Brooklyn Law School
Brooklyn Law School's main building, at 250 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York
Established1901; 123 years ago (1901)
School typePrivate law school
Endowment$250 million[1]
DeanDavid D. Meyer
LocationNew York City, New York, United States
Enrollment1,119 (881 full-time, 238 part-time; as of 2014)[2]
USNWR ranking114th (2024)[3]

Brooklyn Law School (BLS) is a private law school in New York City. Founded in 1901, it has approximately 1,100 students. Brooklyn Law School's faculty includes 60 full-time faculty, 15 emeriti faculty, and adjunct faculty.[4]


The origins of Brooklyn Law School can be traced back to the Pratt Institute in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, when, in the 1890s, the school established its Department of Commerce.[5] Because of its overwhelming popularity, the Department of Commerce broke off from the main Institute and formed its own school under the guidance of Norman P. Heffley, personal secretary to Charles Pratt.[6][7] The Heffley School of Commerce originally shared facilities with Pratt.[8]

In 1901, William Payson Richardson and Norman P. Heffley reorganized the Heffley School to become Brooklyn Law School, the first law school on Long Island.[9] Using space provided by Heffley's business school, the law school opened on September 30, 1901, with five faculty members (including Richardson as dean and Heffley as president), and two special lecturers.

The year began with five students and ended with 28.[9] In late 1901, the Board of Regents of the State of New York granted a charter to the law school. The law school became fully accredited by the American Bar Association in 1937,[10] and became a member of the Association of American Law Schools in 1973.[11] The law school's curriculum is registered with and approved by the New York State Education Department.[9]

From its opening, Brooklyn Law School opened its door to minorities, women, and immigrants, and it offered night classes for those with full-time jobs. Dean Richardson also allowed students who had difficulty paying tuition to remain enrolled on credit. The school moved twice between 1901 and 1928, when it finally moved into the first building designed and built specifically for it at 375 Pearl Street in downtown Brooklyn.

The school was affiliated with St. Lawrence University from 1903 to 1943. World War II struck Brooklyn Law School especially hard, and by 1943 enrollment was down to 174 students. St. Lawrence University, which until then operated Brooklyn Law School and conferred its degrees, decided to shut down the school. Alumni organized and negotiated the repurchase of the school's assets, ensuring that Brooklyn Law School would operate as an independent institution.[9]

In 1969, the repurchased school moved to its current location at 250 Joralemon Street, selling its old Pearl Street location to Brooklyn Friends School, who still occupies the building.

Brooklyn Law School's old building at 375 Pearl Street (now Brooklyn Friends School)


Bar passage rate and career prospects

In 2017, 78.6% of the law school's first-time test takers passed the bar exam, placing the law school as the 8th-highest among New York's 15 law schools.[20] Of 369 graduates in 2016, nine months after graduation 323 were employed.[21] Alumni live in 49 states and over 25 countries after graduation.[22] The law school was ranked 46th of all law schools nationwide by the National Law Journal in terms of sending the highest percentage of 2018 graduates to the largest 100 law firms in the US (9%).[23]

In 2013, 94% of the law school's first-time test takers passed the New York bar exam, third-best among New York's 15 law schools.[24][25]

In 2012, five Brooklyn Law School graduates filed a class action lawsuit, which was dismissed the following year, alleging consumer fraud and common law fraud.[26] As part of a series of identical lawsuits against law schools nationwide, the complaint alleged that the law school administration incorrectly reported employment and salary information for the purpose of enticing students to attend the law school.[26] Prior to the lawsuit, Brooklyn Law School had claimed that 95% or more of graduates found employment within 9 months of graduation, without always distinguishing between full-time, part-time, and non-JD-required employment (which breakdown ABA/NALP rules did not require at the time of the statistics at issue in the suit, but which breakdown has been required since 2012).[26] In April 2013, NY State Supreme Court Justice David Schmidt dismissed the lawsuit, finding that the school's disclaimers on its employment and salary data warned graduates that their own post-grad earnings may not measure up to the data.[27]

