Housing and Living

Make your home in Morningside Heights, a neighborhood nestled within a bustling metropolis. 

Columbia Law School offers priority housing for all first-year incoming students who:

  • Apply for housing by the deposit deadline of the year in which they matriculate.
  • Maintain continuous academic residence at the Law School for the three years of the J.D. program.

While our housing office makes every effort to accommodate all incoming students (including transfer students), on-campus housing is not guaranteed.

Housing Overview

Columbia Law School offers housing for first-year students who (1) apply for housing of the year they matriculate and (2) maintain continuous academic residence at the Law School for the three years of the J.D. program. A majority of students use this housing and live on campus for the entire three years at Columbia.  

Columbia Residential manages on-campus leasing for all graduate students. Graduate student housing is located generally within a 10-block radius of campus and maintained by a dedicated staff of live-in superintendents and university facility staff. A majority of the buildings are pre-war elevator buildings and maintain the charm of Manhattan’s West Side. 

Law School only-buildings 

  • Lenfest Hall is located on West 121st Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive.
  • Lionsgate, a high rise building at 520 West 112th Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway

Columbia Residential buildings that house students from all of the University’s graduate and professional degree programs. 

  • Graduate student housing is generally located within a 10-block radius of campus. 
  • Most apartments are located in pre-war elevator buildings that embody the charm of this area of Manhattan. 

All apartment buildings are maintained by a dedicated staff of live-in superintendents and university facilities staff. Banks, grocery stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and other conveniences are all within walking distance.es.

Columbia’s Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) office helps Columbia students and affiliates find rental housing in the metropolitan area. OCHA manages a database called the Housing Registry, which displays available rooms and apartments in non-Columbia-owned buildings and sublets of units in Columbia-managed housing. Prospective roommates can also connect with each other on this site.

General inquiries on Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) and resources can be emailed to [email protected].

International House
500 Riverside Drive
(at 122nd Street)

Teachers College
517 West 121st Street
(between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue)

You may renew your lease before the May 31 expiration date and continue to live in your current unit from June 1 to May 31 of the following year. However, if you do not renew your University housing lease, you are not guaranteed housing for the following year and will need to reapply for housing.  If you are interested in staying in the area during June and July and do not live in University housing, you may do the following:

1. Sublet a Columbia Residential Unit
For information and regulations regarding the subletting process, read the sublet guidelines. All university-owned apartments (including those in Law School-only buildings) are subject to Columbia Residential’s sublet policies. Students subletting these apartments must complete Columbia Residential's sublet application and follow all sublet guidelines.

2. Consult with Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) to Secure Accommodations
The Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) office provides assistance to Columbia students and affiliates in their search for rental housing in non-Columbia-owned properties.

OCHA’s online database, the Housing Registry, contains listings of non-Columbia-owned rooms and apartments for lease, sublet, or share (long- or short-term) throughout the New York City metropolitan area. 

On OCHA’s website, you can search the Housing Registry, view a video on apartment hunting in New York City, get answers to frequently asked questions, and find online links to housing resources. OCHA also provides lists of realtors and temporary housing, maps, and more.

OCHA’s services are provided free of charge, however, some listers and all real estate agents and brokers charge fees.

You Can Visit Them At:
401 West 119th Street (between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive)
Phone: 212-854-9300

Bar Housing Information

Apply for a Bar Housing Extension
Graduating students who are in good standing with the university can apply for an extension to their existing housing contract. Eligible buildings include:

  • Law School buildings: Lenfest (425 West 121st Street) and Lionsgate (520 West 112th Street).
  • All Columbia Residential-owned buildings, including the Arbor.

If approved, you will be granted a lease/contract extension with the following dates:

  • All law school buildings: Friday, August 2, 2024.
  • Columbia Residential units: Friday, August 2, 2024.

No further extensions are accommodated.

All graduating law students will be notified of extension policies, deadlines, and procedures via email by February 28, 2024. If you missed the email or have not been contacted, but are interested in and are eligible for this program, email [email protected] and [email protected] as soon as possible.

Are you living in university housing? You can sublet your unit if:

  • You leave for the summer and will return as a full-time student in the fall.
  • You are participating in a university-sanctioned off-campus study program and will return to full-residency at Columbia for at least one semester prior to graduation.

If you intend to sublet your unit, review the Columbia Residential subletting information and application procedures first. 

In order to sublet any university housing, you must submit a Columbia Residential sublet application before beginning your sublet. 

Questions? Contact the Law School housing liaison or Columbia Residential directly.

92Y Residence is available to students for periods of 30 days or longer.

92nd Street Y
1395 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10128

Vacating University Housing
Columbia Residential sends all students a graduation vacancy notification email on February 15 to confirm your graduation status and allow you to select your vacancy date. You must confirm your vacancy, request an extension, or apply for bar housing (see below for eligibility) directly with Columbia Residential. Failure to submit requested vacancy information to Columbia Residential can result in a substantial delay of any possible deposit refund and denial of any extension request. 

All Columbia Residential leases and contracts terminate on May 31. Graduating students may vacate any time in the month of May without penalty. Regardless of your final vacancy date, it is your responsibility to follow all Columbia Residential vacancy procedures. If you are unfamiliar with vacancy procedures, review the Columbia Residential website. Failure to vacate properly may result in the forfeit of your deposit.


Luke Christie

Assistant Director of Student Life