Our Students

CUNY School of Law's diverse student body is passionate about using the law to increase access to justice. The students in this year's entering class (the Class of 2015) hail from 20 states and territories and 21 countries. 11 percent have earned at least one graduate degree before entering law school. They received their undergraduate degrees at a broad range of public and private institutions, including Yale, the State University of New York, Harvard, Princeton, the University of California, Duke, Brown, Wesleyan, and the City University of New York (with 10% of the total). Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered students find a critical mass and a welcoming environment. Students range in age from 20 to 48, with the majority coming to law school after significant public interest or public service work, including the Peace Corps, Americorps, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, the Jewish Volunteer Corps, Teach for New York, AFL-CIO Union Summer, etc. They have held previous careers as filmmakers, union organizers, artists, nurses, domestic violence advocates, police officers, university professors, special education teachers, farmers, journalists, doctors, musicians, stage managers, dancers, and HIV service providers, to name a few. This variety brings unparalleled richness to the classroom and yields connections that last a lifetime.

Our Graduates

Two-thirds of CUNY Law graduates go directly into public interest or public service practice, more than any other law school in the country. CUNY Law has an outstanding 93% job placement rate. Graduates are working at Legal Aid and Legal Services, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the Gay Men's Health Crisis, Sanctuary for Families, the Asian-American Legal Defense Fund, and Lawyers for Children. Our students work on vital projects in environmental law, elder law, criminal defense and in prosecutorial endeavors. One recent graduate is on the staff for the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security.

CUNY graduates also work in law enforcement, in state and local government agencies, and at the International Criminal Court and the United Nations, as well as in trade unions representing undocumented workers and at domestic violence organizations. They also work in the court system, as law clerks to federal, state and city judges. We also have placed graduates in clerkships with the U.S. Court of International Trade, with magistrate and surrogate courts and in clerkships outside the United States.

Some of our graduates work in the private sector, too: for the class of 2007, 21% are working in law firms, and almost 16% have taken positions in business and industry. One of our graduates was recently named a "rising star" in the field of securities compliance by Institutional Investor magazine.

Our alums also have begun to take their places in the judiciary, on the New York Supreme Court, Family Court, Civil Court, and Housing Court.

Careers in Public Interest

Some students come to CUNY Law School with clear career directions-criminal defense, employment law, domestic violence, or immigrant rights-while others simply aspire to careers in public service and public interest practice without knowing exactly what area will prove most interesting. The Career Planning Office serves both groups, providing counseling and resources that assist students in setting career goals and deploying effective strategies to attain them. Summer internships allow students to experience different practice areas, as well as to hone legal skills. The Career Planning Office works with first- and second-year students to obtain internships in a myriad of public interest and not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, law firms, and judicial offices. A faculty of outstanding public interest lawyers provides additional counseling and networking, as does an extensive alumni network. Upon graduation, CUNY places roughly 65% of its graduates in public interest and public service jobs, a higher share than any other law school in the country.

Representative Employers

Advocates for Children
AIDS Center of Queens County, Legal Program
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
American Indian Law Alliance
American University
Appalachian Research and Defense Fund
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Brooklyn Law School
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation
Center for Constitutional Rights
Center for Disability Advocacy Rights (CEDAR)
Chicago Legal Assistance
Coalition for an International Criminal Court
Columbia (Washington) Legal Services
Communication Workers of America (CWA)
Community Advocacy Center
CUNY School of Law
Dade County Prosecutor's Office
Dade County Public Defender's Office
Defenders Association of Philadelphia
Dewey Ballantine
District Attorneys Offices in New York, Kings, Queens, Bronx and Nassau Counties
District Council 37 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Dover, Delaware Legal Services
Gay Men's Health Crisis
Goddard Riverside Westside SRO Law Project
Harlem Legal Services
Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
InMotion (formerly Network for Women's Services)
Interights (London, U.K.)
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
Judge Advocate General
Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights
Legal Information for Families Today (LIFT)
Legal Services for the Elderly
Mental Health Legal Services
Metropolitan Transit Authority
National Center for Immigration Rights
National Labor Relations Board
New Jersey Public Defender's Office
New York City Administration for Children's Services
New York City Board of Education
New York City Council
New York City Law Department
New York City Mayor's Office of Labor Relations
New York City Office of Collective Bargaining
New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)
New York State Assembly and Senate
New York State Court of Appeals
New York State Public Service Commission
O'Dwyer & Bernstien
Office of the Governor of Puerto Rico
Office of the Mayor of the City of New York
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison
Philadelphia Prosecutor's Office
Prisoners' Legal Services
Queens Women's Center
Reid & Priest
San Francisco County Attorney's Office
Sanctuary for Families, Inc.
Sepa Mujer
Seton Hall Law School
Sidney & Austin
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services
The Legal Aid Society of New York
United States Attorney's Office
United States Bankruptcy Court
United States Congress
United States Court of Appeals
United States Court of International Trade
United States Department of Health and Human Services
United States District Court
United States Environmental Protection Agency, New York
University of Maryland School of Law
Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER)