Registration and First-Year Curriculum

Columbia Law School’s vibrant academic environment offers abundant support and educational resources.

The first-year curriculum is the same for all first-year J.D. students. You will be assigned randomly to a block of required courses in both the fall 2021 and spring 2022 terms. Each of the sections will be linked to the others, allowing your instructors to coordinate their syllabi and provide a comprehensive first-year program. In addition, sharing classes with a consistent group of students will help you get to know your classmates and give you the opportunity to establish study groups.

Semester Course 
Fall 2021

Legal Methods I 

  • Legal Methods I is a time-honored Columbia Law School tradition (dating back to 1944) that offers an intensive introduction to case analysis—from learning how to read cases and statutes to writing case briefs. You will take most of your foundational courses with the classmates you meet in this course. Your Legal Methods I placement not only introduces you to law school pedagogy but also provides you with a “house” where you can build lifelong friendships with other students.
 

Legal Practice Workshop I

 

Civil Procedure (all students)

 

One of the following sets of courses (subject to change): 

  • Contracts and Property
  • Contracts and Torts
  • Constitutional Law and Torts
  • Constitutional Law and Property
     
    • Legal Practice Workshop I (continued)
    Spring 2022

    Legal Methods II

    • You will register for one of the Legal Methods II options in mid-October.
     

    Legal Practice Workshop II

    • Legal Methods II builds upon the Legal Methods I introduction, exposing you to perspectives in different areas of the law. You will have the opportunity to choose which section of Legal Methods II you take, depending on your intellectual and professional interests.
     
    • Foundation Year Moot Court
     
    • Criminal Law
     

    You will be assigned to one of the following groupings, depending on which courses you took in fall 2021 (subject to change):

    • Constitutional Law and Torts
    • Constitutional Law and Property
    • Contracts and Property
    • Torts and Property
     

    First-Year Elective

    • You will register for one elective in mid-October.

    Note: first-year students may not register for additional classes in the Law School, in any other division of the university, or at other institutions.

    More on Courses and Registration in 1L

    UNI
    Your UNI, which includes initials and arbitrary numbers, is key to accessing restricted library information online, student grades, billing, and registration information.

    All students should have received UNI activation instructions from the Office of Admissions during the Admitted Student website process. UNIs are managed and supported by Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT).


    PID/C Number or Student ID Number
    The C Number/PID, or Student ID, is a nine-digit identification number that is assigned to students upon admission to Columbia University. The number, which is always preceded by the letter “c,” is used by the University's Office of the Registrar and other departments to keep track of enrollment and academic records. The PID is emailed to you by Admissions, along with housing application information.

    If you would like to find your C Number, log in to Student Services Online (SSOL) with your UNI and password, click on the “Academic Profile” link, then select “Show my name and personal data.” C Numbers are managed and supported by Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT).

    CUID
    The CUID, or Columbia University ID, is the official ID card for Columbia students, faculty, and staff. CUID is a card, not a number.

    Transcripts
    Your undergraduate degree-granting institution must send us an original, final, official transcript showing the conferral of your degree by August 1, 2021.

    In addition, you must provide an original, official transcript from each post-secondary institution at which you matriculated for a degree, including those from which you transferred. Transcripts from study abroad that are not included on your degree-granting institution’s transcript must also be submitted.

    In most instances, we will be able to use the transcripts included in your LSAC CAS reports as long as these transcripts were final copies and include the degree conferred and conferral date.

    Failure to submit undergraduate transcripts by October 1, 2021, may result in your withdrawal from the Law School.

    If a final transcript will not be available prior to August 1, 2021, please write to the Admissions Office at [email protected] as soon as possible to explain your circumstances.

    Send all transcripts to:

    Columbia Law School
    Office of Admissions
    435 West 116th Street
    MC 4004
    New York, NY 10027

    Dean's Certification
    Dean's Certifications are required from each institution at which you matriculated for a degree (including graduate programs and any school from which you may have transferred). Dean’s Certifications should be emailed by the institution to [email protected].

    You can also send a copy to the Office of Admissions:

    Columbia Law School
    Office of Admissions
    435 West 116th Street
    MC 4004
    New York, NY 10027

    Some schools use their own form for this purpose. These are sufficient as long as they contain the requisite information.

    Proof of Immunization
    New York State (NYS) law requires all students taking six or more credit hours to adequately document immunization to measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles) before registering at a NYS college or university.

    Full compliance with this law must be demonstrated before the start of your first term at Columbia University. Please submit proof of your immunization by June 15, 2021.

    A hold will be placed on your registration and records if you do not submit the necessary documentation, which means you cannot do the following:

    • View your schedule online.
    • Sign up for class seating charts for courses.
    • Access your financial aid funds.

     

    Information on where to purchase books locally will be available online later this summer.

    Assignments for the first day’s meeting of your courses, including Legal Methods and Legal Practice Workshop, may be posted on your section’s CourseWorks page. Your instructors may also email you shortly before the first class with information on assignments and required books. 

    You are expected to attend and be prepared for all classes, beginning with the first meeting of Legal Methods.

    Regular attendance is generally defined as attendance at 80 percent of class sessions, although an instructor may establish stricter attendance requirements.

    The quality of your preparation and in-class discussion participation may be considered by the instructor—without special notice—in determining your course grade. If you have excessive absences in a course, academic credit cannot be earned, and a final grade of “failure” may be recorded.

    Please make sure you read the Law School exam information section, which includes details on the anonymous grading system, examination regulations, taking exams on a laptop or writing them by hand, and more.

    All first-year exams are scheduled to allow one or more days between exams. Please do not make travel or any other plans that might pose an exam conflict during any exam period, as exams can be rescheduled only for the reasons stated in the examination regulations.

    The Law School’s Office of Registration Services manages student academic records in order to help students complete their academic requirements and attain bar application certification. The office also handles the curriculum schedule; administration of all Law School exams; the academic calendar; and the implementation of academic policies, procedures, and regulations.

    See detailed requirements for the J.D. degree on the Rules for the J.D. Degree page.

    We look forward to welcoming you to Columbia, and to working with you throughout your studies.