J.D. Orientation: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

J.D. students can find answers to common questions below.

Click on a topic to jump to that section.

Looking for more information? You can always email [email protected].

What should I do if I am having trouble registering for LawNet?
If you have not completed the New Student Guide for Informational Technology, do so, then try registering for LawNet again.

If you are still having trouble with your LawNet account after that, please email [email protected], and we will work with IT to determine a solution.

I received an error message that says, “You are not authorized to access this page,” when logging into my LawNet account. What should I do?
Please make sure you have activated your LawNet account. Also, please make sure you are using your LawNet authentication (username and associated password). For example, a student named Taylor Brown would log in with the User ID "tbrown" and the associated password.

If you are still experiencing difficulty with your LawNet account after that, please email [email protected], and we will work with IT to determine a solution.

I received an error message that says, “Invalid LSAC Account number.” What should I do?
Double-check your LSAC number in your MyColumbia account. You will need to use exactly the same number to authenticate your LawNet account.

If your number remains invalid, please email [email protected].

Which LawNet fields should I submit?
By May 1, you will need to submit:

  • Add phonetic pronunciation for your full name
  • Add recorded pronunciation of your full name (instructions)
  • Add emergency contact information
  • Add emergency contact person
  • Designate your pronouns

If I previously studied at Columbia, will my UNI stay the same? Will I automatically continue to receive my email through LionMail?
Yes. Your UNI will stay the same and your LionMail account will continue to receive all Columbia University and Law School emails.

My UNI is invalid. What do I do?
Please double-check the UNI activation email sent to you by admissions. You can also activate your UNI, or reset your password.

If you are still experiencing difficulty with your UNI, please email [email protected], and we will work with CUIT to determine a solution.

Is it possible to still activate my UNI and LionMail accounts after the deadline?
Yes. After the deadline, Columbia Law School will only communicate with you via your LionMail email account.

Is it possible to change my name to the name I prefer?
Yes. Follow the instructions provided in Columbia University's preferred name policy.

Can I change my preferred email?
No, but you can set up email forwarding to any other email address.

If I am a graduate of another Columbia undergraduate/graduate school, am I required to register another ID, or can I continue with my current ID?
Columbia will automatically migrate your old photo forward to your Law School ID. You may retake your photo if desired, but you are not required to do so.

If I have previously completed a program (including high school summer programs) at Columbia, can I change my old ID photo?
As a one-time courtesy, the ID Center staff will retake your photo and issue a new ID at no cost. If you lose your Law School-issued ID card, additional retakes are subject to a $20 replacement fee.

Can I take a new photo?
You must upload your ID/LawNet photo by July 15. If you are unhappy with the picture you uploaded and wish to retake your picture, you can do so for a $20 replacement fee.

If you do not upload your ID photo by the deadline, you will not be issued a Columbia University ID until you visit the ID Center and have your photo taken.

Can I get a temporary student ID card to get access to student facilities before matriculation? No. Unfortunately, IDs cannot be issued prior to your official matriculation date.

How do I update outdated information in Student Services Online (SSOL) if it is stored from my attendance at a different Columbia program?
Update your information in SSOL (using your UNI to log in) as soon as possible.

How long do I have to change my preferences through the application portal?
You can update your housing application until the application deadline: May 1st, 2022.

Can I speak to someone about housing options before submitting an application?
Yes. Luke Christie, Housing Liaison and Assistant Director of Student Services, is available via [email protected] or 212-853-4646, or in person to discuss specific housing concerns.

Where can I find specific apartment information (e.g. locations, apartment dimensions, furnishings, and quality of the space)?
Because each building has a unique layout and amenities, details on your specific assignment will not be available until you receive it from Columbia Residential.

You can find the assignment arrival schedule on the housing page.

Who do I contact with questions about my assignment?
Direct all questions to [email protected] in writing. Questions will be addressed within two business days of receipt. Any questions submitted before your offer expires will be eligible for an extension on your offer decision period if needed.

Note: you have two business days to respond to your offer. If there is no response, the allocation will be forfeited.

What if I want to accept my offer but cannot pay the full reservation fee/security deposit immediately? Please contact Columbia Residential at [email protected] or 212-854-9300.

What if I receive a housing assignment but no longer wish to take it?
If you make this decision before accepting a housing offer, simply decline your housing assignment through the My Housing portal. You will not incur any housing-related charges.

