The Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice

Grades: 9-12
Staff Pick

Our Insights

What’s Special

Curriculum using law to engage students

The Downside

No chemistry or physics

The Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice is located in a gleamingly renovated courthouse among many court buildings near the Brooklyn Bridge. The school’s embrace of its theme, though, goes far beyond its location.

SLJ, as it is called, is the product of a partnership with a leading Manhattan law firm, a relationship which continues to this day, along with affiliations with other law organizations. The humanities-focused curriculum includes classes such as forensic science, constitutional law, and participation in government. The school says it is not trying to put all its students on a path to a legal career but, according to its website, uses legal issues to develop basic skills and “a love of analytical thinking.”

The approach seems to be successful. Although SLJ does not screen applicants on the basis of their academic records and takes a range of academic levels, attendance, graduation rates and preparedness for college all are well above average. Almost all students are accepted to college, and most attend, with more than two-thirds going on to a four-year school, according to the school’s comprehensive educational plan.

SLJ stresses literacy in the 9th grade with a double period of English and, according to its web site, has small classes. It offers a number of AP classes, with two – U.S. history and psychology – geared toward 10th and 11th graders. Students may take visual arts or theater.

Support from the Adams Street Foundation allows the school to have a full-time enrichment program manager. It provides an array of extracurricular activities to students, and the partnership allows many children to attend college programs or travel abroad over the summer.  In 2017, seven SLJ students worked with CBS News to produce taped news reports on cyberbullying and sex education for LGBTQ+ youth. SLJ was featured in the 2014 book, Restoring Opportunity: The Crisis of Inequality and the Challenge for American Education

Admissions: Law and Justice is open to all New York City residents and selects students through the educational option method, designed to insure a mix of students at all academic levels. It has more applicants than seats for them and does offer a very limited number of slots to incoming 10th graders. (Gail Robinson, school and DOE reports, October 2018)


School Stats


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities 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
624 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
7 Citywide Average
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
157 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



Advanced Foreign Language

Not offered in 2019-20

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

Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice

Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.

Program Description:

Law and justice are the lenses through which subject matter is viewed and academic skills are developed. Our theme reflects our conviction that educating is in itself an act of social justice, and that learning can be amplified when done through the lens of the law.


From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Environmental Science, AP Microeconomics, AP Psychology, AP English Language and Composition, AP United States History

Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball

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

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


283 Adams Street
Brooklyn NY 11201

Trains: 2 Line, 3 Line, 4 Line, 5 Line, R Line to Borough Hall; A Line, C Line, F Line to Jay St-Borough Hall; B Line, Q Line to DeKalb Ave; G Line to Hoyt & Schermerhorn; J Line, Z Line to High St

Buses: B103, B25, B26, B38, B41, B45, B52, B54, B57, B61, B62, B63, B65, B67, B69


Principal: Kristin Ferrales

Parent Coordinator: Marvin Harris


Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the Adams Street Educational Campus with one other school

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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