List of Best Law Schools in New York State & NYC

Without a doubt, attending any one of the below Law Schools in New York is a dream come true for many. They has a lot of appeal towards people who aspire to become successful. Most people think that they can achieve their dreams by simply graduate from one of these school (and they are now wrong to think that).

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So what makes it so special for aspiring lawyers? Well, even though the state of California has more students interested in becoming a lawyer, New York City is pretty much the central hub of legal, financial, and international businesses within the United States. You have Wall Street, the United Nations, and a collection of different main headquarters for huge and prestigious law firms. It should also be mentioned that the Big Apple is a melting pot of different cultures, giving you a wonderful opportunity to network with a variety of people.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 68,640 registered lawyers in the state of New York in 2013. New York City attorneys are also the third highest-paid (state-wise) law practitioners with an average salary of $153,490 annually. Well, they’re always busy, considering that there were 19,378,102 recorded violent crimes in the state in 2010.

So, now that you’re interested—what law schools in New York are the best for those who want to become lawyers?

Top New York Law Schools

By no means are these schools the easiest to get into. In fact chance are they are out of reach of most students unless they received a prestigious scholarship (or a few of them for that matter)

Columbia University Law School

Columbia has always been ranked as one of the best and most prestigious law schools in the United States. Since 1858, the school has hosted some of the most prominent figures in American history such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt.

  • Acceptance rate: 21.3%
  • Average LSAT scores of students: 171
  • Full-time tuition: $57,838

New York University School of Law

Established in 1835, the New York University School of Law is the oldest aw school in the city of New York. Their programs are renowned for focusing on public interest and government.

  • Acceptance rate: 31.4%
  • Average LSAT scores of students: 170
  • Full-time tuition: $54,678

Cornell Law School

They have one of the lowest aw school faculty to student ratio in the country, with 10 professors to 1 student. However, almost 90% of their graduates are able to find long-term JD-required jobs within a year of graduating.

  • Acceptance rate: 29.9%
  • Average LSAT scores of students: 167
  • Full-time tuition: $57,351

Brooklyn Law School

The Brooklyn Law School is one of the top law schools in the New York area, with their 94% of their graduates passing the bar exam on the first take.

  • Acceptance rate: 43.9%
  • Average LSAT scores of students: 159
  • Full-time tuition: $54,246

SUNY Buffalo Law School

The only law school in the SUNY system, the SUNY Buffalo Law School is known for producing “super lawyers”, according to Thomson Reuters.

  • Acceptance rate: 51.9%
  • Average LSAT scores of students: 154
  • Full-time tuition: $23,986

Syracuse University College of Law

They’re recognized for being one of the leaders in providing a National Security Law program for their law students.

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  • Acceptance rate: 59.1%
  • Average LSAT scores of students: 155
  • Full-time tuition: $46,050

City University of New York Law School

City University of New York Law School is one of the more recent but leading law schools to emerge, having been founded only in 1983. Their programs provide a blend of traditional legal teachings and clinical experiential methods.

  • Acceptance rate: 30%
  • Average LSAT scores of students: 154
  • Full-time tuition: $14,472

New York Law School

They have three different programs available for JD students: a full-time day program, a part-time night program, and a 2-year accelerated Juris Doctor honors program.

  • Acceptance rate: 58.4%
  • Average LSAT scores of students: 151
  • Full-time tuition: $49,240

St. John’s University School of Law

A private Roman Catholic law school in Queens, St. John’s University School of Law provides Juris Doctor program and Master of Laws in Bankruptcy and Master of Laws in U.S. Studies

  • Acceptance rate: 57%
  • Average LSAT scores of students: 156
  • Full-time tuition: $49,750

Fordham University School of Law

The Fordham Law School ranked fifth in the list for best law schools in New York City. As of 2013, almost 70% of their graduates have found long-term employment within a year of graduation from their Juris Doctor.

  • Acceptance rate: 37.9%
  • Average LSAT scores of students: 163
  • Full-time tuition: $50,996

If you’ve noticed, the tuition fees for state-owned universities are significantly lower compared to the fees for privatized institutions, but this doesn’t mean they are affordable. These numbers aren’t determiners of a school’s quality because sometimes, they’re simply there because a student needs to shoulder the fees for facilities and other resources.

New York City

No matter which law schools in NYC you attended, most people will almost always tell you that your best option as a lawyer is to work within New York City. There doesn’t seem to be any shortage of lawyers and there are new ones that get hired by big law firms, regardless of their age and the institution they attended, so long as they’re cut for the job. It’s also good to know that most NYC law firms work for clients in corporate settings—hence, the reason why New York lawyers are well paid because of the transactions are usually complicated and worth millions (sometimes billions) of dollars’ worth.

If you really want to become a lawyer in New York City, keep in mind the following:

  • Law firms are demanding and the environment can become too toxic from time to time (better words could not have been used especially if you work in the field of environmental law). Expect long workdays and all-nighters. This isn’t necessarily bad, as this can be an opportunity for you to sharpen your skills and it’s going to look good on your record.
  • You end up developing a solid skill-set because you’re going to experience working for and with some of the smartest attorneys in corporate and financial law.
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Then again, not all lawyers in New York work for corporate clients. You can opt to do other branches of law, as of course; people in the state have varying legal needs. Why not try checking out one of the top New York law schools that were listed above? It’s much better to study in the same state that you wish to practice law in, you know. The experience is quite similar to what you’ll experience with other states. However, the environment is vastly different and you’ll get a taste of what dominates the legal world in New York—big corporations who need you to protect their assets.