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Cornell Law School
|Cornell Law School|
|Parent school||Cornell University|
|School type||Private non-profit|
|Dean||Stewart J. Schwab|
|Location||Ithaca, NY, US|
|Faculty||57 (full time)|
51 (part time)
|Undergrad. GPA 75th%||3.81|
|Median Undergrad. GPA||3.70|
|Undergrad. GPA 25th%||3.57|
|Volumes in law library||700,000|
|Outlines||0 (See List)|
Cornell Law School, located in Ithaca, New York, is a graduate school of Cornell University. It is one of the five Ivy League law schools. The law school offers four types of law degrees, eight programs of law study, and over 120 courses for its students. In the field of law, Cornell retains an excellent reputation: its graduates have the sixth highest percent placement at the top 50 law firms. Additionally, Cornell's July 2005 New York bar pass rate for first-time candidates was the highest of any law school in New York state.
The Cornell Law School was formally opened in 1887, but was moved to its present-day location at Myron Taylor Hall in 1937. The law school building, an ornate, Gothic structure, was the result of a donation by Myron Charles Taylor, a former CEO of US Steel, and a member of the Cornell class of 1894. An addition to Myron Taylor Hall was completed in 1988.
In 2005 the median GPA for incoming Cornell Law students was 3.65, and the median Law School Admissions Test score was 167. The admission rate for 2005 was 20.6%. A breakdown of the various degree programs reveals that for certain programs the selectivity can dramatically increase. In the LL.M. program the admission rate hovered around 6.67% in 2005, as 900 applications were received for the 50 to 60 openings in the program.
Along with placing an emphasis on both high GPA and LSAT scores, the admissions process places a heavy emphasis on an applicant's explanation for wanting to attend Cornell. In particular, the Law School values applicants who have done their research and have particular interests or goals that would be served by attending the school versus one of its peer institutions.
Cornell is one of the pre-eminent law schools in the United States; 7th in the 2004 Law School 100 rankings, 13th in the 2007 U.S. News and World Report, and its master of laws, or LL.M., program ranked 1st in the 2006 AUAP rankings. In 2005, the National Law Journal reported that Cornell Law graduates had the 6th highest percent placement at the top 50 law firms.
Cornell Law graduates have consistently achieved the highest bar pass-rate among law schools in the state of New York during the past few years. In 2006, Cornell's July 2005 New York bar pass rate for first-time candidates was 95% versus 94% for New York University (NYU) and 90% for Columbia.
Library and the Legal Information Institute
Cornell's law library is one of the largest in the nation. The law library contains 700,000 books and microforms and includes rare historical texts relevant to the legal history of the United States.
An important aspect of the library is the fact that it is one of the 12 national depositories for print records of briefs filed with the United States Supreme Court. Also, there is a large collection of print copies of the records and briefs of the New York Court of Appeals. The large microfilm collection has sets of Congressional, Supreme Court, and United Nations documents, as well as a large collection of World Law Reform commission materials. Microfiche records and briefs for the United States Supreme Court, the Second Circuit and District of Columbia Courts of Appeals, and the New York State Court of Appeals are also collected. The library also has a large collection of international, foreign, and comparative law, with the main focus being on the Commonwealth of Nations and Europe. Along with this, there are also collections of public international law and international trade law. A new initiative by the library is to collect Chinese, Japanese, and Korean resources to support the Law School’s Program in East Asian Law and Culture.
The law library also boasts a significant collection of rare books. This collection has over 1200 volumes and it is housed in the Rare Book Room, which was built in 1981. Among these rare books is the Samuel Thorne collection, which has 175 of the some of the earliest and most rare books on law. Other significant collections include the Nathaniel C. Moak library and the Edwin J. Marshall Collection of early works on equity and the Earl J. Bennett Collection of Statutory Material, a print collection of original colonial, territorial, and state session laws and statuary codes.
Among the library’s special collections are 19th Century Trials Collection, Donovan Nuremburg Trials Collection, Scottsboro Collection, William P. and Adele Langston Rogers Collection and the Chile Declassification Project.
Cornell Law also oversees the Legal Information Institute (LII), known internationally as a leading provider of public legal information. The LII offers all opinions of the United States Supreme Court handed down since 1992, together with over 600 earlier decisions selected for their historic importance, over a decade of opinions of the New York Court of Appeals, and the full United States Code. The LII also publishes important secondary sources: libraries in two important areas (legal ethics and social security) and a series of “topical” pages that serve as concise explanatory guides and Internet resource listings for roughly 100 areas of law.
- J.D. Programs (including the J.D. Transfer Program)
- LL.M. Program
- J.S.D. Program
- J.D./Master en Droit, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne (four-year program that prepares graduates for admission to the bar in the United States and in France)
- J.D./Master of German and European Law and Practice (M.LL.P.), Humboldt University of Berlin (four-year program that provides graduates with a knowledge of German and European law at both an academic and a practical level)
- J.D./Master in Global Business Law, Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris and Paris I (three-year program that offers a multi-disciplinary, European perspective on international law and business issues)
- International Program
- Legal Information Institute
- Death Penalty Project
- Legal Aid Clinic
- Public Interest
- Keck Foundation Ethics Program
- Olin Program of Law & Economics
- Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture
- Asylum Clinic
- International Human Rights Clinic
- Externships Program
International Summer Law Institutes
Cornell Law School runs two summer institutes overseas, providing Cornell Law students with unique opportunities to engage in rigorous international legal studies. The Cornell-Université Paris I Summer Institute of International and Comparative Law at the Sorbonne in Paris, France offers a diverse curriculum in the historic Sorbonne and Centre Panthéon (Faculté de droit) buildings at the heart of the University of Paris I: Panthéon-Sorbonne. Coursework includes international human rights, comparative legal systems, and international commercial arbitration. French language classes are also offered.
