Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Law School: The Degree

The Juris Doctor (J.D.) is a graduate degree; it normally takes J.D. candidates three years to complete the law school curriculum. Law schools typically require entering students to have a bachelor's degree, but beyond the B.A., there are no specific requirements for admission into law school. Generally, law schools seek applicants who possess the ability to read, research, and write effectively, because these attributes are essential to the study and practice of law. Successful applicants have usually taken a number of undergraduate courses which demonstrate, develop, and engage these abilities.

Many highly-specialized career paths exist within the practice of law, but the J.D. itself provides generalist training. Although certain law schools may be known for their particular programmatic strengths (for example, corporate law, tax law, or public interest law) and range of courses and electives, J.D. candidates are trained as generalists and become specialists by practice. Specialized training typically takes place once a law school graduate accepts employment with a firm, agency, company, or judge.

2017 Law School Packet


If you were admitted to a law school that requires a dean's certification for matriculants, please go to the school's admitted students web page, complete your section of the form, and email it as a pdf attachment to Cindy Cogdill at  You do not need to complete our online registration.

Fall 2018/Spring 2019 Applicants: In order to receive a Dean's Certification for law school, you must register with the Preprofessional Office. You can do so hereIf you are reverted back to this page after logging in, click "here" again. Please refer to page 32 of the Application Process Packet to see which schools require a Dean's Certification.

Prelaw Listserv/Blog

Preprofessional Advising has migrated the prehealth and prelaw listservs to the Mailman service. This new platform will enable you to easily subscribe and unsubscribe through a webform.  It will also provide an archive feature, enabling you to access past messages as we move forward.  This is a great new feature. 

To subscribe, unsubscribe or access message archives go to the listinfo page for prelaw.

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