Spring 2024 - Course of Study for Second and Third Year Students

Course Descriptions & Program Planning Information

Spring 2024 Course of Study for Upper Level Year Students contains descriptions of required and elective courses for second, third, and fourth year students as well as helpful information about program planning and registration. Please review it carefully. We strongly recommend that students meet with their faculty advisors about course selection to help to ensure that their course of study prepares them for the area of practice they plan to pursue. Your faculty advisor will help you choose wisely from among the available lawyering seminars, clinics, and help you make your elective choices. Students may also consult the Director of Academic Advising in the Academic Affairs Office for assistance. All students registering for their final year of classes should review their student audits prior to registration to verify their required credits for graduation.

Information Sessions

There is a TWEN course, Registration Information Session, available on Westlaw that will contain this packet and the Student Checklists after the information sessions that students can review to audit the classes they have taken so far in the program.

Registration Period

The Registrar’s Office will send a separate email informing each cohort when they can register for classes. Please note that you must be available to register when registration opens for your cohort. Part-time students will have the first opportunity to register for evening classes, while full-time students have the first opportunity to register for day classes. When every cohort has finished their registration period, all classes with remaining seats will be opened for registration, and students may register for those classes.

No student should interpret placement on a Wait List as a guarantee they will later be able to enroll in a course. No student who has obtained permission to enroll above their normal credit allotment is guaranteed enrollment in a course.1

Spring 2024 - General Program Planning Information

Detailed information on the policies and procedures discussed in this course packet are available in the Student Handbook. Students must have passed 86 credits, be in good academic standing, and have successfully completed all required courses to graduate.2 To be in good academic standing, a student must obtain a 2.5 GPA or better at the end of each semester. A student may take a Clinic or Practice Clinic only if they are in good academic standing (not on probation), and have passed a minimum of 45 credits, including all first-year required courses, all required lawyering seminars, and Constitutional Structures and Evidence. Some Clinics or Practice Clinics may have additional individual pre- or co-requisite course requirements. Students seeking to graduate in three years are expected to take Property and Public Institutions during their second year. Please see the current version of the Student Handbook for the most updated clinical requirements.

No more than a combined total of 10.5 credits towards graduation may be earned in the following courses: Teaching Assistant, Independent Study, Law Review, Moot Court, and Public Interest/Public Service (counted as 1.5 credits towards this limit). Please note that these courses also require departmental authorization and that students will be administratively registered for them. Forms for these courses can be obtained by contacting the Academic Affairs office academicdeanoffice@law.cuny.edu.
In general, students may take 3 credits of independent study and 4 electives Credit/No Credit. However, students on probation may not take courses for Credit/No Credit. Please note that courses selected P/F during the Covid-19 grading protocols do not count against a student’s 4 elective Credit/No Credit allotment.

The New York Court of Appeals allows up to 15 remote credits for students to apply towards graduation. The law school will continue to explore increasing the number of remote classes when resources allow and where appropriate throughout the program.

Changes to Course Schedules

Each semester’s schedule is planned considering various factors, including faculty availability, required courses that must be offered for each program, and limitations based on the space within the building. In addition, Academic Affairs must consider bar electives and electives to create a robust offering each semester. The law school reserves the right to change the schedule at any time, which may include faculty members assigned to a course, the schedule of a particular offering, or cancelling a course.

Spring 2024 - Graduation Requirements & Recommendations

All students who have matriculated in or after the fall 2015 semester are required by the American Bar Association (ABA) to take Professional Responsibility. Students must also take Mastery of Core Legal Doctrine (Core Doctrine). However, full-time students with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher at the end of their fifth semester and part-time students with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 at the end of their seventh semester may opt out of this requirement.3 Applied Legal Analysis (ALA) is a required co-requisite that runs concurrently with Core Doctrine and focuses on bar exam taking skills. Core Doctrine may only be taken Credit/No Credit if you meet the opt-out requirement, but choose to enroll in Core Doctrine. Students that have taken sufficient credits to graduate after their 5th (Full Time) or 7th (Part Time) semester may opt to take Core Doctrine Credit/No Credit if they meet the 3.3 GPA threshold before the start of the fall semester.

All students are required to take four bar electives, although full-time students with a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher at the end of their third semester or part-time students at the end of their fourth semester may opt out of this requirement. Thus, 2L full-time students should plan their course of study knowing that they must take four bar electives before graduation and Core Doctrine and a clinic during their third year. Part-time students should also be aware they must take four bar electives before graduation as well and decide if they wish to take a clinic in either their 5th or 7th semester.

The bar electives are: Advanced Civil Procedure, Advanced Evidence, Business Associations, Core Doctrine taken with ALA, Criminal Procedure: Investigation, Criminal Procedure: Adjudication, Federal Courts, First Amendment, New York Domestic Relations Law, New York Practice, Real Estate, UCC Survey, and Wills, Trusts, and Estates. Please note that not all bar electives will be offered every semester. See below for the list of bar electives offered in the spring semester.

We recommend that you consider the following criteria in developing your program:

  • Courses that provide you with the doctrinal coverage necessary for practice and for the bar exam;
  • Courses that enhance practical lawyering skills;
  • Courses that prepare you for the particular area of practice you plan to pursue;
  • Courses that enrich and round out your law studies and prepare you for public interest practice; and
  • Courses that appeal to your interests and background and that will enable you to connect intellectually and emotionally to the study and practice of law.

The course of study required of all students for graduation includes:

  • Passing grades in all required courses;
  • Successful completion of four bar electives;
  • Successful completion of Core Doctrine and Applied Legal Analysis;
  • Completion of a clinical offering; and
  • Successful completion of 86 credits.

Upper level required courses include:

  • Evidence (Lawyering and the Public Interest) (FT and PT fall and spring, 4 cr.)
  • Constitutional Structures (FT fall only, 3 cr., PT spring only 3 cr.)
  • Property (Law and the Market Economy III (FT fall or spring, 4 cr., PT spring only 4 cr.)
  • Administrative Law: Public Institutions (including Public Institutions in Context) (FT fall or spring 3 cr., PT fall and/or spring 3 cr.)
  • Lawyering Seminar III (FT and PT spring only, 4 cr.)

