20 Things You Didn’t Know About NYU Law School


NYU Law School is the abbreviation for the New York University Law School. It’s one of the most desirable institutions of higher learning for people in the New York area to attend. It’s not easy to get in unless you’ve prepared for it in previous academic endeavors. If you’re considering submission of your application to this highly esteemed school, there are some things you need to know in advance. We offer this guide with twenty things that you might not know about NYU Law School to help you decide if it’s right for you, and if so, prepare for the process.

1. NYU Law School is among the oldest in New York

Wikipedia reports that NYU Law School is one of the oldest law schools in the state of New York. NYU Law School is the oldest of its kind in New York City. This institution first opened its doors in 1835. The school turns 186 years old in 2022 and is one of the oldest law schools in the United States. It is the second oldest in New York State. The school comes in second to a small law school opened in Kinderhook, New York, from 1785 through 1832. New York University was just four years old when the Law school emerged.

2. Benjamin Franklin Butler founded the NYU Law School

Benjamin Franklin Butler served as the US Attorney General. The Council of the New York University invited him to help plan a law school and organize the faculty. The original law school offered a three-year program in law. Butler served as the first principal professor of the new school in March 1838. He developed the first curriculum to use the course method of teaching the law. Butler’s curriculum was the first of its kind in the nation. It contributed to the structure of the current curriculum adopted by most law schools as a standard method.

3. The New York University Law School pioneered law school for women

In 1890, the New York University Law School opened up the admissions process for women. It was among the first to allow women to take courses in the law with men. Before this time, law practice was considered a career reserved for men. The institution was on the cutting edge of modern thinking and inclusion of both genders.

4. The New York University School of Law added night classes in the 1800s

NYU School of Law absorbed a program called The Metropolitan Law School in 1895. The institution provided the evening division with night courses for students employed and unable to attend traditional daytime classes. This addition created one of the first law schools to offer night classes for professional students.

5. The NYU School of Law raised its standards in the early 1900s

The NYU School of Law has a rich and storied history. It has evolved since its humble beginnings. Early in the 1900s, the school raised the established standards for admission. All students applying were mandated to have a minimum of one year of undergraduate education for eligibility to apply. NYU Law School sometimes accepted the equivalent of a year if it could be proven, such as outside academic endeavors or apprenticeships, as of 1924. Two years later, students were required to have at least two years of undergraduate education. The ruling aligned with the recommendation from the American Bar Association.

6. The New York University School of Law changed locations

The first NYU School of Law started in a different location than the present. It moved to the South part of Greenwich Village in 1951. The current address of the school is 40 Washington Square. One of the most popular parts of the law school is Vanderbilt Hall.

7. The New York University School of Law offers scholarships

Many students struggle to survive before graduating and can secure gainful employment. The NYU School of Law has scholarship assistance to help students of merit with educational costs. The Root-Tilden Kern Scholarship for public services is one of the longstanding scholarships established in the early 1950s. There are other scholarships available for eligible students. It’s worth noting that the Root-Tilden Kern Scholarship is a full-tuition award.

8. NYU Law School is known for producing notable professionals

NYU Law School grows competent professionals in the practice of law. The academics and standards maintained by the school are high. The institution has turned out the highest number of judges who graduated from the school, then continued their careers to sit at the International Court of Justice. The school has also produced notable human rights activists such as Amal Alamuddin Clooney, respected attorney David Boies, and many Nobel laureates.

9. NYU Law School employs high-ranking professors

Some of the most renowned legal philosophers teach at NYU Law School. Among them are Thomas Nagel and Jeremy Waldron. Private practice lawyers from NYU Law School include Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Evan Chesler, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore, serving the school from the nation’s leading law firms. One of the clinical professors and faculty is Deborah N. Archer, President of the American Civil Liberties Union.

10. NYU Law School publishes numerous law journals

The NYU Law School is a publisher of ten law journals edited by students. It is the originator of the NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, the Review of Law & Social Change, the New York University Law Review, NYU Annual Survey of American Law, the Journal of Intellectual Property & Entertainment Law, the Journal of Law & Liberty, the Journal of Legislation & Public Policy, the Moot Court Board, the Journal of Law & Business, and the New York University Environmental Law Journal. The institution also publishes faculty-edited journals such as the Tax Law Review, The International Journal of Constitutional Law, and the Clinical Law Review. These are academic peer-reviewed journals that satisfy the requirements for conducting research facts for inclusion in academic papers required in coursework.

