Housing Extension

  • Log into the Housing Portal account []
  • Select the “Request an extension within your current degree program” option or click directly on the TENANT PROFILE tab and choose “Bar Housing Extension” from the drop-down menu
  • Update (save) affiliation

Approved students will receive an extension for the period listed above and will be expected to vacate on Friday, August 2, 2024. No further extensions can be accommodated.


For additional information regarding the program’s eligibility requirements, timeline, terms and conditions and cancellation rules you may review Columbia Residential’s Bar Housing Policy.

Applying for a Short Term (30 day) Extension

Graduating students interested in a short-term stay (fewer than 30 days) beyond the end of their housing agreement may instead submit a Short-Term Housing Request. Please be aware that there is a 20% administrative fee charged in addition to the standard rent increase for this period.

Moving Out by May 31

Graduating students not approved for an extension may vacate any time during the month of May without a cancellation fee; however, your rent will be billed through May 31. Keep in mind, all students planning to vacate are required to provide a 30-day notice. 

Residents who cancel housing prior to May must provide notice of move-out to Columbia Residential in the Housing PortalA $1,000 cancellation fee may be charged. 

All Move Outs

Please remember regardless of your final vacancy date, it is your responsibility to follow all Columbia Residential vacancy procedures. Failure to vacate properly may result in delays or additional fees. Make sure to review Move-out Information to prepare for your move. 

Questions? Please feel free to contact:

Luke Christie
Assistant Director of Student Services
Columbia Law School
[email protected]

Columbia Residential 
[email protected] 

Information for Students Graduating in 2024

University Account

Per CUIT guidelines, graduating students’ UNI accounts expire approximately 10 months after graduation.  Your UNI will go through several status changes before finally expiring. It starts out as an active UNI, and over the 10 months after you leave Columbia, it goes through a grace period, then is set to expire, and finally expires. Understanding this process will help you plan for a smooth transition.

Law School Network Drives (G: & H:) and Printers

Law School network drives (G: & H:) and printers remain accessible through July 31. Any personal files you wish to take must be copied to a USB thumb drive or emailed to another account by that date. You can also print until July 31. 

Lifelong Email and Other Email Options

Recent graduates who began using LionMail while at Columbia will be able to continue using their LionMail email account. There is no waiting period after graduation. New graduates will automatically be able to use their LionMail account.

Access To Online Registrar Services (LawNet)

LawNet remains available through July 31. After that date, if you need your grades, please visit Student Services Online ( to check grades, request transcripts, and access other services. You may also want to save a copy of your internal LawNet grades. You can print a hard copy of your grades by visiting LawNet on or before July 31.

Computer Labs and Email Kiosks

The Law School computer labs and email kiosks remain accessible to graduating students through July 31.

Laptop(s) On Wired And Wireless Networks

Connections to Columbia University’s wireless network (CUIT) will remain active after July 31.  If you configured the G and H drive and printers on your laptop, you can simply remove them after that date.

Please address any questions or concerns (before July 31) to the Information Technology Helpdesk at:
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 131
Tel: 212-854-1370
E-mail: [email protected]

Congratulations and best of luck from the IT department!

Class of 2024, your journey is just beginning...

First things first: thank you. It has been our pleasure to advise you in your search for summer judicial internships and post-graduate clerkships.  We celebrate all our #ColumbiaClerks, as well as those of you who will join their ranks in the months and years ahead. Special thanks to all our Clerkship Peer Mentors, Clerkships Diversity Initiative Scholars, panelist speakers, and our student organization leaders for supporting OJC’s work and helping each other through the clerkships process.  For those starting clerkships this fall, please don’t forget to be on the lookout for our Clerkships Bootcamp in August!

Thinking about applying for clerkships as an alum? Post-graduation is a great time to apply for clerkships. If you have not already done so, please aim to request your faculty letters of recommendation as soon after grades come out as possible (ideally by no later than Friday, May 17, 2024 so faculty can write your letters close-in-time). Once your letters are on file, they can be used in future clerkship applications by making requests to your faculty and their administrative professionals. Follow the steps on the OJC Website to learn more. If you’re looking for a subsequent clerkship, including at the U.S. Supreme Court, OJC is here to help! You can continue to schedule an advising session with your OJC adviser.

Challenges During Your Clerkship or Plans Change?  OJC provides confidential counseling to you as an alum. Please don’t hesitate to reach out so OJC can help you manage unanticipated challenges or changes to your plans.

