In addition to the J.D., the law school offers the LL.M. and S.J.D. Students may take relevant courses in other programs and apply credit toward the J.D.; a maximum of 10 credits may be applied. The following joint degrees may be earned: J.D./ M.B.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration), J.D./M.A., M.Phil., or P (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy), J.D./M.F.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Arts in theater arts), J.D./M.I.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of International Affairs), J.D./M.P.A. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration), J.D./M.P.H. (Juris Doctor/Master of Public Health), J.D./M.S. (Juris Doctor/Master of Science in journalism or urban planning), and J.D./M.S.W. (Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work).
The School of Law offers concentrations in corporate law, criminal law, entertainment law, environmental law, family law, international law, labor law, litigation, media law, securities law, sports law, tax law, torts and insurance, constitutional law, human rights law, labor law, history and philosophy of law, health care and the law, and education law. Clinics such as child advocacy, law and the arts, environmental law, human rights, lawyering in the digital age, mediation, nonprofit organizations/small business, and prisoners and families offer client-based experiences to upper-class students for 5 to 7 points. 130 seminars are offered annually in such areas as Constitutional Law, Corporate Law, and Human Rights for 2 points (generally). Admission to a seminar is by lottery. Additional training through internships is available through arrangements with city agencies and consumer advocacy groups; clerkships with criminal, appellate, and federal court judges; and the pro bono service requirement. Research may be done as part of the legal writing requirement. Credit may be earned in journal work, independent, or supervised research. Law school lectures regularly bring leading figures from business, politics, entertainment, and areas of the law and judiciary to Columbia. Columbia established a Dean’s Breakfast Series in which distinguished alumni from the law school come and meet informally with small groups of students. There is a 4-year double degree program with the University of Paris, giving students a J.D. and Maitrise en Droit; a 3-year J.D./D.E.S.S. with the Institut d’Etudes Politique Sciences, a 4-year program with the University of London, giving students a J.D. and LL.B., a 3-year program with the University of London where students receive a Columbia J.D. and University of London LL.M., and a 3-year program with the Institute for Law and Finance (Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt) where students receive a Columbia J.D. and Institute for Law and France LL.M. Moreover, there are semester abroad programs in Argentina France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, and Switzerland. Students may also elect to initiate a study abroad program in additional countries. The most widely taken electives are Corporations, Federal Income Taxation, and Evidence.
To earn the J.D., candidates must complete 83 total credits, of which 35 are for required courses. The following first-year courses are required of all students: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Critical Legal Thought, Foundation of the Regulatory State, Foundation Year Moot Court, Law and Contemporary Society, Law and Economics, Law and Social Science, Lawyering Across Multiple Legal Orders, Legal Methods and Legal Writing and Research, Legislation, Property, The Rule of Law: perspectives on Legal Thought, and Torts. Required upper-level courses consist of a minimum of 2 writing credits earned, a pro bono service requirement (40 hours in second and third years), and Profession of Law (focusing on professional ethics). Clinics are electives. The required orientation program for first-year students lasts 2 days and starts before the Legal Methods course begins. Topics covered include student services, law school and university administrative matters, computer training, and financial aid information. Several social events for students and faculty take place on campus and around New York City.
In order to graduate, candidates must have completed the upper-division writing requirement and satisfied degree requirements (including pro bono service) and a course in professional responsibility and ethics in the third year.