Law is a system of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior, with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has been variously described as a science and the art of justice. State-enforced laws can be made by a group legislature or by a single legislator, resulting in statutes; by the executive through decrees and regulations; or established by judges through precedent, usually in common law jurisdictions.
Law – or legal studies – refers to the ‘art of justice.’ It has been practiced since 3000 BC by the Ancient Egyptians. While the study has changed through time, one thing is for sure: you need to get a law degree to practice legally. In the following sections, we will list the best pre law schools in new york.
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Best Suny Schools For Pre Law
1. Columbia University School of Law
- National Ranking: 4
- Bar Passage Rates: 98 percent
- Post-Graduation Salaries: $60,000 to $180,000
- Acceptance Rate: 16.8 percent
- LSAT: 170 — 174
- Price: $69,916
Columbia has one of the best law programs in the country. Graduates from here move on to have some of the highest paying, most prestigious law jobs in the country. The small-sized private university has a class size of only 350 people.
With a bar exam pass rate approaching 98%, you’re also almost guaranteed to pass the bar if you study here and apply yourself. But of course, thanks to the school’s reputation, they can be picky about who they accept.
If you want a good chance of getting admitted, you’ll have to hit a minimum of 170 on your LSATs. Even if you do, it’s still difficult: the school’s acceptance rate is only 16.8 percent. So, do your best to get your application in early and study hard. The school will also consider extracurricular activities. Before applying you should try to gain relevant work experience, and explore volunteering possibilities as well. While it’s expensive, it’s one of the best law educations you can get nationwide.
2. New York University School of Law
- National Ranking: 6
- Bar Passage Rate: 97.5 percent
- Post-Graduation Salaries: $60,000 to $180,000
- Acceptance Rate: 23.6 percent
- LSAT: 167 — 172
- Price: $66,422
This private university is located in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. It is relatively large for a law school with a student body of around 1700. The school is quite tough to get into, but it’s a smidge easier by acceptance rate than admissions for Columbia or Cornell. Curriculum here is incredibly intensive, though and students here do need to work hard.
While there’s an active social scene at this school, the workloads prevent too much hedonistic behavior. NYU law school is another historic campus — the school started in 1831. With a fantastic bar passage rate and stellar post-grad salaries, the price is expensive but justifiable, although you’ll need to have your application well in order to be successful.
3. Cornell Law School
- National Ranking: 13
- Bar Passage Rate: 95.9 percent
- Post-Graduation Salaries: $64,228 to $180,000
- Acceptance Rate: 21.1 percent
- LSAT: 164 — 168
- Price: $65,541
This selective private university is one of the top 15 in the country. They’re very particular when it comes to who enters the program. You have to perform well academically and demonstrate that you can maintain balance in your life.
Acceptance is difficult to achieve — only about 1 in 5 applicants make the grade. That’s a good thing, though, because this is not an option for slackers. If you’re willing to work hard, you’ll get an excellent start for your law career. And more important than curriculum is the network that the school provides. Alumni are very active and usually happy to mentor new graduates. The college campus is beautiful, with historic buildings to inspire you.
With just over 600 JD students, Cornell University is considered small to mid-sized. The cost to attend the school is above average, but with a good LSAT score, financial aid is available to students.
4. Fordham University School of Law
- National Ranking: 27
- Bar Passage Rate: 92.3 percent
- Post-Graduation Salaries: $61,250 to $180,000
- Acceptance Rate: 25.9 percent
- LSAT: 161 — 166
- Price: $60,406
This private Catholic school has offered outstanding education since 1841 and draws on traditional Jesuit values. These values emphasize respect, hard work, and morality. Graduates of Fordham can expect similar salaries to the top schools on this list.
But while the quality of the education you’ll get is top-tier, entrance is slightly more relaxed in terms of LSAT scores. That said, you’ll need to have a stellar academic background and application to gain entrance. There’s a fair amount of competition for the top spots here.
5. Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University
- National Ranking: 53
- Bar Passage Rate: 85.6 percent
- Post-Graduation Salaries: $60,000 to $70,000
- Acceptance Rate: 40.3 percent
- LSAT: 157 — 162
- Price: $60,610
The Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University is a private law school with a relatively large student body, featuring about 1000 students. The bar passage rate is a little lower than higher-tier options, probably correlated with the more relaxed admissions requirements.
But as long as you achieve an LSAT score of 157 or more, you’ve got a good chance of getting in. The competition for entry is average, so you’ve got a good shot at getting in compared to schools in the top 50. Campus life is active, and the law school represents a significant part of the student body, but the focus is definitely on academics.
Although it’s officially a Jewish school, the student population isn’t particularly religious. While here isn’t any religious influence on curriculum, but there is strong support for the Jewish community here. While tuition is quite high for a school outside of the top 50, this school offers more financial assistance for students than any reviewed in this state so far.
