Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You will find the answers to many frequently asked questions here at the Law School. 

Gettiing Started

If you are a new hire, you will need to complete a variety of forms that will be sent to you via email from the Office of Human Resources. These documents should be completed using DocuSign. If you have questions or concerns, please email the Office of Human Resources at

An I-9 form is the Employment Eligibility Verification Form required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to verify your identity and your eligibility to work in the United States. All employees must complete this form and provide valid original identification. You are not eligible for pay until you have completed your I-9 form.

Effective May 1, 2020

I-9s for all Columbia University hires are being completed electronically.  

I-9 Form instructions

  •  Complete Section 1 here: NewI9 link
            Employer: Columbia University

  • Email a password-protected copy of your Section 2 supporting documentation to our Human Resources department at

    • The email subject should be “<Last>, <First> - NewI9 Documentation”

  • Send the password as a separate email, using the same email subject.

For any questions, please speak with the Law School's Office of Human Resources

Once you have completed Section 1 of the I-9 form online, you will see a confirmation page that lists the acceptable documents you may bring to the I-9 office in order to complete the I-9 process. The list of acceptable documents can also be found on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.
Please note: expired documents are not acceptable by order of DHS.

Columbia University does not provide tax advice. We recommend that you seek the advice of a professional tax advisor.

New York State 195 notice must be provided to all employees upon hire, when there is an appointment change (for example, casual to support staff or student officer to officer of research), or before a change in pay rate (other than the normal annual merit increase).


The law applies to the following employees: 

  • All academic personnel (excluding student officers and postdoctoral fellows)
  • Officers of Administration (both regular and temporary)
  • Union and non-union support staff (both regular and temporary)
  • Student Casuals
  • Work-study students

International Scholars

If you are a J scholar new to Columbia, you need to Report Your Arrival to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) by submitting the online SEVIS Report form. This is very important! This action will activate your Columbia SEVIS record. The online SEVIS Report form can be submitted online using your PID. Your arrival should be reported within one week of entering the United States with your Columbia DS-2019.

For questions regarding visa renewal, please email the Office of Human Resources at

University Network ID (UNI)

The University Network ID is a unique identifier assigned to each university student, faculty, researcher, or administrator, consisting of your initials and arbitrary numbers. Your UNI provides access to Columbia’s systems and services, such as LionMail, Courseworks, library resources, computer labs, employee self-service (HR and benefits information), and university business and administrative systems.

To activate your UNI, please visit the Columbia University Information Technology (CUIT) Manage My UNI page.

To change your password, please go to the CUIT Manage My UNI page. Please note that Columbia University requires that all users of the PeopleSoft application change their password every 90 days. This is a precaution to help protect everyone’s sensitive personal and payroll data.


LawNet is a set of web-based services that provide interactive access to the Columbia Law School administrative databases.  

LawNet’s network and databases are Law School specific, and there is a unique username and password needed to access all LawNet services (e.g., Law School network and directory, etc.) The UNI username and password are used to access University run systems (e.g., MyColumbia self-service portal). If you have any questions regarding LawNet or LawNet access, please contact Columbia Law School information technology via email at or by telephone at 212-854-1370.

LionMail Account

Employees must first activate their UNI (see above) in order to log in to their LionMail account. Once the UNI has been activated, please visit

University ID Card

Anyone obtaining a university ID Card (CUID) for the first time must provide his or her UNI and show a valid government ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, at the University ID center. Please be sure to keep your CUID handy at all times.

University ID Center (Morningside Campus)
Kent Hall, room 204
Hours: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (no appointment necessary)
Phone: 212-854-7225
Campus Map

If your ID is lost or stolen, please email

Building Services and Public Safety

Please visit the Office of Building Services website.

Please visit for event planning needs.

Access is determined by your role and affiliation with the University.  Please contact

Should you experience any issues accessing certain areas within the law school, please contact

If you find yourself locked out of an area late night or over the weekend, please contact the non-emergency number for Public Safety for assistance: (212) 854-2797 or dial the last five digits (ext. 4-2797) on a campus phone. You can also contact Columbia University Department of Public Safety.

If you would like to report a crime, please contact Columbia University Department of Public Safety. Please visit for list of other services, such as Guard Service requests.

MyColumbia Self-Service Portal and Multifactor Authentication—Duo

Duo is a two-factor sign-in authentication to protect systems with sensitive data. It is also known as MFA, two-factor authentication, TFA, Duo, and two-step verification. Most people use Duo via the mobile app, Duo Mobile, which runs on a variety of smartphones and tablets.

To learn more about our two factor sign-in authentication system, please visit

You can keep your personal data and information up to date via the MyColumbia self-service portal.

