Students at New York Law School beneﬁt from many resources and teaching innovations that support learning. Some of these programs are described below.
Our students have a truly remarkable array of opportunities to practice researching and writing about law in a wide variety of settings. In addition to the required ﬁrst-year courses, the Writing Program offers advanced writing and specialized drafting electives such as Drafting Judicial Opinions and Legal Journalism.
The staff of the Writing Program authored the required ﬁrst-year textbook, The Lawyer’s Craft: An Introduction to Legal Analysis, Writing, Research, and Advocacy. The book has been adopted by teachers at many law schools.
In a method pioneered by New York Law School’s faculty, workshop courses link a seminar in a specialized body of law to ﬁeld placements in ofﬁces and agencies practicing in that area of law. Workshops have been offered in many areas of law, including: Copyright, Criminal Justice, Employment Practices, Entertainment Law, Family Court, Immigration Practice, International Human Rights, Media Law, Mental Disability Law, and New York City Law.
The Applied Skills Program has responsibility for designing, teaching, and overseeing courses that are primarily devoted to developing skills associated with the application of law. It includes the upper-level professional skills courses, New York in National Perspective and Consolidated Legal Analysis. This program also conducts all Bar Exam activities at the Law School, including a workshop introducing the Bar Exam to ﬁrst-year students.
Experiential learning is an integral part of the New York Law School curriculum. Beginning with the ﬁrst-year required course called Lawyering, every student is given the opportunity to apply her or his legal-reasoning-and-analysis skills in the context of a simulated interview of a client, then in an interview of a witness, and ﬁnally in a session in which they counsel a client. This course is a groundbreaking and innovative way to introduce students to the tasks that lawyers are asked to perform. Building on the Lawyering course, the Lawyering Skills Center offers advanced simulation courses, an extensive Externship Program, and a rich array of clinics.
Second- and third-year students may take Negotiating, Counseling, and Interviewing (NCI); Trial Advocacy; Advocacy of Criminal Cases; and Alternative Dispute Resolution. In these upperclass courses, students have the opportunity to perform extensive simulated exercises (often videotaped) and receive direct professorial feedback.
The Externship Program enables second- and third-year students to earn two or four credits by working in carefully selected law ofﬁces and completing related assignments at the Law School. Students in the four-credit program also participate in a weekly seminar introducing them to legal practice issues through the use of readings, simulations, discussion, and video.
Upperclass students can earn academic credit by working with judges and their law clerks. Here also, the classroom work includes readings, video, and discussion. Students are placed with state and federal judges and federal magistrates in New York City and surrounding jurisdictions.
Under the direct supervision of full-time faculty (often working closely with practicing lawyers) upperclass students may work on real cases in various Clinics: Criminal Law, Mediation, Elder Law, Securities Arbitration and Urban Law. Students prepare through extensive simulated practice sessions before meeting clients, interviewing witnesses, or appearing in court.
The Media Center, one of the oldest and most extensive programs of its kind, was established in 1977 in response to the explosive growth of communications technologies. The Center continues to promote education, discussion, research, and writing about mass-communication law. The faculty offers a number of related courses and extracurricular programs dealing with issues such as cable television franchising, direct-broadcast satellites, racial discrimination in television, and public broadcasting.