High School Law Institute (HSLI)

About the High School Law Institute

The High School Law Institute (HSLI) is a free, yearlong program serving high school students from under-resourced schools throughout New York City. A vast majority of the students come from NYC “zoned” or neighborhood schools. Most of these students do not receive school credit; rather, they are motivated by a desire to learn more about the legal system and to prepare themselves for higher education.

If you are a student, parent, or educator who is interested in the 2015-2016 HSLI cohort, please click here to leave your contact information. We will contact you in Summer 2015 with more information when the application goes live.

High school students enrolled in the program come to NYU School of Law on Saturday mornings throughout the year. Free breakfast is provided. Students participate in hour-long classes on criminal law, constitutional law, and mock trial, taught by teams of NYU law and undergraduate students. Teachers are provided with a detailed curriculum, created by HSLI’s board members and targeted towards high school students in New York City. Each lesson plan contains discussion questions, background information, classroom activities and homework assignments that can be tailored to fit the interests and experiences of particular classes. Teachers are prepared by a thorough training at the beginning of the year, and are given ongoing support throughout the year.

In addition to time in the classroom, HSLI organizes two important events throughout the year: College Day and Graduation. In November of each year, HSLI students and their parents are invited to Columbia Law School, home of NYU HSLI’s sister branch, where they attend panels (on topics including financial aid, the admissions process, the freshman experience, and choosing the right school), speak with representatives from colleges from around the country, and take a tour of the college campus. While College Day is an important highlight for many students, ongoing support is provided throughout the year to answer questions and help locate resources for students applying to institutions of higher education. This year, HSLI board members are also instituting a program to assist students writing their personal statements or other essays as part of college applications.

The year culminates with Graduation, which includes a mock trial competition against the sister branch at Columbia, a keynote speaker, and the presentation of graduation certificates to all the students who satisfied participation requirements. HSLI board members are currently working on expanding the graduation ceremony to include an opportunity for students to demonstrate their achievements in their criminal law and constitutional law classes.


Application Information

Are you a student, parent, or educator who is interested in our joining HSLI in 2015-2016? Please leave us your contact information by clicking on this link and we will contact you in Summer 2015 with more information!

Questions? Please e-mail nyu.hsli@gmail.com.


Information for Current HSLI Students

The first day of classes is the first Saturday in October. Classes begin promptly at 10:00 AM each Saturday.


Helpful Documents

Directions to NYU School of Law's Vanderbilt Hall (40 Washington Sq So)

HSLI Student Forms


The HSLI Community

Students, teachers, former teachers, alumni, and parents are invited to join the High School Law Institute Facebook Page to stay in touch and maintain our longstanding friendships.