Spring 2014 Externships Application Schedule
Externship Fair: Tuesday, Oct. 22nd, 5:00-7 p.m. in Jerome Greene Case Lounge (701)
Applications Due to Externship Instructors: Wednesday, Oct. 30
Offers to 1st Round: Friday, Nov. 8th
Acceptances Due: Monday, Nov. 11th at noon
Offers to Waitlists (if any): Wednesday, Nov. 13th
Waitlist Acceptances Due: Friday, Nov. 15th at 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 Spring 2014
Below you will find brief summaries of the externships offered in Spring 2014. 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)
The Arts Law Externship 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. The Arts Law Externship consists of three components: a weekly seminar; a fieldwork placement at Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, at which students work for 10 hours per week; and two out-of-class simulated exercises, in client counseling and contract negotiation.
Bronx Defenders Externship on Holistic Defense
Robin Steinberg, Lecturer-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 on the frontier of civil rights 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, enter a homeless shelter, be on welfare, or have their children removed than a resident of any other county in New York State. Learn interdisciplinary approaches to solving these problems at a defender office with the rare commitment to addressing root problems, to serving the client, not processing the case. 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 strategy; constantly developing and improving an interdisciplinary skill set; and seeking a robust understanding of, and connection to, the community served.
City & State Policy Advocacy Externship
Nisha Agarwal, Amy Carroll, and Paul Sonn, Lecturers-in-Law (2 graded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
This externship will expose students to the varied and important roles that lawyers are playing in policy experimentation and innovation in states and cities across the country. Course content and fieldwork will focus on the role of a lawyer in supporting community-conceived policy initiatives at the city and state level – from analyzing constraints on local authority to drafting policy proposals to advising on the political fight to win passage. Fieldwork will be done at both the National Employment Law Project and the Center for Popular Democracy.
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 though 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 Debra A. Livingston, Paul J. Kellner Professor of Law, and Anne Green, Director of Academic Counseling and Judicial Programming, Lecturer-in-Law (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 and Christina Dugger, Lecturers-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, and possibly 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.
Externship on the Federal Government in Washington D.C.
Timothy Reif and Zachary Tripp, 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 spring 2013 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 Matt Gewolb, Associate Director of Government Programs, will oversee externship placements, including the application process and term-time counseling. Timothy Reif and Zachary Tripp will teach the seminar components of the program in Washington, D.C. (Please note that while the general application period for this externship involving field placements at executive branch agencies is closed, there is still limited availability for students looking to do their fieldwork on Capitol Hill.)
Undocumented and Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth Externship (Pending Faculty Approval)
Kathleen M. Maloney and Christina Romero, Lecturers-in-Law (Pending Faculty Approval) (2 graded academic and 3 ungraded clinical credits)
This externship provides students with the opportunity to learn about immigration and family laws and practice through the lens of child advocacy. Unaccompanied immigrant youth are children under the age of 18 who have been apprehended at the U.S. border without traditional caregivers. Following their detention at federal facilities, they are released to sponsors and placed in removal proceedings in immigration court. Working under the supervision of lawyers, up to 8 externs will provide legal services to these children, including representing them at hearings in family court and immigration court. The seminar will explore the intersection of immigration law, criminal law and family law, the ethical challenges of representing unaccompanied minors and the U.S. government’s immigration policies and their impact on communities. Through both the field component and the seminar, externs will develop relevant legal, analytical and lawyering skills from client intake to appeals.
Externship on the New York State Attorney General’s Role in Law Enforcement and Social Justice
Andrew Elmore and Monica Wagner, Lecturers-in-Law (2 graded academic and 3 ungraded clinical credits)
This externship is comprised of a weekly, two‐hour seminar focused on the authority and role of the New York State Attorney General in enforcing laws relating to social justice, and fifteen hours per week of fieldwork (five of which may be conducted off site) in one of five bureaus of the New York Attorney General’s Social Justice Division: Civil Rights, Environmental Protection, Labor, Tobacco Compliance, and Health Care. The seminar will be graded on weekly class participation, class presentations and simulations, periodic short reflection papers on readings and fieldwork, and a final term paper. Through the seminar and fieldwork, students will become familiar with the role and authority of the New York State Attorney General and the means by which the Social Justice Division advances the public interest. The course will be limited to ten students to facilitate active engagement and discussion.
Representing New York City: New York City Law Department Externship
Doris Bernhardt and Steven Louis, Lecturers-in-Law (2 ungraded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
This externship will introduce students to the legal and ethical issues facing attorneys who represent New York City or affiliated entities, and the role of lawyers in New York City government. Each student will be assigned to work at a division at the NYC Law Department for a minimum of 10 hours/week, working on issues such as: lawsuits challenging the validity of the City’s regulatory laws; litigation in which the City is a plaintiff; economic development projects; discrimination or retaliation claims; legislation and counseling; or juvenile delinquency matters. Students will have the opportunity to work on multiple cases or projects, and may join City attorneys in meetings with government officials, legislative hearings, depositions, or trials. The seminar will look at several “case studies” concerning NYC policy matters in which government lawyers played a role, and will include guest speakers. Students will complete a “counseling” writing assignment that involves analyzing legal issues relating to a policy matter of their choosing, and will present recommendations to the class.
Pro Bono Practice and Design Externship
Miriam Buhl and Marlene Halpern, Lecturers-in-Law (4 credits)
This externship offers students the opportunity to engage in critical reflection about the role of pro bono service by corporate lawyers, on the legal profession and on broader societal issues such as access to equal justice, in the United States and other countries. Students will examine the often competing goals of the various constituencies involved in pro bono activities and the need to mediate the resulting tensions if pro bono programs are to succeed. The Externship on Pro Bono Practice and Design consists of a weekly seminar and placement at an NGO of the student’s choosing which provides high quality civil legal services and has a pro bono program for corporate lawyers.
United Nations Externship
Larry Johnson, Adjunct Professor of Law, and Bruce Rashkow, Lecturer-in-Law (Pending faculty approval) (2 graded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
This externship provides students with an opportunity to learn more about the law and practice of the UN and the processes of making and implementing institutional law at the world organization. Fifteen students will be selected and placed in the UN or UN related offices. The course consists of two parts: externship (2 clinical credits) and weekly seminar (2 academic credits). The seminar will focus on the development of UN law through interpretations in practice of the UN Charter and other instruments. Students will examine primary materials focused on the normative context within which the UN functions, developing an understanding of the interaction between law and practice. For the field placement, each student is expected to work a minimum of 10 hours per week for 14 weeks at the respective host unit.
U.S. Attorney's Office Eastern District of New York: Federal Prosecution Externship
Taryn Merkl and Nicole Argentieri (Pending faculty approval), Lecturers-in-Law (2 ungraded academic and 2 ungraded clinical credits)
This externship offers students the opportunity to work one-on-one with experienced Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the EDNY as they investigate and prosecute violations of federal criminal law. Each student will be assigned to work directly with an experienced AUSA in one of the Office's five senior prosecutorial Sections: Business and Securities Fraud, Narcotics, Organized Crime and Racketeering, Public Integrity, and National Security and Cybercrime. Students will have the opportunity to take part in all aspects of their supervising AUSA's criminal caseload - from investigation to sentencing and post-conviction appeal - and should expect to do substantial research and writing. The local rules of the U.S. District Court for the EDNY permit law students to conduct court appearances, such as arraignments, guilty plea proceedings, sentencings, hearings, and trials. This externship consists of a placement at the U.S. Attorney's Office and a weekly seminar.
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.