Stay in Touch and Pay It Forward!  Students would love more information about what you do post-clerkship, so remain in touch and please consider serving as a resource for those who come behind you.  Together, we can create a vibrant alumni law clerk community.

Again, congratulations from OJC!

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! I want to wish you the best and let you know that you will continue to have access to our office, Public Interest/Public Service Law and Careers and the Office of Judicial Careers after graduation. If you are not yet employed, have chosen to serve as a judicial clerk or find that you need to make a change in your employment, we are here to assist you.

Graduation Employment Certification

Please provide your graduation employment information in Symplicity by March 29, 2024. The information that you provide will be summarized and individual identities will be kept confidential. The law school is required to report this information to the American Bar Association and the National Association for Law Placement, and appreciates your cooperation in its efforts. Please follow the instruction in the mid-February email from OPSC to complete your Graduate Employment Certification, and reach out with any questions.

Career Counseling and Job Search Resources

We are happy to continue supporting you in your career development. Here is a listing of some of our services, all of which are free and available to Columbia Law School alumni.

*Individual Career Advising:

Dedicated alumni counselors with a depth of counseling and practice experience are available to provide the tools and support you need to identify and achieve your career goals. Please contact us at  [email protected] to request an appointment. We will be available to review a resume and cover letter, discuss job search strategies and provide resources to support a job transition. 

*Access to Job Postings:

Graduates of the law school continue to have full access to Symplicity alumni job postings, some of which are available exclusively to Columbia Law School alumni. The listings include private practice, public interest, government and corporate in-house positions as well as teaching and administrative jobs across the country and around the world. Your current Symplicity login (UNI) and password will continue to be active.

* Opportunities to Develop Strong Relationships with other Alumni:

Our team works closely with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations to ensure that you have access to our global alumni community. Our alumni are eager to welcome you, and you will have many opportunities to develop robust, lasting relationships.

Stay connected with your classmates, network with CLS alumni, engage with current students, and join special interest Communities in Columbia LawLink, a comprehensive resource for information about alumni events, Reunion, and Law School news. If you haven’t already done so, please create an account using your CLS email address or using your existing Google or LinkedIn credentials.

You can also join the Columbia Law School LinkedIn group, the Private Sector Career Connections LinkedIn Group and PIPS’s Public Sector Career Connections LinkedIn Group. We continue to work on innovative ways to connect with alumni for career development, so stay tuned for news about these as they emerge. Finally, please keep your email, business, and home address information up-to-date in your alumni record using the Contact Update Form,  so that you receive regional news and invitations.

Congratulations and best wishes from all of us at the Office of Private Sector Careers! 

Danielle Schweiloch, Assistant Dean, Office of Private Sector Careers [email protected] 

Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan Information

For May graduates, currently enrolled in the Columbia Student Medical Insurance Plan, health insurance coverage continues through August 14, at no extra cost. Students seeking care, after graduation, continue to access Columbia Health for routine and ongoing medical care if they are within 50 miles of campus.  Students seeking care 50 miles or more away from campus may locate participating providers through Aetna.

If you have questions regarding coverage after graduation, please visit the Columbia Health website, or contact the Columbia Health Insurance Office via email.


The ABA Law Student Division

If you are currently enrolled as a member of the American Bar Association's Law Student Division, you will have access to the ABA Member Health Exchange.

The ABA also provides a guide to health insurance for law school graduates and law students.

American Bar Association

The ABA offers several health insurance options and discounts for professional members. You must be a licensed practitioner in any of the states, territories, or possessions and a current ABA dues-paying member to take advantage of ABA insurance and discount offers.  Information can be found online.

ABA membership information can be found on the ABA website as well.

New York State Bar Association

You must be a member of the NYSBA to be eligible for the NYSBA Insurance Program. Membership information can be found online under the Membership Benefits tab. Membership deadlines may apply prior to eligibility for benefits.

Dear Class of 2024 Member:

Congratulations on your impending graduation! It has been our privilege to work with you. We hope that your Columbia Law School education has encouraged you to incorporate public service into your career – whether it is as a full-time job, through pro bono work, or by other means. 

