Through the Externship Program upper-class students earn academic credits while they gain practical experience in a supportive real-world setting. Through our Judicial Externship Program student externs work with judges in one of the many courthouses near the law school or in surrounding jurisdictions. In the Law Office Externship Program, they work with carefully screened attorneys in law firms, government agencies, public interest offices, and corporations. The judges and lawyers who work with our student externs value their roles as teachers and mentors; and, throughout the externship, our student externs are supported by faculty at the law school. Students in all our Externship Programs begin the career-long process of learning from experience.
All Law School externships are unpaid positions that run concurrently with the NYLS academic calendar. Student externs earn two academic credits for their work at the court or law office and an additional credit for a related seminar. Our externs are required to work 140 hours a semester (10-12 hours per week in the fall and spring semesters and 20 hours per week during the shorter summer session). Externs complete complementary assignments at the law school.
Plan the timing of an externship to coincide with one of our semesters:
Fall semester: begins mid-August and ends early December (14 weeks)
Spring semester: begins mid-January and ends late April (14 weeks)
Summer session: begins early June and ends late July (7 weeks)
Judicial Externship Program
After the first year of law school many students refine their research, writing, and analytical skills; gain exposure to courtroom advocacy; and test their understanding of the rules of evidence and procedure by participating in the Judicial Externship Program. Within a few blocks of the law school, students may assist judges in the New York City Criminal, Civil, and Family Courts; the New York State Supreme Court; the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York; the Court of International Trade; the Bankruptcy Court; and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Students who are willing to take a short train or subway ride can take advantage of the courts in nearby Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, and New Jersey. Our judicial externs research issues, draft memos and opinions, and sit at the bench beside judges and then meet in a seminar at the law school to discuss and analyze their experiences. What better way to prepare to be a lawyer than by experiencing first-hand how judges decide real cases?
Judges interested in hosting NYLS externs may contact the Office of Academic Planning and Career Development for more information at 212-431-2345 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Students interested in applying for a judicial externship may find more information in the Externships channel on the portal under the Career Resources tab (click here to log in)
“Every student interested in litigation should do this!”
Student extern at the New York State Supreme Court, Criminal Term
“My writing and research skills improved dramatically…The clerk was like my own personal writing professor.”
Student extern at the New York State Supreme Court, Civil Term
“I have a more realistic perception of the courts and feel that just being in the courtroom and chambers has given me more confidence in my future as an attorney.”
Student extern at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
“I learned at a rate that exceeded any other area of my law school education.”
Student extern at the New York State Supreme Court, Civil Term
Law Office Externship Program
After the first year of law school, students may earn credits towards their JD degree by working under the supervision of an attorney (“Mentor Attorney”) in a law firm, corporation, government agency, or public interest organization (“legal placement”). The Law Office Externship is a great way for law students (“externs”) to gain knowledge and skills while beginning the career-long process of learning from experience. At the placements, mentor attorneys give the externs assignments, supervise their legal work, give them frequent feedback, and offer them opportunities to observe. At the law school, externs participate in a seminar designed to help them make the most of this real world experience. The Law Office Externship is a win-win proposition for students and placements. Placements gain the benefits of having eager student externs available; and, externs learn from working with and observing experienced attorneys in action. Mentor attorneys also report that the process of teaching student externs often helps them refine their own skills.
Student externs must work a minimum of 140 hours (10-12 hours per week during the fall and spring semesters and 20 hours per week during the summer session) and they receive two-credits for their work at the legal placement and one-credit for the related seminar at the law school. Student externs arrange their placement hours individually with their mentor attorneys.
Attorneys interested in learning more about the Law Office Externship Program may read the Law Office Externship Guidelines for Mentor Attorneys below. Attorneys interested in becoming a Mentor Attorney may post an unpaid externship position with our Office of Academic Planning and Career Development using this job form. Once a law office selects a student, the student must apply to participate in the externship course and NYLS will contact the placement to discuss the externship. To confirm participation the mentor attorney, student extern, and faculty member supervising the externship will sign a Memorandum of Understanding.
Students interested in applying for a law office externship may find more information in the Externships channel on the portal under the Career Resources tab.
“The externship provided me with the opportunity to become an integral part of an organization and learn first-hand the demands of a general counsel.”
Extern at Skyline Management
“Mr. Meringolo ’99 includes his interns in every aspect of his practice; he gives each individual’s input thoughtful consideration, explains the meanings and motivations behind the decisions he makes, and treats the students as real associates.”
Extern at Meringolo & Associates P.C.
“The lawyers at my placement encourage the externs to participate in all the processes of the cases…including in court and settlement with opposing counsel.”
Extern at New York Legal Assistance Group
“My mentor is an excellent attorney; where she shines is in her ability to assign and assist on projects that both gave me responsibility and allowed me the autonomy to complete the projects.”
Extern at JPMorgan Chase