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--------------- Print Magazine --------------
  May 2016
  April 2016

Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, is one of the oldest and most prestigious law schools in the United States. Columbia is historically one of the highest ranked law school in its home state of New York and holds the highest average pass rate for the New York bar (95.6%).

Columbia has produced a large number of distinguished alumni including two Presidents of the United States (Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt) nine Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States; numerous U.S. Cabinet members and Presidential advisers; U.S. Senators, Representatives, and Governors; members of the federal trial and appellate courts; academicians and diplomats, and civil rights and human rights activists. Alumni of the Law School have been the president or founder of more than thirty colleges and universities in the nation.

For its teaching and scholarship, Columbia is lauded in international and comparative law, corporate and securities law, administrative law, bankruptcy law, commercial law, criminal law and procedure, critical race theory, gender studies, intellectual property, labour and employment law, legal history and legal theory, public interest and human rights law. Constitutional law, family law, law and economics, and tax law, among others, are also exceptionally strong. Columbia, well known for corporate law, has a storied job placement rate at the nation's top law firms.


Law centers and programs

Columbia was among the first schools to establish both comparative and international law centers. The Law School also has major centers for the study of international law, including the Center for Chinese Legal Studies, the Center for Japanese Legal Studies, and the Center for Korean Legal Studies, as well as centers for European Legal Studies, Law and Economics, Corporate Governance, Law and Philosophy, eleven other law centers, and numerous law programs.

Joint degree program

A joint degree can prove to be beneficial to law students' career objectives. To enable interested students to achieve this goal, the Law School may approve a joint degree with any of the following of Columbia's graduate or professional schools:

  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (Ph.D. in selected programs)
  • School of Business (M.B.A.) (three year or four year program)
  • School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) (M.I.A., M.P.A., and special programs through the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and The Harriman Institute)
  • Graduate School of Journalism (M.S.)
  • School of the Arts (M.F.A.)
  • School of Public Health (M.P.H.)
  • School of Social Work (M.S.W.)
  • School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (M.S. in Urban Planning)

Dual degree programs and alliances, abroad

Columbia has cultivated alliances and dual degree programs with overseas law schools, including the University of Oxford, King's College London, University College London, and the London School of Economics in London, England; the Institut d'études politiques de Paris ("Sciences Po") and the Université Panthéon-Sorbonne- in Paris, France; the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands; and the Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) at Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.

Columbia graduate legal studies program

Columbia offers a Graduate Legal Studies Program, including the Master of Laws (LL.M.) and the Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degrees.

Clinical programs

The Law School runs nine vigorous clinical programs that contribute to the community, including the nation's first technology-based clinic, called Lawyering in the Digital Age . In addition, Columbia has the nation's first clinic in sexuality and gender law . In 2007, Columbia opened a new program in law and technology . Given that Columbia is well known for its strength in corporate law, the Law School offers, for example, a "Deals" course that includes participants from the Columbia Business School and the Law School. In addition, the Columbia Business and Law Association (CBLA), the Law School's principal student group dedicated to the interaction between law and business, routinely sponsors lectures, workshops, and networking events from traditional areas of interest such as investment banking, management consulting, venture capital, private equity, hedge funds, and entrepreneurship. CBLA also serves as a center for members of the Columbia Law School community interested in many aspects of business law, including corporate governance and securities regulation. The student-run organization Unemployment Action Center has a chapter at Columbia Law School.

The Columbia Law Review and other student journals

The Columbia Law Review is the second most cited law journal in the world. Columbia publishes thirteen other student-edited journals, including the Columbia Business Law Review, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Columbia Journal of Asian Law, Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, Columbia Journal of European Law, Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Columbia Journal of Law & Arts, Journal of Law & Social Problems, Columbia Journal of Race & Law, Columbia Journal of Tax Law, Columbia Journal of Transnational Law, Columbia Science and Technology Review, and the American Review of International Arbitration.


Columbia Law School's Arthur W. Diamond Library is one of the most comprehensive libraries in the world and is the second largest law library in the United States, with over 1,000,000 volumes and subscriptions to more than 7,450 journals and other serials.


School of Law
Columbia University
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Mail Code 4004
New York, NY  10027-7297
(212) 854-2640

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