10 Law Schools in New York

New York, the epicenter of legal practice in the United States, is home to some of the most prestigious and academically rigorous law schools in the country. With its vibrant legal scene, from Wall Street to the United Nations, New York offers unparalleled opportunities for budding lawyers. In this blog, we’ll explore the top law schools in New York, highlighting their unique strengths, programs, and what sets them apart.

Law Schools in New York

1. Columbia Law School

Location: New York, NY

Columbia Law School, consistently ranked among the top law schools in New York and globally, is renowned for its intellectual rigor and prestigious alumni network. Its location in New York City provides students with unmatched access to some of the biggest law firms and major legal institutions.

Key Programs:

  • International and Comparative Law: Columbia has a strong focus on international law, reflecting New York City’s role as a global legal hub.
  • Clinical Programs: These programs offer hands-on experience in various fields, such as human rights and environmental law.
  • Joint Degrees: This law school offers joint degree programs, including J.D./MBA and J.D./MIA (Master of International Affairs).

2. New York University School of Law

Location: New York, NY

NYU Law is known for its strong emphasis on public service and international law. It stands out for its innovative programs and its commitment to social justice and legal ethics.

Key Programs:

  • Root-Tilden-Kern Program: This scholarship program is designed for students committed to public service.
  • Global Programs: NYU Law offers a wide range of global study options, including semester exchanges and dual degree programs with international institutions.
  • Innovation and Technology Law: The school is a leader in areas like cyber law and intellectual property.

3. Cornell Law School

Location: Ithaca, NY

Located in the serene setting of Ithaca, Cornell Law School offers a more intimate learning environment. It’s known for its rigorous academic curriculum and a strong focus on international legal studies.

Key Programs:

  • Law and Society Major: This interdisciplinary program combines law with social sciences.
  • Legal Clinics: Cornell’s legal clinics allow students to engage in real-world legal issues, from immigration to business law.
  • International Legal Studies: Students have opportunities for international study and research.

4. Fordham University School of Law

Location: New York, NY

Fordham Law, in the heart of Manhattan, offers a Jesuit approach to legal education, emphasizing ethics and social justice. The school is known for its collegial atmosphere and strong alumni network.

Key Programs:

  • Urban Law Center: Focuses on legal issues in urban environments.
  • Intellectual Property and Information Law: A strong program reflecting New York’s status as a media and technology hub.
  • Public Interest and Service Law: Fordham has a significant commitment to public interest law.

5. Syracuse University College of Law

Location: Syracuse, NY

While not located in New York City, Syracuse Law offers a unique blend of practical and theoretical legal education. The school is known for its innovation in legal education and strong focus on national security law.

Key Programs:

  • Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism: A leading program in national security.
  • Technology Commercialization Law Program: Focuses on the legal aspects of bringing new technologies to market.
  • Disability Law and Policy Program: A distinctive program focusing on disability rights and policy.

6. Brooklyn Law School

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Brooklyn Law School stands out for its innovative teaching methods and strong emphasis on practical training. Its location in the bustling borough of Brooklyn offers students access to a wide range of legal experiences in one of the city’s most dynamic areas.

Key Programs:

  • Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship (CUBE): Focused on entrepreneurial law, providing students with hands-on experience in advising startups.
  • Public Service Law: The school has robust offerings for those interested in public interest law, including externships and clinics.
  • International Law: With its diverse program, students have opportunities to study and intern abroad.

7. St. John’s University School of Law

Location: Queens, NY

Located in Queens, St. John’s Law combines rigorous legal education with a strong commitment to ethics and social justice. It offers a close-knit community within the vast city.

Key Programs:

Bankruptcy Law Institute: One of the few programs specializing in bankruptcy law, reflecting New York’s status as a financial center.
Child Advocacy Clinic: Allows students to work directly on cases involving children’s rights and welfare.
Transnational Legal Practice: Prepares students for the global practice of law.

8. Albany Law School

Location: Albany, NY

As the oldest independent law school in New York, Albany Law School offers a rich history and a strong focus on government law, given its proximity to New York State’s capital.

Key Programs:

  • Government Law Center: Offers insights into public policy and legislative processes.
  • Health Law: A strong program given the school’s affiliation with Albany Medical Center.
  • Joint degrees with University at Albany: Including J.D./MBA and J.D./Master of Regional Planning.

9. University at Buffalo School of Law

Location: Buffalo, NY

Part of the State University of New York system, the University at Buffalo Law School offers a comprehensive legal education with a focus on public service and accessibility.

Key Programs:

  • Advocacy Institute: Offers extensive training in trial techniques and appellate advocacy.
  • Cross-Border Legal Studies: Reflecting its location near the Canadian border, this program focuses on U.S.-Canadian legal relations.
  • Environmental Law: Strong emphasis on environmental policy and sustainable development.

10. Pace University Law School

Location: White Plains, NY

Located just outside New York City, Pace Law is particularly known for its environmental law program, as well as its practical approach to legal education.

Key Programs:

  • Environmental Law Program: Recognized nationally for its focus on environmental law and policy.
  • Pace Energy and Climate Center: Focusing on energy policy and climate change law.
  • Food and Beverage Law Clinic: Provides legal services to entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry.


New York’s law schools offer a diverse array of programs, each with its unique strengths and specializations. Whether you’re drawn to international law, public service, intellectual property, or emerging areas like technology and national security, New York’s law schools provide a rich, dynamic environment to start your legal career.

Aspiring law students should consider their career goals, academic interests, and preferred learning environments when choosing a law school. Each of these institutions provides a distinct path to legal excellence, set against the backdrop of one of the world’s most dynamic legal landscapes.

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