Academic and Bar Success
New York Law School provides all students with a continuum of academic and bar support from their admission to law school through their admission to the bar.
The School also helps students develop positive attitudes towards learning and identify, develop, and use the critical thinking skills necessary for the successful study of law, and practice of law, consistent with NYLS’s Student Learning Outcomes.
NYLS’s strategies for Academic and Bar Success incorporate collaborating with professors across the curriculum, individual coaching and feedback for students, first-year and upper-level skills courses, skills development workshops, and newsletters, as well as other guidance and support materials.
Academic Success Initiatives
All admitted students participate in Foundations for the Study of Law, and they are invited to participate in the School’s Summer Advantage Institute in the summer before first-year classes commence, the First-Year Academic Success Program in the fall semester, and the Success Workshop Series in the spring semester. Students can also make individual appointments with the Academic Success team throughout the semester for guidance on their first-year study plans.
Foundations for the Study of Law
Beginning the week of Orientation, Foundations for the Study of Law (FSL) is a weekly skills course required for all entering students. It introduces students to the institutions and processes involved in making, interpreting, and applying law. FSL challenges students to develop the learning habits and attitudes, as well as the study skills, that they will need to be an effective law student. Specifically, FSL is designed to teach critical thinking skills, including critical reading and listening skills, that will lead to better understanding of the materials and instruction other law school courses. Furthermore, FSL will teach effective strategies for synthesizing information, frameworks for written legal analysis, strategies for metacognition, and critical tips for exam preparation.
Summer Advantage Institute
The Summer Advantage Institute (SAI) is a six-week program designed to introduce students to basic legal reasoning skills and professional standards of practice through interactive virtual workshops. Workshops are taught by a combination of NYLS faculty and staff who are eager to meet our newest community members and guide them in their transition to law school.
First-Year Academic Success Program
In the Day Division, the First-Year Academic Success Program (ASP) is a voluntary program that matches participants with a Teaching Fellow, a high-achieving, upper-level student who’s been selected especially for that role. Each Teaching Fellow leads their small cohort of first-year students through hour-long weekly skills sessions throughout the fall semester, which correspond with the weekly Foundations of the Study of Law course in the fall.
In the Evening Division, first-year students have the opportunity to work with Teaching Fellows who serve as teaching assistants for the Foundations for the Study of Law course in the fall. The Teaching Fellows also facilitate academic success workshops for first-year Evening Division students in the spring.
Teaching Fellows not only teach the skills that first-year students need to succeed, but also serve as mentors, helping first-year students adjust to and manage the demands of law school. By giving first-year students the opportunity to work together in small groups with guidance from an upper-level student mentor, First-Year ASP helps students learn collaboratively and build a network of support with their peers and Teaching Fellow.
Success Workshop Series
In the spring semester, the School continues to assist first-year students with periodic programming. The weekly Success in Second Semester series continues critical skills development as students thoughtfully reconcile their fall semester performance and sharpen core skills to match the expectations of spring semester, with the guidance of upper-division Teaching Fellows. In addition, Success in Oral Argument panels provide vital insight from second-year students on one of the spring semester's signature experiences—the appellate oral argument in Legal Practice.
2L and 3L Evening Orientation
Unique among American law schools, our required 2L and 3L Evening Orientation provides more than just a "welcome back" for upper-division students. It advises students on key milestones as they progress through the semester, re-introduces them to the many offices that support their academic and professional journeys, orients them to the various licensing exams that must be completed before the end of law study, and introduces them to the gradual preparation for bar examination and admission they must undertake.
Success Workshop Series in Core Subjects
The School’s upper-level skills courses build upon the foundation in legal analysis that students receive in their first year of law school, providing emphasis on bar-exam writing and test-taking skills. The Office of Academic and Bar Success Initiatives presents complementary orientations and skills workshops in core upper-division courses that are foundational to students' educational development as advocates and heavily featured on licensing examinations, such as Professional Responsibility, Evidence, and others.
Bar Success Initiatives
To best prepare students for admission to the bar, NYLS lays out a road map for the multi-step process of fulfilling state bar licensing requirements. NYLS also offers individualized counseling for bar exam preparation and a range of other bar support programs. The School’s upper-level skills courses build upon the foundation in legal analysis that students receive in their first year of law school, providing emphasis on bar-exam writing and test-taking skills.
Bar success programs include: a yearlong series of required courses that provide intensive practice on bar exam essay writing, performance writing, and multiple choice; bar exam information sessions and kick-offs ahead of both the February and July bar examinations; tabling events for students to meet commercial bar preparation vendors; one of the largest alumni-run bar study mentoring programs in the nation; post-graduation skills workshops, simulated exams, and individual assistance; and free access to AdaptiBar's best-in-class supplemental bar exam multiple choice question platform.
Shane Dizon, Associate Dean for Academic and Bar Success
Cherie McPherson, Assistant Dean for Academic Success
Ilyse Wofse, Assistant Dean for Bar Success
Pallvi Babbar, Associate Director of Academic Success
Anna Belle Hoots, Associate Director of Bar Success
Monica Kipiniak, Bar Programs Coordinator
Danielle Whitaker, Programming Coordinator