Harlan Curriculum

The John Marshall Harlan Scholars Program at New York Law School is a rigorous academic honors program designed for students who have performed at the top of their law school class. The IILP has been among the most popular center for Harlans over the last several years.  Harlan Scholars, along with Institute Associates, will have the opportunity to work with our faculty and student research fellows on IILP projects. Additionally, they have access to our wide program of elective courses, as well as the opportunity to contribute to IILP Statements of Law.

In consultation with a faculty mentor, honors students who choose to affiliate with the Institute take a common set of core courses plus electives tailored to their professional and scholarly goals. The curriculum affords students maximum flexibility to develop substantive competence and discrete skill sets in the areas of their chosen academic concentration.

In addition, Harlan Scholars affiliated with the Institute are required to produce, and defend before their peers, a project that takes on novel issues of analysis or design. This is the IILP Capstone requirement. Topics are developed in collaboration with the faculty—with an emphasis on one-on-one consultation between student and faculty as the project develops.


Harlan Scholars at IILP are required to take the Intellectual Property survey course, at least one substantive course in the core of intellectual property, two IILP-related electives, and a capstone seminar. In short, you must take all the courses listed in (A) below, at least one course listed in (B) below, and at least two courses listed in (C) below. For a comprehensive intellectual property education, we recommend taking more than the minimum requirements.

A. Core Courses (A)

  • Intellectual Property
  • Capstone Seminar

B. Core Courses (B)

  • Copyright Law
  • Trademarks and Unfair Competition
  • Patent Law
  • Internet Law
  • Information Privacy Law

C. Selected Electives (Harlan Scholars are required to take a minimum of two (2) of the following)

D. Harlan Scholars are strongly encouraged to take one of the following IP Licensing and Drafting courses or another drafting course offered at NYLS:

IILP Capstone Project

IILP’s capstone project allows Harlan Scholars in their final year to work closely with an IILP-affiliated faculty member on an important, emerging, and discrete area of technology law with the goal of ultimately producing a professional piece of work product. This flexible program allows students to pursue independent and high impact research on current issues related to the course of study they have been taking in law school. Every year, IILP provides a list of ongoing faculty projects. Students may sign on to complete one of those projects or pursue an independent study under the close supervision of IILP faculty. In addition to producing a research or working paper, a comprehensive memo, a brief, or other final product, students will present their work at the annual Harlan Defense Symposium. This requirement builds research and writing skills alongside public speaking and persuasion. Students may work individually or in small groups with approval of a faculty member. Students will receive one (1) credit per semester for a total of two (2) credits for this requirement.