Columbia is perhaps the best known American Law School amongst international law students. It is also one of the most selective. Its acceptance rate is around 12%, the second lowest amongst American Law Schools. Located in the Morningside Heights neighbourhood in the north of Manhattan, Columbia is one of the biggest, most powerful, and influential Law Schools in the country. Its alumni includes two US Presidents, 9 US Supreme Court judges, and many leading international jurists, including a former and current President of the International Court of Justice, and Supreme Court judges in Japan, Sweden, the UK, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Many consider Columbia’s LLM program to be the most selective. With a class of 250 students, Columbia’s LL.M. program is also one of the largest.
Columbia LLM Admissions has a system of “Early Admission” with an LLM deadline in mid-November in addition to the Regular Application deadline. Applying Early significantly increases an Applicant’s chances of success. Foreign lawyers and law students with an LLM from Columbia work in the best and most prestigious law firms in their home jurisdictions. Occasionally, international students who do extremely well during their LLM year at Columbia (notably those named as Harlan Fiske Stone Scholars) can find placements in law firms in New York, but this remains the exception rather than the rule.