Ex. Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem Community Defense
- Course Number
- Curriculum Level
- Areas of Study
- Clinics, Externships, and Experiential Learning, Criminal Law and Procedure, Legal Profession and Professional Responsibility
- Additional Attributes
- Experiential Credit
Section 001 Information
The NDS Community Defense Externship is an 8-credit course offering students the opportunity to learn about and experience the practice of client-centered indigent criminal defense in an innovative, holistic, and community-based setting.
The course consists of a weekly seminar and a field placement at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS). Matt Knecht, NDS Chief of Staff, and Alice Fontier, NDS Managing Director, teach the course. Students will be evaluated and graded based upon class preparation and participation, and active participation in the field placement.
The seminar will meet weekly for two hours at the law school (or virtually if required). It will provide an in-depth examination of indigent defense generally, and holistic representation as practiced at NDS specifically. The seminar will also focus heavily on the nuts and bolts of representing the accused in New York County courts. These discussions will be supplemented by lectures from NDS staff members engaged in various aspects of holistic representation. You will also hear from practitioners regarding the realities of life as a public defender after law school.
Students will be responsible for client interviews and arraignments at the New York County Criminal Court located at 100 Centre Street. Students will be responsible for all facets of the representation of those clients, including but not limited to, filing discovery requests, motion practice, investigations, social service and mitigation work, pre-trial hearings, plea bargaining, trial, and sentencing. Each student will be expected to work at least 10 hours per week during the academic year at NDS, which is located at 317 Malcolm X Blvd. (cross street is 126th Street). Students will be eligible to appear in NYC courts under the NDS student practice order. In addition to case assignments, students will be matched one to one with NDS staff attorneys and will spend the year assisting their attorneys in the management of their case responsibilities. Students should also expect to be called upon to assist with all aspects of pretrial preparation of existing NDS cases, as needed, as well as in any matter that proceeds to trial. Students will need to have no other commitments on Fridays.
- School Year & Semester
- Spring 2022
- JGH 722
Class meets on
- Method of Evaluation
- J.D Writing Credit?
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in a specific body of law, including major policy concerns
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in doctrinal analysis, including close reading of cases and precedents, and application to facts
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in statutory and regulatory analysis, including close reading of statutes and regulations, and application to facts
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in ethical and professional issues
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in judicial, legislative and/or administrative processes
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in use of other disciplines in the analysis of legal problems and institutions, e.g., philosophy; economics,other social sciences; and cultural studies
- At the end of the course, students will have acquired understanding of and/or facility in various lawyering skills, for example, oral advocacy, legal writing and drafting, legal research, negotiation, and client communication
- Instructor Pre-requisites
- Instructor Co-Requisites
- Recommended Courses
- Other Limitations
- Admission is by instructor permission during the Externship application period - see the Social Justice Initiatives page for more information.