CaseClothesed (PBL112 (fall), PBL 212
Civil Justice Through the Courts (PBL294) (fall), (spring))
Community Based Initiatives in Family Law Reform (PBL295) (spring))
Conservation Law (PBL291) (fall), (spring)
CRES Capstone SeminarL: Real Estate Contract Commons (LND600)
Detention in the War Against Terrorism (PBL150 (fall), PBL 151 (spring))
Education Law and Practice: Providing Legal Advice to the Mamaroneck School Board and the NYC Charter High School for
Education Law and Justice (PBL160 (fall), PBL 161 (spring))
European Union Business Law: "Unpacking" the European Court of Justice's T-Mobile Decision (PBL296) (fall), (spring)
Guardianship Project (PBL 242 (fall), PBL 243 (spring))
International Law Workshop (PBL 176) (fall), (spring)
Knowledge Management and Corporate Practice (PBL290) (spring)
Legal Reporting (PBL220)
Peer to Patent (PBL175) (fall), (spring)
The Transitional Justice Network (PBL293) (fall), (spring)
What are project-based learning courses? Project-based learning classes are a new form of curricular offering at NYLS, aiming to combine attention to legal theory and to practice. The courses challenge students to develop both their legal knowledge and important skills such as project planning and collaboration. Classes are small, and the students in them, with close guidance from a faculty member, work together on carrying out a project with concrete, real-world significance – from creating a website on a legal subject to developing policies for a Board of Education’s policy manual to co-drafting an amicus brief (with many other possibilities as well). These courses are offered for 2, 3 or 4 credits, and on Pass-Fail or graded basis, as decided by the professor; in the list below, all courses are offered on a Pass-Fail basis, for two semesters (one credit per semester), unless otherwise noted.
How to apply: Admission will be by permission of the instructor. Many of the classes listed below are now fully subscribed, but some still have space available (as of a month before the start of the fall semester). You should check with the Registrar at once if you are interested. Typically, the application will ask for a one-paragraph statement of interest, and you’ll also need to submit your resume along with it. Particular project-based learning teachers may have additional steps, such as an in-person interview, as part of the application process.
CaseClothesed (PBL112) (1 credit in the fall, 1
credit in the spring)
Professor Dan Hunter
This project will be the creation, administration and management of a Fashion Law website called “CaseClothesed” which combines the elements of a blog, an electronic journal, a resource guide, and a community forum for discussion. Work will involve writing blog entries, sourcing and editing articles and essays, writing and editing how-to legal guides, and contributing and moderating forums. Students will have the opportunity to perform all functions, and will produce work that is published in their names.
Justice Through the Courts (2 semesters, 1 credit each semester; graded as
an Independent Study)
Professor Joyce Saltalamachia
Students will work with the Center for Justice and Democracy, http://www.centerjd.org/, a civil justice advocacy organization, on various projects designed to raise awareness about attacks on consumer and citizen access to civil justice through the courts. In a time when so-called ‘tort reform’ once again appears to be at the center of political scrutiny, CJ&D has a mission to increase public awareness of the value of the civil justice system. Topics of interest will be medical malpractice litigation protection, product safety litigation strategies, and federal regulations, along with the full range of contemporary civil litigation areas. Possible projects include drafting legislation in conjunction with the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee, researching advocacy issues for the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, and preparing policy papers for Congressional presentation. Students will work in teams to prepare documents and present research. There will be the opportunity to discuss current tort subjects with practitioners and opinion leaders in the field. Student may have the opportunity to ‘shadow’ a practitioner during tort litigation. The goal of this course is to acquaint students with the wide variety of current issues facing personal injury practitioners and to raise student awareness of the critical role that litigation through court proceedings plays in protecting consumer and citizen health and safety.
Student competencies to be enhanced include analysis and reasoning, researching the law, influencing and advocating, writing, developing relationships within the legal profession, diligence and self-development. There are no pre-requisites beyond successful completion of the first-year Torts class. Recommended classes are Torts II, Medical Malpractice, Insurance, and Mass Torts.
The class will meet once a week, from 1:00-2:00, on either Tuesday or Thursday, depending upon the students’ schedules.
It is contemplated that this course will take from six to eight students. Application process will be through resume and one paragraph statement of interest. Selection will be by Prof. Saltalamachia, in consultation with the staff of the Center for Justice and Democracy.
