If you’re thinking about going to law school in New York, maybe this New York law school ranking list can help. There are sixteen law schools in New York, including notable names like Columbia Law School and NYU School of Law, which are also among the T14 law schools, a ranking list of the best law schools in the US. This New York law school ranking list will give you a detailed rundown of all the law schools in New York, their admission statistics, tuition rates and what you need to get in. 

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New York Law School Rankings: The Best Law Schools in New York New York Law School Rankings: How to Get Accepted to New York Law Schools FAQs

New York Law School Rankings: The Best Law Schools in New York

This New York law school ranking list is based on the hiring rates for recent law school graduates.

1. Columbia Law School

Median LSAT Score: of 172

Average GPA: 3.8

Acceptance Rate:12.2%

Columbia Law recently made headlines as the most expensive law school in the US, but it also boasts the highest employment rate for its graduates, at a near-perfect 95%, which you could argue justifies its position at the top of this New York law school rankings list. The prestigious JD program offered at Columbia is bolstered by an array of legal clinics, externships, and public service opportunities. You can participate in the Lawyering in the Digital Age Clinic or spend a semester at the Pro Bono Scholars Program. Columbia Law is also one of the best law schools for International Law as you can also enroll in externships available at the United Nations.

Want to learn how to easily craft a law school diversity statement that stands out? Watch this video:

2. New York University School of Law

Median LSAT: 174

Average GPA: 3.96

Acceptance Rate: 4.2%

New York University is well-known for its four-year JD program that gives you more time to explore the law through the school’s various clinics, such as the Civil Rights and Racial Justice Clinic, or the Earth Rights Advocacy Clinic, and find the right career path for you, which won’t be hard since the school has a 97% employment rate for its graduates. NYU Law is also recognized for its various academic, research and policy centers, such as the Public Interest Law Center and the Brennan Center for Justice.

3. Cornell Law School

Median LSAT: 172

Average GPA: 3.9

Acceptance Rate: 4.2%

Cornell University is one of the most prestigious Ivy League colleges in the US, so no wonder its law school has an 91% employment rate for its graduates with a majority of those students (78%) finding full-time work at law firms with over 500 lawyers, which typically offer the highest salaries. Cornell Law emphasizes interdisciplinary studies and you can take many of the joint degrees that are exclusive to the school. There is an MBA law program that offers a concurrent JD/MBA, or a JD/MPA for students interested in the intersection of the law and public health. Cornell was also one of the first law schools to open a free Legal Aid Clinic and continues its tradition to upholding justice through its Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide.

4. Fordham University School of Law

Median LSAT: 163

Average GPA: 3.81

Acceptance Rate: 6.8%

Fordham Law prioritizes ethics education throughout its JD program and offers various legal clinics exploring a variety of different fields, from Community Economic Development and Federal Litigation/Federal Tax to Global Anti-Racism and Indigenous Rights. The school also has an 88% employment rate for its graduates who typically choose to enter private practice at large, 500-lawyer firms, while other chooses federal clerkships or in-house counsel positions with corporations.

5. Brooklyn Law School

Median LSAT: 162

Average GPA: 3.69

Acceptance Rate: 10%

Brooklyn Law emphasizes practical skills, offering a range of legal clinics in areas from housing rights to veterans’ rights. Because of its close ties to many of the legal association and non-profits groups in Brooklyn and the surrounding boroughs, such as the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office where you can do an externship, 73% of all graduates find full-time employment within ten months of graduating. But because of its mission and philosophy as a law school for the underserved and underrepresented, an equal number of graduates decided on public interest and government postings, as they did at large law firms.

6. Cardozo School of Law

Median LSAT: 164

Average GPA: 3.79

Acceptance Rate: 9.2%

Cardozo Law should be included in this New York law school ranking not only for its high employment rate (92.7%) but also for its innovative curriculum and legal clinics. The school lets you explore several facets of the law from human rights and international law to intellectual property and business law, with some of the more forward-thinking legal clinics being the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic and the Fashion Law Practicum.

7. Syracuse University College of Law

Median LSAT: 160

Average GPA: 3.80

Acceptance Rate: 10%

Syracuse Law is the alma mater of Joe Biden, which may or may not account for the fact that a majority of its graduates decided on government jobs than private law firms after graduation. The school has a 70% employment rate, although close to 90% of all graduates passed the bar. Syracuse Law likes to focus on advocacy skills. It regularly ranks highest on New York law school ranking lists as the best law school in the state for teaching trial skills. Aside from teaching you advocacy, the school offers diverse clinical programs, such as the Disability Law and Policy Program or the Cold Case Justice Initiative.

8. University at Buffalo School of Law

Median LSAT:156

Average GPA: 3.72

Acceptance Rate: 16%

Buffalo Law is one of the few law schools that offers a prelaw degree for undergraduate students – a BA in Law – which can be one of the best majors for law school if you can find a program. The undergraduate BA in Law also serves as a LSAT prep course, since it features many classes on subjects such as Quantitative and Logical Reasoning, which teach you how to study for the LSAT. It is also one of the growing numbers of law schools that accept the GRE, and, overall, is considered one of the easiest law schools to get into thanks to its accommodating law school requirements. As for graduates, the school boasts a 76% employment rate for its students, although it has a 91% passage rate for the New York bar exam.

