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New York State Board of Regents Issues Charter to Charter High School for Law and Social Justice
1/9/2014 - Riverdale, N.Y. – The New York State Board of Regents voted to approve the application to establish a charter school from the Charter High School for Law and Social Justice. The Board issued the School a five-year, renewable charter to operate a high school in the southern Bronx for up to 480 students.

The School is the product of a unique partnership between two institutions of higher learning—New York Law School (NYLS) and the College of Mount Saint Vincent (the College)—which have combined their resources to design the School and submit the application.

“The School is a natural extension of the mission of the college,” said Dr. Mary Ellen Sullivan, chair of the Teacher Education Department at the College of Mount Saint Vincent and co-lead applicant on the application. “Our staff and faculty will be helping in many ways, from professional development of teachers to hosting financial aid workshops for families,” she said. The College will also offer summer immersion for high school juniors to experience college life, which will include participating in social justice workshops and attending a college “mini-class.” In the senior year of high school, qualified students can gain college credit by completing classes at the College.
The School was inspired by thank-you notes that Professor Richard Marsico received after his NYLS students taught a legal program to middle school students in the southern Bronx. “Hearing the students’ reaction to learning about the law and their hopes to attend law school one day motivated me to begin the project,” said Professor Marsico, a co-lead applicant on the application. “The School will offer a comprehensive high school education and create a pipeline to college and law school for students that will make these dreams a reality for students from the Southern Bronx,” he said.
In addition to a traditional high school curriculum including English, math, science, social studies, and foreign language, the School will offer an innovative four-year legal curriculum. The curriculum will combine classroom learning in civics, law and social justice, and constitutional law with real-world learning through social justice community service projects and internships. “The School is in a unique position to provide legal education to high school students,” said Professor Marsico. “The School will combine New York Law School's expertise in law and legal education with the College's expertise in teacher education to create a great learning opportunity for students,” he said.
The School will also be a host for an innovative masters program the College is developing that will allow students at the College who do not hold teacher certification to earn their graduate degree and fulfill certification requirements over an 18-month period. “The masters program will have a clinically-rich resident opportunity by placing graduate students in teaching assistant positions at the School,” said Dr. Sullivan. “The graduate student will work side by side with a master teacher for a full academic year.” According to Professor Marsico, “Teaching assistants from the College's programs are essential to our plan to provide targeted, individualized instructions to our students.”
Other key design aspects of the School include small class sizes, extended school days, an advisory program, mentoring, and summer bridge programs. Students at the School will also have access to a network of faculty, students, and alumni from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and New York Law School According to Professor Marsico, their role is an essential part of the School. “We expect that law students will help teach the legal curriculum and help coach the School's students in debate, moot court, and trial advocacy competitions. College students will participate in a mentorship program. Faculty from the College and Law School will provide professional development to the School's faculty to help them deliver our innovative curriculum. Alumni will serve as mentors and offer internship opportunities.”
About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers a nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment, and leadership in the 21st century. Learn more at
About NYLS
Founded in 1891, New York Law School (NYLS) is an independent law school located in the heart of New York City’s legal, government, financial, and emerging tech centers. Known as “New York’s law school,” NYLS embraces the City as its classroom by complementing a rigorous legal education with an innovative and diverse set of “uniquely New York” experiential learning opportunities. Since opening our doors more than 120 years ago, we have produced graduates who have gone on to hold high elected and appointed office in the City, lead large and small firms, and gain broad recognition as captains of business and industry. Our renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, business and finance law, media and information law, tax law, real estate, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. NYLS has more than 15,000 graduates and currently enrolls approximately 1,200 full-time and part-time students in its J.D. program. The Law School also offers advanced-degree programs in American business law and tax law. Learn more about New York’s law school at
Media Contacts:
Belle Hann
College of Mount Saint Vincent
(718) 405-3345
Nancy Guida
New York Law School
(212) 431-2872