Clinics

Prosecution Externship - Eastern District of New York

Formerly called the Prosecution Clinic - Eastern District of New York

Important Information about this Course Offering:

Because of a policy change at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the clinical program probably will not be able to offer this clinic in the same form in which it was offered in prior years. The Law School is currently working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to develop a new programmatic structure that satisfies the Office’s new rule.

It appears very likely that the Law School will be able to offer fieldwork placements for credit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office next year, which would be accompanied by a seminar taught by an Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA). The resulting structure will probably be roughly equivalent to the fieldwork and seminar components of the clinics we offered at these offices in the past.

Given the likelihood that the new structure will roughly approximate what we have offered in the past, set out below is a description of the fieldwork and seminar components of the clinic that was offered in prior years. Because the new structure probably will be called an externship and accompanying seminar rather than a clinic, the offering is listed in the clinic application form as an “externship” rather than a “clinic.”

Interested students should immediately submit an application, transcript and resume via CAMS, the online application system. Students selected for this externship will be required to undergo a routine security clearance check by the F.B.I. that is required of lawyers, non-legal staff and interns working in all U.S. Attorney's Offices. Students must be United States citizens and meet residency requirements to be eligible for the Prosecution Clinic. It is critical that updated contact information be provided so that the required security paperwork may be completed and returned as soon as possible so that the security clearance may be completed in time for the student to commence clinic work. In addition, because the U.S. Attorney's Office is involved in litigation against many private law offices, legal services offices and other state or municipal law firms, students may not work part-time in such an office and participate in this clinic. Nor may you work for any federal judges while participating in this clinic. Furthermore, you may not receive any income or advance compensation from a law firm during the internship.

Further information will be posted on this web page as it becomes available. Questions can be directed to Randy Hertz, Vice Dean and Director of Clinical and Advocacy Programs, via email.

Description of the Former Clinic

Conducted with the cooperation of the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York

LW.10679 / LW.11210
Professor Christina Dugger
Professor Evan Norris
Open to 3L and 2L students
Maximum of 8-10 students
Fall and Spring semesters
5 credits
Prerequisites/Co-requisites. Criminal Procedure and Evidence are recommended, but not required*

Course Description

Approximately eight to ten students will be selected to participate in the Prosecution Clinic at the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York – a national leader in the prosecution of federal crimes, including terrorism, cybercrime, organized crime, public corruption, violent crime, civil rights, human trafficking, international narcotics trafficking, and business and securities fraud. