Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP)

CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies (SLU) has been awarded the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) Grant from the New York State Education Department for 2020-2025. This grant This CSTEP grant funds SLU’s Project LAW (Leadership, Achievement, and Work), which provides eligible minority and underserved students with additional academic preparation for professional school admissions.

Project LAW is a fully online, synchronous 10-week program designed to prepare eligible individuals for entry to, and successful matriculation in, CUNY School of Law or other programs for aspiring public interest attorneys in New York State. CSTEP Project LAW also aims to instill in program participants, through an emphasis on labor law, the four principles of social justice: equity, access, civic participation, and human rights.

Participants will receive digital instruction with curriculum created specifically for Project LAW on a weekly basis. Fall and Spring program courses are typically offered with Friday evening and Saturday morning options. Summer program courses are typically offered with Thursday evening and Friday morning options. At the end of the program, students will be familiar with the basics of the law profession, law study, and the process of applying to law school. Additional writing support is provided to participants as needed by a program tutor assigned to Project LAW, including review of admissions application statements and essays.

Information sessions are scheduled throughout the year. CLICK HERE to pre-register and be added to the list for an invite when the next schedule is released. To view the presentation from Fall 2022 info sessions CLICK HERE.

All applicants must be:

  • New York State residents for at least 12 months and demonstrate an interest in labor studies and labor law.


  • African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian or Alaskan native


  • Economically disadvantaged (See chart from NYS for income criteria.)


Additional academic requirements for participation include current or previous enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate college program as follows:

  • Undergraduate Students

Class standing: 60 to 120 earned credits

GPA: 3.0

  • Graduate Students

Class standing: maximum earned graduate credits is less than 12

GPA: 3.0

Project LAW is a gateway program for minority and underserved students to enter CUNY Law School. Participants go through a free 10-week learning experience online through Zoom with curriculum that develops legal writing skills, explores labor law through a social justice lens, and prepares students to take the LSAT exam.

Applications for Summer, Fall, and Spring are accepted on a rolling basis. Those admitted will be sent an acceptance email within a month of their cohort starting.

Classes will be offered in the mornings and evenings. Please see the sidebar calendar for the most updated program schedule.

  • Customized instruction in legal writing and labor law from distinguished CUNY faculty
  • Travel to the annual CSTEP research conference​
  • Test preparation for the LSAT
  • A glimpse into life as a freshman law school student
  • Law School application and workshops
  • Guest speakers
  • A monetary stipend or technology assistance upon completion of the program and required documentation
  • Credly digital credential for program completion

Note: Program activities are subject to changes due to available funding or pandemic related restrictions.

Asima Chaudhary, Esq.

Asima Chaudhary is a skills instructor at the CUNY School of Law where she provides academic skill support for students in their first year of law school. She also coordinates and teaches the Summer Law Institute for incoming law school students. Prior to joining CUNY School of Law, Asima was a Legal Policy Fellow with the New York City Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) Office of the Chair. In addition to handling Source of Income discrimination complaints, she researched legal issues pertaining to discrimination in housing, education and policing in New York City.

As a co-teacher of CSTEP Project L.A.W., Asima teaches legal writing based on Labor Law doctrine and critical academic skills for law school such as note-taking, case reading, and case briefing.

Ellen Dichner

Ellen Dichner is a Distinguished Lecturer in Labor Studies at CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies. She has practiced labor and employment law for more than 25 years. From 2013 to 2018, she served as Chief Counsel to former Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board. Before her appointment at the NLRB, Ellen was a partner at Gladstein, Reif & Meginniss, LLP, where she handled a wide range of matters on behalf of union clients, including collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, union organizing campaigns, litigation in federal and state courts as well as in proceedings before administrative agencies, such as the NLRB and the New York Public Employment Relations Board. Her clients included unions representing workers in health care, transportation, communications and education. Ms. Dichner also represented individuals and groups of workers in wage and hour cases, employment discrimination and other litigation.

As a co-teacher of CSTEP Project L.A.W., Ellen uses real-life labor law cases to prepare students for the kinds of scenarios they will one day face as labor lawyers in New York.

Carolyn Nelson

Carolyn Nelson is the founder and President of Nelson Test Prep, which focuses primarily on providing affordable LSAT instruction to those who traditionally underperform on the LSAT. Carolyn started her LSAT instruction career almost 20 years ago at Princeton Review and has subsequently taught LSAT courses for New York University (NYU) and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF), both while still practicing as a New Jersey commercial litigator. Carolyn has provided LSAT instruction and consulting services to many New York based Pipeline and PreLaw programs including: The Pre Law Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Fried Frank Pre-Law Scholars Program; LAWbound; Skadden, Arps Honors Program in Legal Studies and the Ronald H. Brown Summer Law School Prep Program. In addition to the courses she provides to undergraduate pipeline programs, Carolyn is currently the instructor for the CUNY Law School Pipeline Program.

As part of CSTEP Project L.A.W., Carolyn teaches participants the tips, tricks, and techniques of the LSAT so that students can begin preparing themselves to take the exam.

The best way to contact CSTEP Project L.A.W. at SLU is by emailing

The CSTEP Project L.A.W. Administrative Team is:

The New York State College Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) provides academic enrichment and research experience in STEM content areas.

Projects consist of academic year and summer components including supervised training in research methods, graduate/professional school admissions preparation, standardized tests preparation, and academic and career development activities.

To learn more, visit the NYSED Webpage.