Members of the Class of 2021: Find important information and updates and read messages from Columbia Law School offices and departments.
The Arthur W. Diamond Law Library is currently closed to all non-current Columbia Law affiliates. For up to date information on resources available to alumni, please see the COVID-19 guide or contact the Reference Librarians, using your LionMail email address, at [email protected].
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, then 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 for a modest fee. Contact the Law Library’s Document Delivery Service at [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 14th, 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 at; www.aetnastudenthealth.com/columbia.
If you have any questions regarding coverage, after graduation, please visit the Columbia Health website, www.health.columbia.edu/insurance, or contact the Columbia Health Insurance Office via email, [email protected].
The ABA Law Student Division
If you are currently enrolled as a student member of the American Bar Association. Health insurance offerings are listed at https://www.uhcsr.com/ or can be inquired about by calling 800.505.5450.
If not currently enrolled in the ABA student division, call 800.285.2221 and following the prompts for membership, or visit for more information. http://www.abanet.org/join/. Membership must be applied for at least 30 days prior to graduation. Additional deadlines for full benefit eligibility may apply.
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 at www.abamemberhealthplans.com.
ABA membership information is found at http://www.abanet.org/join/
New York State Bar Association
Information on the NYSBA Insurance Program is provided at www.mybarinsurance.com/nysba.
You must be a member of the NYSBA to be eligible for these benefits. Membership information can be found at http://www.nysba.org/ under the Membership tab. Membership deadlines may apply prior to eligibility for benefits.
New York State Resources
The Department of Financial Resources lists many health insurance resources for New York residents.
Congratulations! As you begin to prepare for graduation, please see below the housing guidelines for all Columbia Residential and Law School Housing.
Bar Housing Extensions
Graduating law students who are in good standing with the university may apply for an extension to their existing housing agreement to study for the Bar Exam (Bar Housing.)
Bar Housing Extension End Date: July 31, 2021
Application Deadline: February 15, 2021
- Approved residents must be registered for the New York State Bar by May 3, 2021. Registration will be confirmed with the Law School on that date, and any students not registered for the NYS Bar are required to move out of housing by May 31, 2021.
- Approved residents must sign their housing renewal through DocuSign by May 15.
- Approved residents are subject to the Bar Housing cancellation guidelines indicated below.
- Housing will be billed in accordance with applicable rental rates for the new academic year; these rates may be higher than current rates.
- Residents must acknowledge that construction projects in neighboring apartments may be scheduled during the Bar Housing period, and construction noise should be expected during daytime hours. Summer is the busiest time for construction in University buildings, and projects cannot be placed on hold during Bar Housing.
Cancellation requests must be received in writing at [email protected].
- May 1 - 31: resident must move out by May 31 and will be billed until May 31
- June 1 - 30: $1000 cancellation fee and rent is prorated based on move-out in June
- July 1 - 31: resident will be billed until their move-out date in July; no cancellation fee
- Overstays: residents who remain in the unit beyond July 31 will be billed for additional days + $1000 penalty fee
Additionally, only students intending to remain in housing for the full Bar Housing period should apply. Graduating students only 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.
Approved students will receive an extension for the period listed above and will be expected to vacate on Saturday, July 31st 2021. No further extensions can be accommodated.
For Spring 2021, since classes end in April, cancellation fees will be waived for students who cancel housing and move out between April 15 and May 31, 2021. Rent is prorated for move-outs that occur in April 2021, but rent is not prorated in May; students who move out in May will be billed until May 31.
Make sure to review Move-out Information to prepare for your move.
Standard Cancellation guidelines can be found here.
Residents who cancel their housing must provide notice of move-out to Columbia Residential in the Housing Portal according to the guidelines outlined below. Cancellation fees may apply. Residents who wish to cancel housing should also review Move-out Information.
Applying for a Bar Housing Extension
- Log into the Housing Portal account [https://uah.facilities.columbia.edu/]
- 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
Vacating University Housing
All Columbia Residential housing agreements end on May 31. Graduating students not pursuing a bar housing extension may vacate any time in 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. 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.
