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Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice

Grades: 6-12
Staff Pick

Our Insights

What’s Special

Modern facility, courses in law and government, lots of extra curricular activities

The Downside

No outdoor yard for recess

Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice (LGJ) is a combined middle and high school that seeks to introduce students careers in law or government. It’s located next to the criminal courthouse, where students often visit as part of mentoring programs with judges and lawyers and more than a dozen law firms and companies (including several News Corp. divisions) offer internships.

Inside the entrance to the modern facility a wall is overflowing with many years worth of debate and civic award plaques. The school building features a mock court room, modern science and Mac-equipped computer labs, a large cafeteria plus a full-size indoor gym and fitness center (each grade takes PE three days a week), but the campus has no auditorium or outdoor yard. The middle school is housed on the 1st and 2nd and floors, while high school classes occupy the 3rd and 4th floors.

Classroom assignments often have a legal flavor in high school. One English class we observed drilled students on how to make claims and counter-claims. Forensic science is a required course. Debate is a popular after-school club and the source of virtually all the trophies in the display case, as well as favorable press. However, middle school classes focus on academic strength with double periods, limiting exposure to youth court observation and Law Day activities.

By the end of 8th grade, most students earn high school credit by taking and passing the Regents exams in subjects such as algebra, United States history or earth science. For algebra, students are selectedt o take the Regents bays on their performance on assessments and their overall average in the the course.

In addition to core academic classes, 6th-graders have technology, 7th-graders have drama and visual art and 8th-graders have health and Spanish.

Instruction is fairly tradition with teachers leading most of the lessons, though they do incorporated time for student discussions. Whether reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry in their English class or The Jungle in United States History, students demonstrated good understanding of the books.

Classes we visited appeared orderly and polite and teachers find ways to reinforce good behavior. For instance students snap their fingers to acknowledge correct answers by the classmates. We also saw one student discussing a classroom behavior challenge with one of the teachers outside of class. “What are your options? What can you do instead,” asked the teacher. When the student returned to class and the annoyance continued, he chose to move to another seat so that he could focus.

In addition to its popular debate program, LGJ offers many after-school activities such as cooking, arts & crafts and basketball through the Bronx Institute at Lehman College The school has varsity basketball, baseball, volleyball and softball teams. Academic support is also available after school for both students who can handle accelerated studies as well as those who need extra help.

The school day starts at 8:15 am with a mandatory meeting for high schoolers held in the cafeteria and middle schoolers in the gym.

Students in every grade go on college trips. Through a grant from NYGEAR UP, students from Lehman College work with high school students on their college applications as well as help them stay on track for college. There is no dedicated college counselor; instead, guidance counselors provide assistance to students. Most graduates attend CUNY and SUNY schools and some go on to private and out-of-state colleges.

Some graduates eventually return to LGJ. At least 4 alumni are teachers at the school. 

SPECIAL EDUCATION: LGJ has self-contained and ICT (integrated co-teaching)) classes, as well as SETSS support services. Principal Johanie Hernandez, who was the AP at LGJ for 10 years, leads the English language learner (ELL) department., working with teachers to plan lessons and target student needs. English as a new language (ENL) teachers work with students in their classrooms, on a pullout basis, after school and on Saturdays. (Jacqueline Wayans November 2017)

School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
611 Citywide Average


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
8 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
226 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2020-21 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more



Computer Science

Not offered in 2019-20


Not offered in 2019-20

Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
From the 2020-21 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
How many graduates of this school received Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) funding to attend a NYS college?
How many of those TAP recipients made it through college? Learn more
From unpublished, anonymized student-level data for the class of 2014 provided by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) in coordination with the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), brought to you by
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

Bronx School for Law, Government and Justice

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP 2-D Art and Design, AP Statistics, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP United States History, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP English Language and Composition

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Volleyball

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Outdoor Track, Softball, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


244 East 163rd Street
Bronx NY 10451

Trains: 4 Line, B Line, D Line to Yankee Stadium-161st St

Buses: Bx1, Bx13, Bx2, Bx32, Bx35, Bx41, Bx41-SBS, Bx6, Bx6-SBS, BxM4


Principal: Johanie Hernandez

Parent Coordinator: Naomi Burgos


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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