Of the law school's 368 graduates in 2017, nine months after graduation all were employed other than 26 who were seeking employment, and 4 who were not seeking employment (the employment status of 4 was unknown); 269 had secured jobs practicing law, and 40 had taken a J.D. advantage position.[28] Brooklyn Law School's Law School Transparency under-employment score was 16.2%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2017 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[29]

ABA Employment Summary for 2017 Graduates[30]
Employment Status Percentage
Employed - Bar Passage Required (Full-Time, Long-Term)
Employed - Bar Passage Required (Part-Time and/or Short-Term)
Employed - J.D. Advantage
Employed - Professional Position
Employed - Non-Professional Position
Employed - Undeterminable
Pursuing Graduate Degree Full Time
Unemployed - Start Date Deferred
Unemployed - Not Seeking
Unemployed - Seeking
Employment Status Unknown
Total of 368 Graduates

The law school was ranked # 46 of all law schools nationwide by the National Law Journal in terms of sending the highest percentage of 2018 graduates to the largest 100 law firms in the US (9%).[23]

Location and facilities

Entrance to Feil Hall, 205 State Street

Brooklyn Law School's academic and administrative buildings and main student residence is located in Downtown Brooklyn, near many federal and state courts and corporate and public interest law offices. Brooklyn Law School's main academic building at 250 Joralemon Street houses classrooms, faculty offices, student journals, a conference center, dining hall, and a four-story law library with 586,000 volumes. The office building nearby at 111 Livingston Street houses many of the law school's clinics, legal writing center, and administrative offices.

Brooklyn Law School guarantees housing in its residences to all entering students.[31] The largest residence is Feil Hall, a 22-story building at 205 State Street that opened in 2005.[32] Designed by noted architect Robert A. M. Stern, Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, it accommodates about 360 students in 239 furnished apartments of varying sizes, and includes a conference center and café.


Brooklyn Law School students with Prof. Dean outside the main building

Brooklyn Law School's faculty includes 60 full-time professors, 15 emeriti faculty, and a number of adjunct faculty.[33] The law school draws on a large body of practitioners, public officials, and judges as adjunct faculty to teach specialized courses in many areas of law, including international sales law, securities law, real estate development, trial advocacy, business crimes, corporate litigation, sports law, and border and homeland security law. In addition, in any given semester, visiting professors come from all over the world to teach at the school.

The law school is home to several well-known scholars, including torts professor Aaron Twerski, and Elizabeth Schneider, an expert on gender, law, and civil procedure.[citation needed] Both were highly ranked in Brian Leiter’s survey of “Most Cited Law Professors by Specialty."[34]

Other notable professors include Roberta Karmel, a former Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission and columnist for the New York Law Journal, and Susan Herman, president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In recent years, the law school has hired a number of new junior faculty members whose work draws on a variety of influences to contribute scholarship in areas as diverse as copyfraud, law and religion, international business law, land use planning, and the secondary mortgage market.

Journals and competitions


The law school publishes four student-edited law journals: the Brooklyn Law Review, Brooklyn Journal of International Law, the Journal of Law and Policy, and the Brooklyn Journal of Corporate, Financial, and Commercial Law.[35]

Moot court

The law school has both trial and appellate advocacy moot court divisions. Each year, it enters approximately 30 teams in national moot court competitions. These competitions span all areas of the law, including family law, criminal procedure, white-collar crime, and international law.

In 2011, Brooklyn Law School took home top international, national, and regional titles. Its teams won first place in the Irving R. Kaufman Memorial Moot Court Competition, and were first place Champions in the Domenick L. Gabrielli National Family Law Competition. They were also Semi-Finalists in the New York Region of the New York City Bar National Moot Court Competition, Semi-Finalists in the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition (students won Third Best Brief and Sixth Best Oralist), Semi-Finalists in the National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition (students won Best Oralists in the Preliminary Rounds), Semi-Finalists in the Evan A. Evans Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition, Semi-Finalists for the Navy JAG Corps Moot Court Competition, and Semi-Finalists in the Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition. In 2019, the school won the regional round of the prestigious Texas Young Lawyers Association National Trial Competition, advancing to the National Round, the second time in two years.[36]

Jerome Prince Evidence Competition

Each year, Brooklyn Law School hosts the Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Competition, a national moot court competition. Named in honor of the late Brooklyn Law School Dean and renowned evidence scholar, the competition draws over 30 law school teams from across the country. Many students from the Moot Court Honor Society are involved in the coordination of the Prince Competition, and a few students have an opportunity to work with faculty members to research and write the problem – an issue at the forefront of evidentiary law – that is used in the Competition.



