Sign up to our Newsletter

How to Get Into NYU Law | Acceptance Rate and Requirements

May 14, 2024
10 min read


Reviewed by:

David Merson

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

Reviewed: 11/21/23

If you have a passion for justice and want to join a top-ranking law school to kick-start your law career, read on to learn how to get into NYU Law and stand out as an applicant.

Known as “an intellectual powerhouse,” the New York University (NYU) Law School offers comprehensive legal education programs that assure graduates are well-prepared for their future law careers. If you’re wondering where to attend law school, you may find your match in NYU Law. 

Ranking as the fifth-best law school in the United States, NYU Law has established quite a reputation for itself as one of the most prestigious law schools in the United States.  

If you’d like to join this top-tier university but don’t know where to start, this guide will explain the application process. Below we’ll discuss NYU Law School’s admission requirements and provide helpful tips to do well on your NYU application essays.

How to get into NYU Law

NYU Law Acceptance Rate: 15.65%

The acceptance rate for NYU School of Law is 15.65%. This is on par with some of the most competitive law school acceptance rates in the US. In a recent admissions cycle, there were 8,874 applications, and only 1,389 applicants were accepted. 

For more information on the NYU Law School acceptance rate, here is a table with the admissions rates from the past few years: 

Year Number of Applicants Number of Accepted Students Acceptance Rate
2023 N/A N/A 15.7%
2022 8,874 1,389 15.65%
2021 10,713 1,556 14.52%
2020 8,009 1,728 21.58%
2019 7,959 1,719 21.6%

Source: ABA Required Disclosures

How Hard Is It to Get Into NYU Law? 

With an acceptance rate of 15.65%, NYU School of Law is very difficult to get into. You will need to put together a strong application in order to stand out from the crowd!

However, NYU Law looks at applicants’ experiences and interests rather than just their scores, giving diverse students a fair chance of getting in.  

Take our interactive quiz below to find out how likely you are to get into NYU Law School!

NYU Law Programs Offered & Ranking

Offering a diverse curriculum, NYU Law has various law programs for students interested in legal education. Here are some of the programs that are available to you!

Program Offered Length of Program Key Info
Juris Doctor (JD) 3 years A traditional JD degree
JD Dual Degrees 4 years (JD/Master’s) or 7 semesters (JD/PhD) Students may choose from a variety of JD dual degrees, including: JD/LLM, JD/MA or PhD, JD/MBA, JD/MPA or JD/MUP, and JD/MSW
Master of Laws (LLM) Varies depending on specialization Available in many specializations, including taxation, corporation law, and legal theory
Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD) 3 years The most advanced degree

NYU Law School Ranking

NYU Law is ranked at #5 in the Best Law Schools in the United States, according to US News. This makes them an incredibly desirable law school to attend! 

Here are some of their other rankings:  

  • #1 in Criminal Law and International Law
  • #3 in Intellectual Property Law
  • #4 in Environmental Law and Business/Corporate Law
  • #5 in Clinical Training, Constitutional Law, and Contracts/Commercial Law 

NYU Law School Admissions Statistics

Sometimes it’s helpful to look at statistics from previous admitted classes to see how you measure up and prepare the best application possible. Here are some admission stats from the most recent incoming class at NYU Law. 

Female student studying

NYU Law Average GPA: 3.90

The average GPA at NYU School of Law is 3.9. In the most recent class profile, NYU Law reported undergraduate GPAs ranging from 3.77 (25th percentile) to 3.96 (75th percentile). 

As a prestigious school, the NYU Law School GPA requirements are quite high. To compete with these scores, you will need to study hard during your undergrad and maintain strong study habits. 

NYU Law Average LSAT Score: 172

The NYU Law School average LSAT score is 172. The 25th percentile LSAT score in a recent incoming class profile was 168, and the 75th percentile was 174. 

While NYU Law does not specify any minimum LSAT score required for admission, you should aim for your score to be equal to or higher than the median of 712. 

NYU Law Average GRE Score: 332 

While NYU Law does not release average GRE scores, we predict that the average score falls around 332. According to the GRE Law School Comparison tool, a score of 166 on both GRE sections is equal to a score of 172 (NYU’s average) on the LSAT. 

NYU applicants who do not want to write the LSAT may write the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) instead (but cannot submit both). The GRE measures the overall academic readiness of students for graduate schools, like law school. 

