Family, Gender, & Sexuality

Student Opportunities

Four students at a table on a terrace

At NYU Law, students are encouraged to take advantage of all the Law School has to offer, from working directly with faculty on their research, to getting involved with our centers, to participating in clinics and student organizations. The Office of Career Services, along with the Public Interest Law Center, also organizes numerous recruiting programs, panels and workshops, practice interview programs, and offers individual counseling sessions. Here are some opportunities for those specifically interested in family, gender, and sexuality:

Student journals include the Review of Law and Social ChangeStudent groups include OUTLaw and Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ).

Clinical Work

The Children’s Rights Clinic is a semester-long, 5-credit course. The clinic involves the representation of children in a variety of civil legal settings. The seminar focuses on the issues in representing children particularly in child welfare proceedings. Past fieldwork sites have included The Door Legal Services Center, the Juvenile Rights Practice of the New York Legal Aid Society, and Advocates for Children.

Family Defense Clinic students participate in a year-long, 14-credit course that examines child welfare policy and practice. The clinic’s primary focus is on preventing the unnecessary break-up of indigent families and helping separated families reunite by representing individual parents and relatives of children who are in or at risk of foster care placement. The clinic also undertakes projects designed to address systemic problems in the foster care and Family Court systems. The clinic involves a mixture of fieldwork, seminar meetings, and participation in simulated exercises and hearings.

In the LGBTQ Rights Clinic, students conduct fieldwork at NY-based non-profit organizations representing LGBTQ individuals. Students are placed at partnering organizations such as the Anti-Violence Project, Immigration Equality; Lambda Legal; the LGBTQ Rights Project at the New York Legal Assistance Group; the Peter Cicchino Youth Project at the Urban Justice Center, and The Sylvia Rivera Law Project. Substantive case work may include sexual-orientation or gender identity-based asylum claims; discrimination claims; transgender documentation issues (such as correcting gender on a birth certificate); housing cases; or orders of protection. A seminar focusing on the unique legal issues faced by LGBTQ individuals completes the students’ work.

The Reproductive Justice Clinic trains students in the legal knowledge and skill required to secure fundamental liberty, justice and equality for people across their reproductive lives, with a particular focus on pregnancy and birth. For current clinic work, this is achieved primarily through advocacy and litigation around legal or policy frameworks restricting the autonomy and undermining the equality of pregnant, parenting, and birthing women; or, punishing women by virtue of their reproductive status.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program, founded in 1958, awards fellowships to a small group of third-year students committed to civil liberties and offers them unique opportunities to pursue public interest careers.

The Center for Human Rights & Global Justice (CHRGJ) has built a reputation for academic and clinical work in human rights subjects—including counter-terrorism; corporate abuses; caste discrimination; gender-based violence; economic, social, and cultural rights; and extrajudicial executions. Opportunities are available for current students and postgraduates; they also have a human rights job board.

The Derrick Bell Scholarship for Public Service promotes the practice of law in the public service sector by NYU Law graduates. Members of APALSA, BALSA, LaLSA, MELSA, MLSA, or SALSA who have proven their dedication to public service and who plan to pursue careers in public interest law are eligible.

The Root-Tilden-Kern Program, established more than 50 years ago, awards full tuition to 20 scholars who are selected for commitment to working in public service, academic merit, and leadership potential.

The Sinsheimer Service Scholarship pays full tuition each year for a student of outstanding academic merit and leadership potential who demonstrates a strong commitment to providing direct representation in civil legal matters to individuals who cannot otherwise afford such representation and promises to pursue such work in the United States for at least three years. Sinsheimer Scholars are selected as part of the Root-Tilden-Kern Scholarship selection process and participate in all program activities including the first-year orientation and monthly dinners.

Post-Graduate Opportunities

The Sinsheimer Children’s Rights Fellowship is a two-year post-graduate fellowship at Partnership for Children’s Rights in New York City. The Sinsheimer Fellow will represent families in administrative hearings brought against the NYC Department of Education to secure appropriate educational placements and services for children with learning, emotional and physical disabilities. This fellowship is restricted to NYU 3Ls and recent NYU Law graduates.

The Master of Laws LLM is designed for students who wish to take full advantage of NYU’s extraordinarily wide range of course offerings and the diverse research interests of our faculty. Unlike students in the specialized LLM programs, candidates pursuing the traditional LLM degree are not limited to a specific number of classes in one field, and they have the freedom to choose courses that match their interests.