For 2022, Brooklyn Law School accepted 46.22% of applicants with 21.56% of those accepted enrolling. For those enrolling full time, the average LSAT score was 160 and the average undergraduate GPA was 3.54.[37]


Brooklyn Law School offers students over 190 courses and seminars in the law.


Brooklyn Law School's main building at 250 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, New York. The 1994 new classical Fell Hall tower by architect Robert A. M. Stern to the right.

Each Brooklyn Law School center focuses on a specific area of the law and hosts lectures, symposia, forums, and round-table discussions that address emerging issues.


Brooklyn Law School's administrative building located at One Boerum Place, near the Fulton Mall

In 2009, Brooklyn Law School clinical program was ranked 28th in the nation. In 2010, The National Jurist ranked BLS fourth in the country for its public service work, largely influenced by its clinical program. The clinics specialize in the areas of bankruptcy, securities arbitration, immigration, entrepreneurship, technology, criminal law, real estate practice, intellectual property, and mediation. Students represent individual clients, groups, and businesses and appear in state, federal, and administrative courts, on both the trial and appellate levels. Brooklyn Law School created a new mandate in 2014 that requires students to complete at least one clinic or externship course before graduation. Among the law school's clinics include:

LL.M. degree program

Brooklyn Law School offers an LL.M. program for foreign-trained lawyers. The program facilitates specialized study in three subject areas: business law, intellectual property law, and refugee and immigration law.[44]

Joint degree programs

Brooklyn Law School offers five joint degree programs:[45]

Public service programs

Brooklyn Law School's Public Service Office provides individual counseling and information on summer and academic year externships, steering students toward pro bono opportunities, and helping students apply for postgraduate fellowships as well as employment opportunities.[46]

Student organizations

Brooklyn Law School has over 40 student-led organizations, which reflect the diversity of the student body.[31]

Brooklyn Law School's main building


Notable alumni

Main article: List of Brooklyn Law School alumni

Brooklyn Law School alumni include New York City Mayor David Dinkins, US Senator Norm Coleman, judges Frank Altimari (US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit) and Edward R. Korman (US District Court for the Eastern District of New York), attorneys Stephen Dannhauser (Chairman, Weil, Gotshal & Manges), Myron Trepper (co-Chairman, Willkie Farr & Gallagher), Allen Grubman (entertainment lawyer), and Bruce Cutler (criminal defense lawyer), CEOs Barry Salzberg (Deloitte) and Marty Bandier (Sony/ATV Music Publishing), and billionaire real estate developers Leon Charney and Larry Silverstein.


The total cost of attendance (indicating the cost of tuition, fees, and living expenses) at Brooklyn Law School for the 2022-23 academic year is $95,271.[47] The estimated debt-financed cost of attendance for three years is $204,197.[48]

