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Cornell University (Cornell Law School)

For all its technicality, the law is approached as a humanistic science at Cornell Law School. Students learn the principles, skills, and ethics of being a lawyer and study the context in which laws are made. In examining the doctrines and policies of the current legal system, they are encouraged to evaluate its virtues and defects. They graduate prepared to provide clients with professional service of the highest quality, to help further legal progress and reform, and to become community leaders.

With about 550 J.D. students in the entire student body, Cornell Law School offers an intimacy and camaraderie that is rare at top-tier law schools. From your first days on campus, you’ll quickly notice that the school is small, the bureaucracy is minimal, and senior administrators
maintain an open-door policy.

You’ll find that Cornell Law School’s course of study reflects a broad range of ideas—multidisciplinary research, law and economics, feminist theory, for example—and you’re sure to find electives to match your interests.

First-year courses emphasize clear thinking, proficient writing, and forceful argumentation.
Your studies will also give you an in-depth look
at legal research resources like the Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw databases, journal collections, indexes, and extensive Internet resources. Moot Court offers another opportunity to research and write briefs, defend cases orally, and prepare for extracurricular competitions. After the first year, other than a course in legal ethics and advanced writing, no specific courses are required and our students have a vast range of interesting electives from which to choose.

All first-year students have at least one class with no
more than 32 students, and the Lawyering course is
taught in sections of 35 students. You’ll find that this
small class size invites active participation: hear your
classmates’ opinions on the ethics of being a lawyer
or on a recent Supreme Court decision—and share
your own. You will become well-acquainted with your
professor as well as hone your skills in frequent writing
exercises. This give-and-take environment cements your learning and promotes a close sense of community.

Among top-tier law schools, Cornell Law School is
known for excellence in all areas of law and prides
itself on the strength of its programs. While other
schools specialize, Cornell provides a wide-ranging
curriculum, an uncommon attribute for such a small
law school. Offerings are broad by any standard; for a
law school the size of Cornell, they are remarkable.
With more than 150 courses, Cornell Law School
offers students ample opportunity to explore
everything from corporate finance and labor law to
capital punishment and immigration and refugee law.

Cornell Law School professors are committed to the
classroom. If you can’t find a professor in his or her office, just try the library.
While Cornell Law School professors often testify before state and federal legislative bodies and serve as expert witnesses, their primary contribution to the life of the nation is through their teaching and their scholarship. Their students and published works are evidence that their ideas come first.
Cornell Law School faculty members are prolific legal scholars, and produce widely used texts and oft-cited commentary. Most faculty members are published authors and/ or editors of empirical studies, economic
analyses, historical studies, philosophical inquiries, doctrinal investigations, or CD compilations. Many have written or edited casebooks and treatises on a variety of aspects of American law, contributing to the dialogue not only in Ithaca but also at virtually every law school in the country.

What does all of this mean for you? This abundance of research and writing engenders a lively exchange of ideas—and provides wonderful opportunities for law students to serve as research assistants.

Our low student/faculty ratio encourages an informal advising system, matching like-minded professors and students. You’ll be encouraged to drop in on your professors, and it’s not uncommon for your first-year small-section professor to become your informal advisor. You won’t just be a number: professors will quickly learn your name and become interested to hear about your coursework, curriculum, and career plans.

You’re sure to find Cornell’s Law Library a spectacle to behold: look up and you’ll be impressed with the building’s architectural splendor; look around and you’ll find an outstanding collection managed by a staff of professionals, six of whom hold dual library science and law degrees.

More than 600,000 books and microforms provide comprehensive coverage of Anglo-American law sources; international, foreign, and comparative law; the British Commonwealth and European countries; and
public international law and international trade law. And as a supplement, you’ll have access to any of seventeen other Cornell libraries, and a collection exceeding six million volumes.

Cornell Law School is the proud home of the Legal Information Institute (LII), the world’s preeminent source of legal materials on the Internet. To put it in perspective, LII’s home page receives ten million hits each week, from people in more than 100 countries, and is the most linked-to legal site on the web. As the world’s leading interdisciplinary investigator of new ways to present, organize, and discover legal information in electronic formats, the LII’s popular web site offers primary materials and links to legal resources throughout the world.
It is the leading web site for distribution of Supreme Court opinions and the only web site offering decisions of the New York State Court of Appeals, with synopses sent to subscribers within a week of their issue. LII also publishes disk-based resources for use in classrooms and law practices nationwide, and e-mail notification of important decisions.

The Journal of Empirical Legal Studies makes Cornell Law School the publisher of the only legal journal dedicated exclusively to empirical legal scholarship. The journal is co-edited by three Cornell Law School professors and a professor in Cornell University’s Department of Biometrics.

Cornell Law School is home to several unique programs of interest, including the Cornell Death Penalty Project; Clarke Scholars Program; Empirical Studies Project;
Entrepreneurship Legal Services; and Keck Focus on Legal Ethics.

Cornell Law students share a sense of ownership for the school almost from the day they arrive on campus. The school is small. Bureaucracy is minimal. Senior administrators work with office doors open for students to pass in and out as easily as they visit their professors.

Student-run organizations plan and administer many events. It is not unusual at any time for four or five separate groups of students to be working on topical symposia that contribute to the intellectual life of their peers as well as the faculty and the larger legal world. In addition, Ithaca is a welcoming city - a place where it's easy to find affordable housing, easy to make friends, and easy to become involved in many activities.

School name:Cornell UniversityCornell Law School
Address:Myron Taylor Hall
Zip & city:NY 14853-4901 New York

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