Pro Bono: By now, J.D. students should have satisfied the pro bono service requirement that is part of their professional responsibility education at Columbia Law School - indeed, many students in the Class of 2024 have done far more than the required hours. The deadline for completion of this requirement and submission of electronic forms on LawNet is March 1; 3Ls participating in a Sidley Austin LLP Spring Break Pro Bono Caravan have until March 22 to submit their electronic forms. You may have completed the 50 hours of pro bono required for all applicants to the New York State Bar; remember that affidavits must be submitted to the State with the rest of your application materials after you pass the bar exam. If you have questions or need assistance regarding either requirement, contact Marka Belinfanti, Assistant Director of Pro Bono and Summer Programs, at [email protected].

Loan Repayment: Columbia Law School graduates are entitled to participate in Columbia’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), which helps graduates who are working full time in qualifying public interest employment to pay back their law school debt. If you are interested in learning more, or think you might participate in this program now or in the future, we strongly encourage you to read the program description carefully – it is available from the Financial Aid office or online. We encourage you to review other LRAP resources on the Financial Aid website, and meet with Seandell James, Associate Director of Financial Aid, or another member of the Financial Aid office before you graduate. You can contact (212) 854-1245 or [email protected] to make an appointment.

You may be eligible to apply for one of the several Enhanced LRAP Fellowships, which provide additional funding for loan forgiveness to graduates who work in qualifying public interest employment. 3Ls who will work in public interest or government employment and those who clerk immediately upon graduation are eligible to apply. For more information on these fellowships, watch for emails from [email protected] and visit our Postgraduate Fellowships webpage. If you clerk immediately upon graduation and hope to apply for an Enhanced LRAP Fellowship, it is essential that you continue to check your UNI email for timely receipt of notices and applications. If you have questions, contact Rebecca Hinde, Coordinator for Communications and Postgraduate Fellowships, at [email protected].

Employment: If you are still searching for a postgraduate position in public interest, government, human rights, or another non-profit field, please be sure to come to see us as soon as possible so we can assist you.

Stay in Touch: The Office of Public Interest/Public Service Law and Careers (the PI/PS Office) can continue to assist you after graduation – whether you are seeking career guidance, are interested in exploring our resources and job postings, or looking to connect with other like-minded Columbia Law graduates, the PI/PS Office is always here to help. We encourage you to join our LinkedIn group for graduates who are interested in public interest, government, and public service and to sign up for our alumni newsletter here. Remember that the PI/PS team, our dedicated alumni adviser, Tory Messina, and our team of remote expert consultant advisers are here to support you throughout your career. More information – including adviser bios and how to make an appointment – can be found on our website.

We have appreciated your input on ways that the PI/PS Office could better serve Columbia Law School students and the public interest law community. Please continue to share your ideas with us. We hope you will stay in touch after you graduate. We are eager to hear from you and to have you return to the Law School to share your postgraduate experiences with current students or other graduates. Good luck in your next adventure!

Best wishes,

Erica Smock, Dean for the Office of Public Interest/Public Service Law and Careers
Corinne Badini, Coordinator for the Max Berger ’71 Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program
Marka Belinfanti, Assistant Director of Pro Bono and Summer Programs
Joel Dodge, Director of Public Interest Lawyering and Strategic Initiatives
Jean Fischman, Associate Director of the Max Berger ’71 Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program
Emily Harris, Specialist Career Adviser
Rebecca Hinde, Coordinator for Communications and Postgraduate Fellowships
Alex Hogan, Director of Government Programs
Callie Kanim, Assistant Director of Operations
Kerry McLean, Director of Human Rights & Public International Law
Tory Messina, Senior Career Adviser
Hasan Shafiqullah, Specialist Career Adviser
Grace Shim, Specialist Career Adviser
Eleanor van Hest, Programming Coordinator
Avery Whitted, Coordinator for Pro Bono and Summer Programs

Public Interest/Public Service Law and Careers
William and June Warren Hall
1125 Amsterdam Avenue, 8th Floor
[email protected]

Table of contents: 

1) Timeline for May 2024 Degree Candidates
2) Completion of degree requirements 
3) Late completion of degree requirements 
     i. Participation in commencement exercises 
     ii. Bar exam 
        a. JD candidates 
        b. LLM candidates 
4) Diploma distribution 
5) Transcripts
     i. Columbia University transcript 
     ii. Columbia Law School transcript 
     iii. Transcripts from other law schools 
6) Bar applications 
7) Contact information for the Office of Registration Services 

