Law School University at Buffalo, the State University of New York

Law School University at Buffalo, the State University of New York

Buffalo, NY
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
March 1
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
10 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


The State of New York's law school

SUNY Buffalo Law School is the only law school in the State University of New York System. Since 1887, our law school has prepared lawyers to practice law in New York City; Washington DC; and other major cities across the country and around the world. The University at Buffalo campus provides its 30,000 students access to vast resources in world--class undergraduate and graduate fields of study that include medicine, engineering, pharmaceutical sciences, and business management. Each year, we graduate well--educated and diverse lawyers who are ready to practice law in fields such as corporate law, tax law, public service, criminal law, and intellectual property.

Located in Amherst, New York -- a suburb of Buffalo -- the Law School has a small--school feel with all the advantages of a large university, including access to other professional and graduate departments, Division 1 sports, a fine arts center, a concert hall, and numerous other academic, social, and cultural opportunities. The greater Buffalo area offers a wide variety of social and cultural activities such as downhill skiing, water sports, professional sports, a world--class symphony orchestra, professional theatres, nightlife, and access to Canada, all within minutes of the Law School. Students live comfortably, not to mention affordably, in Buffalo, the second largest city in New York.

A Flexible curriculum

The Law School provides a flexible curriculum that affords students a broad range of curricular options, practical coursework, and special programs. The curriculum emphasizes the study of law as well as the practical application of law to prepare our students to practice their profession upon graduation. The Law School offers a large number of interdisciplinary courses in a variety of program and concentrations taught by our outstanding faculty. A small student to faculty ratio -- ten to 1 -- a third of our faculty have PH.D degrees and teach small classes that foster comradery and cooperation.

Instruction includes unique, skills-based courses offered during the month of January and summer sessions. Students who plan ahead are able to graduate a semester early. The SUNY Buffalo Law School's Legal Skills Initiative is the cornerstone of the school's curriculum, recently recognized by National Jurist magazine as one of the top law schools for practical training. The initiative focuses on developing and producing practice--ready lawyers who are able to meet the challenges of the legal profession. A key component of the initiative is the Legal Analysis, Writing and Research (LAWR) program.

Another integral part of the Legal Skills Initiative is the Trail Technique Program which includes our Buffalo--Niagara Trial Tournament, Trial Teams, Trial Technique classes, and our Advocacy Institute. In recent years SUNY Buffalo's Trial Team has won more awards than any other school at the American Bar Association regional competition.

Another aspect of the Legal Skills Initiative is the clinical program. Skills training in the clinical program is coordinated with substantive courses to give students a theoretical understanding of practical issues and hands on training with real clients. Students serve clients and conduct research and fieldwork in areas such as economic development and environmental law. Externships and judicial clerkships round out the Law School's skills experience with over 70 students each semester participating in either experience. Our students help judges, attorneys, and legislators with pressing legal questions that arise in ongoing cases, in the development of public policy or legislation, and in response to citizen inquiries or problems.

LLM and advanced standing programs

In addition to the three--year J.D. degree program, the Law School also offers an LL.M degree in Criminal Law, a general LL.M degree, and an Advanced Standing two year J.D. program for students. The LL.M degrees and the two--year J.D. degree require the students to have a first degree in law.

The State University of New York at Buffalo is New York's largest campus in its university system. The campus includes nationally recognized schools of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Engineering and Applied Sciences. Access to these and many other graduate and professional schools within the campus offer access to dual--degree programs which permit students to earn credit toward a master's or Ph.D. degree jointly with the J.D.

A collaborative atmosphere

SUNY Buffalo Law School students experience a relaxed, friendly, and collaborative atmosphere. There are ample extracurricular activities. The Student Bar Association, an elected representative body, oversees all Law School student organizations. The only law school in Buffalo -- New York's second largest city -- there is a close cooperative relationship with the local bar associations. SUNY Buffalo Law School alumni also actively engage with the student body and participate in the Law School's 1L mentoring program.

Career placement assistance

The ultimate goal of nearly ever law student is establishing his or her career upon graduation. In fact, 82% of SUNY Buffalo Law School graduates find positions or enter advanced degree programs within months of their graduation. The Career Services Office provides job--search and skill building opportunities for all of the students who attend the Law School.

The admissions process

SUNY Buffalo Law School enrolls about 130 -- 140 students in the three year J.D. program each year. Both quantitative and qualitative factors help decide admission. The qualitative factors include, but are not limited to, academic achievement, a personal statement, recommendations, writing ability, and work experience. The Law School recently announced a preferred admission program for select undergraduate students from University at Buffalo who maintain a cumulative GPA of a 3.5 for six semesters and scored in the 85th percentile on the ACT, SAT, GRE, or GMAT. Students who meet those criteria can waive the LSAT and apply directly to the Law School.

SUNY Buffalo Law School is able to offer state--subsidized tuition to New York residents and a reasonable out of state tuition. Dean's tuition waivers and scholarships are available to students who demonstrate high academic achievement and state aid is offered on a need basis to qualified students. The result is the overall educational expenses that are less than half the cost of many law schools.

Location & Contact

Law School

University at Buffalo, the State University of New York

309 Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States

James Gardner

Interim Dean

Phone: 716-645-2052
Fax: 716-645-2064

Ms. Lillie Wiley-Upshaw

Vice Dean for Admissions and Student Life

Phone: 716-645-2907
Fax: 716-645-6676

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Law Juris Doctor (JD)
    • Juris Doctor/Doctor of Philosophy (JD/PhD)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Arts (JD/MA)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Business Administration (JD/MBA)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Library Science (JD/MLS)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Social Work (JD/MSW)
      Juris Doctor/Master of Urban Planning (JD/MUP)
      Master of Laws/Master of Laws (LL M/LL M)
    • General Law Master of Laws (LL M)
    • Criminal Law Master of Laws (LL M)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees 189
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees 9
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? No
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees


56% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 1,065
    • Accepted 598
    • Acceptance Rate 56
    • Enrolled 143
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $85
    • Application Fee - International $85
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline March 1st March 1st Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesJD
    • Doctoral's DegreesLSAT
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL (minimum score 88 iBT) or IELTS

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsMarch 1
    • Types of financial support availableTuition Waivers, Career or Field-Related Internships, Federal Work-Study, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students557
    • Female Percentage50%
    • Male Percentage50%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students557
    • Part-time Percentage1%
    • Full-time Percentage99%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino5%
    • Black / African American5%
    • White / Caucasian78%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian4%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races3%
    • Unknown5%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty157
    • Full-time Percentage38%
    • Part-time Percentage62%
    • Female Percentage39%
    • Male Percentage61%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchCriminal law, environmental law, international law and human rights, law and finance, cross-border legal studies
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$268,548




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