Forge YourOwn 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 Engraving

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.

Connect With A Close-Knit Student Body

The Right Size

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.

~ The Right Size ~

A Stimulating Intellectual Community

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


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.


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.


Courses offered


Student-to-Faculty ratio


Approximate size of entering class


Total enrollment

~ 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.

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

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.

A Vibrant Local Culture

The Right Location

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.

~ 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.


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


Ithaca has plenty to keep you entertained. We’re a hub for music, fine arts, theater, museums, and more. See a play at the Hangar Theatre, experience a show at the State Theatre, or watch an independent film at Cinemapolis.


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. Ithaca has numerous farm-to-table dining options. Sample local produce at the Ithaca Farmers Market or explore Ithaca’s restaurants, bars, and cafés—all just steps from campus.

A vibrant and varied restaurant scene


Waterfalls within 10 miles of Ithaca


Hours from New York City, Philadephia, and Toronto


Wineries within the Finger Lakes region

~ 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.

The natural world of Ithaca is breathtaking.

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.


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.

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Start Your Career

The Right Outcome

Upon graduation, Cornell Law students are fully prepared for the challenges of the legal landscape. Plus, they stand out in the employment marketplace. In 2022, 95.9% of our graduates were employed within 10 months of graduation.

~ 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 2022, 95.9% of our graduates were employed within 10 months of graduation.


Employed 10 months after graduation


Median private-sector salary


Bar pass rate

~ 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.


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.

In 2021, 42 alumni secured prestigious clerkships with federal or state judges.

~ The Right Outcome ~

Gain a Global Outlook

Cornell Law School Clinical Program Trip

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.

Learn more

Cornell University’s state-of-the-art tech campus in New York City

The Tech World

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.

Learn more

Hong Kong

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.

Learn more

We value the uniqueness of each applicant.


of students receive a scholarship with an average award of 30k

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.

2023-2024 Tuition and Estimated Expenses

  • Tuition: $77,508
  • Student Activity Fee: $85
  • Room: $11,562
  • Board: $6,992
  • Books and Supplies: $2,700
  • Personal: $2,420
  • Travel: $3,042
  • Cornell Health Insurance Fee: $500
  • Total tuition and estimated expenses: $104,809
More information

Financial Aid Procedures

Applicants for merit and need-based scholarship must complete the Cornell Law Scholarship Application. Applicants for federal loans must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (Cornell Law’s Title IV code is 002711). Need-based scholarship applicants are required to complete the CollegeBoard CSS Profile. All scholarship application information must be received by March 15. We evaluate merit and need-based scholarship prior to enrollment.

Financial aid

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.


  • Binding Early Decision: January 1 (LSAT not later than November test)
  • Regular Decision: March 1
  • Transfer: August 1
  • Financial Aid: March 15