Introduction to all the Court Houses in the Civic Center area. The tour not only passes by all of the Court Houses, but the Talk explains what goes on in each of them (including pro bono experiences that upper students may wish to explore). It is meant to give the Incoming Students something to think about their future career as we walk along; including assisting those of limited means. This tour has also given to foreign Law School Students with a brief explanation of America's Legal System.

Campus Advocate Program
2008 2009 2010* Second Tour of the Day

Comment from Steven Mizrahi, the Campus Advocate:
"Everything a young lawyer needs to know about TriBeCa! A great informational tour of TriBeCa to learn about the rich history of the neighborhood, its sights and sounds, and the breadth of opportunities and possibilities it can provide to any young lawyer upon beginning his or her careers!"

Mexican City Law School Students
Here are the students from a law school in Mexico City being given a personalized tour of our Courts with a lecture on US Legal Practices.
Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey September 16, 2010.

This year's Freshman Orientation Tour will be on
Wednesday, August 22, 2012.

The tour will start at ...... We will end the tour back at NYLS.
Please make a reservation for the tour. There is a limit of 25 students per tour.

DURING YOUR NEXT YEARS AT NYLS.... but in an informal setting.

You will have a chance to walk around the Civic Center while hearing about opportunities where you can sit in and see the wheels of justice working. You will hear about opportunities to volunteer your services. You will also be able to ask questions to an Attorney/former NYU Professor who has lived in the area for 30 years and also went to New York Law School. It is meant to be a fun and informal experience to provoke the students to think about their future legal careers.

Both photos below were taken from the rooftop of Rick Landman's building, showing the changes to the southern part of Tribeca. The first photo was taken when he first entered NYLS in 1986 and the second was taken in June 2008. The arrows help you to match up the two photos. This is just a visual clue of how much Tribeca has changed in the past decades.

Each student is responsible for his/her liability to walk responsibly on the tour.

comparison photo

The circular tour will start at New York Law School and will last an hour. The walking lecture will include what incoming students need to know about the area and the history of Tribeca with a short walk around many of Manhattan's court houses.

Place of Interest include:
  • Starting at New York Law School
  • The District Attorney’s offices at the Clock Tower Building (Note: missing statue on roof).
  • Family Court (Note: New NYS definition of family and recladding of façade).
  • Civil Court – Housing Court (Note: Many pro bono experiences.) Also used for other civil actions, including Name Changes, etc.
  • Criminal Court and Tombs- (Note: you can sit in on any case or arraignment)
  • Supreme Court of NYS (Replaced the Tweed Courthouse- Beautiful WPA murals inside).
  • Federal Court.
  • Federal Building – Mostly for immigration cases
  • Court of International Trade
  • NYC Dept. of Health for such things as Birth Certificates
  • NYS office building
  • Department of City Planning
  • Department of Buildings
  • Surrogate Court and Hall of Records
  • Tweed Courthouse
  • African Burial Grounds – Federal Building and Museum (Immigration)
  • City Hall in the distance
  • Back to New York Law School

    Topics include:
    • Where are all the Courts? and what happens in each?
    • Discussions may include: Church and State: the 10 Commandments in the Supreme Court Rotunda.
    • Feel free to ask where to find any things from the nearest post office, etc.
    • Learn about some of the architectural history of some of the buildings.
    • Discussion of the many kinds of way of being a lawyer.


