Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center
Founded in 1980, the Touro College's Law Center is named after the Honorable Jacob D. Fuchsberg, who served as judge on the New York Court of Appeals and helped establish the law school. Touro Law has been accredited by the ABA since 1983. While originally founded under Jewish auspices and observant of the Jewish Sabbath, Touro Law maintains a secular approach to the study of the law.
In 2007, the law school moved into a new, state-of-the-art facility alongside the Alfonse M. D'Amato United States Courthouse and the John P. Cohalan Jr. State Courthouse in Central Islip, N.Y. It is the only law school in the nation that shares facilities with a state and federal courthouse.
Admissions & tuition
In 2009, matriculating students at Touro Law's full-time program had a median LSAT of 151 and a median GPA of 3.17. Admitted students to the part-time program had a median LSAT of 150 and a median GPA of 3.09. The law center admitted about 49 percent of its 1,610 full-time applicants and about 35 percent of its 485 part-time applicants. Of the 862 people admitted, 315 enrolled.
Students say the admissions process was fairly normal, since the LSAT score and GPA were the most important factors. Touro Law allows a personal interview, which may help students on the edge.
Like the tuition at many law schools, tuition at Touro Law is expensive. The tab for one year as a full-time student runs at $39,130, while part-time tuition costs a bit over $29,300, which is more than the cost of full-time tuition at many similarly-ranked law schools. In 2009, Touro Law provided 70 percent of its full-time students and 57 percent of its part-time students with some form of grant aid. The median amount of grant aid provided in that year was $4,000 per full-time recipient and $2,420 per part-time recipient. On average, Touro Law students graduate with $94,680 in law school-related debt. Fortunately, the law school offers a loan repayment assistance program for its students.
Touro Law has a typical lecture size of 70 students. The school has 61 total teaching faculty and a student-to-faculty ratio of 15.9 to 1. First-year students all take the same requisite courses, including contracts, civil procedure, criminal law, torts, legal process, and property law. Professors are described as intelligent, amicable and willing to help students if asked. Students say the workload at the law center is massive and that the curve is set to a B average, factors that weeded out 19 percent of Touro students after the first year.
Quality of life
Students have mixed feelings about the quality of life at Touro. While almost all agree that the new campus in Central Islip is beautiful and quiet, they say it is in a dangerous neighborhood in suburban Long Island. Touro has dorms within walking distance from the campus, but most students opt to commute from areas outside of Central Islip due to safety concerns about the neighborhood.
All food on campus is kosher, which is great for students of the Jewish faith but can annoy students who prefer to order meat and dairy at the same time. Outside of the law school, Central Islip doesn't offer many bars or restaurants for law students. For those who need a night on the town, New York City is straight shot by car or on the Long Island Railroad.
Employment prospects & bar passage
In 2008, 72.3 percent of Touro Law Center students were known to be employed within nine months of graduation. Of those, 90 percent were employed in New York State, earning a median salary of $57,500 in the private sector and $47,500 in the public sector. The employment rate will likely decline in the currently weak legal market.
Current students at do not paint a rosy picture for employment after graduation. First, the law school's Tier 4 ranking discourages most large firms from interviewing on campus. Even when they do, they might only recruit from the top few individuals in the class. While public interest and government work are large draws for Touro Law graduates, this may be due to a dearth of opportunities for well-paying jobs in the private sector. It also may indicate that some students plan to gain some litigation experience before trying again for the private sector.
The law school is fairly new, so a well-established alumni base is not available to use for networking. Any regional credibility the school may have disappears outside of the state, and finding a job in states as close as Connecticut and New Jersey poses a problem for Touro graduates.
Recently, 77.4 percent of Touro Law Center graduates passed the New York bar exam, about 11 percentage points lower than the state average. This metric placed Touro in last place out of 15 ABA accredited New York-area law schools. This ranking should concern prospective students.
The tame location, low ranking, high price and below-average employment prospects do not make a strong case for Touro Law. Regardless, the law school's recent move puts it close to the halls of power, as it now shares a campus with a state and a federal courthouse. The opportunities associated with being so close to these courthouses are not yet clear, but may bode well for future graduates. The school's proximity to New York City is also a plus but, on the whole, Touro Law seems to offer a lot of debt and not a lot of opportunity.
U.S. News & World Report ranking: Tier 4
LSAT Median: 151 (FT), 150 (PT)
GPA Median: 3.17 (FT), 3.09 (PT)
Application Deadline: August 1
Application fee: $60
Entering class size: 234 (FT), 81 (PT)
Yearly Tuition: Full-Time, $39,130; Part-Time, $29,330
Bar passage rate in New York: 77.4%
Percent of graduates employed 9 months after graduation: 72.3%
Median private sector salary: $57,500 (Class of 2008, 15% reporting)