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Law & Criminal Justice Degrees and Programs Offered in New York (NY)


Law and criminal justice degrees in New York qualify graduates to work in law enforcement, criminal, and civil law. The primary employer of graduates of law and criminal justice degrees in NY are the federal, state, and local governments.

As of May 2009 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported these estimated annual mean wages for five popular occupations within this field in New York:

  • lawyers, $152,710
  • judges and magistrates, $123,040
  • police and sheriff's patrol officers, $60,180
  • correctional officers and jailers, $53,600
  • security guards, $28,280

The annual mean income in New York State for all occupations and educational achievement levels as reported by the BLS for 2009 was $50,790.

Growth in the law and criminal justice field is expected to keep pace with growth in other job sectors.

Why you need law and criminal justice degrees in NY

Lawyers and judges are required to graduate from a three-year accredited law school after completion of a four-year bachelor's program. Prospective lawyers must then pass the bar examination to practice law in New York.

Some law enforcement and corrections officers are required to possess an associate or bachelor's degree by an employing agency. A master's degree is preferred for upper level management positions in metropolitan area departments. All police and sheriff's officers must be certified through the New York State Office of Public Safety.

Security guards benefit from a college degree for hiring and promotional purposes though most employers do not require one. Voluntary certification is available.