All students must enroll in a clinical offering. Full-time students will take clinic in the third year, and part-time students will do so in the third or fourth years. For full-time students, some clinics are one-semester, 12-credit courses; others are two-semester courses with 8 credits each semester. Clinics for part-time students are 10-credit, one-semester clinics. The clinical offerings vary slightly from year to year. The Clinics will hold a separate informational session on clinical offerings for the Spring semester.

Students should review the Law School’s credit hour policy when planning their schedules. The policy is in the Student Handbook, Section 1: Academic Requirements, 1.7. It provides that students should expect to spend 42.5 hours per credit of combined direct faculty instruction and out-of-class student work.

Spring 2024 - COURSE LISTING

Administrative Law/Public Institutions and Law
3 credits – Professor Natalie Chin
Administrative law factors into every strain of American life. From immigration to commerce; from health care to housing – administrative agencies This course provides an introduction and overview of administrative law, the legal rules and procedures that govern administrative agencies. The course will cover the creation and functions of federal administrative agencies, their rulemaking, adjudicatory and policymaking functions, executive and legislative oversight and judicial review of agency action. Throughout the semester, this course will analyze how administrative regulations and hearings often reinforce white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and ableism. This course satisfies the CUNY Law School’s administrative law graduation requirement.

Administrative Law/Public Institutions and Law
3 credits – Professor Ally Coll
This course provides an overview of administrative law, the legal rules and procedures that govern administrative agencies. The course will cover the creation and functions of federal administrative agencies, their rulemaking, adjudicatory and policymaking functions, executive and legislative oversight and judicial review of agency action.

Constitutional Structures
3 credits – Professor Frank Deale
The course examines federalism and national separation of powers as core values and structural elements of the Constitution. It examines the nature and scope of the powers the Constitution vests in the three branches of the national government, the interrelationships among those branches, the distribution of powers among local, state and federal governments, and the ways in which these constitutional structures and relationships impact democratic processes, individual rights and the advancement (or interference with) core constitutional values, including democratic governance, equal citizenship, individual liberty and the rule of law. The course also attends to questions of constitutional interpretation, historical development of constitutional doctrines and the role of changing social understandings in the evolution of constitutional law.

Evidence and Lawyering in the Public Interest
4 credits – Professor Nina Chernoff
Please note that this course requires small-group and paired work in class, and there are extensive reading and homework assignments for each class. The course grade will be based on exams, the homework assignments, a memo, and class attendance.

The goal of this course is for you to develop an understanding and critique of the most important Federal Rules of Evidence. An understanding of these rules will equip you to counsel and advocate for your future clients (and will also assist you with the Evidence portion of the Bar Exam). In addition, this course will sharpen your advocacy skills because you will practice crafting legal arguments, interpreting non-judicial and judicial law, and you will develop an understanding of the structure of a trial.

Evidence and Lawyering in the Public Interest
4 credits – Professor Amanda David
The goal of this course is to familiarize you with and help you develop an understanding of important Federal Rules of Evidence. Understanding these rules will enhance your zealous advocacy of future clients, both in a litigation practice and in a practice where the goal is to avoid litigation through motions practice and strategic negotiation. You will learn to apply the rules as well as critique them. This course will also be helpful for preparing for the Evidence portion of the Bar Exam. The final course grade will be based on exams, homework assignments, a written assignment and class participation.

Lawyering Seminar III
4 credits – (Spring) (Day and Evening)
These seminars, similar in structure to the first-year Lawyering Seminars, provide a framework for studying the ways that lawyers work and think. Built around specific doctrinal areas and skills, they teach the fundamental lawyering skills of legal analysis, legal research and writing, fact investigation and presentation, and advocacy or mediation. Beyond that, the courses introduce students to qualitative skills such as: listening (to clients, adversaries, others), exercising judgment and reflecting on one’s decisions, and engaging in the process of ethical reasoning. While focusing students’ attention on the development of their skills as lawyers through student work on simulated or real client problems, the courses are also designed to develop students’ critical awareness of the social, legal, ethical, and psychological content of their work. Students examine the philosophical, political and psychological premises of the lawyer’s status and role, as expressed in the Code of Professional Responsibility. The objective is to teach what has been thought of simply as “skills” training in a way that does not fragment skills from values, but combines the acquisition of skills with the beginning of an inquiry into professional role and responsibility that will be carried on throughout the three-year program. All seminars are offered for 4 credits and provide students with the opportunity for substantial legal writing experience.

Students were provided with a separate Lawyering Seminar III informational packet in October. Students who submitted an application for Lawyering Seminar III will be notified of acceptance by November 20. If a student has not been accepted to a Lawyering Seminar they applied for, they should register for Lawyering Seminar III during their registration period.

Registration for all Lawyering Seminar III sections will occur during the normal registration period for each cohort.

No student should interpret placement on a Wait List as a guarantee they will later be placed into a specific Lawyering Seminar III section. Therefore, if you are on a Wait List for a section of Lawyering Seminar III, it is strongly suggested you review other sections that are still open and register for that seminar. Students who were not selected via the application process should register for a Lawyering Seminar III during the period assigned to their cohort.

4 credits – Professor Andrea McArdle
This course surveys the fundamentals of property law in a system based in common law. It will focus attention on rules for (1) creating rights in property (both real and personal), such as discovery, capture, gift, and adverse possession, (2) holding an interest in property, including possessory estates, future interests, concurrent ownership, and leaseholds, (3) financing and transferring interests in land, and (4) setting land-use controls, including the law of easements and equitable servitudes, zoning, and nuisance.

The goal of this course is to develop familiarity with, and opportunities to explain and apply, basic concepts and rules relevant to property law, including the social, moral, and economic policies, and race- and class-based hierarchies and privilege, that gave rise to legal rules, and affect their continuing application. The course will also consider ways in which the concept of property is culturally constructed, including alternative formulations to market-based property rights.

The class will include regular opportunities to review material. Grading will be based on several short graded quizzes during the semester consisting mainly of multiple-choice questions, participation assignments, including some attention to essay drafting; a short graded reflection essay on social-justice and policy issues implicated in property law; and a final exam consisting principally of essay questions with some multiple-choice questions.

