Early Decision Plan
The early decision application process is streamlined and less expensive in terms of time, effort, and money. It's for students who have:
- considered what would represent, for them, the most effective legal education
- investigated a range of law schools
- concluded that Columbia is clearly their first choice
Application Deadline: November 15
Early decision candidates are generally notified of the Admissions Committee’s decision in December.
The Pros and Cons of Early Decision
Pros: early notification assures applicants they successfully completed the application process and allows them to resume professional, family, and educational responsibilities without any uncertainty.
Cons: the cost of self-restricting law school choice: candidates applying on an Early Decision basis commit themselves to matriculate at Columbia if admitted.
Requirements of Successful Candidates
Successful early decision candidates must:
- not initiate any new law school applications
- decline any acceptances they may have received prior to admission to Columbia and the Early Decision Plan
- immediately withdraw other applications once notified of their Columbia acceptance in December.
Failure to honor these commitments will result in Columbia revoking its offer of admission.
If You've Been Turn Down
Some early decision applicants not offered admission will be reviewed again in April as part of the regular applicant pool; others will be informed that their application for admission has been denied and will not be evaluated again that year.
Early Decision Materials
Early Decision Checklist
Application for Admission
The 2018 application for admission will be available on September 1, 2017.
Payment Certification Letter (.pdf)
Please note that the Payment Certification Letter is required only for applicants submitting application fee payments via check or money order.
Two Letters of Recommendation
Dean's Letter, if applicable
Candidates may be contacted for interviews. Please note that we are unable to consider requests for interviews.
Application Fee ($85)
2017-18 Dates and Deadlines
September–November: Fall Recruitment Season
September 1: Applicants may begin to submit applications to the J.D. Program
September 16: Last LSAT administration date that meets the Early Decision Plan deadline
November 15: Early Decision Plan application deadline
January 1: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forms may be submitted to the government, if applying for financial aid
March 1: Financial Aid application deadline
May 15: Housing application deadline
June 1: Deferral request deadline
Frequently Asked Questions