Syracuse University College of Law

The information on this page was provided by the law school.

Official Guide to ABA-Approved JD Programs


Syracuse University College of Law was established in 1895 and is a charter member of the AALS and fully approved by the ABA. Embedded in a dynamic and comprehensive teaching and research university, the College of Law is one of the oldest of the 13 schools and colleges comprising Syracuse University. The 200-acre SU main campus overlooks scenic Central New York and the city of Syracuse.

The College of Law is housed in Dineen Hall. The 200,000-square-foot Dineen Hall is state-of-the-art and beyond in every manner—a facility that is changing the way students attend law school. Built for the changing demands of legal education and the legal profession, Dineen Hall features an open architectural design, a collaborative learning environment throughout, superior technology, and an optimal location on campus for a positive student experience. Dineen Hall boasts two courtrooms, including the 325-seat ceremonial courtroom, and dedicated student space for journals and student organizations.

In addition to the College’s residential JD program, we offer an ABA-approved online law degree program called JDinteractive (JDi.) JDinteractive is taught by College of Law faculty to the same high standards as Syracuse’s residential J.D. program. JDi is an ABA-accredited, online J.D. program designed for students who desire a high-caliber legal education with substantial flexibility. The program combines real-time, live online class sessions with self-paced instruction, six short residencies, and experiential learning opportunities.

Learn more about Syracuse University College of Law

The JD Program

The Syracuse University College of Law mission is simple. We believe the best way to teach lawyers how to practice in the twenty-first century is to inspire students to apply the theory and doctrine they learn in the classroom to real legal issues, practical problems, and clients. Beginning in the first year and continuing throughout the curriculum, students acquire a thorough understanding of legal theory and doctrine, develop the professional skills that lawyers need, and gain exposure to the values and ethics of the legal profession. As a result, Syracuse students graduate with excellent preparation for the practice of law.

Learn more about the JD program at Syracuse University College of Law

Interdisciplinary Learning Opportunities

As an integral component of a major research university, the College is heavily invested in exposing law students to interdisciplinary educational opportunities. In addition to courses throughout the law curriculum, the College of Law features interdisciplinary institutes and centers that are among the national leaders in their fields.

Institute for Security Policy and Law (SPL)

Housed in the College of Law and partnered with Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, the Syracuse University Institute for Security Policy and Law offers certificates of advanced study in national security and counterterrorism law, security studies, and post-conflict reconstruction (PCR) that prepare the next generation of practitioners and policymakers to enter the fields of national security, homeland security, intelligence, military law, and more.

SPL's collaborative research projects and initiatives have shaped law and policy dialogues since 2003. The Institute continues to evolve its mission and expand its programs to meet shifting geopolitical and legal patterns, as well as the needs of law and graduate students building careers in the various security sectors.

SPL places a special emphasis on forming partnerships with national and international academic and professional institutions to advance common research and project goals. Research and other projects are also often conducted on behalf of, or in consultation with, government agencies and other public or non-governmental entities that help facilitate a direct public service. Ongoing projects engage Islam and international humanitarian law, foreign terrorist fighters, the domestic use of drones, cybersecurity and international law, securing critical infrastructure, civil-military relations, post-conflict justice and capacity-building, and post-service welfare and education of military veterans.

 

Innovation Law Center (ILC)

The Innovation Law Center (ILC) offers a unique, interdisciplinary experiential learning program for students interested in the commercial development of new technologies.

ILC educates students on the technical, legal, and business aspects involved in bringing new technologies to market. This experiential education provides a solid foundation for careers in a number of settings, including law firms, corporations, government agencies, tech transfer offices, and consulting and investing firms.

Students have completed hundreds of research projects on real technologies on behalf of universities, federal research laboratories, technology development organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs. Opportunities are available for student financial support, including scholarships and paid senior research associate positions with the affiliated New York State Science & Technology Law Center (see below).

In 2004, Syracuse University College of Law was designated as the New York State Science and Technology Law Center (NYS STLC). This prestigious designation recognizes the College of Law’s extensive experience in the field of technology commercialization law and practice. As the NYS STLC designee, the College of Law’s goal is to help New York state become a world leader in the commercialization of new technologies and in the creation of new jobs.

In the Technology Commercialization Research Center, students work in teams to research and analyze alternative strategies for commercializing early-stage technologies on behalf of universities and federal laboratories, as well as large, medium, small, and start-up companies. ILC students are actively involved in the work of the NYS STLC—organizing statewide conferences, developing education materials, preparing technology assessment reports, performing legal research, and providing consulting services to research center directors and technology entrepreneurs.