4 credits – Professor John Whitlow
This course exposes students to the fundamentals of property law and its central role in producing and reproducing the political economy of racial capitalism. The course explores the historical and legal origins of property law in the United States, including its relation to the project of settler colonial expansion; various theoretical justifications for property law; a range of doctrines and concepts that determine what people can own and how to allocate different interests in property; what default rights and obligations come with ownership; and the state’s role – both its power and limitations – in addressing these issues. The goal of this course is to provide students with the basic rules of property law, while critically situating those rules in the social, political, and economic contexts in which they have emerged.

Professional Responsibility
2 credits – Professor Susan Salazar
This course will provide an overview of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (collectively, “ABA/NY”). ABA/NY will be taught through the lens of ethical issues and conundrums that attorneys are likely to encounter in the early years of their practice. The goal of the course is for students to understand their specific and overarching responsibilities to clients, colleagues, themselves, and humankind within the context of ABA/NY. The course will be taught using a problem-based interactive approach, also drawing from court opinions, outside speaker(s) and other sources. Students will be evaluated based on class participation, a midterm examination (format to be determined), and a take-home final examination.

Professional Responsibility
2 credits – TBD
This Professional Responsibility course will focus on a problem-solving approach to ethical issues confronting attorneys in practice. After an initial review of relevant the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as additional sources, we will explore the ethical and moral challenges in the public interest and social justice lawyering. In particular, we will consider how power dynamics and differing socio-cultural values impact ethical problem-solving. Students will develop a good grasp of the relevant rules, practice effective and ethical problem-solving skills, and reflect on the development of emerging professional identities (Course description subject to change depending on faculty assignment).

Advanced Clinic
1 – 4 credits – Various professors
Requires prior approval of the Clinic Director, Clinic Dean, and Academic Dean. Advanced clinic is limited by a 4-1 student-faculty ratio and by the case and project docket of the individual clinic. In addition, student selection is based on several factors including fourth semester cumulative gpa, work in the fall clinic, consistent level of performance in doctrinal and experiential courses, and the number of bar electives the student has successfully completed.

Advanced Evidence Seminar *
2 credits – Professor Nina Chernoff
The New York Law Journal described today’s courtroom as existing in “an era when science is bombarding civil and criminal courts and judges are frequently asked to ponder theories posited by expert witnesses.” This is particularly true in criminal cases, and the American Bar Association has accordingly stated that “No attorney can try criminal cases today without a grounding in scientific evidence.” The Supreme Court echoed these concerns and recognized that “[s]erious deficiencies have been found in the forensic evidence used in criminal trials,” and that “[t]he legal community now concedes, with varying degrees of urgency, that our system produces erroneous convictions based on discredited forensics.”

This class provides exposure to forensic science and will help prepare you to use and challenge expert witnesses and junk science. The first part of the course will cover the primary Federal Rule of Evidence that relate to testimony from expert witnesses (Rule 702) and the standards that govern the admission of forensic evidence in state and federal courts (Frye and Daubert). The second part of the course will focus on recent critiques of the forensic sciences, possibly including bite-mark evidence, facial recognition technology, eyewitness identification, and fingerprints.

This class is designed for future criminal defense attorneys, but it should be helpful to any student who is interested in the role of experts and science in civil and criminal trials.

Students’ grades will be based on (1) a mid-semester quiz covering the rules for expert witnesses and forensic evidence; (2) written reflections for every class based on the reading assignments; and (3) a final group presentation.

Advanced Evidence Seminar *
2 credits – Professor Amanda David
This seminar is an opportunity to develop skills for applying the rules of Evidence in practice and to learn how the rules can be used as a tool in zealous advocacy on behalf of clients. Students can expect to work closely on hypothetical exercises that will provide them with a deeper understanding of some of the most frequently litigated rules of evidence. Students will apply and challenge rules of evidence via written and oral arguments and participate in simulations. In addition, students will critically examine and discuss the history of how the rules function in the criminal justice system – focusing on the ways in which the rules can create and help to maintain grave inequities within the system.

The course grade will be based on class participation (participation in simulations, student presentations and discussions during class) and writing assignments (written arguments and written reflections).

Advanced Legal Research
2 credits – Douglas Cox
Advanced Legal Research further develops the legal research skills acquired in the first-year legal research course and prepares students for the complex research problems they will encounter in practice. Topics include researching administrative law, municipal law, legislative history, and international and foreign law. Exercises, both in and out of class, and written assignments will simulate research assignments typically done by lawyers. This class is designed to be hands-on, collaborative and interactive.

Asian Americans and the Law
2 credits – Professor Donna Lee
The course explores Asian Americans and the law, including in “civil rights jurisprudence, legal history, and [the United States’] involvement in Asia, through an analysis of the historical and contemporary experiences of Asian Americans. The course uses “case law, historical materials, legal scholarship, social science research, advocacy documents, commentary, and documentaries.” Although the seminar focuses on Asian Americans, “many themes in the course are applicable to other racial and ethnic groups. Often Asian American history is immigration history; it is also labor history. Thus, these themes include citizenship, equal protection, immigration, immigrants’ rights, institutional racism, racial profiling, language access, poverty, and hate crimes.”

Criminal Procedure: Adjudication*
3 credits – Professor Jeff Kirchmeier
This course will examine judicial process issues arising in criminal cases after the police investigation ends and the criminal prosecution begins. Its focus will be on a criminal defendant’s federal constitutional protections in relation to the actions of judges, jurors, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. Topics will include the charging process, bail, discovery, the right to counsel and the effective assistance of counsel, speedy trial, jury selection, plea bargaining, confrontation, sentencing, and post-conviction proceedings. We will examine issues through Supreme Court cases interpreting the U.S. Constitution, as well as through rules of criminal procedure, statutes, lower court cases, and rules of professional responsibility. Course goals include developing knowledge of important criminal procedure topics, increasing legal analysis skills in this area, and understanding policy implications and problems with the criminal judicial process The course Criminal Procedure: Investigation, which focuses on the police investigative process, is not a prerequisite.

