But the economy has changed significantly since 2008. Today’s evening students are more likely to be tethered to their work phones and emails, rendering the “9-to-5 job” a thing of the past. The cost of housing and childcare in New York City have climbed while wages have remained relatively flat. Meanwhile, employer programs that fund graduate education have been trimmed. As a result, modern evening students face unprecedented academic and bar study challenges.
NYLS is on a mission to help. The School is reshaping its Evening Division to address the unique needs of the modern workforce. This project is especially important given the Evening Division’s legacy as an on-ramp to law school for generations of working professionals, many of whom are members of historically underrepresented groups.
SUPPORT TODAY'S EVENING STUDENTS
In early 2019, NYLS established the Evening Division Leadership Fund with a generous lead gift from evening graduate Arthur Metzler ’94. The fund supports the academic and bar success of busy evening division students, including providing cutting-edge bar prep software and study tools that are accessible on mobile devices. Contribute by selecting the fund as your gift’s designation.
Building the 21st-Century Evening Division
NYLS has secured a significant grant from AccessLex Institute for a two-year research project to design and implement interventions that respond to the academic and bar success challenges faced by evening students.
Dr. Joanne Ingham, Vice President for Institutional Research, and Professor Kirk Burkhalter ’04, are Co-Chairs of a special research team overseeing this work. The group includes other NYLS faculty and staff members with expertise in academic and bar support, as well as experience working with evening students.
The team is researching interventions, which might include resequencing and restructuring courses to maximize bar prep study windows and decrease evening students’ reliance on time-intensive commercial bar prep courses. NYLS is also exploring additional academic support resources, including mobile apps and remote support. The project’s outcomes will include a holistic set of changes that NYLS will share as best practices with other law schools.
Work is already well underway. During spring 2019, NYLS’s research team held a focus group of Evening Division alumni, gathered feedback on evening student engagement from faculty members, and assembled an Evening Division Task Force of faculty. The group is also performing statistical analysis on its student data. The coming academic year will include additional focus groups, surveys of evening students and alumni, and pilot testing of new teaching methods and diagnostic tools specially geared towards improving outcomes for evening students.
Setting a Vision for NYLS
Evening Division alumni aren’t just helping to shape the future of their program. They’re also setting a vision for the entire School through leadership roles on the Board of Trustees and the Dean’s Institutional Advisory Board.
The following leaders graduated from the Evening Division:
- John E. Estes ’95, Partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
- Pamela Foster ’00, Chief Operating Officer of Co-Impact; NYLS Alumni Association President
- Susan Hinkson ’98, LL.M. ’12, Executive Vice President at Capalino+Company
- Charles E. Phillips Jr. ’93, CEO of Infor
- Norman Radow ’81, Founder and CEO of The RADCO Companies
- Errol B. Taylor ’87, Partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
- Marc J. Whiten ’84
- Paul L. Porretta ’95, Partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP
- Sybil Shainwald ’76, President of the Law Offices of Sybil Shainwald PC
DEAN'S INSTITUTIONAL ADVISORY BOARD
- Manny Alicandro ’12,Law Office of Manny Alicandro
- Mary Herms ’12, Director of Investor Relations at Advantage Insurance
- Fred Wistow ’77