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Cornell Law School Overview


Eduardo M. Penalver – Allan R. Tester Dean and Professor of Law

“Cornell Law School is a rigorous and vibrant intellectual community. Our students arrive with a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. While at Cornell, they grow through their interactions with one another and with our dedicated and interdisciplinary faculty. They leave able to think about the law systematically and prepared to practice at the highest levels of the profession.” 

Jocelyn E. Getgen Kestenbaum J.D. 2007 – Telford Taylor Fellow at Cardozo Law School’s Human Rights and Genocide Clinic. Member of the African Affairs Committee of the NYC Bar Association

“The doors of opportunity have been opened through the many connections I have made at Cornell Law. I entered the legal profession confidently grounded, yet knowing no limits to success.”




With about 600 J.D. students, we are a
close-knit, collegial community of learners.


Last year’s graduates secured solid positions around the country and the world.


The backdrop to the Cornell Law School experience is Ithaca, a beautiful and cosmopolitan small city in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. 

7 to 1 student to faculty ratio, one of the lowest for U.S. Law schools
#5 in job placement among all law schools
A stunning location



When you become a student at Cornell Law,
you join a close-knit collegial community of learners.

Small Classes, Large Offerings

 Our small student body means you can interact with your classmates in a supportive and friendly environment.  And, in spite of our small size, we offer an impressively wide-ranging curriculum.

Dedicated Teachers, Engaged Scholars

In addition to being prolific scholars, our professors are committed to the classroom. With a low student-faculty ratio, you'll have more opportunities to interact with and get to know your professors than at most top law schools.

Meet the Faculty

Robust Experience, Practical Learning

When students participate in one of our many clinics or externships, they work together with real clients on real issues of law. They engage in actual cases and gain invaluable practical experience at all levels of the process.

Clinical Programs

Learning by Doing in the Real World

More than 160 law courses offered at Cornell Law School
70% of upper division courses had fewer than 25 students per class
73% of the Class of 2016 took at least one clinical course




The natural world of Ithaca is breathtaking. 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. And with a thriving music and arts community, Ithaca offers abundant cultural opportunities as well.


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 thriving farm-to-table movement has local chefs and farmers working together in sustainable (and delicious) ways. It’s no wonder some call Ithaca “a foodie paradise.”

Ithaca Restaurants


The university offers a number of housing options close to the Law School for graduate students. In and around the Ithaca area are also many other fine places to live including modern and historical apartments in private buildings, houses and cooperatives in charming neighborhoods.

Graduate School Housing

Off-Campus Living


JD Program in NYC

Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in New York City
Students listening to a lecture
Architecture on Cornell’s Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island
A student studying
Two students using a computer and talking

The Program in Information and Technology Law

Through an innovative new program, students can now spend a semester in New York City studying information and technology law at the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island. In the midst of the fastest growing tech market in the country, students will explore a variety of legal issues such as privacy and cybersecurity or the constitutional law implications of new technology and big data. Up to twenty JD students can participate full time during any given semester in the Program in Information and Technology Law.

Step into the world


Step Into Success

Upon graduation, Cornell Law students are fully prepared for the challenges of the legal landscape. Plus, they stand out in the employment marketplace. 

$180,000 median full-time employed salary for class of 2016
97% of 2016 graduates employed
93.2% of graduates from the Class of 2016 passed the New York State Bar

Contact Information

Admissions/Financial Aid

607 255-5141