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.
Questions? Please feel free to contact:
Law School Network Accounts (G: and H: Drive/Printer)
Law School (LawNet) network accounts remain accessible through July 31. Any personal files you wish to take with you must be copied to a USB thumb drive or emailed to another account by that date. You can also print until July 31 with your 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.Columbia.Edu Email Addresses
Your Columbia Law School full-name email address ([email protected]) will expire on 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)
The LawNet website can be accessed through July 31. After that date, if you need your grades, please visit Student Services Online (ssol.columbia.edu) 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 are accessible to graduating students through July 31 with a valid Law School network account.
Registered Laptop On Wired And Wireless Networks
Laptops registered to connect to the wired and wireless networks in the Law School will automatically be unregistered on July 31. If you configured the G and H drive and printers on your laptop, you can simply remove them after that date. Connections to Columbia University’s wireless network (CUIT) will remain active after July 31.
Please address any questions or concerns (before July 31) to the Information Technology Helpdesk at:
Jerome Greene Hall, Room 131
E-mail: [email protected]
Congratulations and best of luck from the IT department!
Class of 2021, your journey is just beginning...
First things first: thank you. Your entry into the clerkship process last June was unprecedented. Nonetheless, you persisted. Continue to do so. Special thanks to the Clerkship Peer Mentors and our student organization leaders for encouraging clerkships and supporting OJC’s work. We
couldn’t do it without you.
Thinking about applying for clerkships as an alum? Post-graduation is a great time to apply for clerkships. Aim to request your faculty letters of recommendation as soon after grades come out as possible, but no later than May 14th. Once your letters are on file, they can be used in future clerkship applications. Follow the steps on the OJC Website to learn more. If you’re looking for a second clerkship, or a third, like SCOTUS, OJC can help.
Challenges During Your Clerkship? OJC provides confidential counseling to you as an alum. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
The OJC Team
Dear Class of 2021 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 2021 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. You also may have completed the 50 hours of pro bono required for all applicants to the New York State Bar. (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 Nadine Mompremier, 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 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 at https://www.law.columbia.edu/about/departments/financial-aid/public-int…. We also encourage you to review other LRAP resources on the Financial Aid website, and meet with Seandell James, Associate Director of Financial Aid, before you graduate. She can be reached directly at (212) 854-1245 or [email protected].
You also may be eligible to apply for one of the several Enhanced LRAP Fellowships providing additional funding for loan forgiveness to graduates who work in qualifying public interest employment. These fellowships are open to 3Ls who are going to work in public interest or government employment, and to clerks whose clerkship is their first postgraduate job. For more information on these Fellowships, watch for emails from [email protected] and visit our Postgrad Fellowships webpage: https://www.law.columbia.edu/careers/public-interest/postgraduate-fello…. If you clerk immediately upon graduation and hope to apply for an Enhanced LRAP Fellowship, it is essential that we have correct postgraduate contact information for you, to send notices and applications. To ensure receipt of this information, please email Rebecca Hinde at [email protected] with your name, mailing address, home/cell and work phone numbers and email address.
Employment: If you are still searching for a postgraduate position in public interest, government or another non-profit field, please be sure to come to see us ASAP so we can assist you.
Stay in Touch: Social Justice Initiatives (SJI) can continue to be of assistance to you after graduation – whether you seek career advising, job postings, or other resources, or are looking to connect with other like-minded Columbia Law graduates. The best way to make sure that we stay in touch with you after graduation is by signing up for our grad newsletter, which you can do via this link: http://eepurl.com/bGgHlL. Please also join our LinkedIn group for graduates interested in public interest, government and public service: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8206719. You also are encouraged to contact our dedicated alumni advisor, Tory Messina at [email protected], or any member of the SJI staff, or our nation-wide network of expert consultant advisors who can assist you after you graduate. More information – including advisor bios and how to make an appointment – can be found on our website at https://www.law.columbia.edu/about/departments/SJI/meet-sji-team.
