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Cornell Law School: How to Get In & Admissions Statistics

May 24, 2023


Reviewed by:

David Merson

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

Reviewed: 01/18/23

Do you want to join a law school renowned for producing successful lawyers? Read on to learn more about how to get into Cornell Law School, tuition costs, and more!

Like many aspiring lawyers, you might dream of working at a big law firm where you’ll handle high-profile cases and earn a six-figure salary. While getting employed by big firms is generally challenging, attending Cornell Law School can significantly increase your chances of living your dream!

Cornell Law School sent a higher percentage of its 2021 graduates to large law firms than any other law school in the United States! In fact, 76% of Cornell graduates took jobs at big law firms.

If you’d like to join this 76%, read on to learn more about how to get into Cornell Law School to kickstart your legal career!

Cornell Law School Requirements

Cornell law school requirements

In order to successfully apply to Cornell, you’ll need to submit the following:


Like any other law school, Cornell requires you to complete a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university before you apply.

While Cornell doesn’t require course prerequisites or a certain pre-law degree, ensure you pick a degree that you can maintain a high GPA in.

As you complete your undergraduate degree, it may be helpful to take courses that can better prepare you for law school. As law school requires behavioral understanding, astute analysis, and extensive writing, you should begin gaining an understanding of basic psychology and take writing-intensive courses during your undergrad.

Standardized Test Scores

Depending on which test you’d prefer to take, Cornell accepts LSAT, GRE, and GMAT scores. Ensure you choose a test that best reflects your skills and abilities so you can score high and increase your chances of gaining admission!

A Resume

To let the committee know about all your excellent academic, work, and volunteer experience, you must submit a resume as part of your application. Although there is no page limit on your resume, ensure you only include post-secondary experiences.

Cornell doesn’t believe in a preconceived list of the best extracurricular activities to have on your resume. It would be beneficial to join extracurriculars that you are passionate about so you’re more likely to make a considerable impact.

However, Cornell does suggest you pursue commitments outside of academics, such as volunteer work. You should prioritize quality over quantity, as the admissions committee is more interested in your degree of involvement and growth within your extracurriculars than the sheer amount you pursued.

Personal Statement

Arguably, the most difficult part of any law school application is the personal statement. Luckily, Cornell offers students tips on what they’re looking for in personal statements:

Treat Your Personal Statement Like an Interview

Cornell Law School leaves the topic of the personal statement up to your discretion. But, you should present interesting information about yourself that tells the committee who you are, what your passions are, and what you’ve accomplished.

Keep it Concise

Cornell recommends keeping your personal statement to two pages in length to save the committee time. The length of your statement may determine whether or not the admissions team reads it all the way through, so ensure that your statement is concise, short, and only relays meaningful information.

Proofread Multiple Times

Even if you have an excellent personal statement, silly grammar or spelling mistakes can make you seem careless. This negatively impacts the strength of your personal statement. Ensure you edit your work multiple times and get someone else to look it over if you can.  

Short Answers

As part of your application, you’ll be asked to answer a couple short questions:

  • Why have you chosen to apply to Cornell Law School?
  • Who, if anyone, has influenced your decision to apply to Cornell Law School?

As these are short answers, ensure you keep your answers concise. Highlight specific features of Cornell that interest you to show you’ve done your research and are well-versed in all Cornell has to offer.

Letters of Recommendation

Cornell Law School requires applicants to submit at least two letters of recommendation but states you can submit more if they aren’t repetitive. Both letters should come from academic faculty members or an employer if you graduated two or more years prior to application.

These letters should focus on your academic abilities and potential for success in the legal profession.

Optional Essays

Applicants may also submit the following optional essays to supplement their applications:

  • An addendum: Students should write an addendum to explain any unfavorable parts of their application.
  • Diversity Statement: Students can explain societal or economic factors that make them diverse candidates and offer them unique perspectives on law.

Cornell Law School Admission Statistics

In order to gain a better understanding of your chances of getting into Cornell Law School, it’s essential to go over Cornell’s admission statistics.

Cornell Law School Acceptance Rate

Cornell Law School’s acceptance rate is 15.6%. While this rate is more promising than other prestigious schools, such as Yale, which has a 4.1% acceptance rate, Cornell is still highly competitive.

Cornell also states the 2024 JD class had an unprecedented admission cycle, with a 42% increase in applicants and one of the strongest applicant pools on record!