9. St. John's University School of Law

Median LSAT: 162

Average GPA: 3.71

Acceptance Rate: 11.7%

One of the most prominent Catholic universities in the USA, St. John’s University Law School occupies a unique position among the other law schools on New York law school ranking lists. It embodies the tenets of the Vincentian society it was founded on but combines tradition with innovation, offering unique clinics and public service initiatives through the Public Interest Center. You can pursue various dual-degrees at St. John’s, and the school offers various other law degree types, from a JD to LL.M degrees in specialization as diverse as bankruptcy, real estate and transnational law, which is perhaps why it boasts a 97% employment rate for its graduates.

10. Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law

Median LSAT: 154

Average GPA: 3.4

Acceptance Rate: 16.8%

Pace Law School, located in White Plains, NY, is midway between the state capital in Albany, which means you can extern at the state Legislature or State Supreme Court, and New York City, where you can take a semester at a real law firm (only for third-year students), practice your trial law skills or participate in research experiences for undergraduates as a first-year law student. At Pace, you can also graduate with a JD sooner, and join the 92% of Pace graduates who find full-time employment after graduation. The school offers an accelerated two-and-a-half-year JD program, along with a traditional three-year pathway to a law degree. Pace is also a leader in environmental and social justice, and is consistently ranked the number #1 law school for environmental law on New York law school rankings lists.

11. Albany Law School

Median LSAT: 155

Average GPA: 3.48

Acceptance Rate: 14%

Albany Law School offers a two-, three- and four-year JD program that emphasizes practical experience through its extensive clinical program, which features such standouts as the Domestic Violence Prosecution Hybrid Clinic and the Health Law Clinic. The school has an employment rate of 91% and majority of graduates decide to stay in-state to practice. Aside from the various lengths to complete a JD, you can also choose a specific area of study (Public Interest or Health Law, to name a few) to focus on while in law school, which prepares for a career in that specific field of study.

12. Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law

Median LSAT: 156

Average GPA: 3.60

Acceptance Rate: 12.4%

Hofstra Law offers several innovative programs like the Law, Logic & Technology Program, but also offers eight other areas of study ranging from. You can also immerse yourself in public service opportunities through the Gitenstein Institute for Health Law & Policy or legal clinics such as the Deportation Defense Clinic, or the Community & Economic Development Clinic. Hofstra is also an online law school, but only for graduate courses, as you can choose to pursue an LL.M (Master of Laws) degree in several areas, such as Health Law and Policy. The school also has a 90% employment rate for its graduates.

13. Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center

Median LSAT: 154

Average GPA: 3.47

Acceptance Rate: 15%

Touro University’s Law Center offers diverse clinics and programs like the Mortgage Foreclosure Clinic, while you can also study land use rights at the Institute for Land Use and Sustainable Development Law. The school also offers full-time and part-time classes, so you can choose your level of commitment based on your circumstances. Touro has a near 90% employment rate for graduates, and gives almost all of its students some form of financial assistance through school-sponsored scholarships.

14. New York Law School

Median LSAT: 156

Average GPA: 3.52

Acceptance Rate: 11.2%

New York Law School is one of the newest law schools in New York, but has been able to rank high on New York law school rankings list for its variety of experiential programs, including summer undergraduate research fellowships for first-year law students. You can either spend a summer learning more about tax and property law in New York City, or take a summer abroad at the American University of Rome to learn more about human rights, and income inequality. But the school’s focus on experiential learning extends to other programs as it offers you the chance to study at the Impact Center for Public Interest Law or at the Safe Passage Project, which is a non-profit aimed at helping immigrant and refugee children escape deportation.

15. City University of New York School of Law

Median LSAT: 156

Average GPA: 3.52

Acceptance Rate: 11.2%

CUNY Law is renowned for its unwavering commitment to public interest law, as close to 61% of all its graduates entered a public interest position after graduation. Overall, the school has an 85% employment rate for graduates. The curriculum is designed to equip you with the skills needed to advocate for justice in various community-based settings, which you can achieve through practice at the Moot Court Board or by participating in the school’s renowned Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR) clinic that has delivered the school to the top of New York law school rankings list as the best law school for racial justice.

New York Law School Rankings: How to Get Accepted to New York Law Schools

1. Get Good LSAT or GRE Scores

Nearly all the law schools on this New York law school ranking require the LSAT or GRE, so taking either test is necessary. Law schools are prioritizing other parts of your application such as your law school extracurriculars, your law school admissions essays, and your law school resume but your scores are still important. But, as you can tell by the median scores for most of the entering classes, many law schools will accept “average” scores between 150 and 160. Fortunately, most people score a 150 or 151 the first-time they take the LSAT, so if that happens to you, you should talk to a law school advisor or a law school admissions consulting professional to see whether those scores are good enough to get you into the school you want.

