J.D. students commencing their studies after July of 2016 who plan to apply for admission to the New York State Bar must satisfy one of five pathways established under Section 520.18 (Skills Competence Requirement for Admission) of the New York Court of Appeals’ Rules for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law. We anticipate that most of our students will be certified for admission through Pathway 1, which requires a law school to incorporate in its curriculum “the teaching of skills and professional values” necessary for its graduates’ “basic competence and ethical participation in the legal profession.”
The Law School has identified skills and professional values in our curriculum while considering a number of facts: the majority of our students work with nonprofit, government, legislative or judicial offices following their first year of school; almost all students work with private firms, nonprofits, government agencies, legislative offices, or judicial offices after their second year of school; approximately 70% of students participate in pro bono work recognized by our Mithoff Pro Bono Program prior to graduation; approximately 70% of students complete a clinic or academic internship prior to graduation; almost all students take more than the six credits of experiential education required by the ABA; and almost all students are employed in varied legal settings shortly following graduation.
For Pathway 1, the Law School will certify that our curriculum incorporates the teaching of skills and professional values required for participation in the legal profession, and that a student has acquired sufficient competency in those skills and familiarity with those values, if the student:
- Completes the J.D. orientation program (which includes introductions to professional responsibilities and cultural competence);
- Completes the following classes:
- The three-credit 1L Legal Analysis and Communication course (covering research, analysis, citation, written communication, oral communication, self-development, and professional and ethical responsibilities),
- The two-credit 1L Persuasive Writing and Advocacy course (covering research, analysis, use of facts, advocacy, written communication, oral communication, and professional and ethical responsibilities),
- At least three additional credits in courses deemed “experiential” by the Law School to meet the requirements of ABA Standard 303 (covering a variety of skills, self-development, and professional and ethical responsibilities),
- A three-credit course in professional responsibility,
- The other required courses — Civil Procedure, Contracts, Constitutional Law I, Constitutional Law II or Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, Property, Torts, and a writing seminar – covering a variety of skills such as research, analysis, problem-solving, use of facts, written communication, and oral communication.
- Participates in pro bono work recognized by the Mithoff Pro Bono Program before graduation.
The Law School will certify transfer students if they complete: the transfer student orientation, at least six credits in courses deemed “experiential” (at the initial law school or at Texas Law), a three-credit course in professional responsibility, and participate in pro bono work recognized by the Mithoff Pro Bono Program before graduation.