Cornell University Law School: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Cornell Law School article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cornell Law School
Cornell Law School
Established 1887
School type Private
Parent Endowment $3.97 billion
Dean Stewart J. Schwab
Location Ithaca, New York, USA
Enrollment 591[1]
Faculty 88[1]
USNWR ranking 13[2]
Bar pass rate 90.91%[1]
Annual tuition $45,803[1]
ABA Profile Cornell Law School Profile

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 school confers three law degrees. The school has a student to faculty ratio of 10.4 to 1, the third lowest of the 184 American Bar Association-accredited law schools in the United States [3] It has a residence hall, Hughes Hall, attached to the law school to the east.



The Deans of Cornell Law School
Douglas Boardman 1887-1891
Francis Miles Finch 1891-1903
Ernest Wilson Huffcut 1903-1907
Frank Irvine 1907-1916
Edwin Hamlin Woodruff 1916-1921
George Gleason Bogert 1921-1926
Charles Kellog Burdick 1926-1937
Robert Sproule Stevens 1937-1954
Gray Thoron 1956-1963
William Ray Forrester 1963-1973
Roger Conant Cramton 1973-1980
Peter William Martin 1980-1988
Russell King Osgood 1988-1998
Charles W. Wolfram 1998-1999 (Interim)
Lee E. Teitelbaum 1999-2003
John A. Siliciano 2003 (Interim)
Stewart J. Schwab 2004-present

The "law department" opened in 1887 in Morrill Hall with Judge Douglas Boardman as its first Dean. At that time, admission did not require even a high school diploma. In 1917, two years of undergraduate education was required for admission, and in 1924, it became a graduate degree program.[4] The department was renamed the Cornell Law School in 1925. In 1890, George Washington Fields graduated, one of the first law-school-graduates of color in the United States.[5] In 1893, Cornell had its first female graduate, Mary Kennedy Brown.

In 1892, the school moved into Boardman Hall, which was constructed specifically for legal instruction. The school moved from Boardman Hall (now the site of Olin Library) 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, the Jane M.G. Foster wing, was completed in 1988. Foster was a member of the class of 1918, and was the first woman to serve as Editor-in-Chief on an American law review.

In 1948, Cornell Law School established a program of specialization in international affairs and also started awarding LL.B. degrees. In 1968, the school began to publish the Cornell International Law Journal. In 1991, the school established the Berger International Legal Studies Program. In 1994, the school established a partnership with the University of Paris I law faculty to establish a Paris-based Summer Institute of International and Comparative Law. In 2006, the school established its second summer law institute in Suzhou, China. The Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture was established in 2002.


Cornell Law School

The law school receives roughly 4000 applications each year for an entering class of 185-190. In 2006 the median GPA for incoming Cornell Law students was 3.67, and the median Law School Admission Test score was 167. The admission rate for 2006 was 22.6%. In the LL.M. program, which is geared to non-U.S.-trained lawyers, 900 applications were received for the 50 to 60 openings. LL.M. students come from over 30 different countries.[6]

Along with consideration of the quality of an applicant's academic record and LSAT scores, the full-file-review admissions process places a heavy emphasis on an applicant's personal statement, letters of recommendation, community/extracurricular involvement, and work experience. The application also invites a statement on diversity and a short note on why an applicant particularly wants to attend Cornell. 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.[7]


Rankings include 7th in the 2004 Law School 100 rankings,[8] 13th in the 2009 U.S. News and World Report,[9] and its master of laws, or LL.M., program ranked 1st in the 2010, 2008 and 2006 AUAP rankings[10]. In 2005, the National Law Journal reported that Cornell Law graduates had the 6th highest percent placement at the top 50 law firms.[11]

Academic Offerings


Law Degrees

  • J.D. Programs (including the J.D. Transfer Program)
  • J.D./MBA
  • LL.M. Program
  • J.S.D. Program (the advanced degrees in law, LL.M. and JSD, have been offered at Cornell since 1928[12])
  • J.D./LL.M in International and Comparative Law
  • 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 (three-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)

Summer Law Institutes in France and China

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 de 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.


