The 10 Best Law Schools in New York

3. Cornell Law School (Ithaca, NY)

Cornell Law School
Eustress, Cornell Law School, CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the five Ivy League law schools, Cornell Law is one of the nation’s smaller top-tier programs, graduating only 200 students each year. But those graduates find themselves in rarified company, alongside several attorneys general, members of the U.S. and state houses of representatives, and professors of law.

Even those who do not reach such legendary status gain meaningful work due to their Cornell Law degree. A full 92.1% of the class of 2018 found full-time employment in the legal field, with a mere 2.1% reporting as unemployed. 

Cornell Law continues to blaze new paths in the field. Their work has been recently recognized with accolades from the American Association of Law Libraries and a victory for the team they sent to the World Justice Challenge


2. New York University School of Law (New York, NY)

NYU School of Law
Beyond My Ken, Furman Hall NYU Law School from West 3rd and Thompson Streets, CC BY-SA 4.0

Established in 1835, NYU Law is the oldest law school in New York and one of the oldest in the nation. In its 185 years, the school has consistently ranked high in lists of the best schools, from not only U.S. News & World Report but also international outlets such as the Academic Ranking of World Universities and the QS World University Rankings

This international focus can be seen in the quality of their alumni. More NYU Law grads sit on the International Court of Justice than those from any other school. Some of the most recognized legal philosophers teach at NYU Law, such as Jeremy Waldron and Thomas Nagel. Its graduates include everyone from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to civil rights leader Vanita Gupta. 

Students prepare to enter the world stage by studying in one of the school’s acclaimed legal centers, including the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy and the Institute for International Law and Justice. 


1. Columbia Law School (New York, NY)

Columbia Law School
Ajay Suresh, Columbia Law School – Jerome L Greene Hall, CC BY 2.0

Since they began ranking colleges in 1983, U.S. News & World Report has seen colleges come and go from their lists. But one school has not only never left the list, but it has never even left the top five. Columbia Law School has consistently been one of the five best law schools in the country and is considered one of the best law schools in the world. 

Its reputation has been built in part by the Columbia Law Review, the third-most cited law journal in the world. Columbia’s specialization centers further the school’s prestige by allowing students to engage in some of the most pressing issues of our time. The Center for Gender and Sexuality Law teaches students to navigate our evolving understanding of gender norms, while the Center for Japanese Legal Studies is the only such institution in the U.S.

With these incomparable resources, Columbia Law consistently turns out some of the best lawyers and public servants the country has ever known. 

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