1. Timeline for May 2024 Degree Candidates: 

Before March 1, make sure to familiarize yourself with the requirements of your state bar(s) (NCBEX: Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements), and make sure to file your application(s) by the stated deadlines.
● March 1-31 is the application period for the July administration of the NY State Uniform Bar Examination. Make sure to submit your application and certificate of attendance (COA) during this period. Registration Services no longer accepts paper forms of the COA, make sure to add the information when you are applying to sit for the bar. New York does not accept late applications.
April 1 is the deadline for submission of the final draft of the J.D. Major Writing Credit paper, and for all Fall 2023 outstanding written work for J.D. and LL.M. degree candidates (unless the instructor specifies an earlier due date).
● April 24 is the last day of Spring 2024 classes. 
● May 1 is the deadline to submit all outstanding Spring 2024 written work for May 2024 J.D. and LL.M. Degree Candidates (unless the instructor specifies an earlier due date). Last day to file the final copy of LL.M. Essay with the Office of Graduate Degree Programs. 
May 10 is the date by which all grades for May 2024 degree candidates must be recorded in Lawnet to allow graduation clearance by the close of the business day on May 13. 

2. Completion of Degree Requirements 

Please review your academic records and the requirements for your degree to ensure that you will have completed all degree requirements prior to Commencement on Monday, May 13, 2024. J.D. and the LL.M. graduation requirements are listed in the Academic Rules:

JD candidates concerned about their degree requirements should review the Degree Requirement Status (DRS) tool in LawNet and then contact Jessica Valdes Jimenez, Executive Director of Student Services,Community Engagement, and Equity (212-854-7269 or [email protected]) with any questions.

LL.M. candidates with questions about degree requirements should contact their academic advisors.

To review your academic progress, you can check LawNet for a listing of all your courses and posted grades. Please contact Registration Services if you note any discrepant information (grades, Major/Minor/LLM Writing Credits earned but not reflected in Lawnet, etc.). 

3. Late Completion of Degree Requirements 

i. Participation in commencement exercises 

a. 3Ls and LL.M.s who are unable to complete all their degree requirements in time to receive the May 2024 degree are welcome to participate in all the graduation activities of the Law School as well as University Commencement. 

ii. Bar exam

a. J.D. degree candidates who are unable to complete all their degree requirements in time to receive the May 2024 degree may be able to take the July 2024 bar exam, provided that they complete all degree requirements and all grades are submitted by June 1. In such cases, eligibility to sit for the bar exam will be certified on the basis of J.D. degree completion, not degree conferral. The degree conferral date for these students will be October 16, 2024. Since some states require the conferral of the degree in order to sit for the bar exam, make sure to check your state’s requirements if you anticipate any delay in your graduation. 

b. LL.M. candidates who do not complete their program requirements in time to have the degree conferred in May cannot be certified for the July 2024 New York State bar exam. 

4. Diploma Distribution 

University Commencement will be held on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. Diplomas will be mailed directly to graduating students. They will not be available for pickup on Commencement Day. Students should make sure the University Registrar's Office has your correct mailing address information. Students can update their DP (Diploma) addresses through SSOL For more information visit the University Registrar’s site at email [email protected].

5. Transcripts 

i. Columbia University transcript 

Only the Columbia University Office of the Registrar can release a Columbia University transcript. Visit for instructions on how to order your transcripts online.

ii. Columbia Law School transcript 

Because your access to Lawnet will expire on July 31 (see section on Information Technology in this Handbook), you should consider printing and saving a copy of your Law School transcript from Lawnet before this date. The Lawnet transcript includes the names of your instructors, which is information not available on official Columbia University transcripts. 

iii. Transcripts from other law schools 

If you took one or more classes at another law school, for example as part of the Columbia/NYU exchange, when studying abroad, or transferring from another school, the grades you received will not be reflected on either the Columbia University transcript or the Columbia Law School

transcript. Only the transcripts from the schools at which you have studied will provide grade-specific information. As a result, you should be sure to request final transcripts from all law schools you have attended. 

6. Bar Applications 

The Law School’s Office of Registration Services is responsible for the completion of all forms relating to bar examinations and certifications of character and fitness for admission to practice law. In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners

Some bar examiners require your applications to be notarized. Please contact Dean Lance (212-854-2687 or [email protected]) in the Office of the Secretariat for a notary appointment.