Community-Based Initiatives in Family Law Reform (PBL 295) (spring 2012 semester only; 2 credits; regular grading)
Visiting Professor Beverly Balos
The course will offer students the opportunity to study and engage in experiential learning and examine the role of lawyer as problem solver in community-based settings. The students will participate in developing public policy proposals, such as changes in police or court protocol, statutory reform, or technical assistance to community organizations. Examples of projects completed in the past include mapping the family court system to identify areas of intervention and procedural obstacles for pro se litigants when domestic violence is present, current authority and use of third party “neutrals” (such a parenting coordinators) in family court and their effect on custody determinations, and an analysis of the differences and overlap between state and federal statutes regulating firearms when domestic violence is present. Once the project is agreed upon, students will work in teams to engage in research, policy formation, and development of a suggested plan for implementing their projects. Their work will require that they engage with their class colleagues, faculty, and agency staff to develop best practices and identify potential unintended consequences of proposed policy changes. The purpose of the course is to expose students to multi-disciplinary perspectives and to have them experience a range of legal roles with the goal of broadening their views with respect to the contribution lawyers can make in tackling crucial societal issues. Students also will be exposed to the formation, development, and implementation of public policy.
Students will have an opportunity to further develop professional skills and values including intellectual and cognitive skills; research and information gathering; communications; planning and organizing; conflict resolution; working with others; and character. There are no prerequisites; “Domestic Violence and the Law” is recommended. This course may satisfy course or capstone requirements of the Abbey Center or the Justice Action Center.
To apply, please submit a resume and a one paragraph statement of interest. Maximum number of students: six.
Conservation Law and Policy (PBL291) (1 credit in the fall, 1 credit in the spring; graded with letter grades)
Professor Gerald Korngold
Students will work on projects from The Nature Conservancy (a leading national and global conservation organization, based in Alexandria VA) as assigned through the senior vp/general counsel of TNC. These projects would cover legal and related policy issues related to TNC’s work in the public and private arenas. Depending on what is happening at the time, this might be position papers on public conservation issues, education materials for the website, working on private conservation transactions facilitated by TNC, legislative work, etc. The students will work on some projects jointly, others alone, but we will meet as a working collaborative group to discuss each other’s work, make suggestions, provide feedback, etc. The semester will begin with readings and class meetings led by the professor to provide a common background for all participants on conservation law. Class meetings will continue throughout the year, approximately every other week.
Capstone Seminar: Real Estate Contract Commons(LND600)(Same course as
“On-Line Database of Real Estate Transaction Forms”) (2
credits; course meets in fall and spring but both credits are awarded in
Professor Andrew Berman
As part of the work in this advanced seminar, students will participate in a collaborative project. For academic year 2010/2011, this course will focus on developing a web site that provides analysis of the basic forms used in New York real estate transactions. We expect to start with the standard forms used in residential purchases and sales of coops, condos and single-family homes. The analyses of the important provisions of these forms will include case research, detailed explanations, the creation of an on-line “library” of contract riders for real estate practitioners, the preparation of an “office” memo, discussion of any statutes or pending legislation relating to the contract provision, and other commentary relating thereto. The students will also be expected to maintain the web site during the academic year.
Detention in the War Against Terrorism (PBL 150) (1
credit in the fall, 1 credit in the spring):
Professor Stephen Ellmann
Students joining this project will begin the year with an intensive study of the constitutional, statutory and international law governing our power to detain those suspected of engaging in or supporting terrorist acts against the United States. We will then focus on studying and reporting on particular issues bearing on the use of this power. One potential project is the establishment of a website to collect and make available up-to-date information on detention practices and policies in Afghanistan as well as on litigation about those practices and policies, and to provide commentary on issues arising in the cases being brought. The law governing detentions in Afghanistan is considerably less settled than the law now governing detentions at Guantanamo, and the website would highlight the unsettled questions and both report and comment on their treatment in ongoing cases.
Education Law and
Practice: Providing Legal Advice to the Mamaroneck School Board and the
NYC Charter High School for Law and Justice (in formation)( PBL 160) (1
credit in the fall, 1 credit in the spring; graded with letter grades)
Professor Richard Marsico
This course will operate as a law firm that will provide legal advice to the Mamaroneck School Board and the NYC Charter High School for Law and Justice, which the Justice Action Center is forming. Students will receive an overview of basic elements of New York State Education law and of the legal and policy issues relating to charter schools. Projects will vary, but students should expect that they will be reviewing the legal policies of the Mamaroneck School District to ensure they are up to date and in compliance with New York State and federal law, and they will recommend changes to the School Board as necessary. For the charter school, students will be assisting in the legal aspects of the charter school’s application to the City Department of Education. This may include, for example, developing an organizational structure, and creating admissions policies and procedures, disciplinary rules and procedures, and an ethics code for school employees and officers.
