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Best Law Schools in New York

September 5, 2023
7 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 08/08/23

New York is well known for being a legal hotspot, so attending law school here is sure to open a world of opportunities for you. Read on to learn about the best law schools in New York to access these resources!

There are multiple reasons students complete their JDs in New York. Besides the opportunity to work in the thriving business hub of the Big Apple, New York is known for its unparalleled diversity, robust entertainment, and amazing food! 

With so much to offer legal students, New York law schools typically make the cut for students’ top law school choices. To help you decide which New York law school(s) to add to your list, this guide will go over the best law schools in this state!

Top 10 Law Schools in New York

New York City

While there are 15 accredited law schools in this state, these are the top 10:

1. New York University

Another one of the top law programs in the Big Apple is NYU. NYU ranks fifth in the nation and has many high-ranking legal programs. 

NYU’s international, criminal, and tax law programs are ranked first in the nation. Its intellectual property law program is ranked third, corporate law and environmental law program is ranked fourth, and contracts and constitutional law programs are ranked fifth.

NYU is a highly respected and prominent university that is considered an intellectual powerhouse in legal education. With over 100 faculty members, 16 areas of study, 300 legal courses, 30 legal centers, and 80 student groups, it continues to redefine the field of law.

With such high esteem and rankings, it’s no surprise that NYU Law only accepts 15.7% of its applicants. This small percentage of accepted applicants typically has a median LSAT score of 172 and a median GPA of 3.88.

Costing only slightly less than Columbia, attending NYU is a huge investment! Students can expect to pay around $76,290 in tuition each year.

2. Columbia University

As the eighth-best law school in the nation, Columbia University is one of the coveted T14 law schools that aspiring law students are typically eager to join. As a top-ranking law school, Columbia Law alumni are highly sought after by employers, especially those in Big Law.

Columbia University is located in New York City. It provides students with hands-on legal experience, a world-class faculty, an extensive curriculum, and unrivaled career opportunities. Columbia students are encouraged to be bold thinkers and make an impact in the legal and civil fields! 

As one of the top 14 law schools in the nation, getting into Columbia is challenging. With a highly selective acceptance rate of 11.9%, all applicants are held to high standards when being reviewed. 

The median GPA of past accepted students is 3.87, and their median LSAT score is 173. Columbia is also the most expensive law school in the nation, with its tuition costing $78,278 a year.

3. Cornell University

As the final T14 law school in New York, Cornell is another popular option amongst law students. It ranks 13th in the nation and is one of the oldest and most distinguished programs in international and comparative legal education. 

Despite having such a great historical presence in New York, Cornell continues to push the legal boundaries and is known for having an innovative and robust curriculum. It offers students 23 clinics, several practicum courses, and a diverse range of externship and simulation courses. 

Cornell’s curriculum and experiential learning approach are so impressive that it ranks as the number one law school for job placement at large law firms! Its small class environment also creates a sense of community and belonging, which in turn opens up many opportunities for students!

Cornell has an acceptance rate of 17.4%, a median GPA of 3.87, and a median LSAT score of 172. With its tuition reflecting its prestige, students pay $74,183 a year to attend this law school.

4. Fordham University

Fordham University ranks 29th in the nation but third for its part-time law program. Fordham faculty and students are described as curious, creative, and committed to the craft. 

Located in the heart of New York City, Fordham University offers its students a vibrant and diverse community, unlimited opportunities, and dedicated faculty. 

Focused on ensuring students hone their critical legal skills before entering the legal field, Fordham’s experiential education includes 18 renowned and unique clinics specializing in the following areas of law: 

