New York Law School Undertakes Historic Expansion Of Its Clinical And Experiential Learning Programs

Offerings to Double in One Year with the Launch of 13 New Clinics

New York, NY (April 9, 2013) — Beginning in the 2013–14 academic year, students at New York Law School (NYLS) will be given an unprecedented opportunity to become even more immersed in the legal life of New York City. Thirteen new clinics will expand their real-world opportunities in the practice of law and allow them unparalleled opportunities to build critical skills and knowledge while helping to make an immediate difference in the lives of others. Guided by expert faculty and attorney supervisors, students will bridge their classroom learning to practical legal training, primarily in New York City government law offices and non-profit agencies or serving New York City clients. They will work in a diverse range of practice areas, including child welfare, civil rights, and education; criminal prosecution and post-conviction remedies; legislative and human rights advocacy; administrative enforcement and tort litigation defense on behalf of the City; pro bono business and tax counseling for not-for-profits and start-ups; and individual taxpayer assistance.
“As New York’s law school, it’s only natural that we embrace the City as our classroom and grow the number of uniquely New York experiential learning opportunities for our students,” Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell said. “When I started at NYLS last summer, I made a commitment to work with our faculty on a historic expansion of our clinical and experiential learning programs. I’m proud that we have been able to more than double the number of the School’s clinical offerings in less than one year with these extraordinary additions to our curriculum. Our goal is to ensure that every student, before they graduate, can and will take advantage of a first-rate clinical placement or supervised externship and will have the chance to work on real cases, transactions, and advocacy efforts, with real people—clients and witnesses, business owners and entrepreneurs, government officials, and others. This also will allow us to give our students the needed tools to meet the demands of today’s market and be leaders in the rapidly evolving legal profession. And it will allow us to further our deep commitment to ensuring a diverse population is provided with access to justice.”
With the additions, the Law School will offer 26 clinics in the upcoming academic year and is able to expand opportunities for evening students to participate in clinics. More than 30 full-time and adjunct faculty members will be teaching these courses. The clinics differ in the subject matter of the practice and lawyering skills to be developed. All include experience in supervised legal work and an accompanying seminar. In addition, last fall, NYLS was the first law school to announce an initiative to identify and create new experiential learning opportunities for students that would help provide the community with access to justice and help students satisfy the 50 hour pro bono requirement for admission into the bar. The historic expansion of the clinical programs allows the Law School to fulfill that commitment on time.

The new clinics include:

Administrative Enforcement Clinic: Students will prosecute taxicab and livery driver and operator violations of the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission’s (TLC) rules and regulations before the TLC tribunal within the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH).

Child Welfare Clinic: Students will work at the NYC Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), representing ACS in matters involving child welfare, including abuse and neglect cases, permanency hearings, emergency hearings on applications for return of children from placements, and more.

Civil Justice Through the Courts: A project-based class in which students will work with the Center for Justice and Democracy, a public policy organization housed at New York Law School, to support the protection of plaintiffs’ rights through legal and policy analysis.

Clinical Year: Building on the medical school model, students will spend their entire third year (30 weeks) in three 10-week, full-time, clinical rotations. The experiences will range from drafting legislation and helping to provide advice and counsel to elected and appointed officials, and agencies, at the Division of Legal Counsel at the New York City Law Department; assisting in civil litigation matters at the Legal Aid Society; and working on administrative law matters at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Criminal Prosecution Clinic (New York County): Under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys in the Office of the Manhattan District Attorney, students will staff the new Quality of Life Part in Manhattan Criminal Court and prosecute criminal cases.

Legislative Advocacy Clinic: Working with the New York Civil Liberties Union, students will help develop a local legislative proposal to advance social justice, and work to draft and seek passage of legislation in the City Council.

Municipal Litigation Defense Clinic: Students will work under the supervision of expert tort litigators at the New York City Law Department, assisting with multiple facets of defending the City in personal injury and other matters, and will learn about the operational, fiscal, and policy considerations impacting the practice of municipal law.

Post-Conviction Innocence Project: Students will work in teams to handle post-conviction cases for defendants who move to vacate their convictions based on newly discovered evidence, recanted or perjured testimony, false confessions, or improper identifications.

Suspension Representation Clinic: Students will provide legal representation to low-income students facing a superintendent’s suspension from New York City public schools.

Transactional Law Clinic – Start-Ups and Non-Profits: Students will provide pro bono transactional legal services and capacity building for under-resourced start-up businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profit entities in New York City.

Taxpayer Assistance Clinic: Partnering with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program and the IRS/AARP Tax Counseling for the Elderly program, students will offer free tax preparation assistance for New York City taxpayers who qualify.

Tax Planning Clinic: Students will provide tax advice, tax training, and tax research support to the Transactional Law Clinic’s clients and other NYLS service projects.

Building a Disability Rights Information Center: Students will work on disability rights research for the Disability Rights Information Center, a dynamic online resource for policymakers, lawyers, and community based advocates, that presents statutes, regulations, scholarly articles, advocacy news, and case law from selected Asian and Pacific nations.
“We are excited to be offering these new courses,” said Professor Stephen Ellmann, Director of NYLS’s Office of Clinical and Experiential Learning. “They expand an already extensive skills curriculum, and they mark the School’s commitment to developing innovative ways to help our students get ready for the practice of law while instilling the values of professionalism and integrity that are critical components of the profession.”
In making today’s announcement, Dean Crowell thanked Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor Deborah Archer, Professor and Director of the Office of Clinical and Experiential Learning Stephen Ellmann, and Professor and Director of Clinical Programs Frank Bress, for their leadership and expertise in coordinating the development and implementation of these new offerings with our faculty.

Existing clinics include:

-Conservation Law and Policy
-Criminal Defense Clinic
-Criminal Prosecution Clinic (Kings County)
-Criminal Prosecution Clinic (Richmond County)
-Domestic Violence Litigation Field Placement
-Elder Law Clinic
-Immigrant and Refugee Rights Field Placement
-Immigration Law and Litigation
-Mediation Clinic
-Racial Justice Advocacy
-Securities Arbitration Clinic
-Wills Clinic

About New York Law School

Founded in 1891, New York Law School is an independent law school located in Lower Manhattan near the city’s centers of law, government, and finance. New York Law School’s renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, labor and employment law, media and information law, tax law, real estate and urban legal studies, international law, financial services and regulation, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. New York Law School has more than 13,000 graduates and currently enrolls approximately 1,500 full-time and part-time students in its J.D. program and 95 students in its five advanced degree programs in American business law, financial services law, real estate, tax, and mental disability law studies.