Admissions Process

Application Deadlines

Applications for the 2020 program are now open.

Regular Admission Deadline: December 18, 2019

The online application and all application materials for the CAS report must be sent to LSAC well in advance of the application deadline.  It is your responsibility to ensure adequate time for your application documents to be mailed, received and processed.  This can take several weeks, so please plan ahead.

Admission decisions are made on a rolling basis, in most cases no later than early February. Typically, the sooner you submit an application, the sooner you will have a decision.

Application Instructions

Columbia Law School has two LL.M. programs - a full academic year, on-campus LL.M. program (August - May) and a hybrid online and on-campus Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law (March - September). 

If you wish to be considered for both the LL.M. and the Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law programs, you may apply by completing the full academic year LL.M. Program application only or by completing both applications separately. If you complete only the full academic year LL.M. Program application, you must indicate in the “Columbia Applications” section of the application that you are applying to both programs and provide an additional Personal Statement specific to the Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law. You are only required to pay one application fee.

Applying to both programs does not affect your ability to be admitted to either. Decisions are made independently by different offices. Therefore, you may receive one admission decision before the other. If you are admitted to both programs, you must choose one as enrollment in both is not possible. Typically, the nonrefundable tuition deposit for the Executive LL.M. will be due earlier than the deposit for the full academic year LL.M. If you pay the deposit for the Executive LL.M. program, then your application to the full academic year LL.M. will be withdrawn.

Representatives of both the full academic year LL.M. Program and the Executive LL.M. in Global Business Law Program will be happy to speak with you to discuss your options throughout the application process.

Applications for admission to our 2020 Executive LL.M. program and all supporting documents must be submitted through LSAC. Please familiarize yourself with LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS). We do not accept supporting documents by mail or email.

Once your application is submitted, we will make changes only to your personal information (such as your mailing address, email address, or telephone number).  If any of your personal information changes after you submit your application, email ExecLLM@law.columbia.edu as soon as possible to inform us of the change(s).  

Applicants must submit all materials directly to LSAC, not through an agent or third-party vendor, with the following exceptions: submissions by the US Department of State’s Fulbright Program and its three partner agencies IIE, LASPAU and AMIDEAST; submissions by the Danish-American Fulbright Commission (DAF); and submissions by Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD). In addition, applicants will be required to attest to the accuracy and authenticity of all information and documents submitted to Columbia. If you have any questions about this requirement, please contact us at ExecLLM@law.columbia.edu

Failure to submit complete, accurate, and authentic application documents consistent with these instructions may result in denial or revocation of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, expulsion, or eventual revocation of degree. Applicants may be required to assist admissions staff and faculty involved in admission reviews in the verification of all documents and statements made in documents submitted by students as part of the application review process.

Before completing the application, you may find it helpful to review the Frequently Asked Questions section of our website, as many common questions about our application process and the online application are contained therein.

Application Components

Once submitted, all application materials become the property of LSAC and/or the Executive LL.M. Office and as such will not be returned to you under any circumstances.

Components Submitted Online Through LSAC

Application

Our Application must be completed online at LSAC's website

Personal Statement

Your Personal Statement should be uploaded to your Application.  It is an opportunity for you to tell your story and tie the components of your application together.  It is also a chance to show the Admissions Committee how well you write in English.  You should prepare this statement without assistance from others. An effective Personal Statement can be written in no more than two pages using a 12-point font with standard margins. We will not accept a résumé or curriculum vitae in place of the statement.

Résumé or Curriculum Vitae

You must upload a résumé or curriculum vitae for consideration as part of your application.

Components Submitted through LSAC’s Credential Assembly Service (CAS)

Transcripts and Diplomas

You must submit an official transcript and, where applicable, a diploma or proof of degree from all postsecondary (university level) institutions you have attended, whether or not you earned a degree. If you are unable to submit original documents to LSAC, you may submit certified copies. If the originals are not in English, you must submit an official, certified translation of each document in addition to the original document. We require the International Transcript Authentication and Evaluation Service (ITAES) in addition to the basic CAS service.

Statement of Rank

If your official transcripts for your first law degree do not include your class rank, you must include a separate statement of rank issued by your University. If your University does not provide official class rankings, you must include a statement from your University that students are not provided with an official class rank upon graduation. 

Letters of Recommendation

We require two original letters of recommendation. The two required letters should come from academic or work associates; personal/friend references are not permitted.

  • Students who have received a degree in the past five years are required to provide at least one academic reference.
  • Students out of school for more than five years are encouraged to provide one academic reference if they deem it in their best interest. Otherwise, letters should come from professional associates.
  • Your recommenders must submit their letters of recommendation directly to LSAC. They may do so either electronically via LSAC’s Electronic Recommendation system (also called E-LORs) or by mail to LSAC.
  • Recommenders should be encouraged to include in their letters: their relationship to the applicant; the duration of their relationship; and as many specifics regarding their experience as possible (for example, a former instructor might name the course that the applicant took with him/her, the applicant’s performance in the class, ranking of the applicant against other students taught, etc.).
  • The email address for each recommender should be a professional email address (e.g., with an “.edu” extension or company-related domain). If such an email address is not possible, the student must provide an explanation and seek permission from Columbia to utilize a non-professional email address for the reference.

TOEFL Scores

All applicants except those who earned their first law degree entirely in English in an English-speaking country must take the TOEFL iBT by our admission deadline (December 18, 2019). These scores must be sent to LSAC for inclusion in your application file.  We do not accept the IELTS or any other exam in place of the TOEFL. The minimum scores required for admission are:

  • TOEFL iBT: 105 overall score, with 26 on the Reading and Listening sections and 24 on the Speaking and Writing sections. MyBest scores are accepted.
  • Interviews to confirm English proficiency are frequently requested.

If your score falls below these levels, your chances of admission could be adversely impacted even if your application is otherwise strong. You must decide whether to repeat the test based on how far below these scores your results fall.

Application Fees

Columbia Law School charges an application fee of $85USD which must be paid at the time your application is submitted.  This fee is nonrefundable and will not be credited against your tuition. 

LSAC charges fees for use of their services, including the ITAES ($135USD), the Document Assembly Service ($85USD) and the Law School Report Fee ($30USD).  

Communication with the Executive LL.M. Office

We look forward to receiving your application and learning more about you.  As we move through the application process, due to the large volume of applications we receive, it is not possible for the Executive LL.M. Office staff to report on the progress of applications.

We will send each applicant, by email, the following information regarding a submitted application:

  • An automatic confirmation that we have received your online application;
  • A link to our online Application Status page, where you can check whether we have received your application components (three to five business days after submitting your application); and
  • Notification that your application is complete.

We send all admission decisions by email. Offers of admission are also sent hard copy via courier. Please be sure to provide us with a valid email address and a physical address for the courier delivery (we do not deliver admission materials to post office boxes), and to update that information as necessary.