NY Bar Skills Competency
Preparing for the New York Bar — New Skills Competency Requirement
The New York bar’s new skills competency requirement, which is set forth in Section 520.18 of the Rules for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law, will first apply to JD students who commence their legal studies after August 1, 2016. The requirement also applies to foreign-educated LLM students who commence their legal studies after August 1, 2018. The new skills competency requirement is in addition to (and separate from) the requirement that applicants for the New York bar complete 50 hours of pro bono service.
An applicant for admission to the New York bar may satisfy the skills competency requirement by completing one of the following five pathways contained in Section 520.18(a) and submitting the affidavit required in Section 520.18(b):
- Pathway 1 – Law school certification of competence in skills and professional values
- Pathway 2 – Law school certification of credit acquisition
- Pathway 3 – Pro bono scholars program
- Pathway 4 – Apprenticeship
- Pathway 5 – Practice in another jurisdiction
Tulane Law School does not currently provide the certification required by Pathway 1. Accordingly, we anticipate that JD students who seek to practice in New York will obtain the certification provided by Pathway 2, and most foreign-educated LLM students who seek to practice in New York will pursue Pathway 4 or 5.
You may satisfy Pathway 2 through a combination of designated experiential courses at the Law School and/or law school certified summer employment as follows:
- Designated Experiential Courses: To obtain the certification required by Pathway 2, you must enroll in and successfully complete fifteen (15) credit hours of practice-based experiential coursework designed to foster the development of professional competencies, as defined by the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools. These courses include all clinics, externships, and upper-class Intersession bootcamps (excluding the business literacy bootcamp), as well as designated simulation courses, labs and practicums.
Courses that satisfy this requirement will be designated in the Fall 2018 registration materials as “experiential courses” for ease of reference.
Please note that if you plan to satisfy any part of your required experiential coursework through a yearlong or fall clinic, externship, or lab during the academic year, you must complete the ONEAPP Application Form by March 15, 2018. The ONEAPP Application Form is also available on the Experiential Intranet page, at https://intranet.law.tulane.edu/Depts-Offices/Experiential-Learning.
- Certified Summer Employment: You may earn up to six (6) of the fifteen required credits under Pathway 2 through law school certified non-credit bearing summer employment supervised by an attorney in good standing in the United States. Fifty (50) hours of full-time qualifying employment is required for each substituted credit. The employment may be paid or unpaid. You may not count hours completed toward the 50-hour pro bono requirement toward the skills competency requirement. You also may not count hours worked during the school year toward the skills competency requirement.
In order to obtain credit toward the new skills competency requirement for summer employment, your summer employer must provide a certification to the Law School that the summer employment complies with each of the requirements set forth in section 520.18(a)(2)(iv). It is important that you confirm with your summer employer that it will be able to provide the certification required by the New York bar examiners before you begin your summer employment.
We are working with the New York bar examiners to develop a skills competency certification form that you may provide your employer to certify your summer employment. Once it is available, it will be accessible on the Intranet under “Academic Services–Bar Information” (https://intranet.law.tulane.edu/Depts-Offices/Academic-Services/Bar-Information). Your summer employer must complete this form and submit it to Sarka Cerna-Fagan, Assistant Dean of Compliance and Senior Director of Career Development, to ensure that the Law School will be able to certify successful completion of substituted credits toward the skills competency requirement.
The following web resources contain additional information about the new skills competency requirement:
- Section 520.18 of the Rules for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law: https://www.nybarexam.org/Rules/Rules.htm#520.18
- New York Court of Appeals FAQ: http://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/news/skills.pdf
- New York State Board of Law Examiners website: https://www.nybarexam.org/Skills/skills.htm
Please feel free to contact Onnig Dombalagian, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs if you have any questions regarding this requirement. You should also feel free to contact Deans Seicshnaydre and Cerna-Fagan if you have questions about obtaining and documenting experiential credit in connection with coursework and summer employment, or Dean Timmons if you have questions about law school certification of the skills competency requirement.