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Columbia University

Columbia University was founded in 1754 by royal charter of King George II of England (before the US was independent from England). It is the oldest institution of higher learning in New York State and the fifth oldest in the United States. Today, Columbia University is one of the top academic and research institutions in the world.

Columbia consists of three undergraduate schools, thirteen graduate and professional schools, including a law school, medical school, business school, journalism school, and a school of continuing education. Columbia boasts 79 Nobel prize winners, since 1901, among its alumni, faculty, adjunct faculty, researchers and administrators. The University's current faculty includes nine Nobel laureates.

Columbia hosts about 5,000 international students yearly and engages the participation of about 2,500 international faculty, researchers, and visiting scholars and scientists. Columbia is ranked number three among US universities in international enrollments. It has two campuses in New York City. The main campus, on the Upper West Side of New York was designed by a firm of acclaimed architects, McKim, Mead and White, according to the late-19thcentury ideal of a university campus with all disciplines in one location.

There is an active and diverse student life at Columbia. There are many fraternities and sororities, as well as student publications, radio stations and athletic teams. Columbia students have also been known for political activism, since the 1960's.

Columbia prides itself on being ranked as one of the U.S.'s and the world's best universities. Global University Ranking lists Columbia as 4th among world universities. Forbes Magazine listed Columbia as 5th among universities that have produced the largest number of living billionaires.

The law school

Columbia Law School is a leading center of legal scholarship, deeply committed to teaching and professional training. Columbia is one of America's most highly respected and selective law schools. The students are some of the most talented and culturally diverse in the world. About 10 percent of the law students are international students.

The faculty is involved in developments in such areas as constitutional law, corporate and securities law, critical race theory, gender studies, human rights and public interest law, intellectual property law, international and comparative law, jurisprudence, law, science, and technology. The curriculum is strong in all areas and the international law program is deemed to be the best. The tax and intellectual property programs are also highly esteemed.

Columbia law students can take advantage of many academic opportunities such as clinics in human rights or mediation, courses in African law or corporate finance, and externships in arts law or the United Nations. Many students choose to work with faculty as Research Assistants or get involved in a community-service program. There are also thousands of special lectures, workshops, seminars and programs hosted by the University each year.

The law school is located on the main campus which gives law students the opportunity to be involved in the active student life.

Because New York is one of the world's centers of law practice, Columbia law students benefit from its location. The expertise of New York’s legal practitioners adds resources to the Law School, and also provide a wide variety of career choices to law graduates. The Law School is proficient at job placement and Columbia Law graduates are easily able to get jobs at top law firms as well as prestigious judicial clerkships.

Tuition fees

Total tuition and mandatory fees is $48, 004.

Entry Requirements

All applicants must have a first degree in law. Those who have worked for a year after their law degree are given preference.

Graduates of U.S. law schools must have graduated from A.B.A.-accredited law schools, and demonstrate high academic achievement by writing for law reviews, or doing excellent research.

Graduates of law schools in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or English-speaking Caribbean countries should also demonstrate high academic achievement by writing for law reviews, or doing excellent research.
These applicants must have been admitted to the bar and practiced law for at least one year if they have not completed at least five years of post-secondary undergraduate and legal education.

Admission of graduates of all other law schools is limited to those who achieved high grades in their legal studies.

The Program

The LL.M. Program is a one-year, full-time program which begins in the fall term. Students can specialize in areas not covered in their prior training. Each year, approximately 225 LL.M. students come from more than 50 countries. They have experience in all areas of law– including academia, the judiciary, public service, civil rights and human rights advocacy, NGOs (non governmental institutions), international organizations, and private practice.

Columbia offers a general LL.M. degree, giving students great freedom of choice to select their courses from the varied curriculum. There are no set study “tracks” .The students can design individual programs to meet their own goals; they are free to broaden their general preparation, specialize in a particular field or deepen their knowledge about the American legal system, international law or other legal systems.

LL.M. candidates must earn twenty-four (24) points of academic credit and one LL.M. Writing Credit. They may write up to eight points of independent research toward the twenty-four points required. They can also earn up to six points toward the degree in graduate courses taken in other University faculties, such as the Columbia Business School, the School of International and Public Affairs or the School of Journalism.

Additionally, all LL.M. candidates who did not receive their training in the U.S. must take an introductory course on the common law and the American legal system given during the month of August.

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