University at Buffalo Law School

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University at Buffalo School of Law
Established1887; 133 years ago (1887)
School typePublic
DeanAviva Abramovsky
LocationAmherst, New York, U.S.
Faculty49 [2]
USNWR ranking99th (tie) (2021)[3]
Bar pass rate71.74%[4]
University at Buffalo School of Law logo.png
O'Brian Hall Law Building

Founded in 1887, the University at Buffalo School of Law (also known as UB Law, State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, or SUNY Buffalo Law School) is a graduate professional school at the University at Buffalo. It is the State University of New York (SUNY) system's only law school. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University at Buffalo School of Law 99th (tied) in the nation for 2021.[5] The University at Buffalo School of Law is No. 1 in Thomson Reuter's "Super Lawyers" ranking of law graduates practicing in Upstate New York, which includes 54 of the 62 counties in New York State. This is in addition to the UB Law School's 2010 national ranking, where it placed 48th out of the 180 law schools in the country that produced Super Lawyers, a measure which examines "twelve indicators of professional achievement".[6] Also, Malcolm Gladwell, in the New Yorker Magazine, devised a formula that ranks UB within the top 50 whereas Reuters ranks UB Law as 48th overall in the nation.[7]

According to the University at Buffalo School of Law's 2018 ABA-required disclosures, 69.2% of the Class of 2018 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[8]


The University at Buffalo School of Law has a favorable student-faculty ratio of 5.5:1. Currently, more than 75 percent of its upper division courses comprise fewer than 40 students. In addition, many of the 81 faculty members hold advanced degrees in the social sciences and other disciplines in conjunction with their law degrees.

The first-year program includes traditional legal courses in civil procedure, torts, contracts, property, criminal law, constitutional law, and ethics. In the second and third years students choose from a dozen curricular concentrations that allow for in-depth study. Each student has the opportunity to craft a custom-made curriculum, beyond the selected concentrations to build a personalized sequence of courses and experiences.

Under the Law School's Legal Analysis, Writing and Research (LAWR) program, all students complete a 10-credit, three-semester LAWR curriculum, with two semesters in their first year and a third semester during their second or third years. All three semesters are taught by full-time LAWR faculty. Throughout the LAWR program, students learn legal analysis and writing through immersion in the practice of writing, and through cycles of trial and error, feedback, and reflection. Because the courses are taught in small sections with an excellent instructor-to-student ratio, students are inspired to think critically and approach legal questions in a newly disciplined way.

Most students are part of the Juris Doctor (J.D.) program. Interdisciplinary dual degree programs permit J.D. students to seek other graduate degrees along with their J.D., including master's or doctoral degrees from the School of Management, School of Social Work, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Professions, or School of Architecture and Planning. UB Law also has the only post-professional Master of Laws (LL.M.) program in criminal law in the United States, and a general LL.M. program designed exclusively for international students.

The Neil D. Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce is a joint program of UB Law with UB's business school. Named after Neil David Levin, the executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey who was killed in the September 11 attacks, the Levin Institute conducts an annual spring semester program in New York City for about 20 students, divided into five teams to work on projects sponsored by law firms and financial institutions. For example, in 2006 the teams were sponsored by CLSA, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, UBS, Credit Suisse, and M&T Bank.

The general law journal is the Buffalo Law Review, a student-run publication managed by 3L J.D. candidates. Founded in 1951, the Law Review currently publishes five issues per year (January, April, May, July and December), featuring full length articles by practitioners, professors and students in all areas of law. Each issue contains approximately four such articles and one student-authored comment.[9] Two other specialist journals are also based at the Law School: Buffalo Environmental Law Journal and Buffalo Human Rights Law Review. [10]

The student newspaper, The Opinion, has been in publication since November 29, 1949.[11]

UB's Clinical Legal Education program operate the school's legal clinics, which involve client service, impact litigation, transactional practice, and public policy development. Students participate in clinics throughout the school year and are given classroom credit for their work. The ten clinics are the Animal Law Clinic, Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic, Community Justice Clinic, Environmental Advocacy Clinic, Entrepreneurship Clinic, Family Violence and Women's Rights Clinic, Health Justice Clinic, Mediation Clinic, Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic, and the U.S.-Mexico Border Clinic.

