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Mission Statement and Learning Outcomes

Mission Statement

Cornell Law School’s mission remains that articulated by Cornell President Andrew Dickson White upon the founding of the law school 120 years ago: “Our aim is to keep its instruction strong, its standard high, and so to produce … a fair number of well-trained, large-minded, morally based lawyers in the best sense.”

Cornell Law School offers a 3-year J.D. program for 190 students per class, a one-year LL.M. program for 65 students from countries throughout the world, and a doctoral (J.S.D.) program for about 4 new students per year. Cornell Law School has 39 tenured and tenure-track faculty, including 14 with chaired faculty positions; and eleven clinical professors in the legal research and writing program and in clinics at the local, national, and international level. The Cornell Law School faculty is consistently ranked among the top in the country for scholarly productivity and influence. The faculty has pre-eminence in many areas, including quantitative and qualitative empirical legal studies, international and comparative law, and robust doctrinal scholarship in core fields.

Our commitment is to continue to be recognized as the leader among law schools at combining inspiring theoretical, doctrinal, and experiential teaching with cutting-edge scholarship in a supportive, intellectually rich community, so that our graduates can achieve excellence in all facets of the legal profession.

Learning Outcomes

(a) A law school shall require that each student receive substantial instruction in:

  1. the substantive law generally regarded as necessary to effective and responsible participation in the legal profession;
  2. legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem solving, and oral communication;
  3. writing in a legal context, including at least one rigorous writing experience in the first year and at least one additional rigorous writing experience after the first year;
  4. other professional skills generally regarded as necessary for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession; and
  5. the history, goals, structure, values, rules and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members

(b) A law school shall offer substantial opportunities for:

  1. live-client or other real-life practice experience, appropriately supervised and designed to encourage reflection by students on their experiences and on the values and responsibilities of the legal profession, and the development of one’s ability to assess his or her performance and level of competence;
  2. student participation in pro bono activities; and
  3. small group work through seminars, directed research, small classes, or collaborative work.