An aerial view of Lower Manhattan with three accolade badges from preLaw magazine for Top Family Law School, Top Human Rights Law, and Top Public Service School

NYLS a Top School for Criminal Law, Family, Government, and Human Rights

In the latest issue of preLaw magazine, New York Law School earned accolades for its programs in several key areas:

Criminal Law

At NYLS, students can explore criminal law from every angle while sharpening practical legal skills. This year, the School launched the Criminal Justice Institute and the 21st Century Policing Project (P21), housed in the highly active Impact Center for Public Interest Law. Both Institutes work to address the defining challenges of our current systems and to prepare law students to lead on issues of policing and criminal justice.

Students in NYLS’s Criminal Defense Clinic work with The Legal Aid Society to represent low-income defendants in misdemeanor cases from arraignment through trial. Students also work directly with police officers, victims, and witnesses to prosecute misdemeanor cases through the School’s two Criminal Prosecution Clinics, which partner with the Manhattan and Brooklyn District Attorney’s Offices. In addition, the Post-Conviction Innocence Clinic is continuing their two-year grant partnership with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office to investigate wrongful conviction claims. NYLS continues to grow its activities related to restorative justice.

Family Law

An established leader in family law, NYLS recently expanded its programming to promote greater access to justice, contribute to meaningful legal scholarship, and support a pipeline of skilled, compassionate family lawyers. In the new Juvenile Rights Law Clinic, launched through a partnership with The Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Practice, students represented children in child welfare matters filed in Manhattan Family Court. In addition, the American Bar Association’s Family Law Section published the first NYLS-edited, double issue of the Family Law Quarterly (FLQ) this year. Its articles cover family law developments related to child welfare, U.S. immigration policy, discrimination against LGBTQ+ families seeking to adopt children, and other timely topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For students wishing to specialize in this field NYLS’s Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families is a dynamic hub. The campus’s location, just a few blocks from Manhattan Family Court and Manhattan Supreme Court, provides students with considerable opportunities for internships, externships, and networking. And NYLS alumni go on to represent children in custody or child welfare cases, domestic violence advocacy, private matrimonial practice, education advocacy, and work with government child welfare and juvenile justice agencies.

Government and Public Service

NYLS’s strong connections to state and local government, partnerships with key public policy institutions, and location in the heart of Lower Manhattan position the School as a leader in Government Law and offers students unique opportunities to interact with local leaders and organizations. In spring 2021, students led discussions with mayoral candidates, including Eric Adams, Kathryn Garcia, Maya Wiley, and Andrew Yang, about law, leadership, and the future of New York City.

NYLS’s one-of-a-kind Center for New York City Law is a community of law and policy experts with a focus on creating an open window into New York City government. Its popular CityLaw Breakfasts—a monthly breakfast series—features state and local government officials discussing high-profile public policy issues and is attended by hundreds of influential lawyers, policy experts, and public servants. NYLS’s Office of Public Service and Pro Bono Initiatives provides specialized academic and career advising to students pursuing government and policy roles and coordinates networking events for students.

Human Rights

Human Rights Law is another area of longtime excellence for NYLS. The School’s Center for International Law organizes major events and student projects on human rights law and international law. Past events have featured the United Nations Secretary-General and other human rights leaders. In addition, NYLS’s Stephen J. Ellmann Judicial Fellows have served as judicial clerks at the Gauteng Division of the High Court in South Africa, working to support the rule of law and democracy across the globe.

NYLS’s Asylum Clinic was also featured in this preLaw magazine issue for their work changing immigration policies and landscapes. Students worked remotely with clients from Angola, El Salvador, Ghana, and Turkmenistan fleeing persecution and seeking safety in the United States.