The clinics at NYLS give students an invaluable opportunity to develop practical legal skills while learning to advance fairness and equity in the law.

Suspension Representation Clinic


Adjunct Professor Samantha Pownall

In this clinic, law students will provide legal representation to low-income students facing a superintendent’s suspension from New York City public schools and help safeguard their right to an education. Cases will be referred to the SRC from the New York Civil Liberties Union and its coalition partners.

Students in the clinic will develop fundamental oral advocacy and lawyering skills, including arguing before a judge and working with co-counsel from a case’s inception to its conclusion. Working in two-person teams, law students will interview clients and their parents; interpret local, state and federal law; gather evidence including witness statements, client intakes, and character references; develop a theory of the case; and conduct direct and cross examinations at the hearing. Where appropriate, students will continue to advocate for their clients following a suspension hearing – such as with re-entry into the school community or providing additional assistance for students with special education needs. In addition, SRC students will have limited opportunities to write suspension appeals and work with the Criminal Defense Clinic on cases that also involve an arrest.

Student work done in this course may count toward pro bono hours required for New York bar admission.