Student Competencies and Learning Outcomes

It is the goal of New York Law School to ensure that every student:

Knows the sources of law and understands the weight of legal authority

Acquires foundational knowledge of basic legal subjects

Can critically read, comprehend, analyze, and apply legal authority

Can identify specific legal issues presented by factual scenarios

Can use tools of law and policy to engage in problem solving

Can design and carry out legal research projects

Can write with clarity, precision, and effectiveness

Can speak cogently about legal concepts

Can work as part of a team, which may include engaging in collaboration, being a team leader, making effective use of supervision

Understands the fundamentals of basic lawyering skills such as:

  • Interviewing
  • Fact development and analysis
  • Client counseling
  • Negotiation
  • Advocacy
  • Document drafting
  • Cross-cultural competency
  • Organization and management of legal work
  • The use of technology to aid practice

Understands how to develop professional expertise and appreciates the importance of maintaining competence in client representation

Exhibits professionalism and honors the ethical obligations of lawyers

Understands the way law is practiced in a variety of contexts, such as transactional practice and litigation

Understands the special responsibilities of lawyers to promote justice and improve the legal profession

adopted by the faculty May 2013
amended by the faculty March 2017

New York State Skills Competency Requirement

The New York State Court of Appeals adopted the new Skills Competency Requirement and Professional Values Bar Admission Requirement found in Section 520.18 of the Rules for Admission in December 2015. This requirement is applicable to all applicants for admission to the New York Bar who commence their legal studies on or after August 1, 2016. Pursuant to the new rule, affected applicants must establish that they have acquired skills and professional values necessary to competently practice law  through one of five pathways.

New York Law School is committed to working with its students satisfy the requirement. NYLS’s plan to certify our students under “Pathway 1” is described in the Skills Competency Requirement PDF. In addition, we are committed to working with our transfer students either to be eligible for certification under Pathway 1 or earn the requisite 15 credits through approved coursework required under Pathway 2. As with all pro bono scholars, the NYLS students who graduate as pro bono scholars will complete the new skills competency and professional values requirement pursuant to Pathway 3.

Visit the full text of Section 520.18 to the Rules for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR 520.18).

Academic Engagement as a Measure of Credit Hours

This policy is intended to help New York Law School faculty design and evaluate their courses and syllabi with accurate expectations of total time and effort related to in-class instruction and work performed outside of the classroom. This total time is considered a student’s academic engagement. In addition, this policy will help students understand the amount of time and effort they will be required to dedicate to a variety of activities considered academically engaging during the semester in order to achieve the course’s learning goals. This policy governs all existing and new courses within the NYLS curriculum and helps guide ongoing management of the academic program by the faculty.