Cornell Insignia

Cornell
Law School

The Right Choice
J.D. Program FALL 2022

Forge your own pathArrows

Forge your own path

The kinds of students who choose to study at a small law school nestled in the middle of the Finger Lakes are the kinds of people comfortable forging their own paths.

Gavel illustration

When you choose a law school, you aren’t only deciding on a place to spend the next three years. You’re choosing the legal scholars who will shape your outlook as a lawyer. The location that will be the backdrop to days spent reading in the library or gathering with friends. And the reputation that will follow you into interviews, client meetings, and the courtroom for a lifetime. It’s not a decision to take lightly. If you’re looking for a place where you can engage deeply with professors and peers, enjoy your time outside of class, and position yourself for a successful career post-graduation, you’ll find it at Cornell Law.

Students walk around the Cornell Law School campus

The Right

SizeArrows

Connect with a Close-Knit Student Body
We’re not like other law schools. And we like it that way. With about 600 J.D. students, Cornell Law is a close-knit, collegial community of learners. We like to think of ourselves as serious, but not stuffy. Elite, but not elitist.
200 approximate size of entering class
170+ Courses Offered
591 total JD enrollment

ORIENTATION’S HOFFMAN CHALLENGE COURSE » Entering members of the Class of 2018 learn important lessons about teamwork on the high ropes course.

~ The Right Size ~

A Stimulating Intellectual Community

Our small student body means you can interact with your classmates in a supportive and friendly environment.

ENCOURAGING

Our collegial nature will encourage you to become an effective communicator and team player—essential qualities for success as a lawyer.

Cornell Law is a place where students learn from one another, not just from their professors. Here, you’ll find a rigorous and vibrant atmosphere in which students view one another as colleagues, rather than competitors.

COMMUNITY

At Cornell, community is more than just a catchphrase. Our care for one another is what sets us apart. Students sense it from the moment they step on campus. You’ll discover it in the classmates who stay up late helping you study for a big exam. In the law review colleagues who push you to do your best work. And in the mentors who encourage you to study abroad, join a new club, or apply for a prestigious judicial clerkship.
The care we have for one another is what sets us apart.
Learn from
world-class
scholars
who are
accessible and
committed to
advising students.
65

Full-time Faculty

Wreath
Our faculty is consistently ranked among the most prolific sources of legal scholarship in the country.

“I loved my time at the law school. I felt like I really grew, not just academically and professionally, but personally too by meeting people who had different perspectives. Being part of a close-knit and supportive community helped me reset expectations I had for myself.”

Sharice Davids ‘10
U.S. Representative for Kansas’s 3rd District
(One of the first two Native American
Women elected to Congress)

“Day after day, the smaller class size at Cornell enables me to learn from my amazing classmates and to be challenged by leading scholars and practitioners in all fields of law.”
Federico J. Wynter ’21
Federico J. Wynter ’21
5:1
Student-to-Faculty Ratio
~ The Right Size ~

Be Inspired by Leading Scholars

Cornell Law faculty are more than faces in a lecture hall. They are mentors, advisors, and professional role models.

EXCHANGE of IDEAS

Our faculty members are prolific and nationally recognized scholars of the law. Many are the authors of the leading law casebooks in the subjects they teach. They have advanced degrees in more than a dozen different disciplines, from the humanities to the social sciences. And they have practiced law for firms, corporations, or government, and have served as legal advisors from the municipal to federal level.

They have chosen Cornell because they are fully committed to the teaching and intellectual pursuits of the Law School. Our faculty members are available full time for teaching, research, and professional service. This abundance of research and knowledge engenders a lively exchange of ideas—and provides hands-on experiential opportunities for law students to serve as research assistants.

Form Bonds with your professors

With a low student-to-faculty ratio, you’ll have more opportunities to interact with your professors than at most top law schools. In this relaxed setting, you can access faculty for support to meet your educational goals, collaboration on academic projects, and even friendships that will enrich your law school experience.
65 Full-time faculty

Here, you’ll
actually
get to know your
professors.

