New York University School of Law
40 Washington Sq. South
New York, NY 10012
Application Deadline: Feb. 15, 2014
Annual Tuition: $53,200
Class of 2016 Stats:
Rankings: No. 6
The New York University School of Law is a great place for students who don’t like to sit still. Describing an archetypical NYU Law student, the school’s website delivered a few standard lines about the student body’s diversity—and then quickly made it clear that “NYU is an incredibly busy place . . . Students who come here embrace the energy and dynamism and are able to balance many competing interests.” They’d have to, considering the fact that NYU is right in Greenwich Village, a fashionable and undoubtedly distracting part of Manhattan. Unlike at Columbia, students can’t hide away in a traditional campus.
NYU students know they have it pretty good, and they can be arrogant about it. “Although my high school class was slightly larger than my class here, it was the first of the small ponds I occupied,” wrote 1L Christopher Porcelli in the NYU Law blog. He went on to write about his college experience in the same fashion: “It was very different from high school, but in the end, like Bon Jovi said, ‘The more things change the more they stay the same.’ It was still rather simple to be the big fish in undergrad.” The point of his post is that NYU is a big pond worthy of his talents. The fact that the school itself put the post up is telling.
Big personalities aside, however, NYU is an excellent place for students eager to learn about the practical side of law. The school’s first-year curriculum includes the Lawyering Program, filled with simulations that give students an idea of what it’s really like to practice. In the NYU Law blog, 3L Tracy Huang talked about the way the program helped her during her 1L summer job. “While I knew what legal theory we were trying to prove, the people on the phone often had no idea why certain transactions were more important than others,” Huang wrote. “I found in my conversations that tweaking a few phrases in my questions and circling back at the right time made the difference between hearing an uninteresting answer and a compelling story.” 212 307 1788
Beyond the first-year requirements, there are two required upper-division classes: Constitutional Law and Professional Responsibility. After that, upperclassmen are free to explore topics like international litigation and arbitration, urban affairs, and evidence; NYU offers 365 classes. Students can supplement their studies by participating in one of NYU’s 39 clinics—a number that stands out even among top schools. These clinics are taught by tenured or tenure track professors, which means they generally have the time to focus on their students.
After swimming out of the big pond, most graduates take jobs at firms. (Unsurprisingly, almost none go into academia.) Nearly 64% of the Class of 2012 went into the private sector, and about 79% of that group entered firms with 501 or more attorneys. The median private sector starting salary for NYU grads is $160,000. About 15% of the Class of 2012 took the public interest route, and about 8% took clerkships, mostly federal. The median public sector salary—$53,500—makes living in New York trickier. Still, graduates stick around: 63% of the Class of 2012 found jobs in New York. After three years there, perhaps it’s hard to go anywhere else.
*Derived from school-reported U.S. News data