Fall 2017 Externships Application Schedule
Externship Fair: Tuesday, March 21, 5:00-7 p.m. in Jerome Greene Annex
Applications Due to Externship Instructors: Friday, April 7 (by 5pm)
Offers to 1st Round: Tuesday, April 18 (by 5pm)
Student Responses to 1st Round Due: Thursday, April 20 (by Noon)
Offers to 2nd Round: Monday, April 24 (by 5pm)
Student Responses to 2nd Round Due: Wednesday, April 26 (by Noon)
Applications are submitted directly to course instructors. Application instructions and requirements for each externship can be found by clicking on the linked title of the course in the list below.
For more information about the externship program at Columbia Law School and the application process, visit our FAQs page.
Externships Offered Fall 2017
Below you will find brief summaries of the externships offered in Fall 2016. For full course descriptions and application information, click on the linked course title.
Arts Law Externship
Teri Silvers and Mavis Fowler-Williams, Lecturers-in-Law (2 graded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
This course provides students with practical experience in intellectual property, entertainment and nonprofit law as they assist staff attorneys at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (VLA) in their representation of artists and nonprofit arts organizations. Through class discussions and journals, students reflect on the wide variety of clients and issues they encounter in their fieldwork, and engage in critical thinking about the role that law and lawyers can play in the arts and entertainment world.
Bronx Defenders Externship on Holistic Defense
Shannon Cumberbatch and Amreeta Mathai, Lecturers-in-Law (2 graded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
The Bronx Defenders Externship on Holistic Defense immerses students in the cutting edge of defense work in the South Bronx, the poorest congressional district in the country. A person of color living in the Bronx is more likely to be stopped and frisked by the police, arrested, evicted, receiving public benefits, or the target of child welfare investigations than a resident of any other county in New York State. Learn interdisciplinary approaches to solving these problems at a public defender office that treats clients as people rather than cases and is committed to addressing both the underlying causes and collateral consequences of criminal justice involvement. Course content and fieldwork will train students as future holistic lawyers offering seamless access to services that meet clients’ legal and social support needs; engaging in the dynamic and interdisciplinary exchange of information, ideas, and strategies; developing and improving interdisciplinary skill sets; and seeking a robust understanding of and connection to the community served.
Community Defense Externship
Rick Jones and Kristin Heavey, Lecturers-in-Law (Full-year course: 8 ungraded credits)
The Community Defense Externship is a full-year course that offers students the opportunity to learn about the practice of indigent criminal defense in a community-based setting. Students will learn about aspects of criminal law and procedure related to the movement of a case through the court system and the practical and ethical considerations related to client interviewing and the forming of the attorney-client relationship. They will also engage in critical thought about topics related to criminal defense, including discovery and motion practice, investigations, developing a theory of the case, suppression hearings, disposition advocacy, and trial preparation.
Copyright Dispute Resolution Externship
David Marriott and David Kappos, Lecturers-in-Law (2 graded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
The Copyright Dispute Resolution Externship provides students the opportunity to learn how effectively to resolve copyright disputes through a weekly seminar and field work. The seminar will address the policies and doctrines of copyright law and the basic elements of copyright litigation and include not only traditional classroom discussion but also in-class simulations (such as conducting a witness examination in a copyright case). The field work will allow students, under the supervision of Cravath lawyers, to represent actual pro bono clients in real copyright disputes. Students will, as circumstances permit, evaluate a case; interview and counsel clients, draft a complaint; prepare written discovery; take and defend depositions; draft and oppose motions; conduct mediations, participate in settlement negotiations; and draft licensing agreements. A course concerning copyright law is a prerequisite.
