New York State Skills and Values Requirements

Learn about Pathways

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

Pathway 1 is satisfied by completing Fundamental Lawyering Skills and your graduation requirements.  Fundamental Lawyering Skills also satisfies three of six experiential course credits required for graduation. 

Pathway 2 

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 to meet the Skills Requirement. They will not appear on your transcript and will not count towards your overall graduation requirements. A max of six (6) 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 you and your supervising attorney must complete if you want to ensure that your summer legal employment counts toward Pathway 2. You should 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

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 your law school study. The Court of Appeals has created a thorough FAQ document that answers many questions about the skills requirements.