Female student studying books in library

NYU Law School Requirements

To apply to NYU Law School, candidates, including LLM applicants, must submit the following required materials

  • A baccalaureate degree
  • Application form
  • Standardized test scores (LSAT or GRE)
  • Credential Assembly Service (CAS) report
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • $85 application fee
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • Optional supplemental information

In addition to these materials, JSD applicants must also submit:

  • A sample research paper: This can be a published paper, a research paper written for seminar credit, or a paper written for your application to this program
  • A proposal of study: You must submit a dissertation of 3,000 words or fewer to state the research questions you would like to explore, review current literature in the field, identify the contributions this research will make, state your methods of conducting research, and list any difficulties you may encounter.

As you can tell, a lot is required from you during the admission process! To avoid stressing over each component, try gathering these application requirements well before applications begin. For instance, many students complete their LSAT while still in their undergraduate program!

students walking on NYU campus

NYU Law Letters of Recommendation

You’re required to submit two recommendation letters in your NYU Law application. These letters are an opportunity for NYU Law to hear from a respectable, trustworthy source that you are capable of facing the demands of law school and becoming a great lawyer. 

Prioritize recommenders who know your academic abilities, like faculty members. NYU mainly requires these letters to be written by people who can “attest to your ability to succeed in a rigorous law school program.”

NYU Law Personal Statement

Your NYU Law personal statement should be roughly two double-spaced pages in 12-point font, meaning that it will come out to about 600-650 words. However, LLM personal statements must be 500 words or fewer. 

NYU Law leaves the content and exact length of the personal statement up to you, as it essentially replaces an interview. This means that you’ll need to work hard to create a unique personal statement to set you apart from the crowd. Your statement should also be meticulously written, as good lawyers need excellent communication skills!

NYU suggests the following tips to consider when beginning your personal statement:

  1. Ask yourself why you want to go to law school
  2. Ask yourself why you want to go to NYU in particular
  3. Read through past students’ personal statements and ask yourself how you can stand out from them
  4. Be personal and focus on yourself
  5. Tell an interesting story where you are the main character
  6. Highlights qualities that would make you a good lawyer
  7. Avoid cliches, vagueness, or reiterating your resume

For some inspiration, take a look at this example personal statement written for Boston University Law School: 

“When I applied for Teach for America in the winter of 2009, it was more for the opportunity to leave the Rio Grande Valley than to accomplish the movement’s real mission of bringing a quality education to low-income students. A predominantly Mexican area with most families living under the poverty line, the Valley represented, for me, a place where ignorance met apathy, a place where people got what they deserved, and above all else, a place I refused to spend any more time in. I applied for major cities around the nation, but Teach for America had different plans for me, and when notifications were sent out at the end of March, I was placed as an elementary special education teacher in the Rio Grande Valley. And in what I could only chalk up to be divine intervention, I was hired at the same elementary school that I had attended.

Two years and I will be done. I couldn’t shake that thought as I entered my classroom on the first day of school. Making a real difference seemed unlikely: my heart wasn’t into the work I was about to do. When the bell rang and I began picking up my students from their classes, life as I knew it ceased to exist.

That first day, I didn’t pick up a single child that wasn’t wearing dirty or ripped clothing. One was covered in bug bites. Another’s stomach growled as I walked the students through classroom rules and procedures. None smiled. I could not seem to wrap my mind around the fact that these students attended the same school that I so happily did not-so-many years before. By Thanksgiving, a brother and sister in my class scratched so hard at their wrists and fingers from poorly treated scabies that they’d return their assignments to me with small blood streaks staining the bottom. Stomachs still growled during my math lessons. But when a fifth-grade student told me she’d spent the night in a small bedroom closet, arms around her four younger siblings as her mother and father went at each other with broken bottles and angry fists, I could no longer stand it.

Something changed in me that day. I’m not quite sure if I finally grew up or realized the enormous responsibility my job had given me, but something changed. And for probably the first time in my life, I stopped thinking of only myself. Suddenly I was so ashamed of ever thinking negatively about being Mexican or growing up in the Valley—so embarrassed that I thought so little of the community that had given of their time to ensure that I would have all the opportunities in the world. It dawned on me that I was only able to have the strong opinions I did because countless individuals had made my success their mission. And it was time for me to do the same. It may have been pure chance that I ended up returning to the Valley where I was raised, but doing so gave me such an advantage over my Teach for America counterparts: Parents found me more trustworthy, my intentions and abilities as a teacher were rarely questioned, and my ability to speak Spanish comforted. My Valley roots made me an ally, and my children only benefited from this.

