In preLaw magazine’s 2022 Back to School issue, New York Law School (NYLS) was recognized for its exceptional programs in several key areas.
Excellence in Human Rights Law
In the issue, preLaw magazine gave NYLS an “A” grade in human rights law, a field where NYLS excels. The School’s Center for International Law organizes lectures, forums, and student projects on current events in human rights law and international law, including recent events on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the international law of occupation. Past events have featured the United Nations Secretary-General, the first Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and other human rights leaders.
Students learn from experts in the field including Professor Penelope Andrews, Director of the NYLS Racial Justice Project and human rights expert in international and South African law; Distinguished Adjunct Professor Barry Appleton, Co-Director and Senior Fellow of the Center for International Law; Professor Lenni B. Benson, Distinguished Chair in Immigration and Human Rights Law at NYLS and founder of the Safe Passage Project, the largest nonprofit provider of free legal services to immigrant youth in New York; Professor Ruti Teitel, Co-Director of the Center for International Law and internationally-renowned human rights scholar who launched the field of transitional justice; and Professor Claire R. Thomas ’11, Director of the NYLS Asylum Clinic and U.S. Fulbright Scholar.
NYLS clinics and programs also engage students directly with a range of human rights issues. The Asylum Clinic assists international refugees fleeing persecution in their home countries and seeking safety in the United States, and has achieved remarkable successes for its clients. The International Human Rights Field Placement and Seminar places students at organizations such as Impunity Watch, Physicians for Human Rights, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack to engage with legal issues relating to international justice and human rights accountability. And in spring 2022, NYLS students worked with Professor Benson and pro bono attorneys to hold a day of free, confidential legal screening appointments for Afghan and Ukrainian nationals, providing an opportunity for individuals to ask questions regarding their options to secure immigration status—including Temporary Protected Status (TPS), asylum, employment visas, and family visas.
Leading in Family Law
An established leader in family law, NYLS also earned an “A+” in the field from preLaw. The magazine also spotlights one of NYLS’s newest clinics, the Family Law Clinic, which partners with Legal Information for Families Today (now Family Legal Care) to give students the opportunity to engage in a live-client setting where they help the nonprofit provide legal information and assistance to New York City Family Court litigants who are otherwise proceeding pro se in custody/visitation, child support, domestic violence, and other matters.
Faculty thought leaders offer support and guidance in the field including Professor Kris Franklin, a national leader in legal pedagogy and experiential learning who offers a groundbreaking Family Law in Practice simulation course; Professor Lisa Grumet, Director of the Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families and Faculty Editor in Chief of Family Law Quarterly; and Professor Elizabeth Valentin, an authority in elder law and special needs planning and Director of the NYLS Elder Law Clinic.
The School’s robust programming promotes greater access to justice, contributes to meaningful legal scholarship, and supports a pipeline of skilled, compassionate family law lawyers. Law students who wish to specialize in the field can gain practical experience through one of the School’s exceptional clinics that deal with different aspects of family law; participate in Family Law Quarterly, the scholarly journal published by the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association in collaboration with NYLS; or join a host of other opportunities offered through the Diane Abbey Institute, part of the School’s highly engaged Wilf Impact Center for Public Interest Law.
With the skills and experience they gain at NYLS, alumni make an impact across the field of family law including domestic violence advocacy, private matrimonial practice, education advocacy, and working with government child welfare and juvenile justice agencies.
Innovating in Legal Technology
The issue also highlights law school leaders in legal technology and highlights NYLS as one of 20 schools who are “pushing the envelope in legal tech, offering cutting-edge programs and services to prepare students to practice after graduation.”
The School’s Innovation Center for Law and Technology leads the way with extensive course offerings such as LegalTech, Legal Operations, and the Future of Practice, experiential learning opportunities such as the Patent Law Clinic, and pioneering programs that promote career pathways in a wide variety of areas at the intersection of law and technology, including digital transformation of the legal profession and the growth of technology-driven fields. preLaw spotlights one such program where NYLS students presented first-of-their-kind legaltech apps to Microsoft’s Legal Operations Technical Sharing Committee. The Center continues to offer students new opportunities to present before practicing lawyers and industry leaders at Demo Day events and to engage directly with today’s pressing legaltech questions and challenges by regularly hosting events as part of Legalweek and New York Tech Week. In addition, NYLS offers the first U.S. fashion law program focused on how new technologies are changing the fashion world.
Students will learn from pioneers and leaders in the field including Professor Shahrokh Falati ’08, intellectual property expert and Director of the NYLS Patent Law Clinic, and Professor Houman Shadab, Director of the Innovation Center and a Fellow at Stanford CodeX.
A Decade of Employment Transformation
In the midst of the Great Recession, many law schools faced challenges in helping their graduates find jobs. But a lot has changed in 10 years, and preLaw magazine is recognizing NYLS among the law schools with significant employment gains for graduates. Over the past decade, NYLS has devoted its time, resources, and prime location in the hub of opportunity to transforming its career services for students and ensuring their success as they launch their professional lives.
The Office of Academic Planning and Career Development, led by Associate Dean Erin Bond ’08, provides law students with tailored academic and career guidance beginning their first semester of school and continuing well beyond graduation. The team helps connect students with opportunities that best position them to achieve their career goals from summer internships in a variety of fields to judicial internships and externships to exciting emerging or nontraditional legal careers and more. The School is also continually expanding its nationally-recognized clinical and experiential learning opportunities that give students real-world training to hone their professional skills and the professional contacts they need to be competitive in the new job market.
With campus located just blocks from the courts and government agencies, nonprofits, national and global financial institutions, and innovative start-ups, NYLS continues to help students launch successful careers in today’s high-growth fields.