NYLS Launches Summer Pre-Law Pipeline Programs for High School and College Students

Both Pre-Law Programs Are Offered at No Cost to Participants

College Program Will Take Place in NYLS’s Joe Plumeri Center for Social Justice and Economic Opportunity

In 2020, NYLS Will Add a Non-Traditional Pipeline Program for Working Adults

New York, NY (April 3, 2019) – New York Law School (NYLS) is launching two summer pre-law pipeline programs for local high school and college students. Both programs are offered at no cost to participants. Students will attend classes at NYLS’s Tribeca campus beginning this summer. Applications are now being accepted—See links below.

The goal of the programs is to provide students from underrepresented populations with a dedicated set of opportunities to explore the law and create a pathway to earn their J.D. degrees at NYLS. Development of the programs was led by the NYLS Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the NYLS Faculty Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. The programs are a featured component of the School’s 2019 Strategic Plan, to be issued this spring.

“No other profession has greater reach to help people, to build our society and economy, and to foster equity and justice than law,” said NYLS Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell. “Yet, for too long, the legal profession has not reflected the diversity of our city and state, and the access-to-justice gap in many New York communities has grown. As ‘New York’s law school,’ we are committed to, and invested in, changing that.”

“Our increasingly diverse society needs lawyers of all backgrounds,” said Ella Mae Estrada, NYLS Associate Dean for Enrollment Management, Financial Aid, and Diversity Initiatives. “These programs are designed to create a pathway to legal education and the profession by engaging students in academic workshops, mentoring, test prep, and professional development.”

In addition, NYLS is laying the groundwork to launch its Non-Traditional Pipeline Program, for civil servants and other working adults, in spring 2020. Since 2013, the School has informally partnered with paralegal studies programs and government agencies to create new on-ramps to law school. The Non-Traditional Pipeline Program will represent a formalized approach to this work. NYLS will share more details prior to the launch.

Supporting a more diverse law school community and legal profession is a critical component of NYLS’s Institutional Diversity Plan, its 2013 Strategic Plan, and its forthcoming 2019 Strategic Plan.

About the Undergraduate Program

Participants in the Summer Pre-Law Program attend courses at NYLS for two consecutive summers. The program is open to rising college juniors who study in the New York City metropolitan area, or elsewhere in New York State. NYLS will work directly with undergraduate partner institutions to identify candidates, and the inaugural class will include approximately 25 students.

The program begins on June 24, 2019 and runs for four weeks the summer before students’ junior year and four weeks the summer before students’ senior year. As part of the program, NYLS will check in with participating students throughout their junior and senior years and will provide them with law school-related resources.

The curriculum for the first summer, which includes four hours of class per day, four days a week, was developed by and will be taught by NYLS’s faculty. These topics will be covered:

  • Introduction to the Legal Method
  • Written Legal Communication
  • Introduction to LSAT Preparation
  • Academic Success
  • Professional Development
  • Project-Based Capstone

The Project-Based Capstone represents the culmination of students’ work during each summer session and will engage students in simulated arguments on behalf of a “client.” They will use NYLS’s high-tech Joe Plumeri Center for Social Justice and Economic Opportunity, home to the School’s 20-plus clinical and experiential programs, for this portion of the program.

About the High School Program

Through a partnership with the nonprofit Legal Outreach, NYLS will host Legal Outreach’s Summer Law Institute for five weeks, beginning in July 2019. For 35 years, Legal Outreach has prepared urban youth from underserved communities to pursue higher education. Its Summer Law Institute teaches rising ninth graders about law school, legal careers, criminal justice, and the criminal trial process. Students explore topics such as stop and frisk, search and seizure, evidence, arraignment, and bail. They also participate in a moot court before actual judges.

In addition to Legal Outreach’s curriculum, NYLS will facilitate a Speaker Series for its Summer Law Institute participants, drawing from its rich alumni base.

The new program complements ongoing work by NYLS’s Impact Center for Public Interest Law and students at the Charter High School for Law and Social Justice in the Bronx. The Impact Center engages Charter High School students in a range of programs that teach legal concepts, including mock trials, the “Street Law” program, mock law classes, and more.

How to Apply

The application window for both programs is now open:

  • Undergraduate students can apply here through April 30, 2019. Decisions will be announced in mid-May.
  • Rising ninth-grade students can apply here.

About The Plumeri Center

The Joe Plumeri Center for Social Justice and Economic Opportunity, dedicated in November 2015, is home to NYLS’s law firm and provides free high-quality legal services to New York City’s diverse, low-income, and veteran populations who would otherwise be unable to afford legal representation. Made possible by a generous gift from Joe and Susan Plumeri, the Center’s innovative mission, sophisticated design, and ground floor location provide an unparalleled access point to the School’s legal services. The Plumeri Center also enables NYLS students to fully realize the benefits of experiential learning and skills training within a true clinical setting that is part of a new modern legal education. The Center is home to more than 20 clinical and experiential programs, a reception area for clients, study space for students, private work areas, and a state-of-the-art simulation center with direct-to-digital recording technology for student skills training.