The law library contains 700,000 books and microforms and includes rare historical texts relevant to the legal history of the United States.[13]

The Cornell Law School Library

The library 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 United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and D.C. circuit, and the New York State Court of Appeals are also collected.[14] 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 Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture.[14]

Rare books in the library include 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 statutory codes.[14] Among the library’s special collections are 19th Century Trials Collection, Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection, Scottsboro Collection, William P. and Adele Langston Rogers Collection and the Chile Declassification Project.[14]

Legal Information Institute

Cornell Law also is home to the Legal Information Institute (LII), an online provider of public legal information.[15] Started in 1992, it was the first law site developed for the internet.[16] The LII offers all opinions of the United States Supreme Court handed down since 1990, together with over 600 earlier decisions selected for their historic importance.[17] The LII also publishes over a decade of opinions of the New York Court of Appeals, the full United States Code, the UCC, and the Code of Federal Regulations among other resources.[15]

It recently created Wex, a free wiki legal dictionary and encyclopedia, collaboratively created by legal experts.[18] And the LII Supreme Court Bulletin is a free email- and web-based publication that intends to serve subscribers with thorough, yet understandable, legal analysis of upcoming Court cases as well as timely email notification of Court decisions.[19]


The school has three law journals that are student-edited: the Cornell Law Review, the Cornell International Law Journal, and the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. Additionally, the Journal of Empirical Legal Studies is a peer-reviewed journal that is published by Cornell Law faculty.

Moot Court

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.

Notable current faculty

See also: List of Cornell University people
  • Stewart J. Schwab, current Allan R. Tessler Dean and Professor of Law and noted employment law expert
  • 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
  • John H. Blume, current Professor of Law and Director of the Cornell Death Penalty Project, and a prominent U.S. Supreme Court advocate.
  • 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
  • Annelise Riles, current Professor of Law and Professor of Anthropology who directs the law school's Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture, and is an internationally recognized expert on comparative law
  • John J. Barceló III, current William Nelson Cromwell Professor of International and Comparative Law and an expert on International Commercial Arbitration.
  • Cynthia R. Farina, current Professor of Law and co-author of the leading casebook on Administrative Law.
  • Theodore Eisenberg, current Henry Allen Mark Professor of Law and leader of the empirical legal studies movement.
  • Steven H. Shiffrin, current Charles Frank Reavis Sr. Professor of Law and acclaimed First Amendment scholar.
  • 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 September 11, 2001 attacks respiratory illness cases.
  • Gregory S. Alexander, current A. Robert Noll Professor of Law and leading commentator on the law of property.
  • Valerie P. Hans, current Professor of Law and a leading authority on the jury system.
  • Kevin M. Clermont, current Robert D. Ziff Professor of Law and nationally acclaimed casebook author and teacher of civil procedure.
  • Robert A. Hillman, current Edwin H. Woodruff Professor of Law and Reporter for the American Law Institute's Principles of the Law of Software Contracts.
  • Michael C. Dorf, current Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law and an expert on Constitutional Law who also authors a well-known blog: "Dorf on Law".
  • William A. Jacobson
  • Muna Ndulo, current Professor of Law and Director of Cornell University's Institute of African Development (I.A.D).

Notable alumni

United States government

Executive branch

Legislative branch

Judicial branch

  • Hon. Mary Donlon Alger - first female Judge on the United States Customs Court
  • Hon. Frederic Block - United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York
  • Hon. Robert Boochever - Judge for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Hon. Leonie Brinkema - U.S. District Court Judge in Virginia who presided over the trial and conviction of 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui.
  • Hon. Paul A. Crotty - United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York
  • Hon. Phillip S. Figa - United States District Court Judge for Colorado (2003-08)
  • Hon. Peter W. Hall - Judge for the 2nd Circuit US Court of Appeals, former United States Attorney for Vermont
  • Hon. Stephen C. Robinson - United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York; former United States Attorney for Connecticut
  • Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin - United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York
  • Hon. Amy St. Eve - United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois
  • Hon. Joseph L. Tauro - U.S. District Court Judge in Massachusetts; former United States Attorney for Massachusetts
  • Hon. Richard C. Wesley - Judge for the 2d Circuit Court of Appeals, former Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
  • Hon. Thomas S. Zilly - United States District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington
  • Hon. Elbert Tuttle - Chief Judge of United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, when that court became known for a series of decisions crucial in advancing the civil rights of African-Americans

