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March 18, 2018

Faculty, students, and community partners collaborate to create singular clinical experience 

One of the best clinical programs in the nation can be found at the City University of New York School of Law, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings just released. We’re delighted to have the external validation of ranking #3 for the fourth year in a row, as we know the clinical experience at CUNY Law is unique and exceptional.

I commend not only our outstanding faculty for their contributions to building Main Street Legal Services, our clinical program, but also our students, staff, and the community organizations and members we partner with in our clinics. Together, you make our clinics extraordinary. What makes them so singular, you ask?

Here are three reasons our clinics are at the top of the list.


Incredible Collaboration

Our faculty and students collaborate with each other and with community stakeholders to improve the quality, value, and accessibility of legal representation in the areas that need it most. The work of our clinics is sustained, focused, and driven by a commitment to bridging the gap where there is unmet legal need.

Embedded in Community

Our faculty and students are in the best position to generate impact; many of them entered the legal field to advocate on behalf of their own families, communities, and needs. CUNY Law is part of the most diverse neighborhood and network in the nation. We are deeply connected to nonprofits, grassroots movements, and community organizers engaged with every social justice issue at the local level and on the world stage. These relationships guide who we represent, what cases we take, what advocacy strategies we employ, and how we engage with community leaders and groups as well as individual clients.

Commitment to Process

We take a creative, full-spectrum approach to addressing client needs with a variety of legal tools – from litigation to working with organizers, from community education to participating in the legislative process. Our clinics help students establish a “Plan, Do, Reflect” approach to their work, encouraging them to spend as much time reflecting on their service as they do preparing, a practice we find vital in our efforts to dismantle and disrupt systems of oppression – and to avoid perpetuating them.

I couldn’t be more proud or excited about the work our clinics and students are doing. When our students enter the clinics – and every single one does, whether full-time or part-time – they spend the equivalent of a full semester representing clients in real time, and that’s after a full semester of skill-building and two foundational years of social justice coursework. We truly believe that our immersive approach to experiential learning is what enables our graduates to excel in whatever area of practice becomes their vocation.

In solidarity,

Mary Lu Bilek


Related Categories: Breaking, Clinic News

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