Over the past three years, we have come to know many of you and have enjoyed working with you. We also appreciated your input on ways that SJI could better serve Columbia Law School students and the public interest law community. Please continue to share your ideas with us. And 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!
Erica Smock, Dean for Social Justice Initiatives and Public Service Lawyering
Madeleine Kurtz, Director of Public Interest Professional Development
Nadine Mompremier, Assistant Director of Pro Bono and Summer Programs
Devi Patel, Assistant Director of Public Interest/Public Service Fellows Program
Rachel Pauley, Director of Government Programs
Cassandre Theano, Assistant Director of Human Rights & Public International Law
Tory Messina, Senior Career Advisor
Kiran Singh, Senior Career Advisor
Haley Harvis, 1L and LL.M Advisor
Congratulations to all the members of the Class of 2021 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 Loan Automatic Temporary 0% Interest and Administrative Forbearance as a Result of the COVID-19 Emergency To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 emergency, interest is being temporarily set at 0% on federal student loans. In addition, federal student loan borrowers were automatically placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payments. This 0% interest and suspension of payments will last from March 13, 2020, through at least Sept. 30, 2021, but you can still make payments if you choose. Please check with your lender/servicer for additional information.
If you borrowed loans through one of the following federal loan programs during your enrollment at Columbia Law School, 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, 2018 and June 30, 2019: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.6%.
• Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 6.08%.
• Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 4.30%.
• 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 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, 2018 and June 30, 2019: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.6%.
• Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 7.08%.
• Loans first disbursed between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021: these loans have a fixed interest rate of 5.30%.
• 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.
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).
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 services 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 (https://studentaid.gov).
• Standard (fixed) Repayment
• Graduated Repayment
• Extended Repayment
• Income Driven Repayment Plans
o Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
o Pay As You Earn Repayment (PAYE)
o Revised Pay As You Earn Repayment (REPAYE)
o Income Contingent Repayment (ICR)
• 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 (https://studentaid.gov/app/launchConsolidation.action) 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.
• A hold will be placed on the academic records of borrowers who have defaulted or are delinquent on a Columbia University or institutional loan.
• You may forfeit participation in Columbia Law School’s LRAP.
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 Financial Aid Office (212-854-6522) or online (www.law.columbia.edu/about/departments/financial-aid) located under the LRAP section. A summary description of the LRAP application process is offered below.
Application forms are available from the Law School Financial Aid Office 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.
7. A completed W-9 Form.
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 which ends 10 years from your graduation date (120-month repayment term). The traditional LRAP 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 (https://www.law.columbia.edu/about/departments/financial-aid/publicinte…).
Congratulations on your upcoming graduation from the law school. I want to wish you the best and let you know that you will continue to have access to our office, Social Justice Initiatives and the Office of Judicial Clerkships 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.
Career Counseling and Job Search Support Services
Here is a listing of some of our services, all of which are free of charge to Columbia Law School alumni.
* Customized Career Planning:
We have a dedicated Director of Alumni Career Services and a network of remote alumni counselors located across the country. Our counselors have decades of counseling as well as practice experience and a wealth of resources to help you create your own career path. They are committed to giving you the tools you need to identify and achieve your career goals. They are available to you for virtual or telephone meetings. You can make an appointment through Symplicity or by emailing [email protected]. We will be available to review a resume and cover letter, discuss job search strategies and provide resources to support a job transition.
* Introduction to a Vast Network of Employers:
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 office works closely with the Development and Alumni Relations office to ensure that you have access to our alumni across the country and the world. Our alumni are eager to work with you, and you will have many opportunities to develop rich, lasting relationships with them. Please make sure to update your address with the alumni office to enable you to receive invitations to regional events. In addition, you are encouraged to join the Columbia Law School LinkedIn group and the Private Sector Career Connections LinkedIn Group. SJI maintains a Public Sector Career Connections LinkedIn Group. We continue to work on innovative ways to connect with alumni for their career development, so stay tuned for news about these as they emerge.
* An Extensive Range of Cutting-Edge Programming:
The Office also supports and participates in many outreach programs in conjunction with Columbia Law School’s alumni groups, other universities, legal employers, bar associations and fellowship organizations throughout the country to provide information and a wide variety of employment opportunities for attorneys. These events are posted to the Events tab on Symplicity or distributed by email to your UNI email address.
