The 15 Best Law Schools in New York To Get Into With Key Facts

Best Law Schools in New York: If you are thinking about going to law school, it’s a good idea to know what state has some of the best schools.

A good law school will prepare you to pass the bar and get a job in the legal field that you want.

Studying law in New York can also give you the necessary skills to practice as an attorney or develop a career in another field such as politics, diplomacy, economics, business, or education.

There are currently 15 top law schools in New York according to U.S News of World Report and in this article, we shall list them based on rankings, their requirements, and acceptance rates.

Is it hard to get into New York law schools?

The law schools in New York are quite selective with their admission process, the average acceptance rate of the 15 New York law schools is 48.2%, and the average GPA required is 3.42, therefore, a student will have to do so much to impress the admission officers.

What are the best law schools in New York?

Best Law Schools in New York

Here is a list of the best law schools in New York ranked according to the U.S. News World Report;

Best Law Schools in New York US News Ranking Acceptance rate
Columbia University 4 22%
New York University 7 34%
Cornell University 12 31%
Fordham University 37 36%
Yeshiva University (Cardozo) 52 53%
St. John’s University 84 41%
University at Buffalo 94 52%
Brooklyn Law School 98 52%
Syracuse University 103 55%
Hofstra University 118 45%
Albany Law School of Union University 122 62%
New York Law School 129 60%
CUNY Queens College 133 55%
Pace University 142 64%
Touro College 147 61%

1. Columbia University

Columbia University is ranked the number one best law school in New York City, New York, and the 4th best law school in the United States.

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university established in 1754 and is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

Although it is hard to get into this school with its acceptance rate as low as 22%, and the medium GPA of 3.7, getting into Columbia School of law is worth it, the school has produced a distinguished list of alumni that includes U.S. Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, and business titans.

The Law Programs at Columbia University include;

  • Constitutional Law, Regulation, and Public Policy.
  • Corporate, Business, and Transactional Law.
  • Criminal Justice.
  • Data Analytics.
  • Environment and Energy.
  • Family, Gender, and Sexuality.
  • Intellectual Property and Technology.
  • International and Comparative Law.

Columbia University’s full-time program application fee is $85, while the full-time tuition is $76,088, it might also interest you to know that the student-faculty ratio is 5.4:1 and the median LSAT is 171.

2. New York University

If you’re looking to go to law school in New York, you really can’t do better than NYU, the school is consistently featured as one of the top schools for legal studies in New York.

New York University School of Law was established in 1835, it is now the oldest law school in New York City and the oldest surviving law school in New York State.

New York University School of Law has been ranked the 7th best law school in the United States according to U.S News of World Report.

However, admission into the New York University law school is not easy, in 2021 the NYU law school received 5,716 applications, and only 1,892 students were admitted making it a 34% acceptance rate, and the median GPA is 3.78.

Though it is hard to get admission into the school, they offer top-notch and highly competitive programs, here are some of the law programs at New York University law school;

  • Competition, Innovation, and Information Law
  • Corporation Law
  • Cybersecurity Risk and Strategy
  • Doctor of Juridical Science
  • Economics and Law
  • Environmental and Energy Law
  • French Studies and Law
  • International Business Regulation, Litigation, and Arbitration

Columbia University’s full-time tuition is $73,414, and the median LSAT is 169.

Related: 3 Best Law Schools In Birmingham Alabama

3. Cornell University

Cornell Law School is a private Ivy League university in Ithaca, it is also one of the best law schools in New York offering four law degree programs, JD, LLM, MSLS, and JSD, along with several dual-degree programs in conjunction with other professional schools at the university.

Cornell Law School has been ranked the 12th best law school in the United States according to U.S News of World Report according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

Even though Cornell University as an Ivy League school has one of the highest acceptance rates, it can still be challenging to get into the law school, the acceptance rate is 31%, which means for every 100 applications, only about 31 applicants are accepted.

Here are the law degree programs offered at Cornell University;

  • The three-year J.D. degree program.
  • The one-year master of laws (LL.M.)
  • The J.S.D. degree program.
  • The master of science in legal studies (M.S.L.S.) program.
  • A number of international dual degree programs.

Cornell University’s full-time tuition is $71,608, the average GPA is 3.74–3.95 and the median LSAT is 167.

4. Fordham University

Fordham University School of Law is the law school of Fordham University, located in Manhattan the heart of New York City, and is one of eight ABA-approved law schools in that city.

Fordham University School of Law has been ranked No. 37 (tie) in Best Law Schools and No. 3 in Part-time Law according to U.S News of World Report according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

To get into Fordham University School of Law, you should have an average GPA of 3.53, admission is quite challenging, and the acceptance rate is 36%.