7. Contact information for Registration Services: 

[email protected] 
212-854-1135 (Fax) 

William and June Warren Hall 
1125 Amsterdam Ave. 
Suite 500, 5th floor

Mailing Address:
Office of Registration Services
Columbia Law School Box A-25 
435 West 116 Street 
New York, NY 10027

Office of Financial Aid
Loan Repayment Information for the J.D. Class of 2024

Congratulations to all the members of the Class of 2024 and best wishes from the Financial Aid staff!

The following information will be useful as you prepare for the repayment of your educational loans.

Please note that there is no penalty for prepayment of most educational loans; check your promissory note.

Federal Loans
If you borrowed loans through one of the following federal loan programs during your enrollment at Columbia Law School (CLS), we have highlighted a few of the terms for the loan(s). Please note that the information below is for the 3 most recent academic years. You must contact your lender/servicer for more detailed loan terms, or for loans borrowed in years prior to those listed below.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans
• Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.05%.
• Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.54%.
• Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.28%.
• Repayment begins 6 months after a student’s enrollment status drops to less than half-time.
• You have up to a 10 year standard repayment period.
• Interest accrues from the date of disbursement while you are in school and during grace/deferment periods. Interest can be paid while enrolled, or deferred and capitalized at the time of repayment.

Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
• Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2023, and June 30, 2024: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 8.05%.
• Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.54%.
• Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.28%.
• Interest accrues from the date of disbursement. Interest can be paid while enrolled, or deferred and capitalized at the time of repayment.
• For graduate/professional students, this loan has a 6-month post enrollment deferment (repayment begins 6 months after a student’s enrollment status drops to less than half time).
• You have up to a 10 year standard repayment period.

Columbia University Loan Program
The interest is fixed at 5% during repayment. No interest accrues during enrollment at CLS or during the 6-month grace period. Repayment begins 6 months after a student’s enrollment status drops to less than half-time. You have up to a 10-year repayment period.

Private Educational Loan Programs
While some private educational loan programs offer a fixed interest rate, many private loan programs have interest rates that are variable. Private educational loans with variable interest rates are adjusted quarterly, monthly, or annually, depending on the loan program. Interest for private educational loans accrues from the time of loan disbursement, and deferred interest is capitalized. For most loan programs, capitalization occurs when the loan enters repayment. Some lenders may charge a capitalization and/or origination fee at the time of repayment. Depending upon the lender, repayment typically begins after a 6- or 9-month grace period and the maximum repayment period may be up to 30 years. Please refer to your loan promissory note or periodic borrower statements for your loan program details.

Repayment Options
You should work with your loan servicer to choose a federal student loan repayment plan that is best for you. To make your payments more affordable, repayment plans can give you more time to repay your loans or can be based on your income.

Prepayment is paying all or part of your loan before the end of the repayment period. This will substantially decrease your total interest costs. There is no penalty for prepaying most educational loans; check your promissory note.

When prepaying a portion of your loan(s):
• Include written instructions with your payment to your lender/servicer. Contact your lender/servicer for specific instructions.
• Specify which loan(s) you are prepaying.
• Apply payment to outstanding principal to decrease the overall cost of the loan.

When prepaying your entire loan(s):
• First contact your lender/servicer for the exact repayment amount(s) and for specific instructions.
• Include written notification with your payment.
• After repayment, your lender/servicer should return your cancelled promissory note(s).

Advance Payment
A lump sum payment to cover future scheduled installments is considered an advance payment. Provide specific instructions for making advance payments; you must instruct the lender/servicer that you are making advance payments, for which loans, and for which months. Do not assume that sending extra money with your monthly payment is applied to future payments. Contact your lender/servicer for specific instructions.

Federal Loan Repayment Plans
Loan servicers provide an array of payment plans to make loan repayment flexible, convenient, and even less expensive. Please be advised that repayment options and incentives may not be guaranteed. Loan servicers may offer or rescind some options based on changes that affect student loan interest rates. The following are typical loan repayment plans. Please contact your loan servicer(s) for specific repayment details.

