Other Experiential Learning Courses and Programs
In addition to clinics and externships, New York Law School offers students the opportunity to pursue a multitude of experiential learning courses and programs, supporting their development of valuable, hands-on skills.
Pro Bono Scholars Program
Created in 2014 by the New York State Court of Appeals, the Pro Bono Scholars Program (PBSP) is a unique program that students can join during their final year of law school.
PBSP students complete their first five semesters of law school normally. During their third year, students spend January and February preparing for and taking the February New York State bar exam. Following the bar exam, PBSP students work full-time, pro bono, at a public interest law placement for 12 weeks. Students earn 11 credits, graded pass or fail, from their placements while simultaneously completing a graded, 3-credit related seminar designed to expand upon the placement experience.
Students who pass the February bar exam are eligible for expedited admission to the bar.
This program is only open to Day Division students because it requires a full-time commitment. It is also only open to students whose academic record indicates that they can successfully pass the bar exam without taking regular classes in their sixth semester. Students apply to this course on the Academics section of the NYLS Portal. Applications open in late March each year. Dean Swati Parikh leads the program.
Learn more about the Court of Appeals’ Pro Bono Scholars Program.
Learn more about public interest and pro bono activities at NYLS.
Field Placement and Seminar Courses
Students participating in a Field Placement and Seminar course work in a law office or public interest organization that handles cases in a specialized field. They also attend a concurrent seminar to enhance their learning and practice within the given field. Students apply to these courses on the Academics section of the NYLS Portal.
Upper-Level Writing Program
The Upper-Level Writing Program trains students to analyze legal issues and to communicate that analysis with clarity, precision, and organization. The Program focuses on the analysis of statutes and case law, the relationship of the law to the case at hand, document and citation format, and writing for a legal audience. Professor Sandra K. Janin ’75 leads the Program.
NYLS offers two certificate programs—the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Skills Program and the Advocacy Program.
The ADR Skills Program teaches practical skills in the field of conflict avoidance, management, and resolution. Students take introductory courses in each of three central alternative dispute resolution processes—negotiation, mediation, and arbitration—as well as additional electives, as they progress towards earning a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The Advocacy Program offers students who are interested in litigation the opportunity to earn a Certificate in Civil, Criminal, or Appellate Advocacy. Students earn an Advocacy Certificate by taking a combination of procedure, writing, and skills courses. They also complete a clinical, field placement, or externship experience in which they put the skills they’ve learned into practice.
NYLS offers three competition teams:
Although academic credit earned from participating on these teams does not count towards NYLS’s Experiential Learning Requirement, the teams provide additional valuable opportunities to hone practice skills.