INTERNATIONAL JOINT DEGREE
Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) J.D./LL.M.
The Institute for Law and Finance at Goethe-University in Frankfurt presents students with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws in finance (LL.M. Finance) while also completing the requirements for a J.D. from Columbia Law School. The LL.M. Finance program offers excellent interdisciplinary and practice-oriented training in the areas of law and finance most relevant to international corporate transactions, banking, and capital markets.
Language of Instruction:
The J.D./LL.M. is a three-year program. As the academic year finishes late at ILF, Columbia students will not receive their degree in May, but are allowed to walk with their class, if schedules allow. Degree conferral and, thus, eligibility to take the Bar Exam occur the following February.
Applications are submitted during the spring term of a student’s 1L year. Students who are accepted into the program will spend their entire 3L year in Frankfurt. ILF has two terms—Winter (October through February) and Summer (April through July). Students participate in a mandatory internship program in the period between terms.
Tuition and Fees:
Students who participate in a study abroad program will continue to pay Columbia tuition, although in certain programs, health insurance and health service fees can be waived with proof of adequate alternative coverage for the entire year. All other student fees are waived. Consult the Office of International Programs for more information.
Cost of Living:
Students are responsible for the cost of living while abroad. These costs include travel to and from the foreign country, housing expenses, food, utilities, entertainment, and all other costs associated with study abroad.
Columbia Law School students and others who matriculate at Goethe University Frankfurt must pay semester enrollment fees of approximately 350 euros. (For current figures, please consult with the Office of International Programs.) They then receive a student card that entitles them to use the refectories, cafeterias, and other facilities of the university. The student card also allows free public transportation throughout Frankfurt and on certain regional trains.
All students are required to prove that they have adequate health insurance under German law before they can matriculate as students of Goethe University. U.S students are required to take out German health insurance for the duration of their studies. This applies regardless of any private health insurance policy students may have in their home country. The cost for students under 30 years of age is about 60 euros per month. Columbia students may still be required to pay for Columbia health insurance. (For current figures and other details, please consult with the CLS Office of International Programs.)
Important note for international students (i.e., F1 visa holders):
Please be sure to speak with ISSO about the implications of an international joint degree program for your F1 visa status and OPT. As a general rule, if you spend your entire 3L year abroad and do not receive your degree in May of that year, your F1 status will end upon completion of your 2L year. Specific challenges and strategies may vary depending on nationality.
Columbia Law Students are required to maintain a full-time academic schedule while abroad.
There are two semesters:
- Winter Semester: October to February
- Summer Semester: April to July
LL.M. students participate in a mandatory internship program during the time between semesters. In addition to coursework, all students complete a 50-60 page thesis that is generally approved in the October following their year of coursework.
Students who participate in one of the joint degree programs will receive transcripts from the partner school they attend. The grades earned abroad will not be listed on students' Columbia transcripts; the Columbia transcript will only indicate the number of credits earned while participating in an international study abroad program.
It may be possible while studying abroad to arrange work with a local nongovernmental organization that would qualify towards the fulfillment of the pro bono requirement. Please consult with Social Justice Initiatives for further information.
Online applications for all international study abroad programs are open during the month of February each year. Students who wish to enroll in one of the international joint degree programs should plan to apply in the spring semester of their 1L year in order to go abroad during their 3L year.
Columbia Law School Application Requirements:
- Columbia Law School Study Abroad Application, including a Personal Statement.
- Curriculum Vitae.
- The name of a Columbia Law School faculty member who can submit a brief recommendation.
- Official transcript (i.e., configure LawNet/Apply for Study Abroad/My Services to allow OIP access to your transcript).
ILF Application Requirements:
- Application Form (given to nominated students).
- Personal Statement (letter of motivation).
- Curriculum Vitae.
- Academic Degrees and Transcripts.
- Photocopy of Passport.
Course Listings (Winter Semester)
For more information
Visit the Office of International Programs in William and June Warren Hall, 6th Floor. There, you can view any additional information on file from our partner schools, as well as any relevant program evaluations that have been submitted by students who have participated in this and other study abroad programs.
Studying abroad has been very beneficial for many students who are considering a public interest career, but that the timing of overseas study may also present scheduling conflicts with regard to public interest hiring calendars. Please consult with Social Justice Initiatives to learn more.
Director of International Student Exchange and Joint Degree Programs
Office of International and Comparative Law Programs, Columbia Law School
Office: William and June Warren Hall, Room 605