2012 Marks Historic Year at CUNY Law

NEW YORK—This year marked a year of notable changes and accolades for CUNY School of Law.

The Law School posted the highest bar exam pass rate in its history for first-time candidates. The pass rate for CUNY Law’s first-time takers of the July 2012 New York State Bar exam was 83.5 percent—a rate that placed the school seventh among the state’s 15 law schools. Of the 121 students who took the exam for the first time, 101 passed. The statewide average for all first-time takers was 76 percent. The average pass rate for all first-time takers from ABA-accredited schools was 83 percent, and the average for all first-time takers from New York law schools was 85 percent.

This year also saw CUNY Law ranked among the top law schools in the nation in a number of areas. In March, U.S. News and World Report released its 2013 law school rankings, with CUNY Law’s clinical program ranked as fourth in the nation. In April, PreLaw magazine examined tuitions across the country and found that CUNY Law has had the 6th lowest increase in tuition among law schools from 2000 to 2010. The Law School was also among the top ten in the nation for “Best Law Professors,” according to the Princeton Review’s 2013 rankings released in October.

Most recently, National Jurist named CUNY Law the second most diverse law school in the nation. The survey measured both faculty and student body diversity. The same issue also listed CUNY Law’s library 21st in the nation out of 202 ABA-approved law libraries in the United States. The rankings took a close look at the ratio of librarians to students because “based on the changes of the past 10 years, law libraries are now measured first and foremost by the service level provided to students.”

CUNY Law also made a historic move this past summer. After nearly 30 years located in Flushing, the Law School moved into the first six floors of 2 Court Square in Long Island City, Queens. The CUNY-owned space gives the school nearly 70,000 additional square feet of state-of-the-art classroom, conference, and event facilities.

In October, New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, CUNY Board of Trustees Chairperson Benno Schmidt, CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, and CUNY Law Dean Michelle J. Anderson were joined by faculty, staff, alumni, members of the judiciary, elected officials, and friends of the Law School to officially celebrate the opening of the new building. In his keynote address at the event, Chief Judge Lippman said, “This is a milestone day for CUNY Law School because finally the astounding things that happen within the walls of this institution are matched by this glorious building.”

Founded in 1983, CUNY School of Law is the premier public interest law school in the country. CUNY Law’s mission is to graduate outstanding public interest attorneys and to enhance the diversity of the legal profession. A greater percentage of graduates from CUNY Law choose careers in public interest and public service than any other law school in the nation. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has praised CUNY Law School for being one of the few law schools in the country to prepare students for practice through integrated instruction in theory, skills, and ethics.

CONTACT: Abbi Leman, abbi.leman@law.cuny.edu or 718-340-4472