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New York State Skills and Values Requirements

In December 2015, the Court of Appeals adopted a Skills and Values Requirement ("Skills Requirement") for admission to the bar in New York, which is in effect for J.D. students who commenced their law school studies in August 2016 or later and LL.M. students who commenced their studies in August 2018 or later. This Skills Requirement offers applicants a choice among five different "Pathways" to establish that they have acquired the skills and are familiar with the professional values necessary to practice law competently. These Pathways represent requirements for admission solely to the New York bar; they are not additional requirements for a Fordham legal education.

Three Pathways are relevant to your law school study:

Pathway 1

FLS Bar Information Pathway 01
Pathway 1 is satisfied if you complete your graduation requirements, which include six experiential course credits, but you satisfy three of those experiential course credits by taking Fundamental Lawyering Skills.

Here is the language of the Law School’s certification plan under Pathway 1. J.D. | LL.M.

 

Pathway 2

FLS Bar Information Pathway 02
Pathway 2 is satisfied if you complete fifteen credits of experiential coursework, of which up to six “credits” can come from paid or unpaid “non-credit bearing summer employment supervised by an attorney in good standing in any state or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia.”  

The employment "credits" are used solely for the purpose of meeting the Skills Requirement. They will not appear on your transcript and will not count towards your overall graduation requirements. A max of three (3) summer employment credits may be obtained in a single summer, and fifty (50) hours of work constitutes one summer employment credit.

This is the form that must be completed by you and your supervising attorney if you want to ensure that your summer legal employment counts toward Pathway 2. It is recommended that you alert your supervisor about this form and the supervision requirements during your first week of summer employment. Please submit your completed form(s) to the Registrar's office. 

 

Pathway 3

FLS Bar Information Pathway 03
Pathway 3 is satisfied if you are accepted into and complete the Pro Bono Scholars Program in the spring of your last year.

Note: The Pro Bono Scholars Program is highly selective and all applicants are not guaranteed acceptance. 

 


The requirements for Pathway 4 and Pathway 5 are fulfilled outside of your law school study. For more information, refer to the Skills Requirement on the Court of Appeal’s website. The Court of Appeals has also created a thorough FAQ document that answers many questions about the Skills Requirement. If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to the Director of our Clinical Program, Professor Michael W. Martin