Academics and Careers
What are your strongest academic programs?
At Cornell Law we have many strong academic programs ranging from International Law to Corporate Law to Labor Law. The best way to find information about our academic programs is to visit our faculty profiles website and our curriculum website.
What is a typical First year Class like?
The First Year Class is divided into six sections of approximately 32 students.
During the fall semester, you will have one class that will only include your section of 32 students. Your legal research and writing class will also be taught in a class of 32 students. Please visit here for more information about the First Year at Cornell Law.
Are there academic support programs?
Yes, there are both formal and informal academic support programs. During the first tear, students have the opportunity to work with an academic support counselor as well as upper-class students. Also, students have the opportunity to be assigned a faculty and/or a student mentor.
Cornell Law is a small legal community, so there are many opportunities for informal academic support. Students can easily interact with their classmates and faculty.
Are there opportunities to interact with faculty?
Yes. One of the cornerstones of the Cornell Law faculty is their accessibility to students.
What joint degree programs do you offer?
As the largest and most academically diverse Ivy League University, Cornell offers a robust number of joint degree programs. We currently offer the following joint degree programs:
- J.D./Ph.D. Doctor of Philosophy
- J.D./M.A. Master of Arts
- J.D./M.S. Master of Science
- J.D./D.M.A. Doctor of Musical Arts
- J.D./D.V.M. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
- J.D./M.Arch Master of Architecture
- J.D./M.A.T. Master of Teaching
- J.D./M.B.A. Master of Business Administration
- J.D./M.Eng. Master of Engineering
- J.D./M.F.A. Master of Fine Arts
- J.D./M.F.S. Master of Food Science
- J.D./M.H.A. Master of Health Administration
- J.D./M.I.L.R. Master of Industrial and Labor Relations
- J.D.M.L.A. Master of Landscape Architecture
- J.D./M.M.H. Master of Hospitality Management
- J.D./M.P.A. Master of Public Administration
- J.D./M.P.S. Master of Professional Studies
Do I have to apply to the joint degree programs separately?
Which application forms do I use?
You use our law school application and the application for each respective program.
Each program within the joint degree has separate admission procedures and separate applications. You must be admitted to both programs separately before you can enter the joint degree.
Do I have to take the GRE or GMAT?
The requirements vary for each respective degree program.
Do you have any clinical programs?
Yes. Cornell Law students enjoy a number of cutting-edge clinical programs including:
- Advanced International Human Rights Clinic
- Capital Punishment Clinic: Post-Conviction Litigation
- Capital Appellate Clinic
- Child Advocacy Clinics 1 & 2
- Criminal Defense Trial Clinic
- E-Government Clinic 1 & 2
- International Human Rights Clinic
- Labor Law Clinic
- Land Use, Development and Natural Resources Protection Clinic
- Real Estate Litigation Clinic
- Prosecution Trial Clinic
- Public Interest Clinics 1, 2, & 3
- Securities Law Clinic 1, 2 & 3
- US Attorney’s Office Clinic 1 & 2
- Water Law in Theory and Practice 1
- Wrongful Conviction and Actual Innocence
Do I have to specialize in any one area?
No. After your first year you may tailor your class schedule to align with your interests and career goals. We offer the following concentrations:
- Public Interest
- Business Law and Regulation
- General Practice
What are your study abroad opportunities?
Cornell Law students may apply to spend a semester abroad during the spring semester of their second year of law school, or during the fall semester of their third year. Cornell Law School currently has study abroad agreements with twelve partner schools. It is also possible for a student to design an individual “term away” at a foreign law faculty.
- American University, Cairo, Egypt - an English-language exchange
- Amsterdam Law School, Amsterdam, the Netherlands - an English-language exchange
- Bucerius Law School, Hamburg, Germany – an English-language exchange
- University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa – an English-language exchange
- Central European University, Budapest, Hungary – an English-language exchange
- ESADE (Escuela Superior de Adminstración y n>Dirección de Empresas), Barcelona, Spain – a Spanish-language exchange
- University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany – a German-language exchange
- University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China - an English language exchange
- Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany – a German-language exchange
- Keio University, Tokyo, Japan – a Japanese-language exchange, with limited English language options
- University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, France – a French-language exchange
- Peking University Law School (Beida), Beijing, China - an English-language exchange
- Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain – a Spanish-language exchange
- University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia – an English-language exchange
- University College London, London, England – an English-language term away
- Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel - an English-language exchange (also Hebrew, if fluent)
- Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan – a Japanese-language exchange, with limited English language options
- Individually-designed international “terms away”
Past and Prospective Careers
What is Cornell Law's job placement rate and where do most graduates end up working?
Cornell Law has a robust job placement rate and our students secure top positions across the entire country. The employment statistics for recent classes can be found here.
Is there any help for students who want to pursue Public Interest work?
Cornell Law has a deep commitment to helping students work for the public interest. The Assistant Dean for Public Service, Karen Comstock, dedicates all of her time to offering students a wealth of information about how to successfully pursue public interest employment.
Our Public Interest Low Income Protection Plan is one of the most supportive loan-forgiveness programs in the nation. Cornell Law established this loan repayment assistance program for graduates who prefer employment in low-income public interest or public sector jobs to more lucrative private law practice positions. Qualifying graduates apply only a certain percentage of their annual income to repay the law school educational loans. The difference in the loan is covered by a grant issued by Cornell Law School during each year a graduate is in the program. More information and a PDF copy of the plan may be obtained by clicking here (pdf).
Students who wish to work with public interest organizations during the summer may be eligible for Public Interest Fellowship grants. The grants are made possible through a combination of creative fundraising activities organized by the student Public Interest Law Union and funds from the law school. By combining these summer Public Interest Fellowships and work-study funding, full time grants of $4,000 are awarded to students.