Students walking on sidewalk in front of Washington Square Park

1L Year

During your first year, you’ll get a grounding in theory and practice. Courses are led by world-class professors who introduce you to the tools you’ll need as a lawyer in a changing world.

Watch: Andrew Williams '02, director of the Lawyering Program, explains how it works.

The Lawyering Program

The Lawyering Program teaches the real-world skills (such as financial literacy) that practicing lawyers need. Each Lawyering class size is small, averaging about 26 students.  

“Lawyering gives you the foundation for how you should be interpreting things in your other courses,” says Karenna Martin ’21, who has also been a teaching assistant for the course. “You’re really learning how to interpret cases. You’re learning how legal citations work. How people, when they’re writing their decisions, are backing up their arguments.”

Watch: Walla Elshekh ‘24 on why Contracts was one of the highlights of her 1L year

Introductory 1L Courses

Legislation & the Regulatory State 
Specially designed by the NYU Law faculty, Legislation & the Regulatory State introduces the materials, concepts, and tools that lawyers must have in a world of statutes and regulations.

You will analyze civil liability for breach of duty causing harm to persons or property. 

Criminal Law
You will study elements of criminal liability and defenses. 

You will examine the rules governing civil litigation, with an emphasis on the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and consider constitutional issues relating to jurisdiction and procedural protections. 

You'll focus on the body of law concerned with private agreements. 

Property and Constitutional Law
Both are required courses, but you don’t have to take them in your first year.

Watch: Cam Williamson '19 on taking Income Taxation as his 1L elective

1L Spring Electives

Get a leg up on developing a specialty early in your legal career, particularly when applying for 1L summer positions. You can take any one of seven electives:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Corporations
  • Criminal Procedure: Police Practices
  • Income Taxation
  • Intellectual Property
  • International Law
  • Property
students and faculty in discussion at 1L reading groups

Reading Groups

First-year students get to know faculty outside the classroom in small, informal reading groups. Recent topics have included Algorithms, Fairness and Equality; Lawyers and the Greek Classics; and Tax, Race, and Class.