Criminal Procedure: Investigation*
3 credits – Professor Babe Howell
This course explores the various investigatory techniques used by law enforcement in gathering evidence, including analysis of their effectiveness and propriety in a democratic society. The course will focus primarily on the rights protected by the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment. Subjects covered include stops, arrests, searches, police interrogations, Miranda warnings, the right to counsel, identification procedures, and the “exclusionary rule” as a means of deterring unconstitutional police conduct. This elective is highly recommended as preparation for the bar exam.

Criminal Procedure: Investigation*
3 credits – Professor Marie Sennett
Criminal Procedure deals with the set of rules governing police action and the series
of proceedings through which the government enforces substantive criminal law.
Criminal Procedure prescribes the procedure that state actors must follow when stopping
and searching individuals or property and when seizing evidence of alleged criminal
activity. It is a study of pre-arrest investigation as limited by the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and
Fourteenth Amendments. Important to the study of Criminal Procedure is an
examination of the history resulting in the creation of the Bill of Rights, the history of the
police, as well as the impact of the failed “War on Drugs”. The class will focus on the jurisprudence surrounding the 4th, 5th , 6th and 14th Amendments to the US Constitution. We will explore the boundaries of various investigatory techniques utilized by law enforcement in their quest to respond to violations of criminal law. To do this we will consider probable cause, as well as the evolution of the law surrounding searches, seizures, confessions, and identifications. We will also examine the Exclusionary Rule and its efficacy as a means of preventing police misconduct that unreasonably infringes upon a person’s civil liberties as well as its erosion with the “War on Drugs.”

Disability and the Law (Day)
2 – 3 credits – Professor Sofia Yakren
This course will examine current issues impacting individuals with physical and mental disabilities. We will study statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as well as case law interpreting these statutes. Issues covered will include: disability-based discrimination in public accommodations, employment, and education, discrimination against infants on the basis of congenital characteristics, eugenics, institutionalization, community-based integration, and lawyering and advocacy for people with disabilities. We will use social science resources to contemplate the role of cultural and sociopolitical forces in shaping the law and the lives of
individuals with disabilities.

*Students have the option to register for two or three credits. The three-credit option entails fulfilling the requirements of the two-hour weekly seminar, plus either: (1) writing an additional 10 pages for the final paper (i.e., for a total of 25 pages instead of 15 pages); or (2) participating in a placement approved by the instructor at an outside organization. However, placement opportunities are limited and may not accommodate all student demand.

Employment Law
3 credits – Adjunct Professor Ana Avendano

Environmental Law
3 credits – Adjunct Professor Patrick Foster
This course offers an overview of federal environmental law and policy, including the history, structure and impact of major federal environmental laws, e.g. the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA and RCRA. The course is taught through landmark environmental law cases and the stories of those impacted by the environmental degradation at issue. The course explores these issues through various themes and frameworks, with a primary focus on sustainable development and environmental justice.

Federal Courts *
3 credits – Professor Ally Coll
Article III of the U.S. Constitution establishes the “judicial power of the United States” while at the same time creating limits on its reach. This course will provide an in-depth understanding of the structure, role, and functions of the United States federal court system. It will explore constitutional, statutory, and pragmatic limits on federal judicial power, as well as the significant authority that the federal judiciary nonetheless retains and exercises today. By examining historical context together with current legal and public policy debates–from recent Congressional efforts to establish a code of ethics for the Supreme Court, to criticisms over the increasing use of the so-called “Shadow Docket”–this course will provide an overview of the dynamic and ever-evolving role of the federal judiciary in the United States.

Immigration and Citizenship Law
3 credits – Professor Janet Calvo
This course is designed to give students an overview of immigration and citizenship and the legal consequences of non-citizen status. The course will also focus on the current controversial changes in immigration policy and the litigation and proposed legislation in response. The course will selectively address some of the underlying race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation issues in immigration and citizenship laws. It will cover topics such as, Citizenship by Birth and Naturalization, Dual Nationality, Family Based Immigration, Employment Based Immigration, Refugees//Asylees, the Process of Becoming a Permanent Resident, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the Constitutional Basis of Immigration Regulation, and an Overview of Exclusion and Deportation. The course will also address some of the state attempts to limit or expand the rights of non-citizens, especially in the areas of access to health care, education and professional licensing including bar membership. Evaluation in this course will be based on a final take-home examination, class participation and a weekly written reflection on the issues in the assigned reading.

Independent Study
1, 2, or 3 credits
(Faculty Permission Required)
To meet the credit requirements for graduation a student, with the permission of the Academic Dean, may take up to 3 credit hours of independent, faculty-supervised study. (A student may take fewer than 3 credit-hours of independent study at a time and may do so more than once, as long as the total number of independent study credit hours during the student’s tenure at the Law School is not more than 3 or meets the requirements outlined below.) A student may also register for more than 3 credits of Independent Study, if the credits are not used to meet the credit requirements for graduation.

In exceptional circumstances, the student may, with the permission of the Academic Dean, register for up to 3 additional hours of Independent Study credits to meet the credit requirements for graduation. Exceptional circumstances exist when the student has made satisfactory progress in the curriculum, taking advantage of the recommended elective course offerings, and when additional Independent Study credits will enhance the student’s education.

A judicial clerkship, internship, or a law office clerkship does not satisfy the requirements of an Independent Study. However, these experiences may form the basis of further research for an independent study project. This research and writing must be done under direct faculty supervision in order to gain Independent Study credit.

Procedure for Registration for Independent Study:

  1. Student obtains an Independent Study Form
  2. Student identifies a tenured or tenured track faculty member willing to supervise the student’s work
  3. The student and teacher fill out the sections on the form
  4. The student obtains the signature of the Academic Dean.
  5. The Office of the Registrar administratively registers the student for the Independent Study.

The independent study policy is designed to:

  1. Respond to student interest in receiving credit for work associated with non-clinic based placements;
  2. Ensure that students get the maximum benefit from their placements and independent study work;
  3. Regularize the work associated with course-linked placements and with independent study work and ensure consistency with the law school’s Credit Hour policy and ABA requirements.