Here are some of the programs offered at the law school at Fordham University;

  • Corporate law
  • Intellectual property and information technology
  • International law

Fordham University School of Law’s full-time tuition is $66,750, the average GPA is 3.53 and the median LSAT is 163.

5. Yeshiva University (Cardozo)

Cardozo Law was founded in 1976 by Yeshiva University, it was named after Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo who was renowned for his integrity.

Yeshiva University (Cardozo) is one of the most prestigious New York law schools, and it was ranked No. 52 (tie) in Best Law Schools and No. 21 (tie) in Part-time Law by the U.S News of World Reports.

Yeshiva University (Cardozo) offers the following law programs, including coursework, clinics, externships, and events.

  • Business Law & Entrepreneurship.
  • Arbitration, Mediation, and Collaborative Law.
  • Constitutional Law & Democracy.
  • Intellectual Property & Information Law.
  • Public Service.
  • International and Comparative Law.
  • Real Estate.
  • Criminal Law.

Yeshiva University (Cardozo) School of Law’s full-time tuition is $65,817, the average GPA is 3.42 and the median LSAT is 159.

Also read: 7 Best Law Schools in Alberta To Get Into

6. St. John’s University

St. John’s University School of Law is one of the best law schools in New York, this school is religiously affiliated with the Roman Catholic law school in Jamaica, Queens, New York, United States.

This law school was founded in 1925 and confers Juris Doctor degrees and degrees for Master of Laws in Bankruptcy and Master of Laws in U.S. Studies.

St John’s University has also been ranked as the 84th best law school in the United States by US News making it competitive among the best law schools in the country.

Though the school is competitive, with an acceptance of 41% the school is still accessible to most students pursuing a graduate degree in law.

Here are some of the law programs at St John’s University;

  • Business/Corporate Law.
  • Clinical Training.
  • Constitutional Law.
  • Contracts/Commercial Law.
  • Criminal Law.
  • Dispute Resolution.
  • Environmental Law.
  • Health Care Law.

St John’s University School of Law’s full-time tuition is $66,672, the average GPA is 3.54 and the median LSAT is 158.

7. University of Buffalo – SUNY

UB’s law school is a fantastic choice for students interested in criminal law, environmental law, and cross-border legal studies.

It’s also worth noting that UB’s Department of Legal Studies offers one of just a handful of doctoral programs devoted to legal studies, which makes it stand out on our list.

The University of Buffalo School of law is the only law school in the State University of New York (SUNY) system founded in 1887 and affiliated with Niagara University until 1891.

As one of the most prestigious law schools in New York, the University of Buffalo’s law school has been ranked the 94th best law school in the United States by the U.S News.

With an acceptance rate of 52%, SUNY Buffalo Law School is moderately difficult to get into, the class of 2023 had a median LSAT score of 155, a median undergraduate GPA of 3.44, and full-time tuition is $28,488.

8. Brooklyn Law School

Founded in 1901, the Brooklyn Law School is a private law school in New York City with approximately 1,100 students.

It is on our list of the best New York law school because it has been ranked No. 98 in Best Law Schools in the US, and No. 11 in Part-time Law by the U.S News according to their performance across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

The Brooklyn Law School is for students interested in specializing in Business Law, Refugee and Immigration Law, and Intellectual Property Law.

With an acceptance rate of 52%, the Brooklyn Law School is relatively easy to get into, the school is also known for its programs that support public interest law, nearly 450 students are beneficiaries of their summer internships, and public service grants.

The Brooklyn Law School’s full-time tuition is $65,099, the average GPA is 3.36 and the median LSAT is 155.

9. Syracuse University College of Law

The College of law at Syracuse University is a Juris Doctor degree-granting law school of Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

Syracuse University is one of only four law schools in upstate New York accredited by the American Bar Association in 1923 and is a charter member of the Association of American Law Schools.

As one of the best New York law schools, Syracuse University is ranked by the U.S News as the 103rd-best law school in the United State across a set of widely accepted indicators of excellence.

The school is moderately difficult to get into, with an acceptance rate of 55% and an average GPA is 3.33, you can have a good chance of gaining admission.

Some of the reasons most students choose this law school is because of its updated curriculum and the scholarships the school offers to its students.

Syracuse University is widely known for offering an outstanding legal education in fields such as Disability Law, Innovation Law, and National Security Law. It takes a maximum of seven years to complete a J.D here.

The Syracuse University Law School’s full-time tuition is $57,308, and the median LSAT is 154.

10. Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law

Founded in 1970 and accredited by the ABA in 1971, Hofstra University’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law is located in Hempstead, New York on Long Island.

The law school has been part of Hofstra university for decades, and its graduating students are consistently recognized by prestigious legal organizations.

Hofstra University’s School of Law is well-known for its programs leading to a JD, a joint JD/MBA degree, and LL.M degrees in American Law and Family law. The school is also ranked by the U.S News as the 118th-best law school in the United States.

The Hofstra University Law School’s full-time tuition is $64,022, the average GPA is 3.39, an acceptance rate of 45%, and the median LSAT is 153.

11. Albany Law School of Union University

Founded in 1851, Albany Law School is a private law school in Albany, New York, and is accredited by the American Bar Association.

As one of the oldest law schools in New York, Albany law school offers students an updated and rigorous curriculum taught by a committed faculty. 

Albany Law School is quite easy to get into, with an acceptance rate of 62% and an average GPA of 3.23.

Albany Law School is also one of the most prestigious law schools in the United States, it has been ranked by U.S. News as the 122nd best law school in the United States.

The Albany Law School’s full-time tuition is $53,880, and the median LSAT is 151.

12. New York Law School

The New York Law School is a very respected private law school located in Tribeca, New York City. It might interest you to know that the school has a full-time day program and a part-time evening program. 

As one of the most prestigious law schools in New York, New York Law School has been ranked by the U.S News as the 129th best law school in the country.

For students applying to the New York Law School, it is worth knowing the acceptance rate is 60%, this means it is not difficult to get admitted here, for every 100 applications, about 60 were accepted.

The New York Law School’s full-time tuition is $57,694, the average GPA is 3.24, and the median LSAT is 152.

13. The School of Law at CUNY Queens

The law school at the City University of New York (CUNY) is a public law school in New York City founded in 1983.

The school of law at CUNY only offers a J.D Program, there is currently no options for the Master of Law (LL.M.) degree, nor a foreign lawyer program.

CUNY law school has also been ranked number 133 among the best law schools in the US by U.S News.

With an acceptance rate of 34.53%, CUNY School of Law is moderately difficult to get into, and the class of 2023 had a median LSAT score of 154.

The CUNY Queens Law School is the cheapest law school in New York with full-time tuition of $16,105 and a median undergraduate GPA of 3.45.

14. Pace University, Haub School of Law

For students interested in environmental law and comparative studies, Pace University is the most recommend New York law school to get into for a Master of Laws degree.

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University is known for its outstanding programs in many fields of legal practice. 

As one of the most reputable law schools in New York, Pace University’s law school has consistently been ranked #1 in Environmental Law programs across the nation and has also grown a reputation in fields including Public Interest Law, Criminal Law, and others.

Pace University’s law school has also been ranked #142 among the best law schools in the country by US News.

With an acceptance rate of 64%, it is quite easy to get into the law school at Pace University, the school has a median LSAT score of 150, and students are required to have an average of 3.22 GPA.

Pace University School of Law’s full-time tuition fee is $51,590.

15. Touro College, Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Touro University Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, commonly known as Touro Law Center, is one of the best law schools in New York located on Long Island.

It is a not-for-profit law institution that has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar.

Touro Law School is a very prestigious school, it has been ranked number 147 among the best law schools in the United States by US News.

Students applying to the law school at Touro College should have in mind that the school is well-known for its concentration in J.D. programs, L.L.M programs for U.S. law school graduates, and a Master of Laws in U.S. Legal Studies for foreign law graduates.

Getting admission into the Touro College School of Law is not difficult, the school has a high acceptance of 61% and the average GPA required is 3.03.

The full-time tuition fee for Touro College law school is $53,820, and the LSAT score is 147.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much are lawyers paid in New York?

In 2021, the median annual wage for lawyers was $127,990 and which results in $61.54 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What should a lawyer do?

The role of a lawyer is to advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.

How do you become a lawyer in New York?

To become a lawyer in New York, you should attend any of the 15 law schools in the state and acquire a degree, then sit and pass the state's written bar examination.

How long does it take to complete a law program in New York?

Becoming a lawyer in New York usually takes 7 years of full-time study after high school—4 years of undergraduate study, followed by 3 years of law school.

What is the cheapest law school in New York?

The CUNY Queens Law School is the cheapest law school in New York with full-time tuition of $16,105.

What is the most expensive law school in New York?

Columbia University is the most expensive law school in New York with full-time tuition of $76,088.

Conclusion

We hope this article helps you make a more informed decision while selecting a law school in New York.

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