Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Transfer 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] or call 212-854-2395.

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 Maria Cruz would log in with the User ID "mcruz" 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 using the LSAC number look-up. You will need to use exactly the same number to authenticate your LawNet account.

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

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 if you have not done so already, and reset your password if needed.

If you are still experiencing difficulty with your UNI after that, 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. However, please remember that 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 as part of the New Student Information Technology Guide. 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. Contact the ID Center if you miss the deadline for further instructions.

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

Where can I find information about loan disbursement and paying my tuition bills?
Review the Financial Aid website.

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

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

How do I confirm the status of my final transcript(s)?
Email the Office of Admissions at [email protected].

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 of various units that could be available during your self selection appointment can be found here.

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.

What if I want to accept my offer but cannot pay the full reservation fee/security deposit immediately?
Please contact Columbia Residential at 212-854-9300 to request an extension. You may also want to reach out in writing to Financial Aid at the Law School ([email protected]) to see if you are eligible to defer your reservation fee/security deposit until your arrival on campus.

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 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), please review Columbia Residential's Reservation Fees & Security Deposits site and email [email protected].

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 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 the 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 August 15, 2023 through August 14, 2024.

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.

When will orientation take place?

Tuesday, July 25th (virtually).

When will I receive the orientation schedule?

The Orientation schedule will be emailed in July.


How does the lottery work?
All students are first assigned a random position within their category (LL.M., 3L, 2L). Based on the position in their group, student selections are considered in the following order:

  • Each LL.M. student obtains two choices (limited only by the competition of other LL.M. students and by a percentage limit, described below).
  • Each 3L student obtains two choices (limited only by the competition of other 3L students and the preceding LL.M. preference).
  • Each 2L student obtains one choice (in competition with other 2L students).
  • Each LL.M. obtains a third choice.
  • Each 3L obtains a third choice.
  • Each LL.M. obtains a fourth choice.
  • Each 3L obtains a fourth choice.
  • Each 2L obtains second, third, and fourth choices.

How do I pre-register for my externship/clinic?
You do not need to pre-register for externships or clinics. If you were accepted into an externship, the Experiential Learning Office will let Registration Services know. Registration Services will then register you for your externship/clinic.

Can I pre-register for a non-law course?
Non-law courses are not part of the pre-registration process. Cross registration is permitted during Add/Drop and instructions will be shared when the schedule is released.

If I want to take 16 points, can I petition to do so before the lottery is run?
Yes. The form is called a "petition" and you can fill it out via LawNet.

I have a hold on my account. What should I do?
View your hold information by logging into SSOL. Only the office that places the hold can remove it. Therefore, if you have an account balance, contact Student Financial Services.

Does it matter when I complete my pre-registration?
Pre-registration is not time-sensitive, so you are free to enter your choices at any point during the pre-registration period.

Does it matter when I complete Professional Responsibility (PR) registration?
Registration for Professional Responsibility (PR) courses is time-sensitive, as spaces will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration for PR is only available for 3Ls and LL.M.s. 2Ls can pre-register for PR courses.

I want to pre-register for a course with a co-requisite, but the system won’t let me. How do I add it?
Email [email protected], and we will add it on your behalf.

Can I take a prerequisite for a course as a co-requisite instead? How do I arrange this?
Yes, but you must contact the professor directly for permission. The professor can write to [email protected], and we can place the course that requires the pre-requisite on your pre-registration list.

When will I find out the results of the lottery?
Student schedules will be released in LawNet in the middle of August.

What does “seat reserved” in LawNet mean?
This means you are being offered a seat in a course off the waitlist. You will need to take action to claim this seat and resolve any conflicts.

I’m being offered a seat in a course off the waitlist, but I want to wait until I can attend the course. Can I extend my waitlist decision period?
From September 6–10, the waitlist is an automated process, and you will have 12 hours to make a decision if you are offered a seat. In order to be fair to your classmates who are also on the waitlist, we cannot extend this window.

I want to drop an externship/clinic/course that required instructor permission, but LawNet will not allow me. How do I drop it?
If you need instructor permission to register, you will need instructor permission to drop the course. After receiving an email confirmation, our office will manually remove the course from your record.