The independent study policy addresses three categories of credit-bearing placements and independent study work:

  1. Model A, course-linked placements (where students are enrolled in a course and receive additional credit for work associated with a placement arranged by the faculty member);
  2. Model B, independent study based on work associated with a placement (generally student-generated placements);
  3. Model C, other independent study work with no placement (e.g., directed research; drafting or completion of paper, note or article; continuation of Moot Court or other faculty-supervised student work).

NOTE: Students must complete the registration process for this course during the regular registration and add/drop periods for the semester during which they hope to obtain credit for the course.

Law Review Editing
Variable Credits / Professors Natalie Chin, Sarah Lamdan, Andrea McArdle, Jared Trujillo and Kara Wallis (Faculty Permission Required)
Students receive academic credit for substantial editing work entailed in leading an editing session or, as determined by a Faculty Advisor, substantially editing a writing for publication with the CUNY Law Review in either its print or digital formats. The work of enrolled students for credit will be reviewed by a Faculty Advisor during the semester, and shall include a writing requirement.

Mastery and Application of Core Doctrine + Applied Legal Analysis
6 Credits Total – TBD
Mastery and Application of Core Doctrine + Applied Legal is an intensive bar exam preparation program designed for the self-motivated student. This course will cover some of the most frequently tested doctrine on the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). Subjects covered may include contracts and UCC sales, criminal procedure, real property, secured transactions, and torts. This course will have a heavy skills focus – working through skills for completing each component of the UBE – The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). This course will require significant work outside of class time including synthesizing doctrinal material, writing and rewriting several essays and MPTs, and doing sets of multiple-choice questions, along with an MBE process tracker and learning journals. While the course focuses primarily on the UBE, students preparing for another state bar exam will benefit, as much of the material and skills learned are transferable to other bar exams.

You must register for both Core Doctrine and Applied Legal Analysis separately. They are two courses that are co-requisites.

Moot Court
2 credits – Professor Jeffrey Kirchmeier
(Faculty Permission Required)
This two-credit course features structured assistance to students who wish to improve their advocacy skills through participation in a moot court competition. The course requirements include the completion of an appellate brief and oral argument of professional quality prepared for an external competition or the equivalent thereof (such as the creation and preparation of a problem for a future competition). While students will meet regularly as a group and individually with the instructor, each student is expected to work independently toward completion of the course requirements, including participation in oral argument practices. Before registering for a completion and for credit, students must have successfully completed the CUNY Moot Court training program and competition to earn membership in Moot Court. Students must obtain permission from the Moot Court faculty advisor before enrolling in this course. This course is graded Credit/No Credit.

New York Domestic Relations Law*
3 credits – Adjunct Professor Karen Simmons
This course will familiarize you with the doctrine and practice of the ever-changing landscape of family law in New York State, while helping to develop lawyering skills that will enable you to practice in the Family and Supreme Courts of New York. This course covers selected statutes from the NY Domestic Relations Law and the Family Court Act, encompassing issues that affect marriage, divorce, child support, custody and visitation, parentage, equitable distribution of property, spousal maintenance, family offense proceedings, child protection, and adoption. You will work on problems that will enable you to practice law, integrating doctrine, policy analysis, and procedure into a cohesive framework from which trial strategies are crafted. Inherent in our analysis of family law is a critique of social policy as it gives shape to the law, focusing on the application of broader family law issues to practice in the New York State court system.

Pre Bar Seminar Guided Study (Pro Bono Scholars only)
1 credit – TBD
The Pre Bar Seminar II builds upon the skills and doctrine students learn in Core Doctrine. Each student will meet with a professor individually at least once per week for two hours. During these sessions, students will complete an essay, performance test, and/or series of MBE questions. Students will then get immediate feedback on their work, will discuss doctrinal areas of concern, and will go over study schedules and strategies. The course is designed to keep students on track with their bar study and prepared for the February bar exam pursuant to the Pro Bono Scholars program requirements.

Pro Bono Scholars Clinic (PBS Students Only)
12 credits – Professor Cynthia Soohoo and Professor Lisa Davis
Students must be participants in the Pro Bono Scholars Program to enroll in this clinical offering. Client, project work, and a seminar component are combined in the clinic. Students are expected to work full-time for indigent clients under the supervision of the placement supervisors to whom they have been assigned. Over the course of the 12-week program, students are expected to devote at least 45 hours per week to work related to their placement and the seminar component. Seminar coverage will include relevant doctrine, ethical and professional responsibility, practical legal skills, and case rounds.

This course is only open to those who fulfilled the Fall PBS class requisite. The course runs from Feb. 26 – May 24, 2024.

Sexuality, Gender Identity and the Law
2 credits – Professor Richard Storrow
This two-credit seminar will explore issues relating to sexuality and gender identity within a legal landscape where oppression of LGBTQ+ individuals is a constant and growing threat. We will explore both constitutional and policy-based topics impacting the freedom of LGBTQ+ people such as the freedom of speech and association, the right to express one’s sexuality, the right to be free from reproductive oppression, and the right to work in a nondiscriminatory environment. We will also study the growing set of religious-liberty and junk-science claims being mounted to undermine LGBTQ+ equality and discuss strategies for combating them. The course devotes significant attention to gender identity issues, including the challenges faced by transgender and nonbinary individuals in accessing sex-segregated facilities, adequate healthcare, and equal educational and athletic opportunities. Students will explore an aspect of the relationship between sexuality and/or gender identity and the law in work totaling at least 15 pages consisting of a 3-page op-ed at midterm and a final 12-page analytical research paper. Substantial class participation is required.

Small Firm Practice (Remote)
3 credits – Adjunct Professor Laura Gentile
Students will design a law practice and draft a business plan for their firm. Students will interview an expert in a specialty relevant to the planning and running of a law practice, summarize their findings in writing and make a brief presentation of their findings in class. Drawing on the experience of CUNY graduates and others who have started small community based practices, and experts who provide services to law firms, students identify and manage the legal, business, ethical, and professional considerations that confront small firm practitioners. Topics include: identifying the type of practice, locating a practice, finding space, identifying the right partners and drafting partnership agreements, financial management, risk management, client management, employee management, stress management, management, ethical considerations (including the management of escrow accounts), choosing the right malpractice insurance, billing and collections, among other issues. Students draw on readings, lectures, discussions, and outside sources to develop the business plan for starting each student’s unique profit or non-profit law firm. In the past, the business plans have been used to apply for grants, loans, and as a blueprint for new practices. 10% of grade is based on class participation.