The Right

LocationArrows

A vibrant local culture
We’ve been named the best college town nationally by various publications. When you visit Ithaca, you’ll see why. The backdrop to the Cornell Law experience is Ithaca, a beautiful and cosmopolitan small city in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
150+ waterfalls within 10 miles of Ithaca
Arts - See a play at the Hangar Theatre, experience a show at the State Theatre, or watch an independent film at Cinemapolis.
Food - Ithaca has numerous farm-to-table dining options. Sample local produce at the Ithaca Farmers Market or explore Ithaca's restaurants, bars, and cafes - all just steps from campus.
~ The Right Location ~

High Quality of Life

One of the most culturally progressive small cities in America, Ithaca has received numerous accolades for having a high overall quality of life.

Livability

Area rent and living expenses are below the national average. And numerous campus and local events are inexpensive or free.

Arts

Ithaca has plenty to keep you entertained. We’re a hub for music, fine arts, theater, museums, and more.

Food

Ithaca is known as a culinary hotspot, with more restaurants per capita than New York City and over 100 vineyards in the surrounding Finger Lakes region.
A vibrant and varied restaurant scene
Visit Ithaca
Ithaca is
within easy
driving distance

of New York
City, Philadelphia,
and Toronto.
4 hours
From New York City, Philadelphia, and Toronto
5½ hours
From Boston
6 hours
From Washington, DC
Wreath
Getting to and from the Big Apple is a snap with many options for daily nonstop, premium bus service.
“There was no better option for me than Cornell Law and its location in Ithaca. The small class size and deep connection to New York City made it an easy choice.”
Zellnor Myrie ‘16
New York State Senator
Headshot of Zellnor Myrie
“The fact that the school is located in Ithaca allowed me to experience living in a smaller college town and to have more of a university experience that I would have had elsewhere.”
Kristina Hurley ’19
Headshot of Kristina Hurley
31°
Average daily high in January
Thermometer

Ann Arbor

MICHIGAN


Thermometer

Chicago

ILLINOIS


Thermometer

Ithaca

NEW YORK

~ The Right Location ~

Stunning Natural Beauty

You can easily escape your desk by hiking trails along the gorges, taking dips in waterfalls and lakes, biking on woodland paths, skiing down slopes and across fields, or picnicking in the area’s many state parks.

ENDLESS ACTIVITIES

Cornell University overlooks Cayuga Lake, and many gorges and waterfalls are just steps from the Law School.

Ithaca weather allows for a variety of outdoor activities, ranging from boating, swimming, and hiking in the summer to cross-country skiing and ice skating in the winter.

EXPLORE

When taking a break from your studies you can jog or bike on trails in one of Ithaca’s local or state parks. Enjoy wine tasting year-round and apple picking in the fall.

Rent a kayak or take sailing lessons on Cayuga Lake. Visit an organic winery or farm. Or head eight miles north to Taughannock Falls, the tallest waterfall in the northeast. There’s no end to the ways you can explore and get active.

100+ wineries within the Finger Lakes region
The natural
world of Ithaca

is breathtaking.
The Right

OutcomeArrows

Start Your Career
Upon graduation, Cornell Law students are fully prepared for the challenges of the legal landscape. Plus, they stand out in the employment marketplace. In 2020, 97% of our graduates were employed within 10 months of graduation.
5th in job placement among all Law Schools
3rd in job placement at nation's 100 largest law firms
96.1% bar passage for calendar year 2020
~ The Right Outcome ~

Positioning you for Success

From the time you arrive on campus through graduation and beyond, Cornell Law will help you gain the skills you need to pursue your professional interests.

Career Support

Working with the Career Services Office, you’ll get support in designing an individualized job-search strategy.

We invest significant resources in connecting you with preeminent employers in both the private and public sectors through on-campus interviews and job fairs held across the country.

Access to an esteemed community

Cornell is dedicated to teaching broad analytical thinking, encouraging students to look at issues from all sides. As you will discover, this approach will allow you to excel across a wide range of fields.
In addition to Cornell Law’s distinguished faculty and rigorous curriculum, students benefit from access to and mentorship from the school’s extensive and highly accomplished alumni network.
In 2020, 96.9% of our graduates were employed within 10 months of graduation.
Graduates
secure
employment

across the
country and
around the world.
5th

In Job Placement Among all Law Schools

Wreath
In 2020, 63 alumni secured prestigious clerkships with federal or state judges.
“Cornell Law has provided me with the flexibility to craft my legal education according to my career interests.”
Destiny Reyes ’21

“Cornell Law ignited within me a passion to advocate on behalf of others, to use my voice to speak out against injustice.”

Robert Hendricks ’19
Federico J. Wynter ’21
$190K
Median Full-Time Salary for Class of 2020
~ The Right Outcome ~

Use Your Skills for Good

Cornell Law graduates have served the nation and the world through careers in public interest law for more than 100 years. Scores of our alumni have emerged as leaders in social justice movements and government practice.

Career Counseling

The Office of Public Service offers in-depth, one-on-one career counseling and provides help researching job opportunities, finding externships, networking with alumni, building résumés and cover letters, and developing interview skills.

Grants

There are Public Interest Fellowship grants available for every first- and second-year student who chooses to spend the summer working in the public interest. Cornell Law has one of the nation’s most generous loan forgiveness programs for graduates who begin their careers in the public sector.

Judicial Clerkships

Cornell Law graduates support our judicial system and serve our communities through judicial clerkships for federal- and state-court judges nationwide. In these year-long, post-graduate positions, they work closely with judges to help them consider parties’ arguments, research precedent, and assist in drafting opinions.
Quote
Regardless of your chosen career path, our instructors will give you the legal skills to transform the world around you.
Jens David Ohlin
Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law
Headshot of Jens David Ohlin
~ The Right Outcome ~

Learn Experientially Through Clinical Programs

The Law School’s academic curriculum allows you to integrate theory and practice with a variety of clinics, practicum courses, and externship opportunities.
In clinics and practicums, you’ll engage in all phases of client representation, including litigation planning, interviewing, counseling, legal drafting, negotiating, discovery, and trial and appellate advocacy.

Our clinics and practicums serve clients across the globe and often allow students to travel abroad during the semester.

Two female students walking through gate
73% of the Class of 2020 took at least one clinical course
23 clinics and practicums
Map showing locations of Clinics and Practicums
CLINICS
1L Immigration Law
Asylum and Convention Against Torture
Capital Punishment
Entrepreneurship Law
Farmworker Legal Assistance
First Amendment
Gender Justice
International Human Rights (Prisoners’ Rights, Self-Determination & Implementation of International Law in U.S. Courts)
Juvenile
Labor Law
Securities Law
Practicums
Advocacy for LGBT Communities
Campus Mediation
Child Advocacy
Criminal Defense Trial
Estate Planning
Federal Indian Law
Low-Income Taxpayer Law and Accounting
Movement Lawyering Practicum
New York State Attorney General
Protest and Civil
Disobedience Defense
Tenants Advocacy
20 approximate number of J.D. students participating in this program each semester
Study at
Cornell Tech’s

state-of-the-art campus
in New York City.
~ The Right Outcome ~

Skills for the Tech World

As technology continues to transform our economy and culture, businesses need a new breed of lawyers who understand the legal and commercial aspects of new technology as well as the challenges of bringing new products and new companies to market.
Through our new and innovative Program in Information and Technology Law at Cornell Tech, you can spend a semester studying at Cornell University’s state-of-the-art Roosevelt Island campus in New York City. There, you’ll develop the cutting edge skills to succeed in the fast-moving tech world.

In the JD Program at IT Law, you’ll explore the diverse legal issues raised by information and technology, such as privacy and cybersecurity as well as the constitutional and regulatory implications of new technology and big data. And, you’ll be taught by leading experts, including law firm partners, the CEO of a legal tech company, the founder of a leading private equity firm, a prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney’s office, and Cornell Law faculty.

