Students who join the center participate in a focused curriculum that helps guide students through their remaining law school studies and helps prepare them for practice.

About the Program:

Students in the center examine the role and regulation of lawyers and law firms in American society and study the changing dynamics of legal markets and careers. Designed to provide students with an in-depth portrait of law practice in a variety of settings—from the court room to the board room to Guantanamo Bay—the center sponsors research, symposia, and speakers to bring the “real world” of practice to the classroom and legal education more broadly. The center provides students with an intellectual home during their last two years of law school, as well as an opportunity to improve their academic research and writing skills under close faculty supervision. Student affiliates are invited to contribute to ongoing research or to design their own inquiries, through participation in focused seminars and independent study. By the time members graduate, they have a rich understanding of the legal market and the career paths open to attorneys, as well as a portfolio of written work that helps them achieve their goals. Research initiatives by center faculty focus on a range of topics including: the changing boundaries of the legal profession and competition with other professions; diversity and diversity initiatives in the New York City bar; the expanding role of in-house counsel in corporations and professional firms; and prosecutorial ethics.

Student Members Receive:

  • A structured curriculum that introduces students to various practice areas and career paths
  • Special opportunities to work closely with center faculty on research projects
  • Guidance on independent study and writing projects
  • Opportunities to participate in extra-curricular activities with faculty, practitioners, and students who share their interests


Students in their first year of study are welcome at all of the center’s public events. Because of the rigors of the first-year curriculum, however, students are not eligible for formal membership until the completion of their first-year coursework.

Membership is based on a competitive application process, and each applicant is judged on his/her own merit. Please note:

  • Students are eligible for membership irrespective of division. Full-time and part-time, day division and evening students are all eligible for membership.
  • Center affiliation is distinct from membership in the Harlan program; students are considered for membership whether or not they are members of the Harlan program.