Criminal Appeals Externship
Carl S. Kaplan and Mark Zeno, Lecturers-in-Law (2 ungraded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
The Criminal Appeals Externship at CLS offers students a hands-on opportunity to learn appellate advocacy from the inside: each student will represent a client who has been convicted of a serious crime in New York City. Over the course of a semester, students will review the record that led to their client’s conviction (including discovery, motions, and transcripts of the hearings and trial), identify the issues to be raised on appeal (students will have the opportunity to visit their client at an upstate correctional facility to discuss the case), craft an appellate brief on their client’s behalf, and argue before a five-judge panel of New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, or the Appellate Term (under the Center for Appellate Litigation’s practice order, CLS students are permitted to orally argue their client’s appeals). While the context of the externship is New York criminal appeals, its overarching goal is to teach persuasive written advocacy; it should appeal to all students seeking to develop their advocacy skills, regardless of whether they plan a career in criminal law. The externship consists of a seminar component and a placement at the Center for Appellate Litigation, an appellate public defender organization in lower Manhattan engaged in cutting-edge advocacy of defendants’ rights, often involving complex constitutional issues.
Domestic Violence Prosecution Externship
Scott Kessler, Lecturer-in-Law (2 ungraded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
The Domestic Violence Prosecution Externship is a one-semester course in which students work at the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, under a practice order as assistant district attorneys. They will take the lead in prosecuting misdemeanor domestic violence cases from the very inception of the case through trial. Third-year students chosen for the program will work in the new Family Justice Center, a unique facility where the efforts of civil services providers for domestic violence victims are coordinated with those of law enforcement officials. The seminar will prepare students for their field work and explore topics related to domestic violence prosecution. Scott Kessler, who has a national reputation for leading one of the finest domestic violence prosecution bureaus in the country, will teach the seminar and oversee the field placements.
Federal Appellate Court Externship
The Honorable Robert D. Sack, Adjunct Professor, and Victor Caldwell, Director of Clerkship Programs, Lecturer-in-Law, Pending Faculty Approval (1 ungraded academic and 3 ungraded clinical credits)
This externship introduces students to the judicial and adversary processes involved in federal courts of appeals. Students work in the Second Circuit on legal research, analysis, and writing, occasionally drafting lengthy bench memos and parts of opinions. Students also participate in seminar classes, which include lectures addressing fundamental topics of appellate review and federal jurisdiction; discussions with judges and experienced appellate attorneys about appellate law and practice; and reflection/debriefing sessions for students to share their experiences and problem-solve. A moot court argument to three Court of Appeals judges provides a relevant oral advocacy experience.
Federal Court Clerk Externship: Southern District of New York
Paul Radvany, Adjunct Associate Professor (1 ungraded academic and 3 ungraded clinical credits)
The Federal Court Clerk Externship provides an in-depth examination of the functioning of the federal trial courts. Students will have the opportunity to work with a federal judge, draft judicial opinions, and observe trials, oral arguments and hearings. Students will also have the opportunity to observe both criminal and civil lawyers in court and to analyze their written advocacy. Students will participate in seven classes to discuss topics such as: an examination of how the federal criminal justice system functions; how the federal civil system functions; writing judicial opinions; judicial ethics and effective courtroom lawyering. There will also be guest speakers consisting of judges and criminal and civil practitioners.
Federal Court Clerk Externship: Eastern District of New York
The Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis, Adjunct Professor, and Nicole Argentieri, Lecturer-in-Law (2 ungraded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
This externship exposes students to the U.S. District Court and the judicial decision making process through both a seminar and fieldwork experience. Students are assigned to federal judges, including district court and magistrate judges, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Students will improve their research, analytical, and writing skills by conducting legal research, preparing written memoranda and drafting judicial opinions. They will also have the opportunity to observe judges as they preside over criminal and civil cases and to study lawyers advocating for their clients through written submissions and in court. Students will attend a weekly seminar at the U.S. District Court, to discuss various topics, including: judicial decision-making in several contexts (i.e., settlements, motions, sentencings), judicial ethics, the externship experience, and effective advocacy in civil and criminal litigation. Guest speakers will also lecture on a wide variety of topics relevant to federal litigation, including habeas and pro se litigation, and new trends in criminal prosecutions, including cybercrime and terrorism.
Externship on the Federal Government in Washington D.C.
