EvidenceA course on evidence covers the rules and common law principles that govern the information (through testimony, documents, and physical objects) a litigant may present to the fact finder at a hearing or trial. Included in the analysis are hearsay, relevance, burdens of proof, privilege, expert testimony, and rules governing the examination of witnesses. The course also addresses constitutional constraints on access to and use of various types of evidence. Because almost all legal work occurs in the shadow of the possibility of litigation, most students, and not only litigators, will benefit from the study of evidence. Transactional lawyers ought to be aware of the potential consequences in litigation of their communications and record keeping.
The law of evidence plays a key role in structuring the way in which lawyers and judges think about the world. The course in Evidence thus remains important for students wishing to pursue transactional, as well as litigation, careers. Any student who wants a judicial clerkship should take Evidence.
Two sections of Evidence are offered each semester. Students who are interested in participating in clinics for which Evidence is a pre-requisite or co-requisite are advised to take the course in their second year. NYU’s clinics, transactional and litigation, together with their pre-requisites, are described here .