15 Best Law Schools in New York

November 21, 2023

best law schools in new york

If you are thinking of eventually practicing law in New York, you should consider applying to a range of New York law schools. Below, you’ll find a list of American Bar Association (ABA) approved New York law schools, ranked according to the US News & World Report. US News has ranked these schools according to their successful placement of graduates, faculty resources, achievements of entering students, and opinions of law professionals. In addition to the school’s median LSAT scores and GPAs, acceptance rates, and tuition information, you will find some additional information on each law school, from study abroad opportunities to unique academic centers and institutes.

 

The following is an affiliate link for a company that we strongly recommend to our clients. We may earn a small commission when you purchase a program using our links, at no cost to you. 

Need extra support preparing for the LSAT? Kaplan offers a variety of LSAT preparation programs, including live, on-demand, and in-person courses as well as private tutoring. Click the button below to learn more.

15% off LSAT Prep with promo code SAVE15LSAT

Some factors to consider…

Cost: If you already live in New York, it could be most cost-effective to attend a program such as SUNY Buffalo and CUNY, which offer less-expensive tuition options for New York residents. Multiple programs on this list also offer part-time options, which are generally over $10,000 less expensive than full-time programs. Though perhaps less immersive than full-time programs, the flexibility of a part-time program can be useful for law students who already work full-time jobs or have family responsibilities.

Areas of Focus: Below, you’ll find “Law School Specialties” for each program, with 4-6 areas of focus listed. These are the areas of study that are ranked most highly by the US News & World Report. So, if you’re thinking of going into Environmental Law, NYU or Pace could be great options, while if you’d like to focus on Dispute Resolution, Yeshiva or Fordham could be excellent fits.

Best Law Schools in New York (Continued)

Qualifications: As you read this list, pay close attention to the median LSAT scores and GPAs of entering students. If you have an LSAT score of 165, for example, you may qualify for Yeshiva and St. John’s, but not Cornell and Columbia. That said, this is not an absolute, since university admissions usually consider a variety of factors.

Follow these links for more information on LSAT score percentiles, top law schools in California, and top law school rankings nationwide. If you’re curious about how to prepare yourself for applying to law school down the road, we recommend this article on pre-law summer programs.

1) New York University (New York, NY)

With #1 rankings in the entire country for Criminal Law, International Law, and Tax Law, this top law school’s Lawyering Program allows students interactive training experiences while developing close relationships with faculty and peers. Many law students pursue joint degrees with other programs within NYU and at outside institutions (including Harvard and Princeton). The law school’s international abroad and exchange programs offer opportunities for students to study in universities worldwide.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #5
  • Median LSAT Score: 172
  • Median GPA: 3.88
  • Acceptance Rate: 15.7%
  • Tuition: $76,290
  • Law School Specialties: Criminal Law, International Law, Tax Law, Intellectual Property Law, Business/Corporate Law, Environmental Law

2) Columbia University (New York, NY)

Columbia University Law School ranks #1 in Business/Corporate Law and #2 in Contracts/Commercial Law and International Law, according to US News. The program prides itself on its world-class faculty, hands-on legal experience, and progressive curriculum. As the most selective school on this list, you will likely need a very high LSAT score and undergraduate GPA to be accepted.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #8
  • Median LSAT Score: 173
  • Median GPA: 3.87
  • Acceptance Rate: 11.9%
  • Tuition: $78,278
  • Law School Specialties: Business/Corporate Law, Contracts/Commercial Law, International Law, Criminal Law, Environmental Law, Tax Law

3) Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)

Another T14 Law School, Cornell University ranks #13 in Best Law Schools. Though considered a midsize program, its small class sizes allow for a close-knit community. Cornell University Law School also has a top ranking for placement in competitive top 100 law firms.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #13
  • Median LSAT Score: 172
  • Median GPA: 3.87
  • Acceptance Rate: 17.4%
  • Tuition: $74,183
  • Law School Specialties: Constitutional Law, Contracts/Commercial Law, Business/Corporate Law, International Law

