Our Commitment to Welcoming All Students

Dean Gillian Lester shares a message with the Columbia Law community.

Dear members of the Columbia Law School community,

One of Columbia Law School’s fundamental values is to be welcoming to all students, regardless of their identity, background, or belief system. Earlier this month, a group of law students disrupted a program for students admitted to the Law School. Some in attendance reported feeling harassed and intimidated by the manner of the disruption.

As we prepare to embark on the final stretch of the semester, I want to take this opportunity to restate the Law School’s responsibility to abide by and enforce the Interim University Policy for Safe Demonstrations, the Rules of University Conduct, and the University’s Standards and Discipline Policy. These policies prohibit disruption of University events, demonstrations in academic buildings, and discrimination and harassment. Disruptions in violation of any of these policies at admitted student programs and other University events are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Violations of these policies will continue to be reported when they occur, and individuals engaging in unauthorized behavior will continue to be subject to discipline. 

One of the hallmarks of Columbia Law School—a source of strength, learning, and belonging—is the diversity of experience and perspective that each of us brings to our shared community. We must affirm this value, along with our commitment to fostering an environment that upholds the foundational tenets of free expression, while also ensuring that classes, events, and operations can function freely and without interruption. 


Gillian Lester
Dean and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Law