  • Community economic development: working with nonprofit organizations to pursue racial, social, and economic justice
  • Corporate social responsibility: helping business maximize their environmental, financial, and social outcomes
  • Criminal defense: defending the vulnerable and underserved
  • Democracy and constitution: helping to strengthen democracy and maintain the government system
  • Entrepreneurial law: providing counsel and educating business owners on legal issues
  • Family advocacy: advocating for children and the city’s most vulnerable
  • Federal litigation: representing clients facing serious crimes and the possibility of serving long sentences
  • Federal tax: helping underrepresented individuals with tax issues
  • Global anti-racism: engaging in projects that challenge racism, global discrimination, and inequality
  • Immigrant rights: providing legal representation to immigrants
  • International human rights: defending the rights of marginalized populations
  • Legislative and policy advocacy: advocating for change in New York City
  • Presidential succession: taking political action to improve the Presidential Succession process
  • Mediation: working with disputing parties to help resolve their problems
  • Right to housing and litigation: assisting clients facing housing crises
  • Rule of law: advocating to improve how presidential elections work
  • Intellectual property and information law: assisting creators in patent applications and trademark registrations
  • Securities litigation and arbitration: protecting small investors

If you’d like to join Fordham to experience these clinics, as many students do, you’ll have to maintain a 3.72 GPA and score a 167 on the LSAT. Only about 18.8% of all applicants meet Fordham’s standards.

Tuition at this law school costs $69,166 a year.

5. Yeshiva University (Cardozo) 

The fifth-best law school in New York is the Cardozo Law School, affiliated with Yeshiva University. This law school ranks 69th in the nation and 5th for its part-time program. It is best known for its dispute resolution concentration, in which it ranks fifth.

With the guarantee that all professors know their students' names, Cardozo is strictly student-focused. It’s dedicated to ensuring students have access to the right resources and support to explore their interests and create career-building connections. 

Compared to the previous schools on this list, Cardozo has a promising acceptance rate of 33.8%, making it only moderately difficult to get into. GPAs of 3.76 and LSAT scores of 164 are considered competitive at this school. 

Despite its lower rankings and expectations, however, Cardozo Law School is almost as expensive to attend as high-ranking schools. Tuition at this law school costs $67,792 a year. 

6. St. John’s University

St. John’s University, located in Jamaica, New York, is the 60th-best law school in the nation. This law school opened in 1925 and has since honed its curriculum to help students build essential practical skills and contribute to the community.

This university has also been dubbed the “go-to law school” for placing the most graduates in the 100 biggest law firms, assuring a bright future for their students.

St. John’s has an acceptance rate of 39.9%. To reap the benefits of this school, students should aim to score a 162 on the LSAT and have a 3.66 GPA. The cost of attending St. John’s is $68,992 a year. 

7. Albany Law School 

Albany Law ranks 105th in the nation and has been committed to making an impact and serving the public since 1851. Part of the Albany advantage includes its diverse legal clinics:  

  • Community economic development clinic: to help build buildings and spur economic development in New York’s capital
  • Domestic violence prosecution hybrid clinic: involves prosecuting domestic violence and sexual assault crimes
  • Family violence litigation clinic: allows students to argue cases in court on behalf of people who have suffered violence from family members or partners
  • Health law clinic: to provide legal services to families and those with HIV/AIDs or cancer
  • Immigration law clinic: to provide representation to detained and non-detained immigrants

Around 50.2% of all applicants are accepted into Albany Law, of which the majority have 3.48 GPAs and LSAT scores of 155. Tuition at this school costs $55,470 a year. 

8. Brooklyn Law School

As the 111th-best law school in the nation with the 27th-best part-time program, Brooklyn Law is another option for students interested in attending law school. 

The New York-based law school was ranked as another “go-to law school” because of its high percentage of graduates being employed at the nation’s biggest law firms.

Luckily, Brooklyn Law School has a high acceptance rate of 46.2%. Students should aim to score a 160 on the LSAT and maintain a GPA of 3.54 to be considered attractive applicants at this school.

Students should also prepare to invest in their education if they choose Brooklyn Law, as tuition costs are $68,321 a year.

9. Syracuse University

Syracuse University is one of the top research institutions and top law schools in New York. As a whole, this law school ranks #122nd but boasts of its unparalleled opportunities and passionate faculty despite this ranking. 

With small classrooms, Syracuse offers students the chance to form close connections with their professors. These relationships are critical in the classroom and essential in connecting with highly-sought after career and externship opportunities. 

