NYU Law School – Acceptance Rate, Ranking, and More

Since its founding in 1831, New York University has been one of the country’s premier institutions of higher learning. 

The school has earned special praise for its contributions in specific subjects, with schools that lead the world in art, medicine, business, and other fields. 

The NYU School of Law was established in 1835, making it the oldest surviving law school in the state of New York. 

In its over 175 years of existence, NYU Law has been associated with Nobel Prize laureates and judges who have served on every level of court in the country. 

The school publishes several law journals, ten of which are edited by NYU Law students. These outlets include the New York University Law Review, the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, and the Journal of Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law

Additionally, the school publishes the Clinical Law Review, The International Journal of Constitutional Law, and the Tax Law Review, each of which is edited by faculty members. 

Students at NYU Law have access to several institutions and programs, through which they can gain hands-on experience and can practice law. 

These include the Brennan Center for Justice, a public policy institute that focuses on advancing democracy and making the way for justice. 

In the Reiss Center on Law and Security, students and practitioners work on issues related to international security following 9/11, both at a national and international level. 

With all of these attributes, it’s clear that NYU Law is one of the best schools in the world. But is it the right school for you? 

NYU Law School Acceptance Rate

NYU School of Law
Beyond My Ken, Furman Hall NYU Law School, CC BY-SA 4.0

In 2021, NYU Law received 5,716 applications. Out of that group, only 34% received offers of admission

That might sound like a pretty tough number, but you have to look a little closer to make sense of it. 34% of 5,716 means that 1,892 students were accepted into NYU last year. That’s a remarkably high number. 

In fact, when you look at it in context, the numbers give applicants even more reason to be optimistic. 

To be sure, a 34% acceptance rate is low compared to colleges on the whole, and most observers identify NYU Law as a highly competitive school. However, its acceptance rate is far higher than many other elite schools. 

For example, out of the 3807 people who applied to Stanford Law in 2020, only 10.48% were given offers of application. Harvard Law School has an acceptance rate of only 15.6%, and Duke Law School comes in much higher with a 20.2% acceptance rate. 

When you look at it this way, it’s clear that most students have a much better chance at acceptance in NYU Law than in any other elite law school. 

That isn’t to say that the task is easy. After all, the 34% acceptance rate means that out of every ten students, six or seven will be rejected. 

But without question, students have a much better chance of making it into NYU Law than they do many other great law schools. 

NYU Law School Tuition

Even someone who has never set foot in court knows that lawyers are expensive. But what people may not know is that lawyers charge so much because they pay a lot of money to get the training they need from law schools. 

An effective lawyer needs not only to learn the rhetorical skills they’ll use in arguments, but they also need to gain a thorough knowledge of the law. 

And that takes time, which takes money. 

All of that is to say that NYU Law is a costly school to attend. The official student expense budget recommended by the school suggests that incoming students plan to spend $105,215 per year

After taking a minute to recover from the sticker shock, let’s look at how the school breaks down those expenses. Tuition is $70,400 every year, while fees are $3,014 annually and $1,500 a year for books. Additionally, the school suggests $25,300 annually for room and board, $3,637 annually for basic health insurance, $220 annually for loan fees, and $1,114 annually for miscellaneous expenses. 

As those last numbers indicate, students can find a bit of wiggle room to lessen the charges. Doing things like finding a roommate and purchasing books from used stores can significantly reduce the overall expense. 

Nothing will make law school cheap, but with some budgeting and creative thinking, it can be manageable. 

NYU Law School Requirements

New York University
Jean-Christophe BENOIST, NYC – Washington Square Park – Arch, CC BY 3.0

Because it provides students with first-class training in law and rhetoric, NYU Law demands the best of its students. And while the school does have a relatively high acceptance rate, that rate consists only of students who meet its very high admission standards. 

In other words, those 1,892 who are accepted into NYU Law have to have the best grades and application materials. 

According to the school’s statistics, the average undergraduate grade of the incoming class is 3.7 on an unweighted grade scale. To earn that grade, students must earn As in nearly all of their classes, especially those about history, philosophy, English, and other skills they’ll need in their future careers. 

As explained on NYU Law’s admissions website, they look at these scores to determine a student’s likely success in the program. For that reason, the school also requires that applicants provide their scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)

The LSAT consists of five sections, each of which tests students on their logical reasoning, verbal abilities, reading comprehension, and more. 

On average, NYU students score a 170 on the LSAT, with the lowest accepted members at 166 and the highest at 172. The school also requires students to submit letters of recommendation and an application essay, all of which can greatly increase chances of acceptance.

NYU Law School Notable Alumni

Few schools enjoy as much name recognition as NYU Law, but that’s not just because it offers the finest education available to future lawyers. It’s also the alma mater for some of the most influential legal minds, politicians, and business people in the world. 

When Judith Kaye was attending NYU Law in the early 60s, she took night classes and worked as a copy editor during the day. 

Upon graduating in 1962, one of only ten women in her class, Kaye served on the New York Court of Appeals until 2008, eventually becoming the Chief Justice of the New York Court of Appeals. 

After graduating from NYU Law in 1974, Mohamed ElBaradei served as a special assistant to the Foreign Minister of Egypt. 

He later became a senior fellow in charge of the International Law Program for the United Nations, and eventually became Director-General for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Under ElBaradei, the IAEA won the 2005 Nobel Peace prize. 

These two are just a small sample of the many outstanding individuals who have earned their degrees at NYU Law. Other luminaries include Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League, president of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund Sherrilyn Ifill, and even John F. Kennedy Jr. 

NYU Law School Ranking

We’ve all heard of New York University law school, but no one judges the quality of a school by its popularity. Instead, one judges a school’s value by the quality of its teachers, the successes of its alumni, the research it inspires, and similar metrics. Even by looking at those qualities, NYU Law stands over and above nearly every law school in the world. 

The standard in university rankings in U.S. News & World Report. This highly respected outlet is renowned for its thorough research, its comprehensive criteria, and its compelling range of institutions. 

According to these findings, U.S. News puts NYU Law in sixth place on its list of the best law schools, tied with the Carey School of Law at the University of Pennsylvania and above the programs at the University of Virginia and the University of California at Berkeley. 

The magazine gives the school even higher marks for specific elements, placing it in third place for business/corporate law and constitutional law, and giving it the number one position for tax law, criminal law, and international law. 

NYU Law does just as well when we move past the United States and into the world. 

According to topuniversities.com, the school is the eighth-best law school globally, coming in just above the University of California at Berkeley and the National University of Singapore. 

As these rankings demonstrate, very few schools in the entire world can outdo NYU Law in providing a first-class legal education. 

Should You Attend NYU Law School?

Without question, the Law School at New York University is one of the best places to learn how to be a lawyer. Its faculty members have worked on some of the cases that define the modern world. Its alumni have gone on to play highly influential roles in nearly every field. 

The school consistently ranks among the top ten law schools globally, earning praise from every reputable ranking body.

But the question here isn’t, “Is NYU Law a good school?” Instead, the question is, “Should you attend NYU Law?” Obviously, only you can answer that question for yourself. 

And to answer that question, you have to keep in mind the more challenging parts of education at this institution. It is very expensive to go to an elite law school, including NYU Law. 

Moreover, it’s challenging to get accepted into NYU Law. Thousands of future lawyers apply to go to the school, and only a tiny percentage make it in. 

For that reason, going to NYU Law means a lot of money and a lot of hard work, and that’s even before you take your first class.

If those facts don’t scare you off, then you should consider applying to NYU Law. As an elite school, it promises a first-class education, no matter which legal area you find most compelling.