Class attendance is required. Any student who is remote must keep their video cameras on for the entire class.

Teaching Assistant
1, 2, or 3 credits
(Faculty Permission Required)
A student may TA for any required course, except Clinics or Concentrations. No student may enroll in more than 3 credits of TA, except students who are TAs for both semesters for LME I and LME II who may earn up to 2 credits for LME I TA and up to 2 credits for LME II TA. All TAs must meet at least one hour per week with the course teacher. All TAs must have at least one contact hour per credit per week with students. To earn credit, each TA must submit at least one written work product. Examples of such work product include a journal, teaching observations, lesson plans, periodic submissions, and an independent research paper. TA’s do not take part in grading students. Grading in any course that utilizes TA’s, grading remains the responsibility of the course teacher. TAs may not grade student work product, nor may the teacher substantially rely on a TAs feedback in grading. Regarding grading in any course which utilizes TAs, in compliance with our policy requiring at least two graded evaluative devices in each course and encouraging faculty feedback (either individual feedback or group feedback) on all evaluative devices, in addition to any feedback given by TAs, the course teacher must grade and give feedback on at least one evaluation device other than the written work product.

Technology and the Law (Remote)
2 credits – Professor Joseph Rosenberg
This two-credit, will enable students to develop an understanding of technology in law. No particular technological skill or expertise is required and all students are welcome.
For better and worse, technology is fully integrated into our personal and professional lives, a process accelerated in the age of COVID-19. More than ever, we are “lawyering in the digital age” and, as part of professional responsibility, lawyers need to understand the risks and benefits of technology we use in practice and that impacts our clients.

“Advances” in technology, for example, surveillance tools, algorithms, and automated decision making systems, have transformed law and society. Technology has amplified fundamental problems related to racism, oppression, equity, privacy, the digital divide, access to justice, public policy, government regulation, and public health.

Big tech corporations, including social media, rely on a capitalist model that monetizes the data and attention of consumers. Corporations are facing increasing scrutiny in the U.S. and globally as we confront critical issues related to data privacy and the ownership of information. Marginalized and vulnerable communities continue to be oppressed by digital injustice, technology that is rooted in structural racism, and the lack of meaningful oversight of the tech industry.

This course will be interactive and include guest speakers who are experts in various areas related to technology, law, and justice. There will be short readings and/or multi-media assignments for each class designed to prepare students to engage meaningfully with the material, speakers, and each other.

Evaluations will be based on student engagement, short reflection memos, and a final project or paper on a topic of your choice: for example, a paper analyzing a relevant legal issue, a proposal or prototype for an app or website, or other activity or work product.

TIL: Critiquing Disability Rights Through a Racism/Ableism Consciousness Framework (Evening)
2 credits – Professor Natalie Chin
This course will consider how law has constructed and defined disability. It will explore the role of law in shaping how disability has been conceptualized, classified, and used to stigmatize, criminalize, and dehumanize. This course will explore statutes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as well as case law interpreting these statutes. In doing so, this course explores the limitations of federal disability rights laws that guarantee equal access to and treatment of people with disabilities in, for example, prisons, jails, congregate residential settings, workplaces, and schools. This course will further examine how, in some cases, law and policies intended as protections have further marginalized people with disabilities. Topics will include de/institutionalization, sexuality, reproductive choice, mass incarceration, civil commitment, police violence, school discipline, social movements, housing, accessibility, and both legal and non-legal advocacy efforts. This class will engage in a variety of materials to help further understanding, including news articles, video clips, audio recordings, court decisions, music, and interviews. Students should consider these materials, along with the cases assigned, as part of a broader social movement for justice.

TIL: Family Policing Law, Policy and Resistance
3 credits – Professors Julia Hernandez and Tarek Ismail
(Family Policing Law, Policy and Resistance is a co-requisite for students taking Lawyering Seminar III Family Law Practicum; the course is also open to all other students.)
This course will survey the history of family policing from early forms of family separation to the current landscape. We will study the law and policy of family policing in national and state-based systems, as well as forms of family policing across borders and in other contexts. Throughout, students will study resistance to and movements against family policing.

TIL: Federal Criminal Law
3 credits – Professor Matthew Charity
This course covers a mix of substantive criminal law problems, constitutional issues, federal jurisdictional issues, and criminal law policy concerns. It will examine the ways in which federal criminal law has sometimes allowed for greater change and experimentation within the realm of criminal law, including innovations in criminal law stemming from the federal system (e.g., sentencing guidelines, RICO statutes, extension of certain civil rights). The course will both study the scope of federal criminal jurisdiction, and discuss the merits of federalizing certain crimes, including crimes relating to terrorist organizations. The purpose of the course is to give students both a more technical understanding of federal criminal law and to review larger issues of federal criminal law in greater depth

TIL: Film, Television and Entertainment Law
3 credits – Adjunct Professor Thomas Crowell
For the first time in history, audiovisual production has become a viable means for many economically-disadvantaged creators to earn an income. In fact, IP-focused industries account for almost half of our Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) and 44% of all U.S. employment. To further this goal, attorneys must be able help a client in the media industry to protect what may be their most valuable assets: the intellectual property (“IP”) of their businesses and creative endeavors.
But creating a movie, television program, or online video is more than just a labor of love: it is also an investment of time and money. Unfortunately, while film and video creators spend countless hours setting up shots or interviewing subjects, most content creators spend far too little time taking care of the legal aspects of their productions. Compounding the issue, as the ranks of the IP gig-economy workers and influencers grows, is the increasing complexity of entertainment law: with A.I., new distribution platforms, and new economic models that make it harder to navigate the minefield of new legal issues without trained counsel to help.

Unfortunately, getting this kind of specialized legal advice can be prohibitively expensive for businesses with low-profit margins, such as sole proprietors, small start-ups, family-owned businesses, and businesses primarily serving economically impacted communities. Yet without the right IP protections and guidance, such creators are at high risk of losing control over their valuable assets and may find themselves defending against expensive infringement suits.

