NYLS Named a Top School in Several Key Areas

preLaw magazine has named NYLS to its lists of Top Law Schools in several specialty categories:

Legal Technology

NYLS was ranked No. 15 in this category for its cutting-edge programs through the Innovation Center for Law and Technology. The School’s extensive course offerings include a new addition for spring 2021—LegalTech, Legal Operations, and the Future of Practice. NYLS is also preparing to launch a LegalTech Lab, which will facilitate software research and development projects that improve the practice of law or serve the public interest. Other recent highlights include the HackNYLS 2020 Competition and a meeting in which students presented first-of-their-kind legal tech apps to Microsoft’s Legal Operations Technical Sharing Committee. In addition, NYLS offers the first U.S. fashion law program focused on how new technologies are changing the fashion world.

Racial Justice

NYLS was ranked No. 13 in this category due to the influential work of its Racial Justice Project (RJP). RJP has published significant research, such as its February 2020 report, “Driving While Black and Latinx: Stops, Fines, Fees, and Unjust Debt.” The report demonstrated that New York’s current practices with regard to driver’s license suspensions disproportionately impact communities of color, providing key support to the New York State Driver’s License Suspension Reform Act. In addition, RJP serves as co-counsel in a lawsuit filed in August 2019 against New York City officials by the family of Eric Garner and several police accountability advocacy groups. And, as the country responds to COVID-19, RJP has been a leader in timely discussions. In September 2020, RJP hosted an event on COVID-19, educational equity, and race, featuring John B. King Jr., the 10th U.S. Secretary of Education.


NYLS’s Advocacy Program offers students interested in litigation the opportunity to study civil, criminal, or appellate advocacy in depth and to develop proficiency in an area of litigation. And with not one, but two, prosecution clinics (in Manhattan and Brooklyn) and its prime location steps from courthouses, The Legal Aid Society, other nonprofit advocacy groups, and prosecutors’ offices, NYLS offers an ideal setting for training in this area. Other opportunities for NYLS students to sharpen these skills include the Trial Competition Team and Moot Court Association. The Moot Court Association hosts the Robert F. Wagner National Labor and Employment Law Moot Court Competition, the premier national competition dedicated exclusively to labor and employment law. In March 2021, NYLS will virtually host the 45th Annual Wagner Competition.

Business Law

NYLS has a long and exceptional record of launching graduates into careers at the world’s leading businesses, financial institutions, law firms, and regulatory agencies. Students can deepen their involvement in business law activities by affiliating with NYLS’s Center for Business and Financial Law. Through the Center, students can attend special events, do original research, and network with successful leaders in the field. Students can also gain real-world skills training in NYLS’s Securities Arbitration Clinic. In February 2021, NYLS launched the James Tricarico Jr. Institute for the Business of Law and In-House Counsel, which provides best-in-class business, legal, and technology skills training to current and aspiring in-house counsel. Its forthcoming initiatives include a “Mini M.B.A.” intensive for practicing lawyers and students and programming that seeks to advance greater diversity in in-house counsel roles.

Criminal Law

At NYLS, students can explore criminal law from every angle while sharpening practical legal skills. The School’s two Criminal Prosecution Clinics partner with the Manhattan and Brooklyn District Attorney’s Offices, respectively. Students work with police officers, victims, and witnesses to prosecute misdemeanor cases. NYLS’s Criminal Defense Clinic partners with The Legal Aid Society, and students represent low-income defendants in misdemeanor cases from arraignment through trial. The Post-Conviction Innocence Clinic recently teamed up with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office to investigate wrongful conviction claims through a large partnership grant. NYLS is also growing its activities related to restorative justice.

Public Policy

Because NYLS has exceptionally strong connections to state and local government, and a campus in the heart of Manhattan’s civic sector, the School is a leader in public policy programming and events. Much of this programming is organized within two academic centers: the Center for New York City Law and the Impact Center for Public Interest Law. Over the past several months, the centers have hosted timely programs focused on COVID-19 and housing rights, race, and education. In late 2019, NYLS launched the New York Census and Redistricting Institute, a first-of-its-kind initiative focused on law and policy related to the 2020 national census and subsequent city and state redistricting.

Tax Law

NYLS offers cutting-edge tax courses and events through its Graduate Tax Program and Center for International Law. The School’s LL.M. in Taxation has been ranked No. 1 by New York Law Journal readers for 11 years straight. Each spring, the School hosts a major all-day continuing tax symposium, with the next event planned for April 2021.

View the winter 2021 and fall 2020 issues of preLaw magazine for more.