For the next three years, I poured my soul into my work and let my students have my heart. I organized community reading groups to get parents and neighbors involved in literacy. When parents began telling me that they wanted to help their children with math homework but didn’t understand the objectives, I requested my principal set up a family math night so that parents could come into my classroom and have me teach the concepts to them alongside their children. I watched as my community grew closer together and my students’ academic abilities blossomed. It didn’t matter if students had autism or Down Syndrome, learning disabilities or emotional disturbance. All my students were learning at a pace faster than expected. By the spring semester of my second year, I even dismissed two students from special education services entirely.

My time in the classroom has been a wonderful, challenging experience. I’ve seen children accomplish more than others thought possible; at times, certainly more than I thought possible. I’ve seen a real love of learning blossom in the children and the families I’ve served. These were my miracles—my proof that if you wanted something badly enough you could make it happen. My children made great gains. And I tried my hardest to do all the things I thought a great teacher needed to do. But at times, it still wasn’t enough. My children needed more. My classroom was a safe place for my students, but their time with me was limited. I could shelter them to my heart’s content during the day, but once that bell rang and I handed my children back to the outside world, all I could do was stand and watch as life’s circumstances tried and often did bring them down. That’s when I decided to apply for law school. I have enjoyed every moment in the classroom, but I want to help children and their families in ways I simply cannot as a teacher. I want to fight for them and their families in an effort to improve their lives as much as I possibly can. If I’ve learned anything from my time in the classroom, it is that even the smallest of changes in circumstance can make for the biggest changes in one’s quality of life.

This past year was my third working with students from my own community. And although my students may never know it, my time as their teacher has instilled in me a sense of urgency and purpose that fuels me to continue working for children and their families as long as I am able. Working as a special education teacher in my own community has taught me humility and respect. It has taught me that, for many children, the need is great, the time is short, and I have an obligation to do whatever I can to help. I now believe that those with special talents, extraordinary abilities, or just a moment of free time have a responsibility to help those around them in every way possible. I have learned that in helping others achieve even the smallest of victories, I have not only made new opportunities possible for them but also contributed to the content of my own character. A life of service is a noble one that I hope to achieve. A life where I can inspire as I have been inspired and offer hope when hope seems most unlikely.

I laugh a little now when I think about how a group of disabled children helped me find my home again and gave me a place in the world. They showed me that being from the Valley is something to cheer about. I am now so proud to be a Mexican-American woman with a rich culture and language who had the opportunity to learn from and be embraced by the community I spent a lifetime criticizing. I am so honored and humbled to have been a special education teacher for my little ones, showing them that education, opportunities, and justice are for everyone, regardless of life’s circumstances and arrogant opinions. As a law student, you will find few more passionate than I; as an attorney, few who work harder and demand greater of themselves. For three years, my students and their families have allowed me to work for them, trusting my judgment and welcoming my help. But I can do more. I am ready to do more.”

Teacher reading to young students

Why this essay worked: This is a beautifully written personal statement that paints a vivid and engaging picture of the applicant’s experience with Teach for America. It includes specific details to draw the reader in and make the story unique and personal. 

The author also discusses the intriguing dynamic between the culture in which she worked and her own cultural background. This forms a clear narrative arc as the author describes what she experienced, how she grew and changed as a result, and her dedication to the practice of law and the pursuit of justice. 

Optional Statements

NYU offers applicants the opportunity to write optional essays to supplement their applications. Like personal statements, these essays can showcase your abilities, talents, and interests, which can help you become a more attractive candidate.

You may choose to write a diversity essay, which allows applicants to highlight their unique perspectives and understanding of the world. Many students who write diversity statements focus on their race, sexual orientation, gender, or ethnicity. However, you can write about any factor that makes you a non-traditional applicant!

You may also choose to include an optional addendum if you need to give reasons for any weaknesses in your application. NYU specifies that these must be legitimate reasons, not excuses. Focus solely on facts and candidly explain your circumstances, and avoid including this essay if there are no obvious weaknesses in your application.

Some reasons to write an addendum are:

  • A long gap in your resume or education
  • Academic misconduct
  • A criminal record
  • A lower LSAT score but a high GPA
  • A very low grade or withdrawal from a course
  • A poor semester in an otherwise good year
  • A low GPA
  • Financial circumstances that caused a lower GPA due to less time for education

NYU Law Tuition and Scholarships

The cost of tuition at NYU School of Law is $76,878. However, including fees and other expenses, the total cost of attendance is estimated to be around $114,000. 

