Named for Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo, the Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University is located on lower Fifth Avenue in New York City’s Greenwich Village. In this lively setting, Cardozo prides itself on its innovation and creative programs. Notable alumni include Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; David Samson, former president of the Miami Marlins; and Barry Scheck, the co-founder of the Innocence Project who famously served on O.J. Simpson’s legal team.
Cardozo is renowned for creating the Innocence Project, whose mission is to advocate for the wrongfully convicted, as well as its visionary programs in intellectual property and information law and alternative dispute resolution. The school’s recent innovative programs include the Cardozo Data Law Initiative, Tech Startup Clinic, and Filmmakers Legal Clinic. Cardozo’s FAME Center provides leadership in fashion, arts, sports, media, and entertainment law. The school also offers the only dual degree in law and bioethics in the country.
New York City is part and parcel of student life at Cardozo. Along lower Fifth Avenue, cafés, bistros, bookstores, and boutiques abound. Union Square Park is only a block from the school and is home to a farmer’s market where artists often set up tables to display and sell their work. Students can often be found in Washington Square Park relaxing, studying, and listening to local musicians. Cardozo opened a newly renovated residence hall, The Benjamin, in the fall of 2016. Housing is available at The Benjamin, with preference given to first-year students, while others choose to reside in Greenwich Village, Tribeca, SoHo, and other neighborhoods near the Cardozo campus.
Each entering class at Cardozo comprises approximately 370 students; in 2020, Cardozo had 340 enrollees. Students can apply for May entry (in which students take first-year courses over the summer, fall, and spring) or traditional fall entry. The summer semester courses consist only of May-entry students, while fall and spring classes include both May- and fall-entry students. May-entry students automatically join the traditional full-time program in their second year and graduate with fall-entry students in three years.
All first-year students take a foundational curriculum without elective options. Second- and third-year courses are largely elective. However, all students must take “Advanced Legal Research” as well as an ethics course and one course that involves a substantial written project. Students also must meet a core course requirement, taking at least five courses from a list of 13 options, including such classes as “Criminal Procedure,” “Evidence,” “Family Law,” “Federal Taxation,” and “Trusts & Estates.” In addition to the core offerings, second- and third-year students may take one law-related graduate course per semester at The New School, which is just a block from Cardozo, and graduate courses from Yeshiva University’s other schools.
In partnership with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Cardozo offers the only joint JD/MS in Bioethics program in the country. In addition, Cardozo offers an international JD/LLM program, which is taught in French, wherein students spend their entire third year studying for an LLM at the Sorbonne Law School of the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and receive a joint degree from both schools. Students may also apply to spend a semester abroad at various partner institutions in such countries as the Netherlands, Germany, Hungary, China, and Israel during their fourth, fifth, or sixth semesters. A summer study abroad program is also available.
Although Cardozo ranks its students, the school only provides those rankings to the students themselves. On their resumes, students are expected to report their class standing according to their tier and strata and to not disclose their GPA.
Clinical and Experiential Learning
Cardozo’s practical training opportunities include 11 in-house clinics, more than 14 field clinics, and more than 25 simulation courses, as well as in excess of 100 externship opportunities every semester.
In addition to the aforementioned Innocence Project, Cardozo’s other clinics include the Tech Startup Clinic, Immigration Justice Clinic, Filmmakers Legal Clinic, and Divorce Mediation Clinic. In field clinics, students work under direct attorney supervision in law offices, courts, and organizations throughout the New York region, such as the Bronx Defenders, the New York State Office of the Attorney General, the NYC Law Department Appeals Division, and Advocates for Children of New York.
Through Cardozo’s simulation courses, students work under the supervision of legal practitioners to gain casework and courtroom experience. Cardozo’s externship programs award students credit for working for a judge, nonprofit organization, or government agency, or for working in the private sector as in-house counsel at a corporation or law firm. Finally, Cardozo’s FAME Center offers academic coursework, externships, and clinical opportunities in such areas as fashion, arts, entertainment, and sports.
Class Profile (Class of 2024)
Number of Applicants: 3,820
Class Size: 323
Average Age: 24
Students of Color: 26%
Median LSAT: 164
Median GPA: 3.74
Career Placement (Class of 2020)
- Law Firms: 61.837%
- Government: 14.134%
- Business and Industry: 10.247%
- Public Interest: 9.894%
- Judicial Clerkships: 3.534%
- Education: 0.353%