Program Overview

The purpose of the NLI is to prepare law school graduates to be successful in the legal profession in New York. Even new lawyers who have had practical experiences in law school need further training, mentoring, and skill development.  The NLI runs the academic year, September through May, and its curriculum is focused on the needs of recent graduates as they transition from student to practitioner.

In addition to a focused curriculum of skills and CLE classes participants will receive guidance about how best to handle specific legal issues and about overall career development and planning. Particular attention will be paid to the needs of new lawyers who have not yet found their first position, with a view towards identifying options.

Completion of the program will not only be useful to the participant's overall development but also will serve as a signal to potential employers and clients of increased skills and necessary professional development for a successful practice.

The NLI works with the New York area law schools in an effort to coordinate the program and promote the program among the student body.  

Overview of NLI Program

Skills and CLE
The topics to be covered include: substantive advice from experts in areas relevant to the clients of practices such as family law, wills and estates, and immigration; skills needed for successful practice, including simulations and feedback; practice management, including  the "nuts and bolts" of establishing an office, a filing system, and other technical requirements; and basic litigation and lawyering skills such as drafting, taking depositions, courtroom skills and an overview of the New York court system.

Each participant will be able to complete at least 16 CLE credits, half of the amount required for the first two years, and will have the opportunity to earn all 32 of the first two years' credits.

Career Development
In addition to skills programs and courses, participants will receive career development and effective job search guidance.  Participants will have the opportunity to network, seek one-on-one career development advice and participate in mentoring sessions. The career development aspect of NLI will also include specific efforts targeted at women and underrepresented groups.

Networking advice, with opportunities to practice networking skills will be provided throughout the program.

Speaker Series
These programs, designed to introduce all new lawyers to the profession, will feature leaders of the profession addressing issues relevant to all lawyers in New York City with the aim of giving participants an understanding of the opportunities and responsibilities of lawyers.

Who Should Apply?

J.D. Class of 2014 graduates from the 15 New York City area law schools listed below.  All new lawyers can benefit from this program.  Those who are still seeking employment upon graduation or are considering opening a solo or small firm practice are particularly encouraged to apply. The NLI program is limited to 10 participants from each New York City area law school. 

These schools are:   Brooklyn Law School, Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, Columbia Law School, CUNY School of Law, Fordham Law School, Hofstra Law School, New York Law School, New York University School of Law, Pace Law School, Quinnipiac University School of Law, Rutgers School of Law, St. John's University School of Law, Seton Hall University School of Law, Touro Law Center, University of Connecticut School of Law. 

How to Apply?

Applicants must fill out the NLI Application Form, and submit a current resume and a cover letter of not more than 400 words in length detailing their interest in participating in the NLI.

Applications are available at the Career Services Office at area law schools and on the City Bar website. Completed applications are to be returned to the applicant's Career Services Office by June 16, 2014.

Applications submitted after this date may not be considered. Each application must be submitted as one PDF document with the applicant's name as the title of file and include in the following order:

♦Application Form ♦ Cover Letter ♦ Resume

What is Expected?

  • NLI participants will be expected to attend enough CLE courses to earn 16 credits as well as selected career development programs and practice development programs.
  • Those who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion.

Program Tuition

Program tuition is $500.  Tuition includes all NLI programming and entrance fees for CLE courses open to NLI participants as well as other select City Bar programming and one year of membership in the City Bar. Applicants should check with their law school career office as to whether their school is sponsoring part or all of the tuition.


Participants who need to or wish to withdraw from the program should notify the NLI as soon as possible.  In the case tuition was paid by the participant, refunds will granted subject to the schedule outlined on the application form.  

Suggested Criteria of Participants

  • Any J.D. Class of 2014 graduate from one of the 15 New York City area law schools.
  • Has an interest in developing transitional and career skills.
  • Has a strong commitment to excellence and professional growth


Please contact Martha Harris, Director of Professional Development and Committee Engagement, New York City Bar Association, 212-382-6607,