Columbia Law School Programs

The Columbia Law School LEAD Fellowship Program affords highly qualified juniors and seniors from Columbia College, Barnard College, SEAS, and General Studies the opportunity to matriculate at Columbia Law School after pursuing and completing an approved, two-year commercial or non-profit venture. Prospective students will apply in their junior or senior years and, as part of the application process, describe their plan to engage in a non-profit or entrepreneurial project or venture. Once accepted, students will pursue the approved opportunity for two years following graduation, and then begin their studies at Columbia Law School. Accepted applicants will receive a grant of up to $10,000 in support of their two-year project. LEAD Fellows can pursue other employment opportunities or graduate study in the two-year period prior to matriculating at the Law School.


Currently, only undergraduates enrolled at Barnard, Columbia College, SEAS, and General Studies are eligible to apply to the program. Competitive applicants will have a GPA of 3.8 or higher and meet the admissions criteria.

Application for Admission

Students should consult their advising dean and GS law school advisor as soon as they are interested in the program to discuss their candidacy. Please see below for the following application steps.

  • Students should attend any information sessions regarding the LEAD program and should refer to the LEAD Program website for the application timeline, including program information session dates.
  • Register with
  • Begin application for LEAD program. Applications open on March 15 through, and must be completed by June 15. Updated applications and preview application can be found on the LEAD Program website
  • Begin drafting Project Plan and personal statement/ essay in consultation with GS law school advisor. Applicants are required to submit three essays, and may submit one optional essay.  Please see here for additional information.
  • Prepare resume/CV
  • LSAT or GRE scores must be received by July 1st  of the application year
  • Obtain two faculty/academic letters of recommendation (no more than three will be considered)
  • Obtain Dean’s Certification from GS law school advisor

Please see the LEAD Program website for additional information regarding the application timeline, process, and requirements, as well as frequently asked questions.

Once Admitted

Students will be notified of acceptance by or before the end of July. They will be required to sign the LEAD Program contract. There are two versions of the contract; one for applicants who are submitting a project plan/applying for a grant, and one for applicants who are not submitting a project plan or applying for a grant (preview available).

Upon accepting the offer of admission, students are obligated to enroll at Columbia Law School after the conclusion of the two-year mandatory gap period.

Accelerated Interdisciplinary Legal Education (AILE) Program

The Accelerated Interdisciplinary Legal Education (AILE) Program affords highly qualified, exceptional undergraduate student the opportunity to earn the BA and JD degrees in six years. Accepted students must have completed at least 93 credits and all core and major requirements, and are admitted after completion of their junior year. Typically, transfer students and students who have completed less than six semesters at Columbia are not eligible for the program. Students must be nominated for consideration by their school; applications are reviewed and accepted by the Columbia Law School Admissions Committee. 

Contact Information

For additional information, please contact Students may also contact for questions regarding the application process.