Since opening its doors a little more than 20 years ago, the school has quickly risen through the ranks to become one of the most well-respected law schools in the country. U.S. News & World Report has listed Cardozo as number 52 on its list of the top 100 law schools.
"Cardozo has always been progressive, yet now it is evolving at an unprecedented rate, keeping pace with the world's changes—from the legal implications of new medical and communications technology to the shifting dynamics of global business and politics—while deepening its commitment to social justice and ethical practice," Dean David Rudenstine said in his state of the law school letter.
During the 2006-2007 school year, Cardozo had a total (J.D. and LL.M.) enrollment of 1,108. This year's first-year class (the class of 2009) enrolled 352 students from a pool of more than 4,500 applicants. There are 50 full-time faculty members, ensuring a low student-to-faculty ratio.
Students pursuing their J.D.s at Cardozo are allowed to choose from a variety of concentrations and pathways (which are not formal concentrations). According to the school's 2005 course guide, concentrations are "akin to an undergraduate major" but are completely optional.
A student can graduate with one concentration or two. In order to qualify for a concentration, a student must take at least five courses in that subject area, including all of the basic courses. Each concentration includes "associated courses," which are optional classes that enhance the student's learning experience but do not count toward the concentration itself. The concentrations offered by Cardozo are:
In addition to concentrations, students with particular avenues of interest can further their educations through Cardozo's LL.M. degree programs. These programs are open to both domestic and international students, who may enroll on either a part-time or full-time basis. In order to earn their LL.M. degrees, students must complete 24 credit hours if they are enrolled full-time or three years of study if they are attending part-time. There are currently three LL.M. degrees available: General Studies, Comparative Legal Thought, and Intellectual Property.
Bringing its commitment to social consciousness into play, the school is home to the renowned Innocence Project. The Project was founded in 1992 by professors Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld. The nonprofit legal clinic seeks to exonerate those who are wrongfully held in America's prisons. Other clinics available to students include the Family Court Clinic, Holocaust Restitution Claims Practicum, Human Rights and Genocide Clinic, Securities Arbitration Clinic, and Telecommunications Workshop.
Cardozo's educational quality is evidenced by graduates' employment statistics. The class of 2006 reported a 98.4% employment rate within nine months of graduation, and graduates entered a wide array of sectors. 60.36% went into private practice, 16.57% entered the corporate/business field, 13.91% went into government, 4.73% began working for public-interest organizations, 3.25% began judicial clerkships, 0.59% entered the military, and 0.59% entered academia. Average starting salaries ranged from $49,000 to $103,422 per year.
Dean of Admissions David Martinidez sums up Cardozo's location best: "Cardozo is located in vibrant and historically rich Greenwich Village, which makes for a comfortable and welcoming neighborhood for its students. New York is also home to many multinational corporations, prestigious law firms, excellent academic institutions and libraries, and some of the world's best restaurants, night life, theater, and art. Cardozo students have the world's greatest city at their fingertips."
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