The mandate of CUNY School of Law - to serve human needs through law - derives from the New York State Legislature's findings that the City University of New York must be responsive to the needs of its urban setting and is of vital importance as a vehicle for the upward mobility of the disadvantaged in the City of New York. Service of human needs through law affects our admissions process as much as it affects our curriculum. We evaluate applicants according to four criteria:
1. We seek people who are able to complete the program successfully.
The Law School's program is intensive and intellectually demanding. Thus, we look for demonstration of strong academic ability, including skill in analysis, problem solving, and research. To this end we look at past academic performance and scores on the Law School Admission Test, and to other demonstrations of academic promise. Work completed since college, other demanding intellectual activities, extraordinary letters of recommendation and anything else that candidates bring to our attention in the application are carefully taken into account.
2. We look for indications that the candidate has a special affinity for our particular program.
Assessment of academic ability alone does not dominate the application process. We try to assess some of the less tangible qualities that make an outstanding lawyer, including judgment, energy, initiative and the ability to work both collaboratively and independently. Past work or extracurricular experience, the individual's reasons for wanting to attend CUNY School of Law, and experiences that demonstrate a commitment to public service or that suggest an openness to a practice that captures the spirit of the Law School's mission are all factors that are considered.
3. We try to select a diverse group of students.
Our students must be genuinely representative of the remarkable diversity of the City which the Law School serves. We actively recruit, among others, students who are members of populations that have traditionally been underserved by the law and underrepresented by the profession.
4. We seek students who have some demonstrated connection to the State and particularly the City, because we are an institution funded by the taxpayers of the State of New York.
That connection may be manifested by residence, work experience, educational experience, other service to the State and City, or a demonstrated special concern for the solution of urban problems.
We receive many more qualified applications than we can accept. The admissions process is therefore highly selective and successful candidates are people who, in the opinion of the Admissions Committee, manifest unusual strength in more than one of these four areas.
The result is a remarkably rich and diverse group of matriculating students in the entering class. Of the Fall 2012 entering class; 63% were women, the average age is 27 - with the youngest 20 and the oldest 48; 49% are members of identified minority groups; and 20 states and 21 foreign countries are represented. In addition, 69% are New York State residents, and 25 are foreign born.
All of them, in one way or another, have evidenced a commitment to the special mission of CUNY School of Law and an ability to complete our academic program successfully.