Jump to content

CUNY School of Law


Recommended Posts

CUNY School of Law is the premier public interest law school in the country. It trains lawyers to serve the underprivileged and disempowered and to make a difference in their communities.
Students come to CUNY Law because they want to change the world. Our unique curriculum provides experiential learning, beginning on day one, to ensure students graduate with the skills and tools they need to make that change. As the national leader in progressive legal education, we then help our graduates find the in-demand public interest and public service jobs that will allow them to create their impact on the local or global community that speaks to them.
CUNY Law pioneered the model of integrating a lawyering curriculum with the traditional doctrinal study. The School has been praised in a study by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, "Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law," for being one of the few law schools in the country to prepare students for practice through instruction in theory, skills, and ethics.
Founded in 1983, the CUNY School of Law consistently ranks among the top 10 law schools in clinical training. With a student-faculty ratio of 10 to 1, CUNY Law has been a model for other law schools for its clinical practice. All third-year students at CUNY Law represent clients under the supervision of attorneys at one of the largest law firms in Queens – Main Street Legal Services, Inc. – situated right on the Law School campus.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg praises CUNY as "an institution of incomparable value." She has noted the School's leadership for "innovations and tireless advancement of public interest law." Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Professor at Harvard Law School, also praises CUNY: "With all due respect to my legal institution and others, in my view, CUNY Law School is the premier legal institution in the country and the world for training lawyers who are committed and dedicated to the public interest."
According to the National Association for Law Placement Directory, CUNY Law sends a higher share of its students into public interest and public service law practice -- 70 percent (class of 2008) -- than any other law school in the nation.CUNY School of Law enrolls an unusually diverse student body. Among its 2011 entering class, approximately 49 percent are students of color. Meanwhile, tenured or tenure-track faculty are 37 percent of color; The Princeton Review ranks CUNY Law as having the fourth most diverse law faculty. It has also ranked the School as the most welcoming law school in the nation to older students.
Our central location in Long Island City, Queens, allows for an easy commute from all five boroughs and regions. With its greater centrality, our mission is enhanced by our proximity to the public interest community and our clients.
The Board of Visitors is an independent body whose general purpose is to advise the Law School Dean and other faculty and administrators regarding a range of issues concerning the Law School and its relationship to the greater community.
CUNY Law is now one of the greenest law schools in the country. The building is LEED Gold certified, which means that its construction reduced environmental impact, and its design increases occupants' health and well-being.
CUNY School of Law brings together the very best clinical training with a traditional doctrinal legal education to create lawyers prepared to serve the public interest. As part of our mission, we prepare our students to practice, in the words of our motto, "Law in the Service of Human Needs." Our curriculum requires all third-year students to represent actual clients in immigration law, elder law, human rights law, etc. CUNY is a national leader in progressive legal education. In the spring of 2007, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, in a national study of legal education, lauded CUNY School of Law's innovative curriculum, which has become a model for law schools the nation.
The basic premise of the Law School's program is that theory cannot be separated from practice, abstract knowledge of doctrine from practical skill, and understanding the professional role from professional experience. Our curriculum integrates practical experience, professional responsibility, and lawyering skills with doctrinal study at every level. Forming the core of our lawyering curriculum are the skills recognized by the profession as essential to successful law practice: problem-solving, legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, factual investigation, communication (legal writing, oral argument), counseling, negotiation, litigation, and alternative dispute-resolution, organization and management of legal work, and recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas.
Layered onto the traditional foundation of doctrinal education is our deep and broad clinical training program. First-year students acquire clinical experience through simulation exercises conducted in a required year-long lawyering seminar. Second-year students take an advanced one-semester lawyering seminar in a public interest law area of their choice. Third-year students earn 12-16 credits in either a field placement program or a live-client clinic onsite at the Law School.
Our curriculum rejects the traditional separation of substantive law courses into narrowly defined subjects. Precisely because attorneys are seldom presented with legal problems neatly compartmentalized into analytically distinct subject headings, our curriculum teaches students to think critically about the subject matter, rule application, and procedures and to synthesize these aspects critically. Thus, our graduates can address the many-sided problems that confront attorneys and their clients in real life.
Because collaboration is both an essential practical skill and a valuable learning mode, the Law School encourages students to work together and provides opportunities and frameworks to develop collaborative skills and practices. This approach alters the conventional hierarchical structure and atmosphere of most legal education.
Students collaborate in virtually all of their work, so the cutthroat competition at most law schools is absent at CUNY Law. Our small size and 12 to1 student-faculty ratio foster a supportive learning environment designed to maximize individual and professional development. Because examination should be the servant, not the master of learning, many courses rely upon writing exercises and simulation work to evaluate student performance and progress.

View full university

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...