European Union Business Law:
“Unpacking” the European Court of Justice’s T-Mobile
Decision (PBL296) (2 credits in the fall, 2 credits in the spring; regular
Adjunct Professor Marc Firestone
The T-Mobile decision raises a range of important issues about European antitrust law, including its compatibility with economic analysis and its use (or overuse) of legal presumptions. The case also raises even broader questions about the relation of “European” law to the law of individual European nations. The members of the class will work as a team to shape and carry out an “unpacking” of this decision. Sub-teams will work on discrete tasks, and the class will rely on an iterative process in which the entire team collectively refines its thinking, identifies new areas of research and cross-checks drafts (and other components) to ensure the quality of the final product. The team will present their work at the end of the course to an outside group of in-house and firm counsel. Pre- or co-requisite: European Union Law; recommended: European Union Competition Law.
The Guardianship Project (PBL
140/141) (2 credits in the fall, 2 credits in the spring)
Adjunct Professor Randi Rosenstein
Under the supervision of Professor Rosenstein of the AHRC (a leading advocacy organization in this field), students will be trained and will represent relatives of developmentally disabled or mentally retarded adult dependents to become their legal guardians, an appointment that becomes legally necessary once the DD/MR person turns 18. Many family members are unaware of this until a hospital or doctor informs asks them for proof of guardianship, and then require immediate assistance. Students will represent clients under a practice order in the Surrogate’s Court. The course offers students the opportunity to engage in an intensive, supervised experience in representing a client in a simple, screened (but always surprising) setting, in a situation in which they may be able to complete a simple matter start to finish, under expert supervision. Unlike many representation situations, this is one in which it is a win-win for all involved, who typically share the goal of establishing secure guardianship for someone who needs it. Students will learn an area of law and the skills needed to complete these important cases. The other goal is to enable students to work collaboratively on cases, and experience the need to divide work, to share accountability and responsibility, to self-critique (and be critiqued) and to experience many of the non-doctrinal parts of the practice of law. Students will also evaluate the course in terms of its value educationally and to those the project assists.
International Law Workshop (PBL 176)
Professor Tai-Heng Cheng
This course will introduce practitioners to basic legal issues relating international trade and investment in business transactions, World Trade Organization, litigation and investor-state arbitration and provide them with resources to address in practical terms the issues of international economic law that they may encounter in their practice.
Knowledge Management and Corporate
Practice (PBL290) (2 credits, spring only, graded as Independent Study)
Professor David Johnson
This project combines an intensive virtual placement at Legal OnRamp, a knowledge management platform that works with corporate legal departments to implement web based functions to enhance the efficiency of information sharing practices, with a seminar on technology and knowledge management in corporate practice.In the placement, an “externship on steroids,” the students will work in teams with Legal OnRamp to assist in-house legal departments and their regular law firms to convert their varied knowledge management practices to a single shared platform.
(PBL220)(one to four semesters; 2 credits per semester; graded with letter
Professor Jethro K. Lieberman and Adjunct Professor Michelle Zierler
The Program in Law and Journalism has launched a blog, “Legal As She Is Spoke” (LASIS), which at least at the moment is the only online (and perhaps offline) publication devoted to critiquing legal journalism. LASIS will operate as a newsroom, with students responsible for writing for and managing the publication, under the supervision of Professors Zierler and Lieberman. The blog is intended to be active, with multiple stories posted weekly.
Legal Reporting I (fall) - A prerequisite for LR II, III, and IV. Students learn the basics of journalism and writing while contributing to LASIS.
Legal Reporting II -(spring) Students take on more autonomy, choosing their own story ideas, and working on longer term projects.
Legal Reporting III (fall) and IV (spring) - Students take on staff positions and mentor students in LR I. Contributions in writing also required.
Students seeking to graduate as an Associate in Law and Journalism must take all 4 semesters of Legal Reporting, and electives as set out on the PLJ Website.
Peer to Patent
(PBL175) (1 credit per semester; may be taken for one or two semesters,
i.e. fall ’11 and/or spring ’12; graded as an
Independent Study)Adjunct Professor Mark Webbink
Peer To Patent is a project run in conjunction with and partially funded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The project seeks to engage citizen experts in the search for and identification of prior art relevant to pending patent applications. This activity supplements the normal prior art search conducted by the patent examiner. Experience has shown that these citizen experts are able to identify relevant prior art that the examiner typically would not have found in the course of their own searches, thus improving the quality of information upon which the examiner relies in making patentability determinations. This is largely a student-run project. Students participating in the project carry out the following activities:
• Reviewing participating patent applications and managing the activity on them by encouraging discussion and research;
• Identifying and recruiting peer reviewers to participate in the review of participating patent applications;
• Actual undertaking prior art searches of participating patent applications; and
• Participating in the promotion of Peer To Patent by writing a blog or article about the program
Co-requisite: Enrollment with the IILP Patent Certificate Program
The Transitional Justice Network (PBL293) (two semesters, two credits each semester; graded as Independent Study)
Professor Ruti Teitel
This project will be the creation, management, and administration of an International Law website called "Transitional-Justice." The website will function both as a networking forum for various Transitional Justice communities and institutions around the world, as well as a place for practitioners and scholars of Transitional Justice to come together. Work will include conducting original research, writing and editing articles for the website; overall maintenance of the website's substance; and networking with other institutions, schools, and scholars of Transitional Justice. Students will have the opportunity to work on all aspects of the project, including researching and writing articles of their own to be published on the website. Course goals include advancing students’ skills in editorial writing and international human rights and transitional justice research, and enabling students to get practical experience in editing, fact checking, and working in an ever changing environment regarding current events in international law, human rights, and transitional justice.