This course will give students an overview of contracts, licensing, and IP law for clients making audiovisual content, with a focus on the application of those laws to small businesses, individuals, and creator-clients. This course is designed with the prospective entertainment lawyer in mind: with a focus on real-world tools to help clients protect their work and get it into the marketplace.

TIL: Indigenous Peoples’ Struggles for Defense of Water, Land, and Human Rights
3 credits – Adjunct Professors Moira Meltzer Cohen and Natalie Seovia
(Prerequisite: Indigenous Americans and the Law)
We will study historical and contemporary struggles over Indigenous Land and Water as a point of entry into examining different legal practice areas and doctrines impacting Indigenous Peoples. The issues addressed are at the intersection of many areas of law. As a result, relevant areas of law discussed will include United States Federal law, Constitutional law, International Law, Administrative and Environmental regulations related to the protection of the Earth, litigation strategies and defense (including SLAPP suits and criminal defense), law involving land and water rights, including rights to land-based cultural patrimony and spiritual practice. This course will explicitly approach the subject matter from the perspective that Indigenous Peoples are inherently sovereign, and will encourage actively creating legal and policy solutions intended to increase the effective exercise of self-determination by Indigenous Peoples globally.

TIL: Movement Lawyering
2 credits – Professors Vince Warren and Marbre Stahly-Butts
This seminar will introduce students to the key theories and tenants of movement lawyering. We will focus on the praxis (practice + theory) of movement lawyering through the ideological frames of the Black Lives Matter movement including abolition, anti-capitalism and Black Queer feminism(s). As social movements strengthen across the globe important questions surface about the complex relationship between the law, lawyers and these movements. We will reflect on the ways lawyers can support liberation as well as ways that lawyers, and the law, legitimize oppression. We will approach these tensions through a series of case studies that explore the politics of movement and some historic and contemporary examples of how lawyers have shown up within movements. Together we will mold our critical analysis and praxis in order to best show up in ways that support building and shifting power.

TIL: New York Housing Law and Practice
2 credits – Adjunct Professor Jennifer Fernandez
The New York Housing Law and Practice seminar is intended to familiarize students with landlord-tenant law and practice, focusing on issues of access to justice, racial justice, and economic justice. The course is comprised of a weekly seminar, which will address topics such as the fundamentals of housing court legal practice, the ongoing eviction crisis, and professional ethics. The aim of this course is to help students understand the legal landscape, consider creative legal strategies, and to develop a critical approach to lawyering. Students will acquire knowledge to help them prepare for a career in tenant advocacy, a vital and rapidly growing area of public interest law. The syllabus will include a required housing court observation.

TIL: Poverty Law and Social Change
3 credits – Professor Ann Cammett
This course provides an introduction to the relationship between law and poverty, including how legal doctrine, policy, practice, and discourse influences and reinforces economic inequality and intersects with racial subordination. The goal of the course is to develop a strong foundation in poverty law by covering core topics, key cases, and developing critical reasoning skills, including the law’s role in structuring those systemic conditions. Students will work with the professor to do team presentations and engage in subject areas including welfare, housing, education, criminalization, family law and others that intersect with systemic poverty.

TIL: New York Special Education Law
3 credits – Professor Jennifer Frankola
This course will cover basic areas of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal civil rights law protecting students with disabilities and their families. The course will emphasize special education practice and opportunities for lawyers that are developing in this field. School District responsibilities under the IDEA to provide a “free, appropriate public education” (FAPE) will be examined, and the rights of students and parents to contest School District special education recommendations through due process proceedings will be examined. Major federal court decisions defining a student’s right to FAPE will be analyzed, and the remedies obtained for students through due process when FAPE is denied will be explored. The course will emphasize special education practice in New York, particularly New York City where the greatest number and variety of due process proceedings occur nation-wide. The course will include assignments that require production of legal papers used in IDEA litigation. A final paper or legal brief will be required. For students opting for a 3 credit class a law review article will be required for the additional credit

UCC Survey *
3 credits – Adjunct Professor Michael Jaffe
This survey course covers two Articles of the Uniform Commercial Code: Article 2 (the sale of goods) and Article 9 (secured transactions). It is taught from the perspective of lawyers who will be representing consumers and small businesses. This elective is highly recommended as preparation for the bar exam.

Voting Rights
3 credits – Professor Frank Deale
This course will focus on the rights of individuals and groups to participate in the electoral process consistent with the non-discrimination provisions of the Voting Rights Act, the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, and state law as applicable. Areas covered will include voter identification rules, felony disenfranchisement, rules against transient voters, as well as structural vote dilution features of the political process such as at-large elections, racial redistricting, political gerrymandering, and the role of money in politics. Time permitting, we will also investigate alternative democratic structures.

Students will be evaluated by midterm and final writing assignments.

Wills, Trusts & Estates * (Remote)
3 credits – Professor Richard Storrow
Property is a pre-requiste or co-requirement
This course on estate planning and probate examines the law regulating the devolution of property on the owner’s death through intestate and testamentary succession (including testamentary trusts) and through will substitutes. It also covers the creation and administration of inter vivos trusts, the obligations of executors and trustees, and the primary instruments used to plan for one’s incapacity. Our discussion of judicial decisions and hypotheticals will challenge you to use statutory provisions and case law from various jurisdictions to hone your problem-solving skills and to wrestle with the special ethical issues arising in this area of practice. As the greatest emphasis in the course is on the relevant legal doctrine and its underlying public policies, this is an elective that is highly recommended as one prepares to take the bar examination in any jurisdiction.

*Students have the option to register for two or three credits.  The three-credit option entails fulfilling the requirements of the two-hour weekly seminar, plus either: (1) writing an additional 10 pages for the final paper (i.e., for a total of 25 pages instead of 15 pages); or (2) participating in a placement approved by the instructor at an outside organization.  However, placement opportunities are limited and may not accommodate all student demand.