Best Law Schools in New York (Continued)

4) Fordham University (New York, NY)

Offering both day and evening programs, Fordham Law students also frequently pursue dual degrees through the Gabelli School of Business and the Graduate School of Social Service at Fordham University. The school has over 15 centers and institutes, including the world’s first Fashion Law Institute, as well as many clinics and journals.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #29
  • Median LSAT Score: 167
  • Median GPA: 3.72
  • Acceptance Rate: 18.8%
  • Full-Time Tuition: $69,166
  • Part-Time Tuition: $52,034
  • Law School Specialties: Trial Advocacy, Clinical Training, Dispute Resolution, Criminal Law, International Law, Business/Corporate Law

5) St. John’s University (Jamaica, NY)

The St. John’s University School of Law boasts an inclusive and welcoming community that reflects the rich diversity of its location in Queens, NY. With study abroad opportunities, clinics, externships, and advocacy competitions, graduates are highly successful in passing the Bar Exam and securing employment in top legal firms.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #60
  • Median LSAT Score: 162
  • Median GPA: 3.66
  • Acceptance Rate: 39.9%
  • Full-Time Tuition: $68,992
  • Part-Time Tuition: $52,042
  • Law School Specialties: Legal Writing, Trial Advocacy, Dispute Resolution

6) Yeshiva University (Cardozo) (New York, NY)

Cardozo Law School at Yeshiva University is student-focused and known for its concentration in Dispute Resolution (ranked #5 by US News). While Yeshiva University is officially a Jewish school, the student population is not particularly religious. Cardozo is home to the Innocence Project, founded in 1992 and designed to assist incarcerated people who could be proven innocent through DNA testing,

  • U.S. News Ranking: #69
  • Median LSAT Score: 164
  • Median GPA: 3.76
  • Acceptance Rate: 33.8%
  • Tuition: $67,792
  • Law School Specialties: Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property Law, Criminal Law, Tax Law

Best Law Schools in New York (Continued)

7) Albany Law School (Albany, NY)

An independent law school, this program is affiliated with the University of Albany. It offers several strong in-house clinics (including a Domestic Violence Prosecution Hybrid Clinic and a Health Law Clinic, among others) and dual degree programs (with master’s degrees in areas from Regional Planning, to Public Health, to Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies).

  • U.S. News Ranking: #105
  • Median LSAT Score: 155
  • Median GPA: 3.48
  • Acceptance Rate: 50.2%
  • Tuition: $55,470
  • Law School Specialties: Clinical Training, Environmental Law, Health Care Law, Tax Law

8) Brooklyn Law School (Brooklyn, NY)

Nationally recognized for career excellence, Brooklyn Law School was listed for five years in a row on The National Law Journal’s ranking for highest percentage of graduates hired as first-year associates at the nation’s 100 largest law firms. Students live and work in close proximity to New York City’s largest courts and law firms, and the program offers many hands-on training opportunities in New York City, as well as several prestigious international fellowships for students looking to experience legal training elsewhere.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #111
  • Median LSAT Score: 160
  • Median GPA: 3.54
  • Acceptance Rate: 46.2%
  • Full-Time Tuition: $68,321
  • Part-Time Tuition: $51,366
  • Law School Specialties: Legal Writing, Criminal Law, Business/Corporate Law, Clinical Training, Tax Law

9) Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY)

This law school boasts small class sizes with opportunities for students to form close connections with their professors, as well as leadership in disability, innovation, and national security law areas. It offers both residential and online J.D. programs.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #122
  • Median LSAT Score: 157
  • Median GPA: 3.56
  • Acceptance Rate: 41.7%
  • Tuition: $59,482
  • Law School Specialties: Trial Advocacy, Legal Writing, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law

Best Law Schools in New York (Continued)

10) New York Law School (New York, NY)

