Clinics

Government Civil Litigation Externship - Southern District of New York

Conducted with the cooperation of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York

LW.10679 / LW.11210
Professor David J. Kennedy
Open to 3L and 2L students
Maximum of 10 students
Fall and Spring semesters
5 credits*
No prerequisites or co-requisites.

Course Description

The US Attorney's Office will select up to ten students for externships in the Government Civil Litigation Externship - SDNY, in the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan, recognized nationally as one of the finest law offices, public or private, in the country.

NYU shall select up to ten students to participate in a seminar on Government Civil Litigation in the Southern District of New York.  The seminar is separate from, but complementary to, the externship. The seminar meets one evening a week at the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Work of the Civil Division

The work of the Civil Division offers perhaps the most challenging and diverse civil caseload of any law office, public or private, in the United States. An Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Civil Division represents the interests of the United States and its agencies at trial and on appeal in affirmative and defensive civil litigation in the Southern District of New York. On the affirmative side, Civil Division Assistants not only investigate and prosecute health care fraud, mortgage fraud, and labor racketeering cases, but also enforce the federal civil rights laws, environmental laws, and tax laws. On the defensive side, Civil Division Assistants represent such federal agency clients as the CIA, the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the Department of the Treasury, often in cases that implicate the national security of the United States, raise complex issues of first impression, and involve challenges to the constitutionality of federal statutes and regulations. Civil Assistants run their cases from investigation through conclusion, handling all court appearances from initial conference, through trial, and on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, performing legal work that rivals that found in the nation's premier law offices. The Civil Division generally does not require Assistants to specialize, thus providing a civil practice that is extraordinary in its scope. Assistants in the Civil Division are afforded the unique opportunity to represent the United States of America in some of the most important and difficult matters, affirmative and defensive, that our legal system has to offer.

Externship - Civil Division, US Attorney's Office - SDNY

Each student will be assigned to work with two Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSAs). Students are required to work twelve to fifteen hours each week in the United States Attorney's Office. This arrangement permits continuity of assignments and familiarity with the cases of the AUSAs. Diversity of assignments by AUSAs is encouraged, and will include not only traditional legal research, but also legal drafting, participation in pre-trial discovery proceedings and trial preparation. Students will attend depositions, court proceedings, settlement negotiations, trials, and appellate arguments. This externship is separate from, but complementary to, the seminar.

Seminar - Government Civil Litigation in the Southern District of New York

Participants meet weekly for a two-hour evening seminar conducted at the United States Attorney's Office. Through legal drafting assignments, in-class simulations, and class discussion, participants study the substantive, stylistic and tactical considerations in the conduct of litigation as a mechanism for dispute resolution. The seminar will also focus on the unique ethical issues that confront government lawyers in civil cases.  This seminar is separate from, but complementary to, the SDNY externship.

Application Process

Students should fill out and submit the standard application, resume and unofficial transcript using CAMS, the online application system. These materials will then be forwarded to the United States Attorney’s Office (i.e., you should not apply separately to the United States Attorney’s Office).  There will be no interview.

Note to Students Regarding Security Clearance and Conflicts of Interest

Students selected for the program will be required to pass a security background check overseen by the Department of Justice’s Office of Attorney Recruitment and Management (“OARM”).  A favorable determination from OARM is required before an extern may begin working in any U.S. Attorney's Office.  A student must be a United States citizen to be eligible to work in the U.S. Attorney’s Office as an extern. For a complete list of eligibility requirements, visit the SDNY website and scroll down to "Eligibility Requirements and Conditions for All Internship and Externship Programs." In making its determination regarding suitability, OARM considers a number of factors, including a candidate’s tax filing and payment history, credit history, candor, and history of any usage of controlled substances. It is critical that students accepted for the externship complete the required security paperwork as soon as possible after acceptance into the externship so that the security background check can be timely obtained. A student may not commence externship work unless he or she has cleared the background check.

Student externs cannot work for or be paid by another law firm or similar entity during the period of the externship at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Externs are also prohibited from participating in any law school or other legal clinic involving litigation with or proceedings before the United States or any federal entity during the period of the internship or externship. Nor may you work for any federal judges while participating in this externship. Written consent from the U.S. Attorney’s Office is required to participate in any other type of law school or legal clinic, or in any other type of outside employment, during the period of the externship.

Student Contacts

Students who are interested in learning more about the course may wish to speak with the following students who were in the clinic during the 2014-15 school year:

Daniel Amzallag
Michelle Chun
Gregg Fish
Rahul Hari
Caila Heyison
Paul Koepp
Michael Lu
Jonathan Ossip
Michael Pernick
Sean Petterson
 
Scott Rosenthal
Sarah Schuster
Stephanie Spies
Michael Szeto
Stephen Tensmeyer
Jaba Tsitsuashvili
Andrew Walker
Jake Walter-Werner
Robert Wentworth
Fan Zhang
 

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