Law School Beginnings: Orientation 2022

Members of the J.D. Class of 2025 and the LL.M. Class of 2023 took a first look at their professors, campus, and each other during the opening days of law school.

Touring the campus, asking questions at faculty panels, noshing at a food truck fair, stretching at a yoga class, listening to career advice from former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara ’93—Columbia Law School’s newest students spent their first days on campus making new friends, finding community, and gearing up for the semester ahead. Watch the video (above) to learn more about the J.D. and LL.M. classes. 

“Lawyers have a special place in the guardianship of democracy. . . . As you begin your law school journey, you also pull up a stool to the workbench of democracy. You’ll learn how to wield new tools, to implement new processes—including learning from those who have experiences wildly different from your own. And I’m saying to you today, embrace the messiness of that project. Find ways to hear one another.” —Gillian Lester, Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law 

J.D. Class of 2025 Facts
  • 73% of class members have academic or professional experience beyond college.
  • They speak 60+ languages.
  • They include a dancer, poet, beekeeper, four-time Junior Olympic champion, and an ultramarathoner. 
  • One student has competed in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show since the age of 4, and another has performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.

“The Class of 2025 shares an irrepressible spirit and an enduring sense of purpose. . . . You are multi-hyphenates. You know, the podcasting, instrument-playing, language polyglot, competitive-sport-playing, artist, Rubik’s Cube–solving, 3,000-movie-watching, documentary-making, novel-writing, chess-playing, Instagram-influencing, intellectually grounded, self-care gurus. And now we can add ‘lawyers in the making.’ You are impressive and in excellent company.” —Nkonye Iwerebon ’93, Associate Dean and Dean of Admissions

LL.M. Class of 2023 Facts:
  • Members of the class represent 66 different countries.
  • They include Fulbright scholars, a published author, an art historian, a former flight attendant, a mountaineer, and a classical guitarist.
  • One student took First Amendment Law with Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger ’71 while Bollinger was arguing Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • They have an average of 5 1/2 years of work experience.

“This 10-month LL.M. program will change your life in ways that you cannot now imagine. The people in this room will challenge you to think about things differently: the way you approach a legal issue, the way you frame a problem, the way you craft solutions, maybe even question why you believe the things you believe.” —Julie Sculli, Assistant Dean for Graduate Degree Programs

Photos From Orientation 2022
J.D. and LL.M. Orientation 2022
Man standing at a podium

“Make friends. . . . In working through problems and talking about cases and fact patterns and negotiations, you’ll find that you get smarter and learn more not just by learning from incredible professors and faculty, but [also] from your colleagues.” —Preet Bharara ’93, Partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York