 

Disability Law and Policy Program

The Disability Law and Policy Program (DLPP) houses the nation’s first Joint Degree Program in Law and Disability Studies, a Curricular Program in Disability Law and Policy, and the Disability Rights Clinic as well as disability-related summer and semester-long externships in New York and Washington, DC.

DLPP is the most extensive disability-related law school program in the United States. Students who participate in this program often go on to jobs in the areas of disability, education, special education, children’s rights, civil rights, labor, employment, trusts and estates, and international human rights law. Graduates of DLPP now work for federal and state government agencies, private law firms, domestic and international non-governmental organizations, public interest law offices, legal services offices, school districts, policy organizations and think tanks.

JDinteractive - Syracuse Law's Online Hybrid JD Program

JDinteractive is taught by Syracuse University College of Law faculty to the same high standards as Syracuse’s residential J.D. program. JDi is an ABA-accredited, online J.D. program designed for students who desire a high-caliber legal education with substantial flexibility. The program combines real-time, live online class sessions with self-paced instruction, on-campus courses, and experiential learning opportunities.

Some of the advantages of studying law through JDinteractive:

  • Earn your law degree from Syracuse University College of Law, an internationally recognized law school with world-class faculty and a strong alumni network.
  • Engage in active learning with online courses that are a fine-tuned mix of live sessions and interactive self-paced ones.
  • Make meaningful connections with other J.D. students, including by participating in student organizations such as the Student Bar Association and Syracuse Law Review.
  • Get practical experience before you graduate with our supervised externship program.
  • Earn the same J.D. degree as residential J.D. students.

Joint Degree Programs

Students who desire a greater degree of specialization may select from a number of joint degree opportunities. In a joint degree program, a student concurrently pursues a JD and master’s degree. Joint degree programs are structured to enable students to earn both degrees in substantially less time than would be required to earn each degree separately. Joint degree students are charged College of Law tuition rates only, essentially being offered the opportunity to earn two advanced degrees for the price of one.

Formal joint-degree programs exist in public administration, international relations, business administration or accounting, public communications, forensic science, forest and natural resource management (with SUNY ESF), education (disability studies), social work, and more.

Externship Opportunities

Earn credit and develop professional relationships while working in premier placements across the country. Our robust opportunities provide the flexibility you need to tailor your experience to your career goals. While externships are offered throughout the country, major hubs include:

  • Washington, DC: Building on Syracuse Law’s tremendous alumni network and commitment to experiential learning, our Semester in Washington, DC Program combines professional experience with a unique weekly seminar to develop an understanding of how lawyers function in our nation’s capital. Externship placements allow students to work as part of a legal team in a variety of different private and nonprofit environments. In a weekly seminar taught by a Syracuse Law faculty member, students study legal issues specific to DC practice and write a substantive research paper on a topic related to the externship experience.
  • London, United Kingdom: Syracuse University College of Law proudly offers one of the nation’s longest-running legal externship programs in London, where students learn from London’s leading legal practitioners. During an eight-week summer experience, students gain international exposure to clients, partner with professionals for personalized mentoring, and enjoy boundless cultural opportunities in one of the world’s most dynamic cities.
  • Philadelphia, PA: During a semester in Philadelphia, students can gain experience with public defenders, public interest agencies, companies, and private law firms.
  • Central New York (CNY):  Students gain hands-on lawyering experience working with attorneys in real office settings, including judicial, government, public interest, and law firm settings. Externship students improve their research, writing, and legal analysis skills while learning how to identify and adapt to the culture and practice of a law office. Seminars, presentations, and a paper are also part of the CNY Externship Program.
  • New York, NY: The New York City Externship Program is a unique combination of professional experience and coursework that allows students to gain a true understanding of the lawyer’s function in a dynamic, international city. At the core of the program are externship placements that will provide students with the opportunity to work as part of a legal team in the field of their choosing, as well as biweekly seminars featuring prominent guest attorneys from a variety of fields.

Third Year Away

Combining Syracuse Law's first-rate online classes and far-reaching Externship Program, Third Year Away enables residential students to satisfy graduation requirements with a supervised externship and by taking up to 12 credits of online courses via JDinteractive, our fully interactive, online law degree program.

JDinteractive offers an array of online courses consisting of live and self-paced class sessions taught by the College of Law faculty. The College's long-established Externship Program features placements in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and elsewhere. Additionally, skills-focused seminars are offered either in person in some markets or online.