6. St. John’s University School of Law
- National Ranking: 74
- Bar Passage Rate: 88.6 percent
- Post-Graduation Salaries: $62,500 to $79,000
- Acceptance Rate: 41.9 percent
- LSAT: 153 — 160
- Price: $59,480
As the name suggests, this is a Catholic school. It’s privately run and has an excellent reputation, as it’s well in the top 100 law schools in America.
A significant advantage here is that it is relatively easy to get accepted. LSAT scores required are lower than is the case for most top institutions. There is relatively average competition for entry, but there’s a very small pool of applicants: only 247 students attend the institution, less than 100 per class year.
The school is in Queens, a borough of New York City. The school is expensively priced, a side effect of being in the Big Apple, but networking effects from being in the city can help with job projects post-graduation. Financial aid programs are available.
7. SUNY Buffalo Law School
- National Ranking: 99
- Bar Passage Rate: 77.5 percent
- Post-Graduation Salaries: $54,000 to $62,500
- Acceptance Rate: 57.9 percent
- LSAT: 150 — 156
- Price: $27,964
This law school sneaks in the top 100 by rankings with a reputation that’s well above average. The campus is large, with a total of around 19,500 students, but the law school itself is small with under 500 Juris Doctor candidates. This helps with a high student to staff ratio of 5.5 students to one staff member.
Gaining entry is relatively simple because of the scores required. The bottom 25 percent of students admitted have a score under 150, which represents the 40th percentile of test scores. Just get your application in early because they still reject over approximately 500 candidates per year.
The average cost of education here is reasonable, well below average for a law school in the top 100. The school also offers need-based financial aid programs.
8. Syracuse University College of Law
- National Ranking: 111
- Bar Passage Rate: 91.4 percent
- Post-Graduation Salaries: $50,750 to $65,000
- Acceptance Rate: 52.1 percent
- LSAT: 152 — 156
- Price: $51,422
Experts and graduates alike highly recommend this small private institution in Syracuse. It’s class size is miniscule: 230, meaning it’s still quite competitive to get into the school. That said, it’s easier than trying to get into Columbia or Cornell, but it’s definitely not a sure thing. A strong LSAT is still required to gain admission.
That the school has a high bar passage rate despite its lower admission requirements speaks volumes about the quality of education there. While the undergraduate program has a party reputation and an emphasis on sports, the law school is very different and those who don’t hit the books hard won’t find success here.
While tuition is above average for a school of this caliber, the school offers financial aid. Post-grad salaries speak to the competition for starting positions among graduates in New York, but diligent students can work their way up, although there are more abundant, less competitive positions in places like Albany and Buffalo than in New York City.
9. Albany Law School of Union University
- Ranking: 118
- Bar Passage Rates: 70.6 percent
- Post-Graduation Salaries: $59,000 to $73,000
- Acceptance Rate: 54.6 percent
- LSAT Range: 151 — 156
- Price: $47,450
If you’re looking for more individualized attention, this school could be a good fit. There is a total of around 2,200 students on the whole campus and 372 in the law school. While the acceptance rate is just over 50%, admissions are competitive, so it’s important to take your application and test scores seriously if you hope to gain admission.
Albany is a private school with above-average tuition. Many students do qualify for student aid. Private sector salaries are relatively high for a school outside of the top 100, and public position placement is high as well with relatively strong salaries. That has more to do with the staff support network outside of academics: a career center helps place graduates.
10. Hofstra University Maurice A. Dean School of Law
- National Ranking: 160
- Bar Passage Rate: 68.2 percent
- Post-Graduation Salaries: $61,000 to $70,000
- Acceptance Rate: 48.1 percent
- LSAT: 148 — 155
- Price: $59,214
At first glance, the bar passage rate for Hofstra University looks pretty low. It looks even worse when you compare it to the others on this list. So, how did Hofstra squeeze its way into the top ten? Well, at the end of the day, it’s a pretty good school. It’s selective, admitting under 50% of applicants and post-graduation salaries are higher than many higher-ranked institutions.
The lower ranking could be related to the lower scores required to gain admission. But what made us include it here is that the school puts a lot of emphasis on the practical aspects of the law. And, if you plan to practice law, this emphasis on real-world experience is a significant advantage. It helps with career placement as well, with 81% of students employed within 10 months of graduation.
Best Pre Law Schools In New York
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
4 Year • Troy, NY •
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a private not-for-profit university based in Troy, New York. It is an institution with an enrollment of over 1,663 bachelor’s degree candidates. The admission criteria is somewhat competitive with the acceptance rate of 43%.
#1 in Best Pre Law Studies Colleges & Universities in New York
CUNY City College
4 Year • New York, NY
CUNY City College is a public university based in New York, New York. It is an institution with an enrollment of over 1,705 bachelor’s degree candidates. The admission criteria is somewhat competitive with the acceptance rate of 46%.
