Cornell Law School is located in Ithaca, New York and has many academic opportunities in which students can excel. Founded in 1887, the school has become known as one of the nation’s top law schools. The school has a rather small population of just over 600 students. Class sizes also remain modest, with a student to faculty ratio of nine to one. One of the hallmarks of the Cornell Law program is the amount of research facilities available to students. With 10 centers, institutes and programs, there are many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom. The Death Penalty Project and Cornell e-Rulemaking Initiative help students become involved in law training in real-life situations.
There are three law degrees offered at Cornell: Juris Doctor (J.D.), Master of Laws (LL.M.), and Doctor of the Science of Law (J.S.D.). Students can also participate in joint degree programs with the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs and the Cornell College of Architecture, Art and Planning. Many of the joint degree programs can be completed in four years.
First-year Cornell Law School students can participate in the Lawyering Program, which serves as an introduction to the skills needed as practicing lawyers. Each program ends with Moot Court arguments. There are also the Langfan First-Year Moot Court Competition, the Cuccia Cup and the Rossi Cup. There are also pro bono opportunities through the Public Service Challenge; past initiatives have included the Cornell Prison Education Project and the Student Hurricane Network.
Cornell is also well-known for its summer institute programs. It currently has two programs: The Cornell-Universite de Paris I Summer Institute of International and Comparative Law at the Sorbonne and a Workshop in International Business Transactions with Chinese Characteristics in Suzhou, China. Courses include international human rights, comparative legal systems and international commercial arbitration. Cornell Law offers three student-edited law journals: the “Cornell Law Review,” “Cornell International Law Journal” and “Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy.” A peer-reviewed journal called the “Journal of Empirical Legal Studies” is presented by the Cornell Law faculty.
Students looking for small class sizes at a prestigious law school may well find a good fit at Cornell Law School. Cornell also offers a dedicated network of alumni and many opportunities for advancement both before and after graduation.
Median Student Scores
LSAT Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
GPA Range (25 to 75 Percentile)
2019 acceptance rate: 21.33%
Number of 2019 applicants: 4,098
Number of 2019 matriculants: 193
Median LSAT: 168
Median GPA: 3.81
LSAT range (25 to 75 percentile): 165 to 169
GPA range (25 to 75 percentile): 3.71 to 3.91
Binding early decision (round 1): Nov. 1
Binding early decision (round 2): Jan. 8
Regular decision: Mar. 1
Cornell Law School students must start in the fall.
Total Cost and Total Expected Cost of Attendance
Median Grants for Students
Tuition (2019-2020): $67,748
Room, board and other (2019-2020): $23,609
Total estimated cost of attendance (2019-2020): $91,357
Students who receive grants: 77%
Median grant amount: $25,000
Cornell Law School does not award scholarships that may be reduced or eliminated based on law school academic performance other than failure to maintain good academic standing.
Career Placement Results
Average Bar Passage Differential
Employed full-time, long-term, bar passage required: 90.8%
Employed full-time, long-term, JD advantage: 2.0%
Career Placement Results
Federal Clerkships: 6.6%
Net Transfers: +3
Transfers Out: 7
Average Bar Passage Differential (first time takers): 14.83%