Section Description Provided by Instructor
This is the fieldwork component of the externship.
Externship overview: This externship program will introduce students to the legal issues facing attorneys who represent New York City, and the role of lawyers in City government. It will also introduce students to the complexity of the City lawyer's role as counselor, litigator and/or negotiator for New York City and its agencies and employees, particularly with respect to policy matters. While the focus of the course is on New York City, this externship program may be of interest to any student who is interested in local government law, policy and administration, whether the student is considering working for government or working on these issues in another capacity.
Students will be assigned to different divisions at the New York City Law Department (as described below) for a minimum of 10 hours per week. In this externship, students will gain first-hand experience working on litigation matters, transactional matters or policy matters for the City of New York. The New York City Law Department handles the Cityâs litigation, offers advice and counsel to the Mayor, the City Council, and City agencies, and represents the City in development deals. In the past, students have drafted legislation, participated in development deals, drafted memoranda of law and litigation documents, including complaints and answers, joined City attorneys in meetings with government officials, and assisted at legislative hearings, depositions or trials.
Seminar overview: The seminar component of the course will focus on the experience of representing New York City by examining several current "case studies" concerning New York City policy matters in which City lawyers played a role. Specific seminar topics may include labor and employment issues, economic development, and correctional policies, among others. The seminar will also review the structure of New York City's government; the City's law-making authority and processes; the tools available to City attorneys; how different parties both inside and outside of City government may influence City policy and practice; and the role of City lawyers in representing the City's interests. The seminar will include presentations by guest speakers and in-class exercises in addition to class discussion.
Each student will also write a paper analyzing the legal issues pertaining to a New York City policy matter or proposal selected by the student. All students will present their analyses and recommendations to the class near the end of the semester.
Division assignments: Each student will be assigned to one division for the duration of the course. Potential division assignments include:
Administrative Law - Represents the City in lawsuits that challenge the validity of its regulatory laws and the policies and decisions of the administrative agencies charged with carrying them out.
Affirmative Litigation - Represents the City in litigation in which the City is a plaintiff.
Economic Development - Acts as the City's business and transactional counsel for a wide range of projects that are intended to enhance the City's economic base.
Environmental Law - Represents the City in environmental matters as well as matters involving the City's water supply, sewage system and sanitation services.
Family Court - Handles the City's juvenile delinquency prosecutions (children ages seven to fifteen).
Labor and Employment - Represents the City in federal and state court in litigation arising out of the City's role as the employer of more than a quarter-million workers.
Legal Counsel - Provides advice to the Mayor's Office and City agencies regarding the legal implications of policy initiatives and administrative reforms, as well as other legal matters.