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Opportunity Remains a Hallmark of Legal Education at St. John’s Law

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

From the day the Law School opened its doors in 1925 in the heart of downtown Brooklyn, opportunity has been a hallmark of a St. John’s legal education. Many of those first students were the hard-working children of hard-working immigrants, eager for the singular opportunities a law degree provides. Today’s students enter St. John’s Law with the same eagerness and rugged determination. They understand that a legal education isn’t a privilege, but an opportunity—an opportunity to join a noble profession, to make a difference in their communities, and to change the world.

In the face of a changing legal profession and the challenges confronting law schools across the country, St. John’s Law remains steadfast in its commitment to opening its doors to a highly qualified and highly diverse student body. Taking a proactive stance, the school has become smaller by reducing J.D. enrollment by more than 15% in the past four years.  It has also become more international, with enrollment in its transnational LL.M. programs more than tripling.

Most remarkably, St. John’s Law has become more affordable and accessible. “We’ve held the line on the cost of legal education by greatly increasing scholarship assistance and by keeping our average student debt level down,” said Dean Michael A. Simons.  “In fact, we’re one of only 30 law schools in the entire country —and the only law school in New York City—where the average student debt level hasn’t increased in four years.”

These efforts have garnered national attention. The U.S. News and World Report recently spotlighted St. John’s Law as having the highest median grant amount awarded to full-time students, based on a $32,500 figure reported for 2012-2013.

“We’re pleased to get this recognition,” said Associate Dean for Admissions and Financial Services Robert M. Harrison. “Our scholarship students come from many walks of life. They serve in the military, NYPD, and FDNY; they are accomplished professionals; they are athletes; they are men and women of faith; they are children of immigrants; and they are immigrants themselves. While each has a unique story, all these students come to St. John’s Law with top credentials that merit the financial assistance we give them.”

St. John’s Law continues to take steps to ensure that its students have the knowledge, skills, and support they need to become lawyers who capably serve their profession and the common good. To learn more about the Law School’s scholarship opportunities and requirements, please visit the admissions website.