Here is a full cost breakdown of what you can expect to pay as a student at NYU Law: 

Expense Cost
Tuition $76,878
Health, registration, service, and tech fees $3,136
Housing and meals $26,800
Books and supplies $1,500
Health insurance (basic) $4,346
Miscellaneous costs $1,144
Loan fees $220
TOTAL $114,024

NYU Law Scholarships 

If you’re concerned about affording your education at NYU Law, good news! There are many financial aid options available to you, including scholarships, fellowships, loans, and other award programs. 

NYU Law School Application Deadlines

The deadline to apply for NYU Law’s JD program is February 15. However, if you choose to apply for Early Decision, you’ll need to submit your application by November 15. 

Here are some important dates for you to be aware of in the application process: 

Dates & Deadlines Application Stage
October Last chance to take LSAT or GRE for Early Decision applicants
November 15 Early Decision application deadline
Late December Notification period for Early Decision applicants
January Last chance to take LSAT or GRE for Regular Decision applicants
February 15 Regular Decision application deadline
Late April Notification period for Regular Decision applicants

Source: NYU Law School

NYU Law Bar Passage Rate: 98.7% 

NYU Law School’s first-time bar passage rate is incredibly high at 98.7%. This is a near-perfect score, and just goes to show how well NYU Law prepares their students for life as a lawyer! 

How to Get Into NYU Law School: Tips to Improve Your Admission Chances

As we can see, getting into NYU Law School is no easy feat. Luckily, we have some tips on how to gain admission to NYU Law to make the process a bit more surmountable for you. 

  • Keep Your Personal Statement Personal: NYU Law advises students to keep the focus on themselves in their personal statements. It may be tempting to write about a mentor or significant relationship, but make sure that the primary subject of your story is what you learned, accomplished, or overcame. 
  • Format Your Resume Properly: NYU Law provides some helpful guidelines for tackling your resume, including using a professional format, mentioning odd jobs and Greek organizations (if applicable), and excluding high school experiences.
  • Choose Strong Recommenders: Law schools always prefer recommendation letters to be written by people who can speak to your abilities, skills, and qualities. NYU advises choosing a recommender based on how well they know you rather than their status. 

With these tips to get into NYU Law, you’ll be able to put together a stellar application!

What Does NYU Law Look For? 

NYU School of Law is looking for students with a “diversity of experience” who are able to think critically and engage in interdisciplinary research. They also look for students who are willing to participate in experiential learning methods

If this sounds like you, then you’ll be able to find your place at NYU Law!

students walking on campus

FAQs: How to Get Into NYU Law 

If you still have questions about getting into NYU Law, read on to find the answers!

1. Does NYU Have a Good Law Program?

Yes! NYU Law is ranked as the fifth-best law school in the United States. It offers a diverse and extensive curriculum to its students to prepare them for their legal careers.

2. What LSAT Score Do I Need for NYU?

The average LSAT score for the admitted 2023 applicants was 172. Interested applicants should aim for a score equal to or above this or be willing to provide a legitimate explanation for significantly lower LSAT scores in the optional addendum essay.

3. What GPA is Required for NYU Law?

The average GPA score for the admitted 2023 applicants was 3.90. Interested applicants should aim to maintain a GPA equal to or above this or be willing to provide a legitimate explanation for a significantly lower GPA in the optional addendum essay.

4. Does NYU Conduct Interviews As Part of the Application Process?

No, NYU asks applicants to write personal statements instead of conducting interviews.

5. Do Students Require Undergraduate Prerequisites to Be Admitted to NYU Law?

No, but the committee appreciates students who have taken courses in a broad range of categories, some of which are analytical and others that are more reading and research-based.

6. If I Take the LSAT Multiple Times, Which Score Will the Committee Consider?

The committee requires the submission of all LSAT scores. If an applicant wants the committee to consider a score aberrant, they must write about why in the optional addendum essay.  

Law School In the Big Apple: A Summary 

After going over how to get into NYU Law, its admission requirements, and how hard it is to gain admission, hopefully, you feel less overwhelmed about the application process. 

NYU Law, situated in the Big Apple, truly holds up to this nickname as one of the country's biggest and best institutions. Gaining admission to this prestigious school will thoroughly prepare you for your legal career and give you the right resources and experience to excel!

Schedule A Free Consultation

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

You May Also Like