Bar Electives

Unless a student meets the requirements for opting out, all students must take four bar electives. The current bar electives offered for the spring semester are:

Advanced Evidence and Injustice (2 cr.);
Criminal Procedure: Adjudication (3 cr.);
Criminal Procedure: Investigation (3 cr.);
Federal Courts (3 cr.);
New York Domestic Relations Law (3 cr.);
UCC (3 cr);
Wills, Trusts & Estates (3 cr.); and
Core Doctrine taken with ALA (4+2 cr.)

You may take these courses as third-year students, but one or more may be scheduled against other third-year courses.

Deciding which of the recommended bar elective courses deserves careful attention. Some courses, such as Criminal Procedure, are fundamental to developing the basic legal literacy every lawyer needs. Others—UCC, for instance—involve areas of the law that many students find difficult to learn on their own in bar review because the vocabulary, legal concepts, context, and policy considerations are unfamiliar. All bar electives are useful not only for bar preparation, but also for preparation to practice in particular interest areas.

As of Summer 2022, the following courses have been offered remotely and will count towards the 15 Distance Learning Credits allowed under the New York Court of Appeals rules. For any questions, please contact Academic Affairs at: academicdeanoffice@law.cuny.edu.

Unless otherwise indicated, each course is for 3 credits.

Fall 2023

  1. Business Associations (Professor Greg Louis)
  2. CORE/ALA (Professor Dyvonia Burgos)1
  3. Health Clinic (Professor Harvey Epstein & Dean Carmen Huertas Noble)2
  4. New York Practice (Professor Laura Gentile)
  5. UCC (Professor Alan White)

Summer 2023

  1. TIL: Critical Race Theory (Professor Erin Cloud)
  2. Labor Law (Professor Ana Avendano)
  3. Health Care Advocate (Professor Laura Gentile)
  4. New York Practice (Professor Laura Gentile)
  5. Professional Responsibility (Professor Seann Riley)
  6. Wills and Trusts (Professor Richard Storrow)

Spring 2023

  1. Business Associations (Professor Greg Louis)
  2. CORE/ALA (Professors Dyvonia Burgos & David Nadvorney)3
  3. Poverty Law (Professor Ann Cammett)
  4. Small Firm Practice (Professor Laura Gentile)
  5. Tech and the Law (Professor Joe Rosenberg)
  6. Wills and Trusts (Professor Richard Storrow)

Fall 2022

  1. CORE/ALA (Professor Dyvonia Burgos)4
  2. Disability and the Law (Professor Robert Briglio)
  3. Indigenous Americans and the Law (Professors Moira Meltzer Cohen & Jean Zorn)
  4. Mediation Clinic5 (Professor Susan Salazar)

Summer 2022

  1. Disability and the Law (Professor Robert Briglio)
  2. Employment Law (Professor Ana Avendano)
  3. Race and the Law (Professor Erin Cloud)
  4. Public Institutions (Professor Davida Silverman)
  5. UCC (Professor Debbie Zalesne)6
1For sections of CORE/ALA in all semesters, 3 of 6 credits are remote.
2For Health Clinic, 6 of 12 credits are remote.
3See footnote 1.
4See footnote 1.
5For Mediation, 10 (PT) or 12 (FT) credits are remote.
6UCC held ½ of the classes remotely, so was considered remote under the N.Y. Court of Appeals rules.

Second Year Specific Program Instructions

Planning for clinics: If you plan to pursue a career in criminal law, you should seriously consider timing your program to be eligible for the Defenders’ Clinic. Defenders’ Clinic enrollment is limited to students who have successfully completed the Criminal Defense Lawyering Seminar (one of the Lawyering Seminar III offerings). Only those students who have successfully completed or are currently enrolled in Criminal Procedure Investigation or may apply to take the Criminal Defense Lawyering Clinic. Thus, if you are considering applying for the Defenders’ Clinic, you should take the Criminal Procedure: Investigation offering as soon as possible.

Electives: If you have a particular area of interest for which a course is offered, it makes sense to take it in your second year. Some courses are only offered once a year; others are only offered once every two years. Therefore, if you see a course offered that is in your area of interest, you should register for it.

Grades and the Credit/No Credit Option

Courses at CUNY School of Law (except Individual Skills Development, and other specifically designated courses) use the following grading scale: A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D, and F. These grades will be used to determine a student’s academic status. After completing the first year, a student may elect to take up to 4 elective courses including Individual Skills Development, Moot Court, and Law Review Editing for Credit/No Credit. To elect the Credit/No Credit option, the student must notify the Office of Registration and Records Management no later than the date designated by the Academic Calendar for each semester. The full policy is available in the Student Handbook, Section V: Grading and Evaluations, 5.5 The Credit/No Credit Option.

Here are some factors you might want to consider when deciding to elect the Credit/No Credit option:

Keep in mind your individual career goals. Consider whether you want to be able to point to an “A” or a “B” in an elective course, in a subject matter related to the area in which you want to practice. Transcript information provided to employers will include a description of the “Credit” grade as encompassing all passing work.

Assess your total workload for the semester to determine whether electing the “Credit/No Credit” option for a particular course is likely to enhance the picture presented on your transcript or to detract from it. If “Credit/No Credit” in one course gives you the space you need to do well in all your other courses, this is a relevant consideration. On the other hand, if you are likely to do well anyway, you may want to take courses for a grade.

Think about whether you will have a very heavy workload during a particular semester in courses, extracurricular activities, job search activities, or outside employment. You may want to save your Credit/No Credit option for that semester.

If you are considering electing Credit/No Credit for a bar-related course, you may want to think about whether you will be motivated enough to have your work in that course translate into adequate preparation for the bar exam.


1The normal course load for full-time students is 13 – 15 credits. Students may take a maximum of 17 credits per ABA rules only with the permission of the Academic Dean. For part-time students, the normal courseload is 9 – 11 credits. Any credits above the normal course load for a student may incur additional fees per credit.
2 While a student must take at least 86 credits to complete the academic program, there are instances where a student might have to take additional credits to complete all course requirements.
3As the law school is currently exploring options for bar preparation, guidelines may be changed regarding CORE/ALA. Notice will be given to students if these requirements will change.

This supersedes the information provided in the April 13 DRAFT schedule. Academic Affairs reserves the right to change the schedule at any time. Revised November 21, 2023

Raquel Gabriel
Interim Academic Dean for Academic Affairs