NLI Program

Program Overview

The purpose of the NLI Program is to prepare law school graduates to be successful in the legal profession in New York. The NLI provides new lawyers with a professional home at the New York City Bar. Its curriculum is focused on the needs of recent graduates as they transition from student to practitioner and offers skills training and CLE classes as well as experience in professional networking and job interviewing, and access to mentoring opportunities.

The NLI runs the academic year, August through May. Completion of the program is useful to the participant’s overall development but also serves 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 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; and basic litigation and lawyering skills such as drafting, taking depositions, negotiation skills, courtroom skills and an overview of the New York court system.

Each participant is required to complete at least 16 CLE credits and has the opportunity to earn up to 32 CLE credits.

Career Development
Participants are provided with career development and effective job search guidance, including the opportunity to network, seek one-on-one career development advice and participate in mentoring sessions. The career development aspect of NLI also includes specific efforts targeted at women and underrepresented groups.

Networking and Mentoring
Networking advice, with opportunities to practice networking skills, is provided throughout the program. In addition, the NLI curriculum includes a 60 Minute Mentor Program.

Speaker Series
These programs are designed to introduce all new lawyers to the profession and feature leaders of the bar addressing issues relevant to new lawyers in New York City. The Series also features new lawyers who will share their experience and advice.


Who Should Apply?

J.D. Class of 2017 graduates. Graduates from earlier years will be considered in appropriate circumstances. All new lawyers can benefit from this program and are encouraged to apply whether newly employed, still seeking employment upon graduation or considering opening a solo or small firm practice.


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 interested 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 no later than August 15. Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible as space is limited.

Applications submitted after August 15 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 are expected to attend enough CLE courses to earn 16 credits as well as 10 NLI specific programs or events.
  • Those who complete the program will receive a certificate of completion.



Program Tuition

Program tuition is $400. Applicants should check with their law school career office as to whether their school has a program to sponsor part or all of the tuition. Tuition includes:

  • Up to 32 CLE Credits
  • Admission to all NLI programming
  • Admission to select City Bar events
  • One Year’s Membership in the City Bar
  • Access to Career Counselors
  • Access to Mentors and Attorneys



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


Suggested Criteria of Participants

  • J.D. Class of 2017 graduates from participating law schools.
  • Have a strong commitment to excellence and professional growth.
  • Have an interest in developing transitional and career skills. 



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