If these trends continue in the upcoming application cycle, you’ll want to ensure your application is impeccable to keep up with the competition. A great way to do so is to get admissions consulting help from the experts at Juris!

Our experts not only have 14+ years of experience, but many are former admissions officers that know exactly what high-ranking schools are looking for in applicants!

Cornell Law GPA

Considering how selective Cornell is, its high GPA requirements come as no surprise. Its 2024 class’ GPAs ranged from 3.74-3.95, with the median GPA being 3.86.

Cornell Law LSAT

Similarly, the LSAT scores of Cornell Law’s class of 2024 were also high, ranging from 169-173. The median score was 171.

Cornell Law School Tuition

Attending any law school will surely put a significant dent, or more accurately, crater, in your wallet. Cornell’s tuition alone costs around $74,098 a year. With the addition of living expenses, textbook fees, and personal costs, the attendance costs for Cornell are closer to $100,000 per year.

Cornell offers more than 80% of its students’ scholarship assistance based on merit and need to ease some financial burden.

There are also various external scholarships students can explore to reduce borrowing costs.

Cornell Law School Interview

Cornell law school interview tips

Cornell doesn’t interview every applicant but will sometimes extend interview invitations to students they require more information from to make a final decision. If you’re invited to an interview, you should accept as it can clear up any doubts that are preventing the admissions committee from extending you an acceptance.

Students should go over standard interview questions to prepare for these interviews. While you can memorize major talking points for your answers, ensure you don’t sound robotic during your interview! 

While preparing for your interview, you should also take care to make your answers personal to your own goals and experiences! Try not to answer questions in a cliché way, as you want to stand out as a candidate. 

While answering your interview questions, ensure you also don’t repeat information. The committee already has your resume and personal statement. If you’re asked to elaborate on anything on either of these, provide new insight into how they relate to your career aspirations and passion for medicine.

Cornell Law School Ranking

Just shy of being one of the top-10 law schools, Cornell Law School ranks 12th as the Best Law School in the Nation after Duke Law School.

FAQs: How to Get Into Cornell Law School

If you have remaining questions about how to get into Cornell Law School, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Cornell.

1. What GPA Do You Need to Get Into Cornell Law School?

According to the 2024 admitted applicants, you should aim to maintain a GPA within the 3.74-3.95 range.

2. What Are My Chances of Getting Into Cornell Law School?

Your chances of getting into Cornell Law School completely depend on the strength of your application and scores. You have a good chance of getting into Cornell if you have high standardized test scores, a high GPA, a well-written personal statement, and strong letters of recommendation.

However, if you feel your application lacks in any of these areas, you can still get into Cornell–you’ll just have to put more effort into other areas of your application. For instance, if you have a lower GPA, you may make up for it with a higher LSAT score and a stellar personal statement or addendum.

3. What Do I Need to Get Into Cornell Law School?

In order to get into Cornell Law School, you need to submit your transcripts, test scores, a resume, a personal statement, and at least two letters of recommendation.

4. Is Cornell a Good Law School?

Yes! Aside from ranking as the 12th best law school in the nation, Cornell offers its students the unique experience of being part of small classes to feel like they’re part of a tight-knit community. Due to these small classes, students form strong bonds with faculty that significantly develop their legal careers.

5. What is the Employment Rate of Cornell Graduates?

Cornell law students are fully prepared for the legal landscape once they graduate, and almost all graduates land high-paying jobs. But, don’t just take our word for it! Here are some impressive statistics about the 2018 Cornell graduates:

Cornell law alumni employment statistics
Source: Cornell Law School

6. Do I Have to Write the LSAT to Get Into Cornell Law School?

No, you can write the LSAT, GRE, or GMAT. All tests are accepted and weighted equally. Choose whichever test you believe you will score the highest on! While the test itself doesn’t matter, the score does.

Getting into Cornell Law with Juris

Now that you’ve learned what it takes to get into Cornell Law School, you’ll know how the competition to get into this prestigious institution is increasing. It’s essential you begin thinking about how you can make your application stand out.

Whether it’s scoring a 172 on your LSAT or writing a moving personal statement that is sure to impress the admissions committee, Juris can provide you with beginning-to-end support to ensure you succeed!

Schedule A Free Consultation

Plan Smart. Execute Strong. Get Into Your Dream School.

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