The other thing about LSAT scores is that they can be useful to get law school scholarships and look impressive to employers after you graduate, so their value extends beyond law school admissions. But every applicant is different, so if you don’t have the time or resources to pour into LSAT prep, or, you don’t want to attend any of the T14 schools, you don’t have to take the test more than once or twice. Keep in mind that it takes a lot of time and preparation to get the above-average LSAT scores or GRE scores that the elite law schools like Columbia and NYU require, so a lot depends on where you want to go.

2. Write Multiple Drafts of Personal Statements

Generally, your law school personal statement should focus on why you want to be a lawyer and what skills, experiences, and achievements in your life demonstrate that you would be a good law student and future lawyer. But some schools have unique requirements for your statement, as they rely on your essays more and more to assess your suitability for law school. CUNY does not even have a minimum or maximum word limit, so you can write as much or as little as you want.

But, as this is a law school personal statement, your writing skills matter as much as the story you want to tell, so you should prepare multiple drafts to make sure your writing is above-average. You should give new drafts to trusted friends or colleagues to read to make sure your points are being stated clearly and concisely. In terms of the content of your essays and what you should write about, you should read over standard law school essay prompts such as “where do you see yourself in five years?” or “why do you want to study law?” to brainstorm ideas. But sometimes, you must address something specific.

For example, if you apply to CUNY, you have to describe your interest in public interest law, which is the school’s particular focus. This question is not optional, so you must have a response, but this takes the guesswork out of what you should write about. In your essay, you should start addressing public interest law at the beginning; since public interest law deals with helping underrepresented or marginalized people, you can build a narrative around instances where you did something to call attention to or uplift the vulnerable, and then describe how that piqued your interest in public law.

3. Pick the Right References of Your Letters of Recommendation

Law school letters of recommendation are an important part of your application and most of the law schools on this New York law school ranking list have diverse requirements. In general, you should submit between two or three letters; some schools have limits on how many you have to submit, so you should check to see if they do. You must also pay attention to what rules they have for who should write your letters. They will usually ask for academic references (former professors) but if you’re a mature student, you will also be allowed to submit letters from employers. Letters of recommendation are another reason why you should engage in volunteer or service work, since your supervisors in these positions can also be good references. Your academic letters should focus on your academic skills, such as your analytical, and writing skills, but if you’re submitting letters from employers, ask them to also focus on your academic abilities in a professional setting, such as analyzing information, ability to research, and your writing abilities.

4. Be Specific About Why You Want to go to Law School in New York 

There is so much diversity in law schools in New York, in terms of academic programs and professional opportunities, that you should be specific and upfront about why you want to attend a particular school in your application materials. CUNY asks you why you want to attend, and even though other schools may not explicitly ask you “why this law school?”, you should still take the time to address a particular faculty member, legal clinic or externship opportunity that you are interested in and how it relates to your overall career interests. Of course, this is something you can also do in your personal statement, but writing a law school optional essay or law school addendum can demonstrate your enthusiasm for getting into this program or provide further insight into your background. But you should not repeat yourself. If you’ve already talked about St. John’s University’s Vincentian background and how the school’s Catholic history appeals to you, don’t repeat that fact in your optional essay. Instead, mention something you didn’t talk about, either related to the school’s unique mission, history, or focus.


1. What is this New York law school ranking list based on?

This New York law school ranking list is based on employment rates for graduates. 

2. What is the best law school in New York?

According to this New York law school ranking list, Columbia Law School is the best for being the most successful in getting its graduates full-time employment within 10 months of graduating. 

3. What LSAT or GRE score is the best to get into law schools in New York?

The best LSAT or GRE score for you depends on which law school in New York you want to get into. The elite schools like Columbia and NYU favor high LSAT scores, but they do not have LSAT minimums. However, to get the best possible score, you should first take an LSAT diagnostic test to see what your scores are in the beginning. Compare your initial scores with the LSAT score range of new students at the law schools you want to apply to. If you are well below even the lowest score, you need to study more, and create an LSAT study schedule based on how much you need to improve. 

4. What else do I need to get into law schools in New York?

Aside from standardized test scores, law schools in New York are interested in your background and what makes you passionate about the law. You can talk about the experiences that make you an ideal candidate in your personal statement, or how your diverse background will contribute to your law school in a law school diversity statement. 

5. What GPA should I have to get into law schools in New York?

There are no minimum GPA requirements to get into law schools in New York, but even the median GPA for many of these schools is quite high, well over 3.5, so you should make sure you at least meet the lowest GPA for admitted students, but also make sure you have exceptional application essays and letters of recommendation to bolster your application. 

6. Are law schools in New York expensive?

Law schools in New York can be expensive, depending on where you apply. Columbia Law School is the most expensive law school in the US, at nearly $100,000 per year. But like other public universities in the USA, the University of Buffalo and CUNY offer in-state applicants lower tuition fees than non-residents. 

7. Are all the law schools in New York certified by the American Bar Association?

Yes, all fifteen law schools in New York are ABA-certified law schools

8. What’s different about law schools in New York?

New York City and New York state are central to so many different legal, financial, political and international circles that you will have opportunities available to you (interning at the United Nations, working with international law firms, for example) that are unavailable anywhere else. 

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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