Courses of Study 2017-2018 
    Jun 15, 2024  
Courses of Study 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Information

In the Law School .


Eduardo M. Peñalver, dean and professor of law

Barbara J. Holden-Smith, vice dean and professor of law

Laura Underkuffler, associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law

Richard D. Geiger, associate dean, communications and enrollment

Anne Lukingbeal, associate dean and dean of students

Richard F. Robinson, associate dean for administration and finance

Karen V. Comstock, assistant dean for public service

Charles D. Cramton, assistant dean for graduate legal studies

John R. DeRosa, assistant dean for student and career services

Terry L. Thompson, registrar

The Law School prepares attorneys for both public and private practice. Graduates are trained to provide the highest quality professional services to their clients and to contribute to the development and reform of law and legal institutions. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for admission to the bar in all American states and territories. Students who pursue the three-year Doctor of Law degree (J.D.) must have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. Students wishing to concentrate in international law may be admitted to a program leading to the J.D. “with specialization in international legal affairs.” The Law School also offers a limited number of students an opportunity to earn both a J.D. degree and an LL.M. (Master of Laws) degree in international and comparative law.

Students may pursue combined graduate degree programs with the Johnson Graduate School of Management; the Department of City and Regional Planning of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning; the School of Industrial and Labor Relations; the graduate divisions in economics, history, and philosophy of the College of Arts and Sciences; the Université de Paris I (Pantheon Sorbonne); L’Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris; and Humboldt University.

Each year a limited number of students from abroad pursue the LL.M. degree (Master of Laws) and the J.S.D. degree (Doctor of the Science of Law). A small number of law graduates also may be admitted as special students, to pursue advanced legal studies without seeking a degree. Students in other graduate programs and qualified undergraduate students registered with the university are welcome in many classes with the permission of the instructor. In addition, highly qualified undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences may register in the Law School during their senior year.

For further information, refer to the Law School website, or contact the Office of the Registrar, Myron Taylor Hall. Course descriptions are current as of June 2017. For updated law descriptions, visit

The professional curriculum at Cornell Law School conforms to American Bar Association Standard 302 for Approval of Law Schools. It provides our students with substantial instruction in: (1) the substantive law generally regarded as necessary to effective and responsible participation in the legal profession; (2) legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem solving, and oral communication; (3) writing in a legal context, including at least one rigorous writing experience in the first year and at least one additional rigorous writing experience after the first year; (4) other professional skills generally regarded as necessary for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession; and (5) the history, goals, structure, values, rules, and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members.

It also offers substantial opportunities for: (1) live-client or other real-life practice experiences, appropriately supervised and designed to encourage reflection by students on their experiences and on the values and responsibilities of the legal profession, and the development of one’s ability to assess his or her performance and level of competence; (2) student participation in pro bono activities; and (3) small group work through seminars, directed research, small classes, or collaborative work.