INTERNATIONAL JOINT DEGREE
London J.D./LL.M. Programs
This program consists of two years of law study at Columbia Law School followed by one year of study at one of four schools in London: The Dickson Poon School of Law at King’s College, the London School of Economics (LSE), the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), or University College London (UCL). Upon the successful completion of the three years of study, participants will receive a J.D. from Columbia and the LL.M. from the school they attended.
The curricula at the law faculties provide students an opportunity to choose from a wide array of graduate law courses. Participation in this program enables students to conduct advanced legal studies in various fields, including—but not limited to—private international law; human rights law; intellectual property law; European law; Islamic law; Asian law; public international law; and European financial law.
London, United Kingdom.
Language of Instruction:
English. Note that language courses and courses outside the Law School are not counted toward the J.D. degree for students participating in double degree programs. Participation in this program is subject to a final review of the second year transcript.
The J.D./LL.M. is a three-year program. Applications are submitted in February of a student’s 1L year. Columbia students must apply in their first year of study. Students who are accepted into the program will spend their entire 3L year in London.
LL.M. students are responsible for a substantial thesis that is due in August of September. Therefore participating students are not eligible to receive their degrees in May or to take the bar exam at the end of July, but have to do so in February. Participants may have their Columbia J.D. conferred and may take the bar in February of the following year.
For students who participate in these programs, the official last date of enrollment is the last day of the academic year in May of what would have been their 3L year. The grace period for student loans starts on this May date, not from the time of the London exam dates, nor from the date of the J.D. degree conferral, which might be the following February.
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. For more information, visit the Office of International Programs Office to see samples of the costs of living at various foreign institutions.
Students who study in London for six months or longer have access to the National Health Service for free. Students in London for less than six months will receive emergency care for free, but may have to pay for other parts of the NHS. Columbia students may still be required to pay for Columbia health insurance.
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.
Students earn 18 credits for their studies in London. Students must also register for an additional three credits of independent research (supervised by a Columbia professor) during their year in London. Students who are nominated and accepted into one of the London J.D./LL.M. programs will receive more specific information about course schedules, registration requirements, passing grade requirements, and other important academic information.
Students who participate in one of the international joint degree programs will receive transcripts from the partner school attended. The grades earned abroad will not be listed on students' Columbia transcripts; the Columbia transcript will only indicate that students have earned X number of credits under an international study abroad program.
It may be possible, while studying abroad, to arrange work with a local NGO that would qualify towards the fulfillment of the pro bono requirement. Please consult with Social Justice Initiatives for further information.
Students are expected to take all required Foundation courses during the 1L year, 31 law credits during the 2L year, and must meet all other requirements of the J.D. degree. Online applications for all international joint degree programs are open during the month of February. Students who wish to enroll in one of the London joint degree programs should plan to apply in the spring semester of their 1L year for study abroad during their 3L year.
Participation in this program is subject to a final review of the second year transcript.
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).
As a part of the application, students are asked to list, in order of preference, which program in London they wish to attend. Columbia Law School cannot guarantee that nominated students will be placed in their first choice school, although every effort will be made to try and accommodate such requests for nominated students.
Students will be required to fill out a partner application to the London school they are nominated to in the spring of their 2L year. The application requirements vary by school (Note: Some schools have presumptive GPA requirements of B+ or B). Nominated students can expect to receive information about that process from the Office of International Programs at Columbia and from the partner institution.
London Joint Degree Schools Online
King's College (Dickson-Poon School of Law)
London School of Economics (LSE)
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
University College London (UCL)
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