Professor Christine Billy
Professor Hilary Meltzer
Open to 2L, 3L and LLM students
Maximum of 8 students
Fall semester
5 credits*
Prerequisites: None.
Recommended: Law of NYC, Local Government Law

Course Description

"Representing New York City" provides an overview of work as an attorney in the New York City Law Department (NYCLD). With over 700 attorneys working on a diverse range of matters including giant real estate transactions involving city-owned land advice and counsel on local legislation and regulation, litigation in state and federal court over government policy, and juvenile delinquency hearings before the Family Court, the NYCLD, under the supervision of the NYC Corporation Counsel, has the legal responsibility of representing in state and federal court the largest and most complex city in the United States. Students enrolled in Representing New York City will work in one of the NYCLD’s divisions, where they will perform research and writing under the supervision of the assistant corporation counsels to whom they have been assigned. Externship students will also meet together weekly in seminar to discuss legal and policy topics that arise in connection with representing a municipal institution like New York City.  Each student will also spend the term preparing a paper proposing law or policy reform legislation, executive rule-making, litigation or otherwise, to present to a municipal decision-maker at the end of the semester.


This will involve 10 hours per week of work at the NYCLD, where students will be assigned to a particular division, including for example, Affirmative Litigation, Environmental Law, or Legal Counsel.  Students will work on current cases presenting public law issues of importance to the City.


Students will meet weekly to discuss legal and policy topics affecting the City, issues arising from the NYCLD fieldwork, and law or policy reform proposals selected by the students for research and development. Some of these weekly seminar sessions will include speakers from city agencies to discuss how the City has addressed various policy or legal problems; other sessions will include exercises such as explaining legal limits on authority to one of NYCLD’s client agencies, analyzing legislation, negotiating over the terms of a settlement proposal, or interviewing witnesses.

Application Procedure

Students interested in applying for the clinic should submit the standard application, resume, and transcript online through CAMS. Students will then contacted for an interview.

Student Contacts

Students who participated in 2016:

Maya Danaher
Sarah Goodfield
Max Isaacs
Sarah Krame
Sarah Lefsky
Julia Quigley
Poy Winichakul

Students who participated in 2015:

Lauren Balter
Christopher Boyd
Jacqueline Horani     
August Jones-Loiacono         
Alana Mildner

* The credits consist of 3 clinical (fieldwork) credits for working 10 hours per week at the NYCLD, and 2 academic seminar credits per semester. While you must attend the seminar, it may be possible with prior approval to work 6 hours per week rather than 10 hours, for 2 rather than 3 fieldwork credits. This class is offered to JDs on a Credit/Fail basis for fieldwork, and is graded for the seminar.