NYU School of Law offers an extensive variety of courses focused on specific topics in public interest law. Students are also encouraged to take electives that are broadly beneficial to a public interest practice. For example, a student wishing to be of counsel to a nonprofit agency might take Corporations, a student interested in civil rights law would consider Federal Courts, and a student interested in allocation of public benefits might enroll in Government Benefits.
For more information please visit the Office of Academic Services. For specific information on recent and upcoming courses, please follow the "Course Description” link available on that page.
If you are interested in other degree programs, please review the Special Degree Programs, including an LL.M in Public Service Law and joint degree programs.
The core training for public interest lawyers happens in NYU's renowned clinical program, which engages students in real-world public interest work with faculty supervision and support. From immigrants facing deportation and juveniles accused of serious crimes to defendants facing the death penalty, students tackle a range of complex legal issues. The clinical curriculum offers unique flexibility and range. Students have the opportunity to move between three carefully coordinated programs: the first-year Lawyering Program, upper-level simulation courses and fieldwork clinics. For descriptions of the clinical offerings, please visit the Clinical Program.
Lawyering Program: Clinical Education for 1Ls
All first-year students participate in Lawyering, the first stage of NYU's clinical program. In the yearlong training, including several exercises with mock clients, Lawyering students perform some of the fundamental activities of practicing law—researching cases and statues, writing briefs, interviewing witnesses, counseling clients, negotiating settlements, managing evolving and complex cases, and arguing to a court. Lawyering’s skill-based approach, modeled after medical school training for physicians, prepares students for summer jobs, particularly high-responsibility positions in public interest organizations.
The classroom and clinical coursework are both made possible by the strength of the NYU School of Law faculty's knowledge and experience with public interest law issues. These profiles of faculty members should catch the eye of any students considering pursuing public interest careers at NYU School of Law.