To access MyColumbia, please follow the instructions below:

  • Log in to using your UNI and UNI password.
  • Choose the “Faculty and Staff” tab on top of the page.
  • Scroll down to the “Self-Service” column.
  • Select the appropriate option.
  • Confirm your authorization to access your sensitive personal information using the multifactor authentication (DUO).

The self-service portal allows you to manage the following:

  • Enroll in benefits and view or change benefits information. 
  • View or change your contact information.
  • Enroll in direct deposit or change bank information.
  • Sign up for emergency text message notifications.
  • View your pay statement and paycheck information.
  • Access tax information.
  • Update your W-2 form.

To enroll in direct deposit, please follow the instructions below:

  • Log into the MyColumbia portal with your UNI and password.
  • Click the “Faculty and Staff Tab.”
  • Under “Self-Service,” choose “View Your Direct Deposit Information.”


  • Video: Setting Up Direct Deposit in PAC
    • Note: When you click on the video link above, you will be asked to sign in with your UNI and password. Once on the page, simply click the blue “Enroll” button to begin.

To view your statement online:

  • Log on at
  • Sign In using your UNI and Password. (You will get the DUO authentication.)
  • Go to the “Faculty and Staff” tab.
  • Scroll to the “Self-Service” menu.
  • Select “View Your Paycheck.”

To sign up for Emergency Text Message Notifications, follow the steps below:

  • Log in with your UNI and password at
  • Select “Faculty and Staff” at the top of the page.
  • Click “View or Update Your Personal Information.”
  • Select “Change phone numbers."
  • Select “Add a phone number."
  • Next, select one of the “Campus Alert” fields from the drop-down menu.
  • Enter your mobile number (University-provided or personal).
  • Use the remaining two “Campus Alert” fields to enter up to two other mobile numbers you would like to receive emergency notifications.
  • Click “Save.”

Text message notifications will be used only in rare circumstances to notify you of critical information regarding urgent situations.

The university typically conducts tests of the Text Message Notification System twice a year. Members of the community are notified of the test in advance. These tests will not require you to do anything and will provide familiarity with the text message notification system in the event that we need to use it for urgent information.

For important changes that will impact your identity (e.g., any type of name change), you cannot use the self-service portal. Instead, please contact Human Resources at

Pay Information and Resources

Employees are generally paid on the following pay cycles:

  • University officers of instruction, research, administration, and the libraries, as well as student officers, are on a semimonthly pay frequency.
  • Stipend and fellowship payments are paid monthly.
  • Support staff and casual employees are generally paid every other Friday for the previous two-week period.

For more information, please see the Morningside Payroll Calendar.  

If you are not enrolled in direct deposit, your paycheck will be delivered to the Law School’s Information Center (also known as the mail room), typically by 2 p.m. Once your check arrives, the Information Center will email you to let you know that it is available for pickup (only for full-time employees).

Information Center location and contact information is below:

Columbia Law School Information Center
121 Jerome L. Greene Hall
435 W. 116th St.
New York, NY 10027

Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: 212-854-4477 
Fax: 212-854-7946 

Health and Wellness Benefits

When you log in to Columbia University Benefits Enrollment System (CUBES), you will see the benefit options you are eligible for, as well as the monthly cost and the benefits effective date.

Benefits eligibility for Officers begins on your date of hire.

Benefits eligibility for Local 2110 Support Staff employees are effective the first day of the month following the completion of the applicable waiting period.  

Benefits eligibility is dependent on a number of factors. Please contact for more information.

For information related to Health and Welfare benefits, please see below:

For all benefits-related questions, please contact:

Columbia Benefits Service Center
Studebaker 4th Floor, MC 8703
622 W. 132nd St.
New York, NY 10027
Phone: (212) 851-7000
Secure fax: (212) 851-7025

Columbia University’s Office of Work/Life fosters the well-being of the Columbia community and its people in their pursuit of meaningful and productive academic, personal, and work lives.

For information, please visit

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a network of free services, provided by Humana, to help you and your household members cope with issues experienced in everyday life. Services include short-term confidential counseling, wellness resources, and tools to help you be successful in the workplace.

For more information, please visit

Please visit Dodge Fitness Center for information regarding eligibility guidelines.

For more information regarding membership benefits and amenities, please visit Dodge Fitness Center.

Learning and Development

Columbia University provides access to faculty, staff, and students. is an online service that provides video-based tutorials and resources on just about every web and software technology you might wish to explore. is widely recognized as a trusted educational resource. For more information, please visit Columbia University |

Other Resources and Information

For information regarding parking, please visit