Curriculum and Requirements
New York Law School’s 86-credit J.D. Program is demanding yet flexible, providing the high-caliber foundational education all lawyers need while allowing plentiful opportunities for students to follow their interests, find their focus, and gain skills in a rapidly growing area of law.
Through NYLS’s Think BIG curriculum, students choose one of three in-demand legal pathways: Business and financial services, Intellectual property and privacy, and Government and public interest law. The curriculum includes core foundational courses and more than 250 upper-level electives. Explore all courses. NYLS also offers summer programs for those who wish to accelerate their study of law during the summer.
NYLS’s day and evening J.D. pathways share a core curriculum. Day Division students follow the timeline below, while Evening Division students complete the same courses over their four years of study, with slight variations in their 1L and 2L year course sequencing.
Students interested in careers in transactional practice should take Corporations, and students interested in criminal or litigation-focused careers should take Evidence.
Between the 2L and 3L Year
Students must take two to three of the above Gateway/Bar Topic courses. Students must also take an additional course in either Corporations or Evidence.
Introduction to MEE is required for students who finished in the bottom 75 percent of their first year.
Students must complete all of the below requirements to earn a J.D.
1. Candidates must successfully complete the required 86 credits.
2. Candidates must successfully complete the core curriculum courses with a “B-” minimum cumulative grade. View the School’s grading policy.
3. Candidates must satisfy the Writing Requirement before their final semester at NYLS.The graduation Writing Requirement goes beyond that of the first-year required courses Legal Practice I and Legal Practice II. Students can find detailed guidance in the Academics section of the NYLS Portal.
4. Candidates must satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirementby completing 6 credits of approved coursework and earning a “B-” or better. Learn more about the School’s Clinical and Experiential Learning programs.
5. In order to be admitted to the New York bar, candidates must submit certification that they have done at least 50 hours of pro bono legal work, supervised by an attorney, on behalf of low-income people or organizations who cannot otherwise afford representation, orwork at a government agency or court. This is not a School requirement; it is set by the New York Court of Appeals for admission to the New York bar, which the vast majority of NYLS students seek upon graduation. Some clinics and field placements may help a student satisfy those requirements. Learn more about the School’s Clinical and Experiential Learning Pro Bono Initiatives.