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Dual LLB/Juris Doctor (JD) with Columbia University, New York

Lawyers qualified in more than one jurisdiction are increasingly in demand around the world

Overview 

This programme is not available to apply to through UCAS.

After successfully completing the first year of the LLB Law programme, you may apply to transfer to the dual degree programme that leads to a Bachelor of Laws honours degree from UCL and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University in New York. The Juris Doctor (or J.D.) is the designation for a professional degree in law in the United States and certain Commonwealth countries.

Students spend the first two years at UCL and the final two years at Columbia Law School in New York. This four-year programme teaches students from across the globe the skills to reflect critically on your understanding of the law, how the law works and how and if it can be changed.

As a UCL Laws student, your modules will be taught through weekly lectures combined with a bi-weekly tutorial or in seminars. During lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the principles of law, and to understand its role in governing the relations between the individual, the state, and society.

Through discussion and debate with your classmates and tutors, written assignments and presentations, you will develop your ability to communicate in a clear and effective way, sharpen your powers of reasoning, and gain the technical expertise to solve legal problems.

Eligibility

A maximum of three students per year are permitted to transfer onto this double degree programme. Selection in Year 2 is based on academic merit and successful interview, and will have major financial implications for the students involved. Students who have undertaken more than one year of study in the US (US high school or university) or have previously applied to Columbia Law School will not be eligible for this programme. Final decisions on admission of eligible applicants are made in consultation with Columbia University in line with their rigorously high entry requirements.

Applicants who are interested in this dual degree programme should apply through UCAS for admission to the LLB Law programme. In the first term of year 2, UCL Laws will inform you of the process for applying to transfer to the dual degree programme. The application process is exceptionally competitive. Successful students will often have a 1st class or very high 2:1 average in their first year. Transfer to the programme following submission of an application and interview is in no way guaranteed. Unsuccessful applicants will continue with their third year of study at UCL on the LLB programme.

To summarise, you will NOT be eligible to apply if:

  • you have spent more than one year in a US high school or university
  • have previously applied to Columbia Law School

If you have previously taken the LSAT, you must disclose your scores when applying, as they will be taken into consideration.

If you have previously applied to Columbia Law School but did not receive an offer, you will be welcome to apply to the Law School through the regular channels, i.e. the Admissions Office, but it would be for the standard 3-year program, not the Dual Degree program.

Highlights

  • Learn directly from world-renowned academics and practitioners in the legal field. 
  • Be a part of our global student community and take advantage of our unrivalled UCL Law Society whichtogether with the Faculty, delivers an outstanding programme of activities and events each term.
  • Develop your skills and legal knowledge by taking part in activities such as mooting, client interviewing, debating, and negotiating competitions. 
  • Get involved in pro-bono opportunities, allowing you to provide legal advice and give back to the local community. The Centre for Access to Justice (CAJ) provides Faculty-level oversight and management of the UCL Laws Pro Bono Programme, facilitating a broad range of projects for UCL students to get involved in.
  • Access specialist careers support from our in-house Careers Consultant. 
  • Work in our state of the art Faculty, Bentham House, which provides an inspiring home for our staff and students. Located in the heart of central London, UCL Laws provides a unique opportunity to draw on the resources of the centre of the UK’s government, legal and financial communities.
  • Study in New York - one of the major legal and financial centres of the world - for two years of the programme.

Programme structure 

The structure of the programme during Years 1 and 2 (when you will be based at UCL), is identical to Years 1 and 2 of the LLB Law programme

During Years 3 and 4, you will study on the J.D. programme at the Columbia Law School at Columbia University in New York. You will be required to pay the relevant fees to Columbia University. 

Modules

Year 1

Prior to the start of teaching, you will be required to complete some pre-course reading for the Laws’ Connections induction course (approximately 15 hours). This will be sent to you prior to the start of the academic year. You may also be asked to complete some pre-course reading for some of the year 1 modules. When you join UCL laws, you will start with a two-week induction programme: Laws' Connections: Legal Doctrine and Contemporary Challenges.

Laws' Connections is designed to be an inspiring introduction to the study of law here at UCL Laws, and to the role of law in addressing social challenges. It has two elements:

  • Introduction to the Study of Law
  • Case Studies

The case studies cover topics such as climate change, homelessness, the global financial crisis, fake news and falsehoods, and the family home. You will be encouraged to think hard about the role of lawyers and the law in addressing significant social problems and introduce some important legal ideas and concepts, and also some important legal skills. You shall also get to know the people you will be studying with for the coming years.

You will take four compulsory modules in Year 1:

  • Contract Law 
  • Criminal Law 
  • Property Law I 
  • Public Law
Year 2

During Year 2 of the programme, you will take four compulsory modules:

  • European Union Law
  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory
  • Property Law II
  • Tort Law
Years 3 & 4

Visit the Columbia Law School website for more details. 

Assessment

At UCL, students will be assessed by a variety of summative assessments (e.g. written examinations, take-home papers, coursework essays, presentations or through a combination of methods of assessment).

You will also submit and receive feedback on formative assessments throughout each academic year.

You will be assessed according to the regulations of Columbia University in New York in Years 3 and 4.

Accreditation

All of our programmes are compliant with the QAA subject benchmark statement for law and contain the "Foundations of Legal Knowledge" subjects as well as the skills associated with graduate legal work such as legal research.

This programme leads to a Bachelor of Laws honours degree from UCL and a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia University in New York. The Juris Doctor (or J.D.) is the American equivalent of the LLB.