The Baldy Center for Law & Social Policy is an institute that supports the interdisciplinary study of law, legal institutions, and social policy. Over 200 UB faculty members from various academic departments as well as graduate students participate in Baldy Center research and teaching activities. The Center maintains cooperative ties to other interdisciplinary research centers and co-sponsors a regional network of sociolegal scholars in New York and Canada. The Baldy Center hosts distinguished scholars from around the world as visitors, consultants, and conference participants.

The Charles B. Sears Law Library is UB's law library. It is named for Charles Brown Sears and occupies six floors in the center of the Law School. The Law Library contains 300,000 bound volumes and over 221,000 volumes in microform. Included within the Federal, New York, and State Core Collections are basic legal research tools: court reporters and digests, session laws and codes, rules and regulations, attorney general reports, jurisdictional encyclopedias and citators. The Law Library's special collection includes the Howard R. Berman Collection, Iroquois Books of Marilyn L. Haas, John Lord O'Brian Papers, Law Library Archives, Law School Archives, Morris L. Cohen Rare Book Collection, Onondaga Nation Land Claims Records, Seneca Land Claims Records, Tibetan Legal Manuscripts, and Watergate Collection.

The University at Buffalo School of Law is located on the university's North Campus in O'Brian Hall, which was named after notable alumnus John Lord O'Brian.


The class of 2021 had a median LSAT of 154. The median GPA was 3.49. Out of 859 applications, 402 were accepted for a 46.8% acceptance rate, with 137 enrolled. 11% were from out of state.[12]


According to the University at Buffalo School of Law's official 2018 ABA-required disclosures, 69.2% of the Class of 2018 obtained full-time, long-term, JD-required employment nine months after graduation.[8] The University at Buffalo School of Law's Law School Transparency under-employment score is 17.8%, indicating the percentage of the Class of 2018 unemployed, pursuing an additional degree, or working in a non-professional, short-term, or part-time job nine months after graduation.[13]


Tuition and fees for the 2019-20 academic year will be $25,410 for in-state residents with a $2,069 comprehensive fee and a $393 "academic excellence fee." Total for New York State residents is $46,746 with an additional $4,090 for out-of-state residents. 80% of the student body received grants and scholarships. The school does not award scholarships that may be reduced or eliminated based on law school academic performance other than failure to maintain good academic standing.[14]

Notable people[edit]

Notable faculty[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ABA 509 Consumer Information Report" (PDF).
  2. ^ "UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO-SUNY - 2019 Standard 509 Information Report". American Bar Association. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  3. ^ "University at Buffalo—SUNY". U.S. News & World Report – Best Law Schools. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  4. ^ "UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO-SUNY - 2020". American Bar Association. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  5. ^ "SUNY Buffalo Law School". U.S. News and World Report. Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  6. ^ "UB Number One in Super Lawyers". University at Buffalo Law School. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
  7. ^ "UB Law New Rankings". University at Buffalo Law School. Retrieved 2011-10-14.
  8. ^ a b "SUNY Buffalo Profile".
  9. ^ "Buffalo Law Review website". Buffalo Law Review. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
  10. ^ "SUNY Buffalo Law School Law Journals". SUNY Buffalo Law School. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
  11. ^ "The Opinion Digital Archives". University at Buffalo Libraries. Retrieved 2015-01-11.
  12. ^ "UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO-SUNY - 2019 Standard 509 Information Report". American Bar Association. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  13. ^ "SUNY Buffalo Profile".
  14. ^ "2014 ABA 509 Consumer Information".

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°00′02″N 78°47′17″W / 43.000588°N 78.787943°W / 43.000588; -78.787943