RECENT Course Offerings

High-Growth Corporate Transactions
Technology Transactions
Employment Law
Digital Health Law
Intellectual Property Law
Delivering Legal Services through Technology — Legal Tech Insights & App-Building Skills
Internet Transactions
Practical Lawyering
Emerging Growth Companies and Venture Capital Financing: Principles and Practice
Lifecycle of a Venture-Funded Tech Startup: Business Issues and Legal Considerations
~ The Right Outcome ~

Gain a Global Outlook

At Cornell Law School, we’ve had a passion for international law and a commitment to global engagement since our founding in 1887. As a result, we offer one of the country’s oldest and most distinguished programs in international and comparative legal education.
Students can participate in unique international joint- and dual-degree programs, study abroad and exchange opportunities, a summer institute in Paris, and internationally focused clinics, programs, and centers. In addition, students can choose from a wide range of international and comparative law courses taught by world-renowned faculty.
20% of an average class spends a semester or longer abroad

We value the
uniqueness

of each
applicant.

Admission to Cornell Law School is highly competitive. However, we do not evaluate candidates solely by their numbers. We also take into consideration extracurricular and community activities, life experience, work background, and recommendations. We subscribe to Cornell’s long-standing tradition of affirmative action, and members of traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups are encouraged to discuss their relevant background.
85%

of students receive a scholarship with an average award of 25k

2021–2022
Tuition and Estimated Expenses

Tuition: $71,522
Student Activity Fee: $86
Room: $11,250
Board: $5,516
Books and Supplies: $1,100
Personal/Travel: $5,000
Cornell Health Insurance Fee: $420
Loan Fee: $220
Total tuition and estimated expenses: $95,114
You may apply to Cornell Law by visiting www.lsac.org

Financial Aid Procedures

Applicants for merit and need-based scholarship must complete the Cornell Law Scholarship Application at www.lawschool.cornell.edu/admissions/tuition/applying_for_aid.cfm. Applicants for federal loans must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid at www.fafsa.ed.gov (Cornell Law’s Title IV code is 002711). Need-based scholarship applicants are required to complete the CollegeBoard CSS Profile at http://css.collegeboard.org. All scholarship application information must be received by March 15. We evaluate merit and need-based scholarship prior to enrollment.

Transfer Applicants

Applicants who have a strong academic record at their current ABA accredited law school, and are in good academic standing at the end of their first year, may qualify for transfer to Cornell Law. Applications must be complete by August 1.

2021–2022
Application and Financial Aid Deadlines

Binding Early Decision Round I: November 1 (LSAT not later than September test)

Binding Early Decision Round II: January 8 (LSAT not later than November test)

Regular Decision: March 1

Transfer: August 1

Financial Aid: March 15

Contact Information

We invite you to contact us regarding admissions, financial aid, or any general questions you may have.

Admissions:
jdadmissions@cornell.edu

Financial aid:
law.financialaid@cornell.edu

Cornell Equal Educational and Employment Opportunity Statement – Non-Discrimination Policy
Cornell University has an enduring commitment to support equality of education and employment opportunity by affirming the value of diversity and by promoting an environment free from discrimination. Cornell Law is committed to Cornell University’s policy affirming equality of opportunity.

No person shall be denied admission to any educational program or activity or be denied employment on the basis of any legally prohibited discrimination involving, but not limited to, such factors as race, color, creed, religion, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, ancestry, sex, gender (including identity or expression), sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, or protected veteran status. Inquiries concerning the application of Title IX may be referred to the Director of the Office of Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Life Quality, Cornell University, 160 Day Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-2801 (T: 607-255-3976; TDD: 607-255-7066).

© 2021 Cornell Law School

Produced by: Communications Department, Cornell Law School
Imagery: Maeve Anderson, Robert Barker, Joe Braun, Sharice Davids, Fly on the Wall Productions, Joseph Cheng Wai Hok, Nina Hein, Bruce Hutchison, jaimelawton, JLAPhotography, Simon Wheeler, and the photographers of Cornell Marketing Group: Matt Fondeur, Lindsay France, Jason Koski, Kevin Stearns, and Luke Walker.

“Our aim is to keep
its instruction strong, its standard high,
and so to send out a fair number of
well-trained, large-minded, morally based
lawyers in the best sense.”
ANDREW DICKSON WHITE
cornell university’s first president