BARELY LEGAL | A Perspective on German Law School

If you think you want to be a lawyer but also wish you could stay in school as long as a medical student, you might consider studying law in Germany. The German legal education system takes up ten or more years in most cases — all of them filled with eyebrow-raising words like Zahlungsauthentifizierungsinstrumentelesegerät. I’m spending my third year of law school getting a master’s degree in Berlin, and I thought I’d use this column to show some meaningful differences between the German and American legal education systems. There’s a lot of logic in the German system, and American legal education would do well to adapt certain aspects of it. First, university administration is worlds apart from what we know here at Cornell. It’s not that it doesn’t exist, or that nice and intelligent people aren’t in charge of it — it’s just that there is a much lower administrator-to-student ratio, so administrators simply can’t do as much for you.

Cornell Law School Sees Highest Bar Exam Pass Rate in State

Cornell Law School boasts the highest pass rate of the July 2015 New York bar exam — 96.6 percent, a two percent increase from last year, according to New York Law Journal. For the past two years, Cornell has had the highest pass rate in the state, even as the statewide pass rate hit an all time low since 2004, at 79 percent. In 2008, the law school’s pass rate reached a record high of 99 percent. Eduardo Peñalver ’94, dean of the law school, said Cornell has always had an impressive pass rate, even while the rate naturally fluctuates year to year. “Our pass rate has been consistently strong, and that’s because our admissions standards and our students are smart and hardworking,” Peñalver said.