New York Law School


New York Law School was chartered by the state of New York on June 11, 1891. The first classes were held on October 1, 1891 in Lower Manhattan’s Financial District inside the Equitable Building. The school became the second-largest U.S. law school within one year of opening. The steady growth prompted moves to several locations in the Financial District. In 1904, the New York Law School became the largest law school in the United States.

New York Law School closed briefly during World War I and reopened in 1919 in Midtown. Enrollment peaked in the 1920s and declined during the Great Depression. The decline forced the school to accept lower quality students than previously accepted in order to remain open. The school later moved to Broadway and then again to City Hall Park. New York Law School became a coeducational institution in 1936. The school closed again in 1940 due to the military draft and the Great Depression. The current students completed their studies at the St. John University School of Law.

New York Law School reopened in 1947 under the influence of alumni headed by Supreme Court Justice Albert Cohn. The school received accreditation from the American Bar Association in 1954 and moved to the TriBeCa location in 1962. The law school is presently at this location.

School reform began taking place in 1973. School leaders wanted to reform the curriculum and were not satisfied with students passing the Bar Exam only. In 1975, the law school began offering Joint Degree Programs in conjunction with City College of New York.

New York Law School completed the expansion of a 235,000-square-foot nine-level building enclosed in glass, which integrates the existing law school building. The facility opened its doors in July 2009. The law school’s existing building is currently undergoing renovations that are expected to be complete in spring 2011.


Information Summary

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Overall Score (about) Insufficient Data
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance N/A
Admission Success rate N/A
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 14 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) N/A / N/A
Enrollment Total (all students) 1,042


The New York School of law is located in Lower Manhattan, New York in the TriBeCa neighborhood. This private institution is the oldest independent law school in the United States and 84% of students pass the New York bar exam on the first administration. The law school was one of the first institutions to establish an evening division to provide working individuals with an alternative to full-time studies.

The American Bar Association and the Association of American Law Schools accredit the New York Law School. The school offers two divisions, which include part-time evening and full-time day programs. The school currently offers certificates, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, and the school operates on the standard semester basis.

The law school offers the following degrees: J.D., LL.M in Real Estate, LL.M. in Financial Services Law, LL.M. in Taxation, and an M.A. in Mental Disability Law. The New York Law School also offers joint degrees, which includes Joint J.D./LL.M in Real Estate, Joint J.D./LL.M. in Taxation, and Joint M.B.A./J.D. with Baruch College. Concentration areas include Asset Management, Banking, Capital Markets, International Regulation, Transactional Practice, and Public Policy and Regulation.

Many prospective students may be interested in enrolling into the “Three + Three Program” at New York Law School . This program offers a unique opportunity for students to begin law school after only three years of undergraduate education. Students receive an undergraduate degree after one year of law school, and students do not have to take the admission test before entering the law school. The program offerings include Joint B.S./J.D. with Stevens Institution of Technology, Joint Bachelor’s Degree/J.D. with Adelphi University , Joint Bachelor’s Degree/J.D. with New England College , and Joint Bachelor’s Degree/J.D. with Southern Vermont College.

New York Law School currently has 7 academic centers designed to provide specialized study and engage students in advanced research. The centers include Center on Business Law and Policy, Center on Financial Services Law, Center for International Law, Center for New York City Law, Center for Professional Values and Practice, Center for Real Estate Studies, and Justice Action Center.

Center on Financial Law

The center, which opened in 2008, has long-term aspirations to offer new educational opportunities, provide a forum, and create job development opportunities for business and legal professionals.

Center for International Law

This center concentrates on international finance and trade but supports research and teaching in all areas of international law. The center offers various resources for researching and studying careers in international law.

Center on Business Law and Policy

Recipients of the Harlan Scholarship receive educational enrichment in commercial law, business, and securities areas. Students learn the fundamentals necessary to enter law departments and corporations, brokerage firms and financial services, and business oriented law firms.

Center for Real Estate Studies

The recently established center wishes to become a leading academic research center that focuses on the study of public regulation of real estate and private practice. The center hosts symposia, legal education programs, and conferences to help students develop as real estate professionals.

Center for New York City Law

This center is a one of a kind center that focuses on gathering and disseminating information regarding New York City’s rules, procedures, and laws, and the center sponsors conferences, publications, and symposia that pertain to city governance.

Center for Professional Values and Practices

The center offers a model in which to view the various approaches to law practice and the role of the legal profession. The Center for Professional Values and Practices helps the students develop reflective professionalism and developing lawyer skills.

Justice Action Center

The center uses fieldwork and scholarship to evaluate law and the ways it effectively improves and changes society. The center uses clinical experience and a focused curriculum to provide a deeper understanding of the law for whatever careers students plant to work in after graduation.

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building :: New York Law School


Students must have earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university or college to be considered for admission. Applicants must submit applications by Early September or early April for priority consideration. The admissions committee begins making decisions in early December and continues until late May. Candidates are notified the same week in which the decision is made.

Applicants need to complete the following requirement to be considered for admission into the New York Law School: a completed application in electronic format using the LSAC Electronic Application Service (disabled students who require accommodations may receive a paper application), a current subscription to the Credential Assemble Service (CAS) with recent scores from the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) taken no longer than five years from the anticipated law school entrance date, a curriculum vitae or resume, and at least one letter of recommendation (up to three allowed). An application essay and a personal statement are not required but may be submitted if desired.

In addition to the above requirements, international students must complete the TOEFL Transfer students must meet the same general requirements and submit a letter of good academic standings, a personal statement about the reason for the transfer and the students’ interest in pursuing a law degree, and an official transcript of law courses. The application deadline for fall is early July, early November for spring, and early May for summer.

Financial Aid

A completed FAFSA form is required to receive financial assistance based on personal need. Loans, grants, scholarships, and payment plans are a few ways that students may pay for a law school education. Available grants include Federal Pell Grant and New York Law School Grant. Students are not required to repay monies received in the form of grants.

New York Law School offers many different scholarship opportunities to students who qualify. The school has received over $205 million in endowment funds to help students earn a degree. Students are encouraged to apply for as many scholarships as possible. External Scholarships are also accepted by the law school. The financial aid office makes information about these scholarships available as the information becomes available. Several loans are available to students, and each has varying requirements and repayment options. A few of the loans that students may qualify for include Direct Subsidized Loan Program, Direct Graduate Plus Loan, and Federal Perkins Loan Program. Tuition payment plans are available through organizations outside of New York Law School. Students should contact the New York Law School Accounting Office for more information about this service.

Additional School Information

New York Law School offers a residential hall in the East Village of Manhattan. 12-month leasing terms (August to July) are available to student in 2 and 3 bedroom apartments. Apartments contain a full bathroom and a kitchen. Students should contact the New York Law School Housing Office for more information.

Students who attend New York Law School come from varying backgrounds so it is important to create opportunities for students to interact with one another. The school offers over 40 organizations to accommodate different experiences and interests. Student organizations include Lawyers Without Boarders, International Law Society, Moot Court, American Constitution Society, Domestic Violence Project, Phi Alpha Delta International (PAD), Stonewall Law Students Association (SALSA), Public Interest Coalition (PIC), Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Legal Association for Women (LAW), The Global Human Rights Bulletin, and Medial, Entertainment, and Sports Law Association (MESLA).


Estrich, Susan. How to Get Into Law School. New York: Riverhead Books, 2004. Print

Jamie, Catherine McGrew. A Brief History of New York City. Charleston: CreateSpace, 2010. Print.

New York Law School. 3 May 2011. Web. 3 May 2011.

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