If you accept a housing offer, then decide you no longer want to live on campus (but will still attend Columbia Law School), you will not be refunded your reservation fee/security deposit. Please review Columbia Residential's Reservation Fee & Security Deposit information.

Can I transfer my housing assignment to another student?
No. Housing assignments are non-transferable. If you decline your assignment, it will be offered to the next eligible student in the lottery.

Does the Law School help incoming students prove their affiliation with the University when applying for off-campus apartments?
Please consult with the Off-Campus Housing Assistance Office, a broker, or a building management company on this matter. Documentation requirements for private/off-campus housing vary.

My significant other is not a Columbia student but lives in New York. Can I apply for the studio efficiency unit as a couple?
Yes. Please read Columbia Residential’s Policy on Couples and Family Housing for further details and requirements.

In the Personal Information section of the Housing Application, please select “couple” as your application status. Do not forget to complete the required information regarding your partner.

If I previously attended another school at Columbia University, do I need to provide a copy of my immunization records again?
No. Your immunization records will still be on file with Health Services.

When does Columbia's health insurance plan coverage begin and end?
The coverage period is:

  • Fall 2022 (August 15 through December 31)
  • Spring 2023 (January 1 through August 14)

When can I enroll and start receiving benefits from the Columbia University Health Insurance Program? Am I eligible to enroll before the academic year begins?
Visit Columbia Health’s website to learn more about enrollment options.

Can I enroll in health coverage in the middle of an academic year, or do I need to decide at the beginning or end of the academic year?
All students are required to enroll or submit proof of insurance at the beginning of each academic year.

Students who age out of a family plan or lose coverage through another plan must contact the Insurance Office as soon as possible to enroll in the University Plan.

Can I skip enrollment or request a waiver? (For example: If I am already on a family health care plan, do I need to enroll in Columbia's plan? Can I waive the medical insurance fee/requirement if I already have Aetna insurance and am a New York state resident?)
All students are required to carry a policy that meets or exceeds the coverage of Columbia University's Aetna plan. To find out if your plan meets these requirements and/or to submit a waiver, check the Request a Waiver section of the Columbia Health website.

How could the immunization requirement affect my financial aid disbursement?
The central University places holds on accounts that block the disbursement of funds if the required immunization documentation is not satisfied. Please submit this important data to Health Services at Columbia University to avoid delays in the disbursement of your financial aid (grants and/or loans). Contact [email protected] with any questions about immunization holds.

Who can I contact with specific queries relating to my Dean’s Certification(s)?
Contact the Office of Admissions at [email protected] or 212-854-2674.

What if I submit my records after the deadline?
Please make every effort to submit your records in a timely manner, as the Dean’s Certification(s) and final transcript(s) are mandatory submissions before obtaining permission to register for courses at Columbia Law School.

If you don’t think your Dean’s Certification(s) and/or final transcript(s) will arrive at the Office of Admissions by June 15 and August 1, respectively, email the Office of Admissions at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Do I need to submit a Dean's Certification from any other universities or programs attended in addition to my undergraduate school?
Yes. You must submit a completed Dean’s Certification or equivalent letter of good standing from any school at which you matriculated, including graduate programs and any school from which you may have transferred.

If I graduated from Columbia College, do I still need to send a Dean's Certification?

How do I confirm the status of my Dean’s Certification(s) and final transcript(s)?
Send an email to the Office of Admissions at [email protected].

My bachelor’s degree conferral date will be after the submission deadline. Should I wait until after my degree is conferred to submit the Dean's Certification(s), or can I submit it before the degree conferral date?
If you are graduating this year, wait to submit your official transcripts and Dean’s Certification(s) until after your degree conferral date is reflected on your transcript. If the conferral date for your undergraduate degree is after August 1, 2022, contact the Office of Admissions immediately at 212-854-2674 or [email protected].

When will I receive the orientation schedule?
Check back soon for the orientation schedule. It will be posted on the J.D. Orientation website, and will be circulated via our To-Do Tuesday newsletter.

Where can I find information about loan disbursement and paying my tuition bills? When will my loans be credited to my account?
Review the Receiving Aid and Student Refunds page on the Financial Aid webpage.

How do I access loan funds? Do I transfer loan funds to my bank account via Student Services Online (SSOL)?
Review the Receiving Aid page from Financial Aid.

When/where can I view my tuition and charges?
Tuition bills are found on SSOL. You will need to log in with your UNI.