For detailed federal repayment information, we encourage you to review the Federal Student Aid website (

• Standard (fixed) Repayment
• Graduated Repayment
• Extended Repayment
• Income Driven Repayment Plans
     o Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan—formerly the REPAYE Plan
     o Pay As You Earn (PAYE) Repayment Plan
     o Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan
     o Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan
• Income-Sensitive Repayment

Federal Loan Consolidation
You should consider consolidation primarily if you are having difficulty in managing your repayment obligations, but only after carefully reviewing the various loan repayment options available to federal loan borrowers. Consolidation reduces your monthly payments by increasing your loan repayment period for as long as 30 years. Federal and other private educational loans cannot be consolidated together. Loan consolidation is primarily for borrowers who need greater repayment flexibility, generally in order to avoid delinquency or default. Federal loans may be consolidated during the grace period or anytime during repayment.

There can be disadvantages to consolidation, so borrowers should contact their loan servicer(s) and/or the Federal Direct Consolidation Loan Program website ( to obtain specific information. We advise that borrowers then carefully consider their options to ensure that consolidation fits into their long-term financial planning. You always have the option of prepaying federal consolidation loans. Again, we advise borrowers to consider carefully both the advantages and disadvantages of consolidation before making any decisions.

Deferment and Forbearance
A deferment is a period of time for which an eligible student loan borrower, meeting specific requirements established by law and/or contained in the promissory note, may postpone monthly payments of principal and/or interest. A forbearance is an agreement (at the lender/servicer’s option) to accept a temporary cessation of loan payments, an extension of time for making payments, or a smaller monthly payment than was previously scheduled. Forbearance may be given for circumstances that are not covered by deferment and which adversely affect the borrower’s ability to meet loan payment obligations. Be sure to request deferment or forbearance as soon as you anticipate needing it, so that your request can be reviewed in a timely manner. If you are delinquent on your loans, lenders/servicers are frequently limited in the forms of assistance they can provide, so do not delay in contacting them.

On-Time Repayment Incentives
Lenders and loan servicers may offer repayment incentives on educational loans to encourage on-time repayment. Contact your lenders or servicers for more information about any incentive programs they may offer. Remember, too, that there is no penalty for pre-payment of educational loans.

Important Repayment Information
You must notify your lender(s) or servicer(s), preferably in writing, of any change in your circumstances or status, including:
• Change in name
• Change in address or telephone number
• Change in Social Security Number
• Change in graduation date
• Need to request a forbearance
• Need to apply for deferment
• Difficulty in making payments

Monthly loan payments are mandatory, even if you do not receive a bill. Failure to repay your student loans will lead to delinquency or default. We recommend that you maintain a file comprised of your loan documents, your payment records, and all your correspondence or communications with the lender(s)/servicer(s).

Please be advised that educational loans are not dischargeable in most bankruptcy proceedings. Read your promissory notes and disclosure statements.

Always keep in touch with your lender(s)/servicer(s)!

Delinquent or Defaulted Loan
Some possible consequences for delinquent or defaulted loans:
• The entire unpaid balance of your loan and any interest you owe becomes immediately due (this is called "acceleration").
• You can no longer receive deferment or forbearance, and you lose eligibility for other benefits, such as the ability to choose a repayment plan.
• You lose eligibility for additional federal student aid.
• The default is reported to credit bureaus, damaging your credit rating and affecting your ability to buy a car or house or to get a credit card.
• Your tax refunds and federal benefit payments may be withheld and applied toward repayment of your defaulted loan (this is called “Treasury offset”).
• Your wages may be garnished. This means your employer may be required to withhold a portion of your pay and send it to your loan holder to repay your defaulted loan.
• Your loan holder can take you to court.
• You may not be able to purchase or sell assets such as real estate.
• You may be charged court costs, collection fees, attorney’s fees, and other costs associated with the collection process.
• It may take years to reestablish a good credit record.
• You may forfeit participation in Columbia Law School’s LRAP.

Columbia Law School Public Service Bridge Loan
The Public Service Bridge Loan supports Columbia Law School JD students who have demonstrated a commitment to public service. The Public Service Bridge Loan assists with the financial challenges public interest students may face in registering for bar courses and covering post-graduate living expenses.
The Public Service Bridge Loan for up to a maximum of $10,000 in borrowing per participant for bar-related expenses is considered LRAP eligible debt. Qualifying LRAP employment is full-time

work that makes direct use of a graduate's legal education in the public interest or public service sectors, or in legal services for the poor. Public Service Bridge Loan applicants will be required to provide documentation of an offer to work in LRAP qualifying employment (reviewed by the CLS Office of Financial Aid), or, if unemployed, will apply with the intent to be employed in a full-time LRAP eligible paid position (as determined by the Office of Public Interest/Public Service).

