New York Law School is honored to be acknowledged in preLaw magazine’s spring 2023 issue. The magazine recognized NYLS for our practical training, environmental law, intellectual property, and alternative dispute resolution programming.
The magazine noted NYLS’s robust experiential learning programming, an integral part of the NYLS education. The Plumeri Center—led by Stephen J. Ellmann Dean for Clinical and Experiential Learning Kim Hawkins—is NYLS’s home for experiential learning, including our many clinics, externships, simulation courses, and more. The Plumeri Center’s innovative programs are a chance to turn the doctrine and theory our students learn in the classroom into practice and use their lawyering skills to represent real clients.
Among our experiential learning offerings are clinics like the Asylum Clinic, which recently secured asylum for a client and currently representing another through the asylum process, the Nonprofit and Small Business Clinic, which is currently advocating for New York’s taxi drivers, and the Post-Conviction Innocence Clinic, which recently secured a client’s release.
Simulation courses prepare students to work with clients by giving them the opportunity to practice lawyering skills in a controlled environment led by faculty who bring their professional experience into the classroom. In a simulation course, students build their lawyering skills through complex, realistic case scenarios, actor simulations, role-play exercises, and mock trials.
In NYLS’s Externship Program, upper-level students earn academic credits while gaining practical experience in the real world. Students engage in placements matched to their interests, including the Financial Services Law Externship program, the Judicial Externship program, and the Law Office Externship program. In October 2022, NYLS also launched the Washington, D.C. Honors Externship program, a semester-long, full-time program designed to provide students with vital legal experience in the political epicenter of the country. And starting in the 2023–24 academic year, students interested in a public sector placement in New York City government will be able to apply to the Gotham Honors Externship Program, another semester-long, full-time program providing students with the high-level learning opportunities available within the New York City’s own extraordinary municipal government. Beginning in Fall 2024, students will also be able to fully immerse themselves in top corporate or financial services placements through NYLS’s forthcoming Wall Street Honors Externship Program. Other specialized programs include: the Pro Bono Scholars Program, the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Skills Program, the Harris Keenan & Goldfarb Advocacy Program, and NYLS competition teams.
The magazine noted NYLS’s environmental law program—a critical area in the face of climate change.
For example, NYLS students can take our Environmental Law and Policy or Brownfields Redevelopment courses, which offer students excellent opportunities to focus their legal education on environmental law. The courses are designed for students who wish to litigate environmental issues or clean up and redevelop contaminated land. They cover how politics drive the design and operation of environmental statutes and the respective roles of legislatures, agencies, courts, and nongovernmental organizations. They can also gain practical experience through the Conservation Law and Policy Clinic, where students work with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a leading national and global conservation organization, on projects covering legal and policy issues related to public and private arenas.
Environmental law has also emerged as a civil rights issue, and the Civil Rights and Disability Justice Clinic is currently working to represent New York City residents impacted by a pipeline built through their neighborhoods.
The School is at the forefront of intellectual property law education, and the magazine especially noted the work on the Patent Law Clinic (PLC). Recently, the clinic assisted one of their nonprofit organization clients to obtain a U.S. patent for their critical product—one that will change lives in Central Africa. The process of filing, organizing, and re-filing the patent application was eye-opening for the student clinic members—as was gaining an understanding of how innovation can make real change around the globe. Intellectual property law is also a key focus of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology. With Students who affiliate with the Innovation Center gain access to a cutting-edge approach to education and skills training in law and technology. Through courses, software development projects, events, and research, the Innovation Center brings together practitioners, students, and scholars to create the future of legal practice. A key aspect of the Innovation Center’s work is the research and development of software applications that aid the practice of law, support in-house counsel and compliance, and promote the public interest.
Students can also pursue coursework in this arena with our Intellectual Property course. A survey of general principles of copyright, patent, and trademark law, the upper-level course covers issues of subject matter, scope of protection, and remedies under each of the federal statutes and related state theories of protection.
The magazine noted NYLS as a top school for Alternative Dispute Resolution, including that NYLS’s Dispute Resolution Team (DRT) was the only American law school team to compete in the finals of the International Commercial Mediation Competition in Paris.
NYLS’s DRT is a student-led organization that represents the School in competitions based on alternative dispute resolution methods and lawyering skills. Members of the team gain experience across a variety of practice areas by interviewing and counseling clients and negotiating, mediating, and arbitrating common disputes.
NYLS students also benefit from the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Skills Program, led by Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law F. Peter Phillips ’87. The program involves doctrinal education and practical skills in the fields of conflict avoidance, management, and resolution. The ADR Skills Program also engages the legal departments, law firms, courts, and government agencies of New York City with CLE courses, speaking events, guest lectures on campus, and onsite trainings to add value to the broader legal community.