We will walk to Church Street and discuss the recently completed or buildings under construction such as 15 Barclay and the new 5 Star Four Seasons 85 story Hotel going up on Murray Street as well as the new 63 story apartment house on Leonard Street. four Walking to Leonard Street you will see how the zoning lots were combined to permit the New York Law School expansion. The corner lot will contain a 63 story apartment house. ”extension”
clock Squeezed in at 346 Broadway is the Old Clocktower Building. The picture shows the original sculpture by Philip Martiny on top. No one knows where the sculpture went to when it was removed in 1948. Originally built for the New York Life Insurance Company. The sculpture on top was of four crouching figures of Atlas, each one 11 feet tall, stood atop the four corners of the clock tower. On their shoulders rested a hollow globe, 15 feet in diameter, laced by a latitudinal and longitudinal network. On top of the globe was a 7-foot-tall eagle, its wings spread. Within the globe was a solid sphere, 7 feet in diameter. The sculptor was Philip Martiny, a student of Augustus Saint-Gaudens and the creator of two-dozen statues that adorn the former Hall of Records on Chambers Street. The building now houses the DA Offices and some court functions. The entire black granite exterior of this building has been removed and replaced with the light colored gray which is less threatening and more in conformity with the other buildings. This is the Family Court
This is the Housing Court (and Civil Court matters) the parking lot next door is planned to become a new City Park. housing
The is part of the Criminal Court complex which includes the Tombs to the north.criminal
The New York State Supreme Courthouse contains courtrooms as well as administrative functions and the place where the juries first meet.60 Centre A portion of the WPA mural of the Supreme Court's Rotunda showing the 10 Commandments. The entire ceiling shows the"Law Through the Ages". The artist was Attilio Pusterla. If you go to the 4th floor you can see murals of the history of New York from pre-European to the 1930's scenes by Robert K. Ryland. rotunda
The Federal U.S. Courthouse. uscourt
The U.S. Court of International Trade. international
When excavating the federal office building they uncovered bones and discovered the African American burial grounds for free blacks and slaves. Only white Christians could be buried in the city limits at the Trinity Church cemetery. The Jews were buried near present day James Street.burial
The Surrogates Court Building contains the Muncipal Archives and the information about deeds, etc. and probate.surrogates
No longer a courthouse, the former "Boss Tweed Courthouse" was known for its corruption and cost overruns more than anything else. It is now used by the Dept. of Education.tweed
The Sun Building now contains the Department of Buildings, but was once the home of the Sun Newspaper and before that a Department Store. Mrs. Lincoln used to love to shop there.sun
A new green glass high rise apartment house is going up next to this landmark which started to shift. It is now being braced until the new building can support it.falling
This shows what a typical C6-4 zoning district allows as far as bulk and no height limits.phoneswitch

  • State and Federal Court System
  • Pro Se Litigant Help Centers and Pro Bono Opportunities
  • Tribeca's Mixed Use Zoning District and Landmark District
  • Opportunities to see cases, such as Night Court
  • What goes on in each Court House
  • Tour begins and ends at New York Law School's West Broadway building.


    When walking around the neighborhood during the next 3 years see if you can find the following:
    1. Remember the movie Ghostbusters? This is where the Fire House scenes were shot. ghostbuster
    2. This was across the street from JFK, Jr.'s apartment house. He came to community board meetings protesting a proposed movie theater for the building. There are horses living nearby. 3. The Donald's daughter is building a "condo-hotel" in this manufacturing district that doesn't permit permanent residential housing.
    4. Robert Niro's Hotel has a zoning and landmarks problem on the roof. ”deniro”

    5. This former nursery for plants is now the Tribeca Grand Hotel. Many 9/11 refugees lived there after the tragedy until the area to the south was re-opened for habitation. stern

    NYLS and the students assume all liability risks. So watch where you are walking.


    • Rick Landman, Esq., a Native New Yorker, has been an AICP Certified Planner for over 30 years, and an Attorney since 1988. He is currently an Attorney Emeritus, due to his pro bono work at the Housing Court's Help Center.

    • He is an adjunct Professor of Planning at NYU's Wagner School and teaches a Land Use law class since 2003. His class is a required core class for the Urban Planning Masters students. He currently teaches a Land Use Lawa Class at New York Law School.

    • Rick has 3 Masters Degrees (M.C.R.P. in City and Regional Planning, Ed.M. in Curriculum Development, M.S. in Civil (Socio) Engineering) and a J.D. in law (cum laude). He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1988.

    • He was the Executive Director of Real Estate Development for the City of New York for 5 years and was the Director of Real Estate Development at NYU for 19 years.

    • One of Professor Landman's Masters Degrees was an Ed.M. in Curriculum Planning, so if you want a "Tour in the Classroom" lecture that can also be arranged. The lectures will be age appropriate to your needs. He also has a permanent certification as a Social Studies Teacher (grades 7-12) since 1974.

    • Rick was the chair of several committees of Community Board #1 Manhattan, including the chair of the Planning & Community Infrastructure Committee, the Tribeca Committee and chaired what is now called the Landmarks Committee when Tribeca was first designated in 1992.

    • He moved into a Lower Manhattan converted apartment in the 1970's, that is approximately 1,000 feet from the World Trade Center.

    • He is a licensed NYC Sightseeing Tour Guide. License No.: 1281818 exp. 3/31/14.

    • He also has dual citizenship between the USA and Germany. He is the son of two Jewish Holocaust Survivors, and is active in several Second Generation programs.