New York Law School, established in 1891, is an independent program located in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. It offers full-time and part-time J.D. programs, as well as a wide range of clinics, competition teams, and journals, with the goal of fusing theory and practice.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #125
  • Median LSAT Score: 155
  • Median GPA: 3.53
  • Acceptance Rate: 51.5%
  • Full-Time Tuition: $60,866
  • Part-Time Tuition:  $46,778
  • Law School Specialties: Criminal Law, Clinical Training, International Law, Trial Advocacy, Constitutional Law

11) University at Buffalo—SUNY (Buffalo, NY)

As part of a public state university, SUNY Buffalo offers more cost-effective options for law students who are New York residents. In fact, this is the only law school in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. This program is also one of the few law schools located on an international border, and offers unique cross-border learning opportunities, including a cross-border legal studies concentration.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #125
  • Median LSAT Score: 156
  • Median GPA: 3.61
  • Acceptance Rate: 44%
  • In-State Tuition: $28,488
  • Out-of-State Tuition: $33,328
  • Law School Specialties: Trial Advocacy, Criminal Law, Legal Writing, International Law, Constitutional Law

12) Pace University (Haub) (White Plains, NY)

Though not top on the US ranking list in general, Pace University’s Haub School of Law ranks #1 for Environmental Law, with faculty members who are pioneers in developing and implementing laws in the environmental field. Centers and institutes include the Energy and Climate Center, Global Center for Environmental Legal Studies, Land Use Law Center, Pace Food Law Center, and Women’s Justice Center.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #131
  • Median LSAT Score: 153
  • Median GPA: 3.39
  • Acceptance Rate: 51.6%
  • Full-Time Tuition: $52,348
  • Part-Time Tuition: $39,266
  • Law School Specialties: Environmental Law, Trial Advocacy, Tax Law, Criminal Law, Health Care Law

Best Law Schools in New York (Continued)

13) Hofstra University (Deane) (Hempstead, NY)

Located on Hofstra’s Long Island campus, Deane School of Law is a commute away from New York City, making it possible for many students to complete externships at large NYC firms and corporations during their second and third years in the program. Deane also offers joint degree programs with the Zarb School of Business and the School of Health Sciences and Human Services at Hofstra.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #140
  • Median LSAT Score: 156
  • Median GPA: 3.56
  • Acceptance Rate: 44.7%
  • Full-Time Tuition: $66,554
  • Part-Time Tuition: $49,852
  • Law School Specialties: Trial Advocacy, Legal Writing, Dispute Resolution, Criminal Law, Tax Law

14) CUNY School of Law (Long Island City, NY)

Another option with in-state tuition for New York residents, this program is part of the City University of New York, which offers a wide variety of excellent graduate degree programs. This law school was founded in 1983 to make law school more affordable and to train top public interest lawyers who will use law as a tool for social good. This program ranks #3 in the country for Clinical Training, according to US News.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #154
  • Median LSAT Score: #154
  • Median GPA: 3.42
  • Acceptance Rate: 35.3%
  • In-State Tuition: $16,013
  • Out-of-State Tuition: $26,203
  • Law School Specialties: Clinical Training, Environmental Law, Criminal Law, Health Care Law, Constitutional Law

15) Touro University (Fuchsberg) (Central Islip, NY)

Touro University’s Fuchsberg Law Center offers scholarships to 95% of its admitted students and provides opportunities for learning at nearby federal and state courthouses. This law program is ranked highly for professor accessibility by The Princeton Review.

  • U.S. News Ranking: #167
  • Median LSAT Score: #150
  • Median GPA: 3.11
  • Acceptance Rate: 51.4%
  • Full-Time Tuition: $55,630
  • Part-Time Tuition: $42,010
  • Law School Specialties: Legal Writing, Contracts/Commercial Law, Health Care Law

Best Law Schools in New York – Final Thoughts

We hope you’ve found this article useful as you continue your law school search! Remember that although these New York law schools are ranked, the best option for you may not be the highest on the list. For more law school content from College Transitions, check out these articles on the 15 Best Immigration Law Schools and Top Feeders into Law School.