To join this valuable networking system, students should have a 3.56 GPA and an LSAT score of 157. Around 41.7% of students meet these requirements and gain acceptance into this leading law school. 

The cost to attend Syracuse Law is $59,482 a year. 

10. University at Buffalo - SUNY

The University at Buffalo School of Law ranks 125th in the nation and aims to produce excellent, ethical, and engaged lawyers. A large part of this mission relies on UB’s cutting-edge legal clinics:

  • Animal law clinic: for animal lovers interested in gaining experience advocating for animal welfare
  • Civil rights and transparency clinic: focuses on constitutional liberties like freedom of speech, privacy, and discrimination
  • Community engagement legal clinic: involves serving the various needs of the community
  • Criminal justice advocacy clinic: allows students to advocate for criminal system reform
  • Environmental advocacy clinic: focuses on environmental policies that have local, national, and international impact
  • Entrepreneurship law center clinic: provides legal services to entrepreneurs
  • Family violence and women’s rights clinic: joining the fight to attain justice and safety for survivors of domestic violence
  • Mediation clinic: helping parties resolve issues
  • Puerto Rico recovery assistance legal clinic: provides services to empower Puerto Rico and help with disaster relief

UB has an acceptance rate of 44% and expects prospective students to have a median GPA of 3.61 and a median LSAT score of 156.

Non-residents must pay $33,328 for tuition, and residents must pay $28,488. 

To recap, here are the most important admission details to consider from each of the highest-ranking law schools in NY:




Acceptance Rate
Bar Passage Rate
New York University 5th 172 3.88 15.7% $76,290 98.7%
Columbia University 8th 174 3.84 11.4% $76,888 96.5%
Cornell University 13th 172 3.87 17.4% $74,183 92.2%
Fordham University 29th 167 3.72 18.8% $69,166 93.7%
St. John’s University 60th 162 3.66 39.9% $68,992 92.2%
Yeshiva University (Cardozo)





Albany Law School 105th 155 3.48 50.2% $55,470 84.7%
Brooklyn Law School 111th 160 3.54 46.2% $68,321 79%
Syracuse University 122nd 157 3.56 41.7% $59,482 83.1%
University of Buffalo - SUNY



$24,488 (in-state)

FAQs: Best Law Schools in New York

For any remaining questions about the top law schools in New York, read on to find your answers!

1. Does New York Have Good Law Schools?

Yes, New York has several excellent options for aspiring law students, including three T14 schools!

2. What Is the Best Law School in New York?

The highest-ranking law school in New York is Columbia University.

3. Should I Go to Law School in New York?

Yes, many law students dream of studying in New York because of its abundant career opportunities. New York City, in particular, offers a legal hotspot, and many New York law schools offer work or volunteer opportunities that allow students to get their foot in the door!

4. How Many Law Schools Are There in New York?

There are 15 accredited New York law schools.

5. What Is the Most Expensive Law School in New York?

Columbia University is the most expensive law school in New York and the entire nation. Its tuition costs $76,888 a year.

6. What LSAT Score Do I Need to Get Into Law School in New York?

To get into one of the best law schools in this state, you'll need an LSAT score between 156-174, depending on which law school you’d like to apply to.

7. What Is the Best Part-Time Law Program in New York?

Fordham University has the third-best part-time law program in the nation, making it the best program for busy students with several commitments! 

8. What Is the Easiest Law School to Get Into In New York?

Tuoro University is the easiest law school to get into in New York. It has the lowest LSAT median, 150, and GPA median, 3.11. 

9. What Are the Part-Time Law-Schools In New York? 

There are several part-time law schools in the Big Apple

  • Fordham University
  • Yeshiva University 
  • Brooklyn Law School
  • CUNY School of Law
  • New York Law School
  • Pace University
  • Tuoro University

Any one of these schools would be an excellent option for busy students!

Final Thoughts

New York is home to some of the best law schools in the nation. If you’d like to study in this bustling state, use this guide to help you choose the perfect school to kickstart your legal career!

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