Miscellaneous United States government

  • Steven D. Clymer - Professor of Law, Cornell Law School; Assistant United States Attorney that prosecuted United States v. Koon (Los Angeles police officers charged in the beating of Rodney King)
  • Arthur Hobson Dean (B.A. 1921, L.L.B. 1923) - internation law expert, chief U.S. negotiator at Panmunjeom, assisted with negotiations for Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, delegate to the United Nations,
  • Boyd M. Johnson III - Assistant United States Attorney that led the investigation which led to the resignation of Governor Eliot Spitzer of New York.
  • Sudeen Kelly - Commissioner, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the New Mexico Public Service Commission
  • Sol Linowitz (J.D. 1938, Trustee, 1966-95) - Diplomat, Ambassador, Chairman of Xerox, 1960-66; Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, 1998
  • Julie L. Myers - Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
  • Philip Perry - General Counsel, United States Department of Homeland Security
  • Jack L. Stempler - Award-winning distinguished civilian service in U.S. Department of Defense as counsel and assistant to secretaries of defense, 1948–81; executive of LTV Aerospace Corporation, 1982–92
  • Paul Szasz - Deputy to the United Nations Legal Counsel and principal drafter of the constitutions of Namibia and Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Hon. Myron C. Taylor - CEO and Chairman of U.S. Steel; Emissary to the Holy See for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • 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.

State government

  • Hon. Barry T. Albin - Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court
  • Mark J. Bennett - First Republican Attorney General of Hawaii in 40 years
  • Hon. Stephen G. Crane - Associate Justice of the New York Appellate Division – Second Department
  • Philip H. Hoff (J.D. 1951) - Governor of Vermont, 1963-69). First Democrat to serve in that position since the Civil War.
  • Ernest Wilson Huffcut - Dean of Cornell Law School; legal adviser to Governor Charles Evans Hughes of New York
  • Hon. Debra Ann James - New York Supreme Court Justice
  • Hon. Samuel S. Leibowitz - criminal defense attorney, famously noted for defending the Scottsboro Boys, nine Southern African-American youths falsely accused of rape and sentenced to death in Alabama in 1931; New York Supreme Court Justice
  • Harold O. Levy - Chancellor of New York City Schools 2000 - 2002
  • Hon. Alfred J. Loew - Judge
  • Clarence "Rapp" Rappleyea - Former Minority Leader, New York State Assembly and Chairman of the New York Power Authority
  • Hon. Louis B. York - New York Supreme Court Justice


Activists and Human Rights figures

  • Shannon Minter - American civil rights attorney and the legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights in San Francisco




  1. ^ a b c d Cornell Law School Official ABA Data
  2. ^ Law - Best Graduate Schools - Education - US News and World Report
  3. ^ ABA – LSAC Official Guide to Law Schools.
  4. ^ Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  5. ^ Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  6. ^ "Cornell Law School". Retrieved 2006-06-23. 
  7. ^ "Cornell Law School". Retrieved 2006-06-23. 
  8. ^ "Law School 100 Rankings". Retrieved 2006-05-24. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "AUAP Rankings". Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  11. ^ "Top 50 firms hire most from big names". The National Law Journal. Retrieved 2006-05-23. 
  12. ^ "Robert S. Stevens, Cornell Law School (1919-1954)". Retrieved 2010-03-3. 
  13. ^ "Tax Proof Blog: Rankings of Law Libraries". Tax Proof Blog. Retrieved 2006-06-23. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Cornell Law School Library". Cornell University. Retrieved 2006-06-23. 
  15. ^ a b Legal Information Institute
  16. ^ Laurence, Helen; William Miller (2000). Academic research on the Internet: options for scholars and libraries. Routledge. pp. 160. ISBN 0789011778. 
  17. ^ Hall, Kermit; John J. Patrick (2006). The pursuit of justice: Supreme Court decisions that shaped America. Oxford University Press US. pp. 244. ISBN 0195325680. 
  18. ^ Wex Legal Dictionary and Encyclopedia
  19. ^ LII Supreme Court Bulletin
  20. ^ Program connects law school and Thailand

External links


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address