Clinics

Federal Judicial Practice Externship

LW.12448 / LW.12450
Professor Michelle Cherande
Judge Alison Nathan
Open to 3L and 2L students
Maximum of 12 students
Fall semester
5 credits* (Credit/Fail)
No prerequisites

Course Description

The Federal Judicial Practice Externship (“FJP”) is designed to teach students about federal practice through exposure to the workings of judicial chambers as well as class sessions that focus on substantive and practical issues of law. Topics covered include, inter alia, effective oral advocacy techniques, legal writing, judicial decision making and ethics.

Students participating in the class dedicate their time to both a placement with a district court or appellate court judge and a weekly, two-hour seminar. To develop advocacy skills, all students are required to participate in a moot court argument before a panel of judges.

Students will submit applications through CAMS, the online application system. Based upon these applications, students will be selected for interviews by the participating judges. To be accepted for this class, you must be invited for an interview and selected by a participating judge for work in his or her chambers. Students cannot volunteer to work in a judge’s chambers and then apply for the course. In addition, since students will be working for a federal judge, students may not work in a private law firm, government office or legal services office during the externship.

The class is credit/fail, and five credits are awarded for satisfactory classroom performance and a statement that work completed in chambers was acceptable.

The seminar will meet one evening a week.

Fieldwork

After undergoing a selection/interview process, students work in the chambers of participating district court and appellate judges. Students are expected to spend at least one full day (or two half days) in chambers each week and to complete any outstanding work at home. It is expected that students will spend approximately ten to twelve hours each week on the placement portion of this class.

While in chambers, students complete extensive research and writing projects such as bench memoranda on a broad range of cases, including immigration, criminal law, habeas corpus, and complex commercial disputes. It is hoped that each student will also draft an order or opinion. Students are also encouraged to attend Second Circuit oral arguments or district court proceedings, particularly those related to the cases on which they are working.

Seminar

Class sessions are taught in a variety of styles ranging from lecture to visiting speakers. The lectures address fundamental topics of oral advocacy, legal writing and appellate review. The substance of these classes directly relates to the types of cases that FJP students see in chambers and to the development of practical skills. Other classes involve discussions with a distinguished group of guest speakers about various aspects of legal practice. When a guest speaker teaches a class, each student is expected to prepare at least one question to ask the speaker in order to foster an engaging and interactive classroom discussion.

Towards the end of the semester, all participants are required to present an oral argument to a panel of judges. Students are given briefs from a recent appeal before the court and are required to base their arguments solely on the materials presented to them. Students are provided with significant feedback from the panel.

Application Procedure

Students should submit the standard application, a resume and a grade transcript via CAMS. Selected student applicants will be contacted by Michelle Cherande for an interview. If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Cherande at Michelle.Cherande@nyu.edu.

Student Contacts

Externship participants in Fall 2016 were:

Zachary Bendiner
Elisa Carino
Richard Diggs
Wesley Erdelack
Raymond Fadel
Penny King
Maybelline Mena-Hadyka
Katherine Rosoff
Doran Satanove
Steven Strauss
Anjanique Watt
William Young

* 5 credits include 3 clinical credits and 2 academic seminar credits.