Education Advocacy Clinic

LW.12400 / LW.12401
Professor Randi Levine
Professor Matthew Lenaghan
Open to 2L and 3L students
Maximum of 8 students
Spring semester
5 credits*
No prerequisites


The Education Advocacy Clinic is a 5-credit, semester-long clinic that represents public school students in education cases.

Course Description


Students from low-income backgrounds often face barriers to receiving a high-quality education in New York City public schools.  There are laws to protect the educational rights of certain populations of students, including students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and students experiencing homelessness, but many of these children do not receive the services and supports they need to succeed in school.  In addition, students with disabilities and students of color are disproportionately suspended from school.  Students facing suspension have the right to bring a lawyer to their suspension hearings, but the vast majority of students are unable to find representation.

Clinic students work on education cases with a focus on special education cases and school discipline cases.  In these cases, law students work closely with families from low-income backgrounds to help their public school students get supports and services to address their educational and behavioral needs.  Students will participate in various stages of the representation process including intake, investigation, settlement negotiations, advocacy at school-based meetings, and possible participation in mediation or hearings.  Clinic students may also work on education policy initiatives focused on the needs of students most at risk of academic failure.  Fieldwork may be done in partnership with Advocates for Children of New York.


The seminar focuses on New York City’s education system, including the laws and procedures governing school discipline and special education.  The seminar also addresses the cases students are handling; trial skills; issues relating to race, class, and disability in education; and efforts to create systemic change for public school students.

Application Procedure

Students should submit an application, resume and transcript on-line via CAMS.  Some applicants may be contacted during the clinic application period for an interview.  For questions regarding the application process, please contact Yvette Bisono at (212) 998-6177 or  If you have questions about the clinic itself, you can direct them to Randi Levine.

Student Contacts

For the past two years, we have offered the Education Advocacy Clinic as an option only for students participating in the Pro Bono Scholars Program (PBSP), which allows law students to take the Bar Exam in February of their 3L year if they commit to spending the last semester of law school working full time on pro bono work.  For the 2016-2017 school year, we will be expanding the clinic to 2Ls and 3Ls who are not participating in PBSP.  Students who are interested in learning more about the clinic may wish to speak with the following students who are participating in the PBSP clinic beginning on February 29, 2016 after their completion of the Bar Exam or with the former students who participated during the spring of 2015: 

Spring 2016
Candis Davis
Daniel Katz
Dian Yu

Spring 2015
Marietou Diouf
Sophia Gebreselassie
Diane Johnston
Adrienne Warrell

* 5 credits include 3 clinical credits and 2 academic seminar credits.