As externs, students gain valuable applied learning experience in judicial settings, law firms, corporate legal departments, government agencies, and non-profits.

Clinical Programs

Legal concepts learned in the classroom come to life for students who participate in the in-house clinics. Students provide much-needed legal services to our community, as many of our clients are unable to afford private counsel, under the supervision of attorney-instructors. Diverse clinical opportunities at the College of Law include:

  • Bankruptcy Clinic
  • Criminal Defense Clinic
  • Disability Rights Clinic
  • Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
  • Transactional Legal Clinic
  • Veterans Legal Clinic

Advocacy Skills

Syracuse Law is recognized for its exceptional advocacy programs. Syracuse students have many opportunities to develop and hone their advocacy skills—not only in class but also in intra- and inter-collegiate competitions. We offer a focused advocacy curriculum, an Advocacy Honor Society that hosts internal competitions and fields teams at competitions around the world and hosts a number of its own competitions.

Student Life

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Syracuse University and the College of Law are committed to fostering a campus community that is free from discrimination and that celebrates the diversity of its community members within a supportive and inclusive learning environment. This commitment is rooted in the belief that multiple points of view and different life experiences, ethnicities, cultures, and belief systems are essential to academic excellence.

Our goal is that diversity be a core value not just in vision but in practice. At the College of Law, students join a community motivated by the values of respect and inclusion. By embracing the diversity of our community, we positively enrich our students’ learning experience. We expect that law school will challenge belief systems and preconceptions, and we encourage our students to be open to this challenge.

Student Organizations

At Syracuse, we encourage students to engage in extracurricular activities. Engaging with a student organization or professional association not only connects you with other students but is an opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience—and have fun! 

Office of Student Affairs

The Office of Student Affairs serves to enrich the law school experience for students by providing innovative programs and services. A collaborative culture provides support and opportunities for professional growth and development. The office is dedicated to fostering an atmosphere where students can succeed and provides such services as academic advising, wellness programming, and bar preparation. Offerings include academic counseling, accessibility services, bar exam preparation, and student organizations.

Law Library

The law library’s two spacious levels within Dineen Hall house more than 1.5 million volumes in print and microform, 2,200 serials, and extensive audio, video, and electronic holdings—all accessible through the university-wide online library catalog. On the main floor, help desks offer conveniently located services and research support. The library adds approximately 3,000 new titles to its catalog each year, including a growing number of licensed electronic databases.

Career Placement and Bar Passage

The Office of Career Services offers a number of services for students to realize their career goals. This includes resume assistance, interviewing skill building, on-campus interviews with law firms, job search strategies and tools, and more.

From academic workshops, individual counseling, peer guidance, academic skills development sessions, and stress management, to simply answering questions you have about course selection, registration, program requirements, and more, the Office of Academic and Bar Support has you covered. Starting in 2022, the College of Law partnered with Helix Bar Review to provide a complimentary bar preparation course to all graduating students. 

Learn more about career placement and bar passage at Syracuse University College of Law

Tuition and Aid

The college is committed to assisting students in financing their legal education through a comprehensive financial aid program. Awards are made from a variety of sources, including merit-based scholarships, need-based tuition grants, and federal sources such as the Work-Study Program and the Direct Loan Program. Financial aid awareness, including budgeting, loan repayment, and funding resources is an important part of the student experience.

Learn more about tuition & aid at Syracuse University College of Law

Admission Decisions: Beyond the Numbers

The College of Law completes a thorough review of each individual application to assess the likelihood of success in the JD program.  A full review of admissions test scores, academic records, resume, personal statement, writing samples, and letters of recommendation, among other application materials, assists the Admissions Committee in determining candidate strengths. The College of Law accepts the LSAT and GRE, though applicants with both will be primarily reviewed on LSAT performance. Important to the review process is the demonstration that candidates will be integral members of the Syracuse Law community.

Learn more about admission at Syracuse University College of Law

Admitted Applicant Profile

25-75% UGPA Range at Syracuse:

3.11 to 3.73

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Syracuse:

152 to 157

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Syracuse:

3.11 to 3.73

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Syracuse:

152 to 157

120
135
150
165
180

25-75% UGPA Range at Syracuse:

3.11 to 3.73

2.00
2.58
3.16
3.74
4.33

25-75% LSAT Score Range at Syracuse:

152 to 157

120
135
150
165
180

Contact Information

Dineen Hall; Cole Suite 100, Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, 950 Irving Avenue,
Syracuse, NY 13244,
United States