Pre-requisites or co-requisites: a gateway course in international law, either Transnational Law or International Law. Exceptions only by permission. Recommended courses: International Human Rights; International Criminal Law; Transitional Justice; Legal Research: Foreign and International. Students with international experience or background and foreign language skills are encouraged to apply. Applicants should submit a resume and statement of interest. Maximum number of students: 8.
Other related opportunities also offered at NYLS include:
the Law to the Public (LWR 400 (fall), LWR 401 (spring)) (1
Professor Jethro K. Lieberman
Students work in small teams to prepare a short book on a single area of the law for publication to an audience of policy-makers and journalists. The goal is for the book to present the law in a clear and comprehensive manner for use as reference material in subsequent writing on the subject. Completed papers will be published as monographs and distributed by the new publication arm of NYLS, Tribeca Square Press.
Institute for Information Law &
Policy Techlaw Lab (CIP 401) (2 credits):
Professor Daniel Hunter and other Institute for Information Law & Policy faculty
The IILP Techlaw Lab provides an opportunity for Harlan Scholars and other IILP students to pursue independent and high-impact research on current issues relating to their course of study. The project requires students to collaborate in teams of 3-5 students to produce a significant piece of legal writing or a project, under the supervision of one of the professors of the IILP. The Techlaw Lab experience integrates but is distinct from the project requirement. This Techlaw seminar meets at scheduled intervals during both terms the of the third year; students receive one credit each in the fall and spring of their third year for a total of 2 credits. The experience permits students to work together to present the fruits of their project and typically involves an external client with specific deliverables. Students will also have an opportunity to explain and defend their work in a face-to-face setting, both with the external client and to other students enrolled in the Techlaw Lab. Generally students will design and implement a publicly-accessible and Web-based multi-media display of their projects. By putting the results of their work online, students will ensure maximum visibility and impact for their research. In additional, students will have an easily accessible and well-designed presentation of their work to show potential employers and other interested parties at home and abroad. To receive credit, students must attend all sessions of the Techlaw Lab seminar, prepare an oral defense of their project, and prepare an on-line presentation of their project.
Justice Action Center Capstone Project (CON 225) (2 credits)
Professor Richard Marsico and other Justice Action Center faculty
The JAC Capstone Project is a required, graded, two-credit course exclusively for JAC affiliates. JAC students will participate in written research projects with practical application with practicing attorneys and JAC faculty. The Capstone is a year-long project. Day students are required to complete and present their project in their third year; evening students in their fourth year. Projects can include, for example, an analysis of empirical data, a policy paper, model legislation, regulatory comments, a practice manual, an amicus brief, or a project developing out of a clinical course experience.
Law Without Walls (LP-550-D)
(3 credits, spring only)
Professor Elizabeth Chambliss
Law Without Walls
(Spring, 2012) is a 3-credit online seminar that meets on Wednesdays at
9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (depending on the week).
Law Without Walls is an international, online seminar with students and faculty from Fordham Law School, Harvard Law School, Indiana University Law School, University of Miami School of Law, Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL), Stanford Law School, St Gallen University Law School (Switzerland), University of Sydney Law School, and University College London Law School. The goal of the seminar is to conduct guided, collaborative research on the legal profession and to produce a series of capstone projects on specific topics.
The seminar will kick-off with an in-person meeting at St. Gallen University Law School on January 14-15, and meet thereafter for two-hour virtual sessions on Wednesdays. The seminar will conclude with an in-person symposium at the University of Miami Law School in April (dates TBA). Students will be selected through a competitive application process based on law school performance, work experience, and a personal statement. Prerequisites include American Legal Profession and Professional Responsibility. Each student will be expected to contribute $500 towards the cost of travel and lodging in St. Gallen and Miami.
Law Without Walls is an exciting and unique opportunity to collaborate across institutions and countries. The inaugural semester was covered in Time magazine, and recently won an award from the College of Law Practice Management, an honorary world-wide organization that recognizes innovation in the delivery of legal services and education. http://www.innovactionaward.com/. For more information see http://www.lawwithoutwalls.org/.