Cornell Law School’s mission remains that articulated by Cornell President Andrew Dickson White upon its founding more than 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.” Today, graduates consistently achieve excellence in all facets of the legal profession.
Students participate in a supportive, intellectually rich community that combines inspiring theoretical, doctrinal, and experiential learning with cutting-edge scholarship. Despite its small size, Cornell is a diversity leader – second in the country to graduate an African-American and among the first to graduate a woman and an Asian-American. Today, roughly 40 percent of current J.D. students self-identify as minorities and 50 percent are women.
The Law School faculty is consistently lauded for scholarly productivity and influence, with pre-eminence in empirical legal studies, international and comparative law, ethics and professional responsibility, and robust doctrinal scholarship in core fields. Clinical programs, which began in the 1970's, now include a broad array of experiences for students while providing needed legal services to underserved populations locally, nationally, and internationally. Recently, the Law School appointed a Director of Clinical, Advocacy and Skills Programs to coordinate and enhance the many offerings, and initiated a Transactional Lawyering Competition. The Law School increasingly emphasizes interdisciplinary connections, maintains collaborations with a dozen other departments and colleges throughout the University, and offers several joint degree programs including both three-year and four-year JD/MBA programs. Cornell also partners with 19 distinguished academic institutions throughout the world, allowing students to approach other legal systems and subjects from a non-U.S. perspective, cultivating lawyers with a global perspective on law.