* A Wealth of On-line Resources:
From podcasts to articles to current news to webinars, our office is committed to providing you with easy-to-access information about the job market, professionalism, returning to the workforce after a career break, alternative careers and similar topics.
Reciprocity arrangements with law schools throughout the country may be requested by J.D. graduates who are seeking employment outside of New York. Once a reciprocity request is made, the Office of Career Services will send a letter of introduction to the career services office at the other law school on behalf of the Columbia J.D. graduate. When and if the request is granted, the Columbia graduate will be allowed access to the materials and resources the other Career Services Office deems appropriate in accordance with its reciprocity policy. The Columbia Law School Office of Career Services has a generous reciprocity policy, thus generating a warm welcome for our graduates who take advantage of the services offered by other law schools. Please note that during the pandemic many schools have curtailed the availability of reciprocity services, however, we anticipate that post-pandemic these opportunities will be robust once again.
Graduation Employment Survey Form
We request that you complete the graduation employment survey in Symplicity by April 7, 2021. 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, the National Association for Law Placement and US News & World Report and appreciates your cooperation in its efforts.
Congratulations and best wishes from all of us at the Office of Career Services and Professional Development.
Marta Galan Ricardo, Dean of Career Services
Graduation 2021 Registration Services Information
Table of contents:
1. Timeline for May 2021 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
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
- Timeline for May 2021 Degree Candidates:
- Before April 1, make sure to familiarize yourself with the requirements of the various state bar associations (www.abanet.org), and make sure to file your application(s) by the stated deadlines (for the July bar exam, most states have an April 30 deadline).
- April 1-30 is the application period for the July administration of the NY State Bar Examination. Make sure to submit your application during this period. Please visit the NY State Board Website for the most up to date information as this may change.
- April 1 is the deadline for submission of the final draft of the J.D. Major Writing Credit paper, and for all Fall 2020 outstanding written work for J.D. and LL.M. degree candidates (unless the instructor specifies an earlier due date).
- April 15, the last day of Spring 2021 classes, is the deadline for all May 2021 degree candidates to submit written work in Spring 2021 non-exam offerings (unless the instructor specifies an earlier due date).April 30 is the deadline for filing applications to take the July bar exam in New York State and in most states.
- May 15 LLMs taking the July 2021 bar examination must submit the Law School Certificate of Attendance form to Registration Services. JDs taking the exam do not need to do this because NYS BOLE will communicate directly with Registration Services.
- 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 Friday, April 30, 2021. Summaries of the J.D. and the LL.M. graduation requirements are listed at http://www.law.columbia.edu/academics/rules
JD candidates concerned about degree requirements should contact, Director of Student Services (212-854-7269 or [email protected].)
LL.M. candidates concerned about degree completion should contact Jill Marden Casal, Executive Director of Graduate Degree Programs (212-854-8874 or [email protected])
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.).
- 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 2021 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 2021 degree may be able to take the July 2021 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 21, 2021. 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 2021 New York State bar exam.
- Diploma Distribution
University Commencement will be held on Friday, April 30, 2021. 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 the correct address information for the diplomas to be mailed to. Students can update their DP (Diploma) addresses through SSOL (https://ssol.columbia.edu). For more information visit the University Registrar’s site at http://registrar.columbia.edu/students/graduation-and-diplomas, or call the Diploma Desk at (212) 854-8319.
i. Columbia University transcript
Only the Columbia University Office of the Registrar can release a Columbia University transcript. Visit www.columbia.edu/cu/registrar to order your transcripts online. You may request at any time multiple copies of your transcript, which can be sent to multiple addresses.
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.
Please note that some bar examiners require your applications to be notarized.
7. Contact information for Registration Services:
Location: Mailing address:
500 William and June Warren Hall Office of Registration Services
1125 Amsterdam Ave. (at 115 Street) Columbia Law School
435 West 116 Street
New York, NY 10027