William Yeomans and Alexander Krulic, Lecturers-in-Law (4 graded academic and 8 ungraded clinical credits)
The Externship on the Federal Government in D.C. is a full-semester offering for selected Columbia Law School second and third year J.D. candidates in the fall 2015 semester. It is designed to provide a valuable hands-on complement to the Law School’s more conventional teaching offerings in public law, affording an opportunity to integrate aspects of students’ public law education in an applied setting. Admission is by application only. Up to 15 students will be selected. Ellen Chapnick, Dean for Social Justice Initiatives, and Rachel Pauley, Director of Government Programs, will oversee externship placements, including the application process and term-time counseling. William Yeomans, Alexander Krulic and Rachel Pauley will teach the seminar components of the program in Washington, D.C. (Please note that this course is still accepting and considering applications on a case-by-case basis.)
Federal Prosecution: U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York Externship
Margaret Garnett and Co-Teacher TBD, Lecturers-in-Law (2 ungraded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
The Federal Prosecution Externship at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York offers students the opportunity to learn about investigating and prosecuting federal criminal cases in United States District Court. Students will be placed in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, where they will work with Assistant United States Attorneys representing the federal government in a wide range of criminal prosecutions, including ones involving firearms, narcotics, fraud, immigration, child exploitation, public corruption, terrorism and violent crimes. The externship will also consist of a weekly seminar taught by Margaret Garnett, Chief of Appeals for the Office’s Criminal Division, and a co-instructor TBD.
Immigration Defense Externship
David Stern and Whitney Elliott, Lecturers-in-Law (2 graded academic and 3 ungraded clinical credits)
The Immigration Defense Externship provides students with the unique opportunity to appear before the Immigration Court, and depending on their supervising attorney’s caseload, the Federal District Court and/or the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on cutting-edge immigration issues. Taught by practicing attorneys of The Legal Aid Society, the Immigration Defense Externship is designed to introduce students to U.S. immigration laws and policies through a combination of lecture, discussion, simulation and hands-on representation of immigrants facing deportation from the United States. The focus of the Externship is the interaction between the federal immigration laws and federal and state criminal laws.
Low-Wage Worker Externship
Karen Cacace and Young Lee, Lectures-in-Law (2 graded academic credits and 2 or 3 ungraded clinical credits)
The Low-Wage Worker Externship at The Legal Aid Society is an intensive introduction to employment law issues faced by low-income workers in New York City. The substantive laws covered will include minimum wage and overtime laws, anti-discrimination laws, including criminal records discrimination, and family and medical leave laws. Taught by practicing attorneys at The Legal Aid Society’s Employment Law Unit, the externship will provide students with the opportunity to assist with representing clients with employment claims in federal and state court and before administrative agencies, including the New York State Department of Labor, the Equal Opportunity Commission and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
New York State Attorney General’s Office Externship on Advancing Social and Environmental Justice
Monica Wagner and Lisa Landau, Lecturers-in-Law (2 ungraded academic and 3 ungraded clinical credits)
As attorneys for the People of the State of New York, assistant attorneys general in the Social and Economic Justice Divisions of the Office of the New York State Attorney General investigate and litigate violations of a wide range of public interest laws, including civil rights, environmental and health care laws. This externship is comprised of a weekly, two‐hour seminar and fifteen hours per week of fieldwork (five of which may be conducted off site) in one of seven affirmative bureaus: Civil Rights, Environmental Protection, Consumer Frauds & Protection, Charities, Labor, Tobacco Compliance, and Health Care. The goal of the seminar and fieldwork (students will be assigned to one of the bureaus for the fieldwork component) is to teach students about the authority and work of state attorneys general while giving them hands-on experience in public interest investigation and litigation. The seminar includes class presentations and simulations, periodic short reflection papers on readings and fieldwork, and a final paper about the student’s fieldwork. The course will be limited to ten students to facilitate active engagement and discussion. The course will be taught in the fall, and will be open to JD candidates. There are no prerequisites.
If you have questions about a specific externship, please click through to the externship's Curriculum Guide course description and address your question directly to the course instructor(s).
If you have any questions about the externship application process, please check the FAQs page. If you require further assistance, contact Brian Juergens.