See also


  1. ^ PR Newswire (May 26, 2018) "Nicholas W. Allard To Step Down As President & Dean Of Brooklyn Law School". Retrieved on August 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "Statistics & Profile" Archived September 27, 2017, at the Wayback Machine, Brooklyn Law School.
  3. ^ a b c "Brooklyn Law School". Best Law Schools. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved May 11, 2023.
  4. ^ "Full-Time". Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "Pratt Historic Preservation Master Plan" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  6. ^ "Building of the Day: 375 Pearl Street". Brownstoner. October 3, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  7. ^ Norman P. Heffley. Shorthand Educator. 1898. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  8. ^ "Walkabout: Stenography and the Law in Brooklyn". Brownstoner. October 3, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d Morris, Jeffrey Brandon (2001). Brooklyn Law School: the first hundred years. Brooklyn, NY: Brooklyn Law School. p. 232. ISBN 978-0-9712953-0-8. Archived from the original on June 30, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  10. ^ "By Year Approved | ABA-Approved Law Schools by Year". American Bar Association. Retrieved May 12, 2024.
  11. ^ "Member Schools". Association of American Law Schools. Retrieved May 12, 2024.
  12. ^ "Best of NYLJ". Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  13. ^ "New York Law Journal: Best of 2018". Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  14. ^ "The 14 best law schools in the Northeast". Business Insider. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  15. ^ "The Leading Music Law Schools of 2017". Billboard. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "1. UCLA School of Law - Hollywood's Top Law Schools: 12 Colleges and Universities Where THR's Power Lawyers Got Started". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  17. ^ "Brian Leiter's Law School Reports". Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  18. ^ "Brian Leiter's Law School Reports". Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  19. ^ "Brooklyn Law School-Grad Schools", US News & World Report.
  20. ^ Zaretsky, Staci (November 28, 2017). "A Breakdown Of New York Bar Exam Results By Law School (July 2017)". Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  21. ^ ""Employment Summary for 2016 Graduates," American Bar Association" (PDF).
  22. ^ "Brooklyn Law School | Best Law School". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on February 16, 2011. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  23. ^ a b "The Top 50 Go-To Law Schools," The National Law Journal, March 8, 2018.
  24. ^ "New York Bar Exam Results By Law School: Open Thread (2013)". Above the Law. November 25, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  25. ^ "Brooklyn Law School wows with 94% bar passage rate". Brooklyn Eagle. November 26, 2013. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  26. ^ a b c "Bevelacqua, Lucevic, Liskiv, McGreevy & Crocket v Brooklyn Law School" (PDF). Supreme court of the state of New York, Kings County – Commercial Division. May 17, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  27. ^ "Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against Brooklyn Law School". Wall Street Journal. April 24, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2013.
  28. ^ "Employment Summary for 2017 Brooklyn Law School Graduates" (PDF).
  29. ^ "Brooklyn Law School". Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  30. ^ "Employment Summary for 2017 Graduates" (PDF).
  31. ^ a b "Brooklyn Law School | Best Law School | US News". Archived from the original on February 16, 2011.
  32. ^ "BLS - Student Life: Housing". Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  33. ^ "Faculty". Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  34. ^ Leiter, Brian (December 18, 2007) [November 12, 2007]. "Most Cited Law Professors by Specialty, 2000–2007". Brian Leiter's Law School Reports. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  35. ^ ""Law Journals". Brooklyn Law School. Retrieved March 24, 2011."
  36. ^ "2010–2011 Moot Court Honor Society Season Finishes with Gusto". Brooklyn Law School. Retrieved April 18, 2011.
  37. ^ "Standard 509 Disclosure". Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  38. ^ Velsey, Kim (November 14, 2013). "Brooklyn Law School to Open Tech, Start-up Focused Law Center 'Embedded' in Dumbo, Downtown Brooklyn". The New York Observer. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
  39. ^ "The Dennis J. Block Center for the Study of International Business Law". Brooklyn Law School. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  40. ^ "Center for Law, Language & Cognition". Brooklyn Law School. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  41. ^ "Center for Health, Science & Public Policy". Brooklyn Law School. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  42. ^ "Brooklyn Law School Announces $1 Million Grant for Innovative Legal Clinic Serving Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities". Retrieved October 14, 2014.
  43. ^ "The Real World of Law Practice". Archived from the original on October 16, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013.
  44. ^ LL.M. Program Overview Archived October 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Brooklyn Law School. Retrieved on December 14, 2010.
  45. ^ "Our Academic Program: Joint-Degree Programs". Brooklyn Law School. Archived from the original on February 24, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
  46. ^ "J.D. 2-3-4 Program". Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  47. ^ "Brooklyn Law School - Tuition". Retrieved November 20, 2022.
  48. ^ "Your Financial Aid".

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