11. Financial Aid is available at NYU Law School

Most of the financial aid available through the institution is the Dean’s Award scholarship. Some are need-based, and others on merit. Students may qualify for awards that total full-tuition amounts, depending on their situations. NYU Law School distributes half of the awards at the start of the semester and the second half at the end of the semester. Some of the scholarship awards offered include the Vanderbilt Scholarship for students achieving academic or professional excellence. Dean’s Awards are need-based. Students must submit an online financial aid application associated with NYU School of Law to qualify for aid. Financial aid is available for all students. Aid is inclusive for those in the JD program.

12. NYU Law School offers International law programs

Students who wish to participate in law abroad and exchange students may apply for the JD Law Abroad and Exchange program. JD students may choose from Law Broad or NYU Law Exchange programs. The Law Abroad program allows JD students to participate in a semester of immersion in the legal culture and law of other countries in a partnership with local academics and authorities in Paris, France, or Buenos Aires, Argentina. The NYU Law Exchange program is for JD students who wish to enroll at a partners university in a foreign country. They become exchange students at one of the nine participating universities with prestigious law programs. Students are eligible to participate during their 2L or 3L years of study.

13. NYU Law School offers Global Law programs

Eligible students may participate in Global Law programs offered by the school. Over fifty clinics, seminars, courses, and experiential classes explore international and global fields of law for students interested in this specialization. Students may also attend international moot court competitions, internships, and post-graduate fellowship opportunities. The school also offers collaborative research opportunities for students. The school is known for its Hauser Global Law School Program featuring the Hauser Global Scholars, Global Faculty, Distinguished Global Fellows, and Global Fellows. The Guarini Institute for Global Legal Studies is one of its more recent programs, established in 2018.

14. NYU Law School inspires creative thinking

A goal of NYU Law School is to help mold the thought processes of its students and hardwire them for success. It encourages critical and creative thinking skills through its curriculum including coursework, seminars, and hands-on experiences. It’s geared for students aspiring to start their businesses as well as those who wish to practice law at a firm or become public servants. The broad scope has something for nearly everyone.

15. NYU Law School offers specialty and interdisciplinary studies

NYU Law School is known for its interdisciplinary teaching and research programs. Specialties in philosophy, law, history, social theory, economics, and politics help to form well-rounded professionals in the law. It seeks to develop a sense of deep understanding of theory and what to expect in real-world situations.

16. NYU Law School is known for its clinics and externships

NYU Law School provides students with multiple experiential learning opportunities. Students may choose from more than forty externships and clinics to get hands-on experience in the practice of the law. Students represent clients in multiple situations including innovation and immigration and more traditional aspects of the law. Students may also opt to participate in several of the more than eighty student organizations to pursue further exposure to areas of specialization that interest them.

17. NYU Law School is supportive

The ultimate goal of NYU Law School is to produce quality, competent professionals in law practice. The school employs top-ranking experts in specialized fields of the law as faculty and presenters. They serve as mentors for students and actively engage in the learning process. Students have support available when it is needed with administrators present to guide in all areas of academics, financing, and career path support. The structure is set in place for meeting student needs.

18. NYU Law School is a professional graduate institution of higher learning

The NYU Dispatch reports that NYU Law School provides advanced and executive degrees as well as various JSD, JD, and LLM programs for students of the law. These are Ph.D. and Master’s level courses. Students have many options for specialization and for designing curriculum to specialty programs to meet their educational goals. The academic environment is flexible for students aspiring to become leaders in various niche areas of the law.

19. There are pros and cons associated with the school

Like any Law School, NYU Law School has its pros and cons. We’ve discussed many of the benefits of attendance, but there are more. The institution is among the oldest and most respected law schools in New York City. It is placed in an attractive and accessible part of the city for student convenience. The quality of education is high and it offers professional graduate programs for students in most areas of the law, with an emphasis on its Global and International law programs. Financial aid is available through grants and scholarships for all students, some of them paying full tuition for eligible students. Student loans are also available through the institution. The bar exam pass rate is over 98 percent, and students emerge with a fully rounded education.

20. NYU Law School is expensive and hard to get into

Competition is high for admission to NYU Law School. This is one of the drawbacks for students with less than a stellar academic record. Students with high GPAs and SAT scores, along with those who have made significant accomplishments are among the first to gain admission. The admissions committee chooses the best candidates from its pool of applicants. Another drawback is the high fees. NYU Law school charges more than most other law schools in its league. The student budget for the 2021 year averaged $104,000 per year and in some cases, more. Students considering making their applications for acceptance must weigh the pros and the cons to determine if NYU Law School is the best choice.

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