In 2006, Cornell Law School announced that it would launch a second summer law institute, the new Workshop in International Business Transactions with Chinese Characteristics in Suzhou, China. In partnership with Bucerius Law School (Germany) and Kenneth Wang School of Law at Soochow University (China), Cornell Law provides students from the United States, Europe, and China with an academic forum in which they can collaborate on an international business problem.
Cornell Law students actively participate in myriad moot court competitions annually, both in the law school itself and in external and international competitions. The Langfan First-Year Moot Court Competition, which takes place every spring, traditionally draws a large majority of the first-year class. Other internal competitions include the Cuccia Cup and the Winter Cup.
Student activities at Cornell Law School include:
- American Constitution Society
- Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
- Black Law Students Association
- Briggs Society of International Law
- Business Law Society
- Christian Legal Society
- Cornell Advocates for Human Rights
- Cornell Law Democrats
- Cornell Law Republicans
- Cornell Law Students Association
- Cornell Sports & Entertainment Law Consortium
- Environmental Law Society
- Federalist Society
- J. Reuben Clark Law Society
- Jewish Law Students Association
- Latino American Law Students Association
- LL.M. Association
- National Lawyers Guild
- Native American Law Students Association
- Phi Alpha Delta
- Phi Delta Phi
- Public Interest Law Union
- SOLATA (Society of Law and the Arts)
- Women’s Law Coalition
- Students for Marriage Equality
- The Veterans Society
- See also: List of Cornell University people
- Stewart J. Schwab, current Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law
- Faust F. Rossi, current Samuel S. Leibowitz Professor of Trial Techniques and well-known for his lectures in evidence to students preparing for the bar examination
- Robert S. Summers, current William G. McRoberts Research Professor in the Administration of the Law and co-author of the authoritative treatise on the Uniform Commercial Code
- John J. Barceló III, current William Nelson Cromwell Professor of International and Comparative Law and an expert on International Commercial Arbitration.
- James A. Henderson Jr., current Frank B. Ingersoll Professor of Law, leading commentator on the law of torts and products liability and Special Master in the 9/11 respiratory illness cases.
- Gregory S. Alexander, current A. Robert Noll Professor of Law and leading commentator on the law of property.
- Kevin M. Clermont, current James and Mark Flanagan Professor of Law and nationally acclaimed casebook author and teacher of civil procedure.
- Justice Barry T. Albin - Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court
- Rob Andrews - U.S. Representative from New Jersey
- J. Carter Bacot - Former President, Chairman, and CEO of The Bank of New York
- HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha - eldest child of the Crown Prince of Thailand
- Edward J. Bloustein - 17th president of Rutgers University
- Hon. Leonie Brinkema - U.S. District Court Judge in Virginia who presided over the trial and conviction of 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui.
- Steven D. Clymer - Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
- Robert B. Diener - Founder of Hotels.com; class of 1982
- Hon. Peter W. Hall - Judge for the 2nd Circuit US Court of Appeals, former United States Attorney for Vermont
- Joyce P. Hagg - General Counsel and Senior Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company; Class of 1975
- Robert A. Hillman - Edwin H. Woodruff Professor of Law, Cornell Law School
- Joseph Hinsey - Professor of Business Law, Emeritus, Harvard Business School
- Philip H. Hoff - Governor of Vermont 1963-69
- Frank Jefferson Horton - former U.S. Representative from New York
- Leonard Leo - Director of the Lawyers Division and executive vice president of the Federalist Society, Head of "Catholic Outreach" at the Republican National Committee, Advisor to President George W. Bush on judicial nominees
- Sol M. Linowitz - U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States; co-negotiated the treaty with Panama that restored Panamanian sovereignty over the Panama Canal; chairman of the President’s Commission on World Hunger; served as President Carter’s personal representative to the Middle East peace talks
- David S. Litman - Founder of Hotels.com; class of 1982
- Edmund Muskie - Governor of Maine, U.S. Senator, U.S. Secretary of State, candidate for President
- Philip Perry - General Counsel, Department of Homeland Security
- Samuel Pierce - Secretary of Housing and Urban Development 1981-89
- William Pierce Rogers - 63rd Attorney General of the United States and former Secretary of State
- Alexander Pirnie - Former American Congressman
- Faust F. Rossi - Samuel S. Leibowitz Professor of Trial Techniques, Cornell Law School
- Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin - United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York
- Jan Schlichtmann - led lawsuit regarding drinking water in Woburn, Massachusetts, profiled in book and movie A Civil Action
- Hon. Amy St. Eve - United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois
- Paul Szasz - Deputy to the United Nations Legal Counsel and principal drafter of the constitutions of Namibia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
- William vanden Heuvel - Former United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Former Ambassador to the European Office of the United Nations in Geneva.
- Hon. Richard C. Wesley - Judge for the 2d Circuit Court of Appeals, former Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
- Cornell University,
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