Columbia Law School is located in New York City and founded in 1858. Although the class size of just over 1,250 is a little larger than some other leading schools, the student to faculty ratio is one of the smallest at eight to one. Although there are some curriculum requirements, students can start choosing their own electives beginning their first year. This freedom allows them to explore their own individualized specialty instead of being grouped into generic law programs. The school is desirable to many students because of its location in the heart of the city. Students can, and often do, choose to live in university-owned housing.
Students can add additional masters or doctoral degrees to their J.D. with other Columbia schools including the Business School, the Graduate School of Journalism, and the Mailman School of Public Health. Other joint degree programs can be found through outside programs like Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. There are also dual-degree programs with overseas law schools, like the University of Oxford in England, the Universite Pantheon-Sorbonne in Paris, and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Columbia Law School also has an affiliated program with Peking University in China, in which students are exchanged between the two schools and participate in joint publications and seminars. Columbia Law is perhaps best known for its Real Estate Law, Environmental Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, and Tax Law programs. Other strong programs include Corporate and Securities Law, Administrative Law, Bankruptcy Law, and Gender Studies.
Columbia Law School also places great importance on exposing students to real-life law experience. There are nine clinical programs that contribute to the New York City community. In fact, Columbia was the first law school to run a technology-based clinic called Lawyering in the Digital Age. Because Columbia is known for having strong corporate law programs, they also offer a clinic that includes students from the Columbia Business School. This clinic provides opportunities for lectures, workshops, and events focusing on investment banking, management consulting, venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, and entrepreneurship. There is also a chapter of the student-run organization, Unemployment Action Center, located on the Columbia Law campus.
With more than 30 centers on campus and study abroad programs in more than 10 countries (with 8 conducted primarily in the English language), students at Columbia Law School have many opportunities to further their law education. These students are also more likely to earn placements in competitive judicial clerkships or in teaching careers. More than 95% of students are employed at graduation, proving that a law degree from Columbia is a valuable tool to have. Individuals interested in competitive, yet fulfilling educational opportunities should strongly consider Columbia Law School.
Median Student Scores
LSAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
GPA Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
2020 acceptance rate: 16.69%
Number of 2020 applicants: 6,986
Number of 2020 matriculants: 377
Median LSAT: 172
LSAT range (25 to 75 percentile): 169 to 173
Median GPA: 3.82
GPA range (25 to 75 percentile): 3.72 to 3.91
Regular decision: February 15
Regular decision applicants are notified by end of April.
Early decision: November 15
Early decision applicants are notified by end of December.
Columbia Law students must start in the fall.
Total Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance
Median Grants for Students
Tuition and fees (2020-2021): $72,352
Room and board (2020-2021): $25,479
Total estimated cost of attendance (2020-2021): $97,831
Students who receive grants: 61%
Median grant amount: $24,000
Columbia Law School does not award scholarships that may be reduced or eliminated based on law school academic performance other than failure to maintain good academic standing.
Career Placement Results
Average Bar Passage Differential
Class Size Analysis
Employed full-time, long-term, bar passage required: 96.5%
Employed full-time, long-term, JD advantage: 0.7%
Career Placement Results
Federal Clerkships: 4.4%
Net Transfers: +44
Transfers Out: 4
Average Bar Passage Differential (first-time takers): 13.63%
Class Size Analysis
Under 25: 66%