#2 in Best Pre Law Studies Colleges & Universities in New York
4 Year • Loudonville, NY
Siena College is a private not-for-profit university based in Loudonville, New York. It is an institution with an enrollment of over 776 bachelor’s degree candidates. The admission criteria is somewhat competitive with the acceptance rate of 77%.
#3 in Best Pre Law Studies Colleges & Universities in New York
The College of Saint Rose
4 Year • Albany, NY
The College of Saint Rose is a private not-for-profit university based in Albany, New York. It is an institution with an enrollment of over 577 bachelor’s degree candidates. The admission criteria is somewhat competitive with the acceptance rate of 82%.
#4 in Best Pre Law Studies Colleges & Universities in New York
CUNY Graduate School and University Center
4 Year • New York, NY
CUNY Graduate School and University Center is a public university based in New York, New York.
#5 in Best Pre Law Studies Colleges & Universities in New York
Best pre law schools in the world
#1: Harvard College
A traditional feeder school, a Harvard education will undoubtedly give you an advantage in your law school applications, especially with the right grades and LSAT scores. Harvard also has several organizations for pre-law students, including the Harvard Law Society and the Harvard College Black Pre-Law Association. You’ll also be able to take advantage of Harvard’s alumni network at top schools and law firms.
#2: Yale University
Yale is considered the top law school in the country, and is the 4th best university overall according to US News and World Report. Though Yale does not have a pre-law major, the school does offer an interdisciplinary track that allows students to create their own major that can give them the skills that law schools seek. The Yale Law School Admission Council also provides undergraduates with pre-law counseling and events throughout the year.
#3: Northwestern University
Northwestern is known for academic rigor, and a big school means lots of resources, including their own law school. Northwestern’s Legal Studies track can be completed as a major or a minor, and differs from pre-law programs in that it has an interdisciplinary focus and aims to teach students to think critically about the relationship between law and society, and includes everything from psychology to literature to religious studies. It’s a well-rounded degree, and the added advantage of being in Chicago means more opportunities for internships.
#4: University of Maryland
The University of Maryland has a department dedicated to advising pre-law students, which also connects students with resources and mentors, and works closely with the university’s law school. Maryland also has a three year arts/law degree program, in which a student can apply to law school in their third year of undergrad, and be awarded their baccalaureate degree in their first year of law school. College Park is also close to Washington D.C., which can help you with landing an internship.
#5: Georgetown University
Georgetown’s pre-law advising center offers resources on all things law school, including one-on-one advising, help with applications, and workshops. Additionally, Georgetown’s record of academics in the humanities make it a great place to learn the skills necessary to excel in law school, and its Washington D.C. location means opportunities to have internships and make connections with those working in the legal field or in politics.
#6: New York University
NYU is in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the world, and certainly offers a ton of opportunities for internships both in the legal industry and beyond. NYU also offers the Lawyer Alumni Mentoring Program, or LAMP, for pre-law students. The school’s academics are rigorous overall, and has a strong record in the humanities, particularly English.
#7: Michigan State University
Michigan State offers a pre-law major that is also considered a liberal arts degree. The pre-law major aims to introduce students to legal studies while also teaching critical thinking and analytical skills so that pre-law majors are prepared to work in law enforcement, become paralegals, or go into a career in government.
#8: University of Texas at Austin
UT Austin’s career center hosts one of the largest Law Fairs in the country every year, which allows students to interact with over 100 law school admissions professionals. The career center also hosts panels and workshops, law school application coaching, and more. If you’re stuck between majors, these resources can help you decide what is best for you, and what will help you stand out on an application. UT Austin offers many majors in both sciences and humanities, and UT students go onto to law school with degrees in numerous fields.
#9: Florida State University
In addition to one of the country’s top Criminal Justice programs, FSU has a pre-law advising center that helps students magnify their achievements within their majors, and works closely with the law school. FSU hosts the Donald J. Weidner Summer Program for Legal Studies, a four-week program taught by law professors. Even better: 70% of program attendees have gone on to law school. The program is open to undergraduates from all schools and is competitive.
#10: George Washington University
George Washington University encourages pre-law students to establish themselves as pre-law early on, and take advantage of the many groups, societies, and panels dedicated to that goal. Advisers at GW help you find the law schools that are the best fit for your background and goals, and they tailor your undergrad education to those schools. Additionally, the Washington D.C. location makes for a great spot to score internships.
#11: Nova Southeastern University
Nova Southeastern is a little different than the other schools on this list because of its thorough pre-law (legal studies) major that offers an undergraduate law degree. Nova Southeastern is dedicated to helping students prepare for law school by offering a challenging program and a dedicated interest in the humanities. The school’s B.S. in Legal Studies major also allows students to take classes in philosophy, history, and more as they work toward their degree.