Application Deadline: May 10, 2024. Applicants are eligible to apply for this loan during their 3L year and must complete the application by the last day of their final semester of study (May 10, 2024 for the 2023-2024 academic year). Public Service Bridge Loan Request Forms received by the Law School's Office of Financial Aid after the May 10, 2024 deadline WILL NOT be processed. No exceptions will be made. The application is available at the Office of Public Interest/Public Service website (

Columbia Law School Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP)
Graduates entering qualifying employment, that is, full-time paid employment requiring a JD degree that makes use of your legal education in the public interest sector (non-profit organizations) or public service sector (government agency), or in legal services for the poor, are eligible for participation in LRAP. Graduates entering clerkships after graduation are also eligible for LRAP benefits, but the LRAP loan and accrued interest must be repaid within two (2) years after the end of the clerkship, unless the graduate continues in employment eligible for LRAP benefits. If you think you may be participating in this program, now or in the future, we strongly encourage you to obtain a copy of the program description from our website and read it carefully.

In addition to the traditional LRAP, participants may elect to participate in both the Columbia Law School LRAP and the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. For detailed information about the combined programs, please refer to the full program description.

A full description of the Program’s policy, rules and limitations is available from the Office of Financial Aid (212-854-6522) or online (…). A summary description of the LRAP application process is offered below.

Application forms are available from the Law School Office of Financial Aid or can be printed from our website.

Complete application materials consist of the following items:

1. The completed LRAP application form;
2. The completed Employment Verification Form;
3. Participation Preference Form for LRAP Application
4. A signed copy of your (and spouse’s, if applicable) most recent federal income tax return, including all schedules and W-2 forms;
5. A letter from your employer stating your position, salary and employment start date;
6. Documentation of your monthly student loan repayment obligations [e.g., a copy of your monthly repayment schedule(s) issued by the lender(s)/servicer(s) showing the amount of each student loan payment and the date the first payment is due]. For traditional LRAP, it is recommended that your monthly student loan repayment statements be based on a repayment term which ends 10 years from your graduation date. It is highly recommended that all graduates consider consolidating any non-Direct Federal loans (FFELP/Perkins) through the Direct Loan Consolidation Program at the start of participation in the Columbia Law School LRAP in order to keep open the option to use the federal program now or in future years.

Recommended deadlines for submission of application materials.
• By August 1 or at least one month prior to the start of your employment: your initial LRAP application, including item numbers 1-5 listed above, should be submitted.
• By November 1: documentation of loan repayment obligations for federal loans (at minimum) should be submitted in order to receive initial benefits by December 1. All additional loan documentation should be submitted as soon as possible.

Benefits calculation and disbursement.
• Benefits are sent directly to the LRAP participant and generally are disbursed two times per year in January and in July. However, for first-time applicants, initial benefits are typically disbursed either just before your loan repayment begins or within one month after submission of your completed application.
• Reapplication is required annually in order to continue participation in the Program.

Helpful loan information.
• Some loans in the traditional LRAP, especially private or consolidation loans, may be scheduled on a repayment term which exceeds ten years. The traditional LRAP will only cover loans for ten years from your date of graduation. You may request re-disclosure of your loans to a minimum ten-year term from your loan servicer, or you may request that your loan servicer provide you with an estimate of your monthly repayment based on a term that ends 10 years from your graduation date (120-month repayment term). The traditional LRAP option will cover your loan payments at the ten-year term rate if you submit appropriate documentation with your application and you make monthly payments equal to that amount.
• For the combined programs, all graduates must consolidate any non-Direct Loans (FFELP/Perkins) through the Direct Loan Consolidation Program at the start of participation in the Columbia Law School LRAP.
• NOTE: It is highly recommended that all graduates consider Federal Direct Loan Consolidation for any non-Direct Loans (FFELP/Perkins) at the start of participation in the Columbia Law School LRAP in order to keep open the option to use the federal program now or in future years.

The Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA) created a federal loan forgiveness option for borrowers who hold public service jobs. The federal loan forgiveness provisions require borrowers to have borrowed Direct Loans or to have consolidated any non-Direct federal loans through the Federal Direct Consolidation Program. As such, we advise that borrowers carefully review the federal program to ensure that their loan repayment options fit into their long-term financial planning. A host of additional information regarding the federal program is available on our website (…).