Alumni Short

Cornell Law School: Insiders Guide

An Insider’s Guide to Cornell Law School & Ithaca

What are Cornell Law School and Ithaca really like?

The best way to discover the answers to these questions is to visit Ithaca! If your schedule does not permit you to visit us, then another way to get an insider’s perspective about the Law School and Ithaca is to keep reading below.

The following Insider’s Guide is a list of favorite places, foods and pastimes at the Law School and in and around Ithaca. It was prepared by a working group of students and administrators.


  • Best “face time” (the art of seeing and being seen) studying spot:
    Reading Room of the Law Library
  • Best studying spot when you really need to get things done:
    Basement level of Reading Room of the Law Library or select among one of the University’s 20 different libraries.
  • Best place to sit in class: A tie
    The front of the class - you are more engaged in class and you will not miss anything that is said in class.
    The back of class - you will have a bird’s eye view of everything going on in class and you know you will be called on early in the semester for your misguided attempt to “hide” in the back of class.

Eating and Caffeinating


  • Best place to grab a beer:
    Rulloffs (Closest bar to the law school and named after a serial killer.)
  • Best place to grab a drink that is not a beer:
    Ithaca Beer Company’s Apricot Wheat
  • Best cheer that we can put on a public website:
    Cornell Hockey fans near the end of a blowout game start to jingle their keys and chant: “Go Start the Bus!”

Escapes and Getaways

  • Best escape:
    The City (the one that never sleeps)
  • Best location to take a road trip:
    Niagara Falls
  • Best lake to drive around and tour wineries:
    Cayuga Lake, with Seneca Lake a close second!


  • Best place for grocery shopping:
    Wegmans (A few years ago, the Law Student Association surveyed recent law school alumni about what they missed most about Ithaca, and Wegman’s grocery store topped the list!)
  • Best place to buy used books:
    The Bookery for used and rare books
    The Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library Book Sale


  • Best place to hear live music:
     The Haunt
  • Best law school social event:
    Public Interest Cabaret (Where else can you raise money for a great cause, see your classmates show off their talents, and hear one of your law professors sing?)
  • Best place to get your dance on:
    The Haunt
  • Best philanthropy events:
    Public Interest Fundraising events at the Law School
    AIDS ride for life around Lake Cayuga
    National Volunteer Week Celebration in the Commons
    Red Cross Dance-a-Thon
  • Best place to catch a movie:
    Cornell Cinema at the “Straight” (aka Willard Straight Hall, just across from the law school)

All About Cornell

  • Best Cornell factoid:
    Cornell is the only Ivy League University that is also its state’s land grant institution.
  • Cornell University alumni/us you should know about:
    Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
    Janet Reno, former U.S. Attorney General
    Jimmy Smits, Actor
    Ann Coulter, Author and Political analyst
  • Best building on campus (outside of Myron Taylor Hall):
    Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art (Designed by renowned architect I. M. Pei before he designed the East Wing of the National Gallery, the West Wing of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the pyramid in the Louvre)
  • Best place to take a photo:
    Top floor of the Herbert F. Johnson Art Museum
    Sunset Park in Cayuga Heights
  • Best “Cornell” thing to do on campus:
    Become part of the “Lynah Faithful” (Cornell Hockey fans) by attending a Cornell Hockey game and go on a late night food run by getting food at “Hot Truck” or Louie’s Lunch!

Out and About

Best winery:
Six Miles Creek Vineyards (within the city limits)

Getting Outside

  • Best gorge (waterfall): Too many from which to choose. Favorites include:
    Taughannook Falls
    Ithaca Falls (On campus)
  • Best park for a picnic:
    Robert H. Treman State Park (12 waterfalls including Lucifer Falls and the Devil’s Kitchen!)
  • Best place for water activity:
    Taughannock State Park (swim, beach and boating/watercraft options)
  • Best winter/snow activity:
    Cross country skiing on the groomed trails on the university golf course
    Sledding at the Plantations
  • Best hike:
    Taughannock Falls State Park (A nice level hike to the falls)
    Hammond Hill State Forest (11 miles of trails ranging from novice to advanced).
  • Best place to throw a frisbee:
    Stewart Park
    Arts & Sciences Quad at Cornell University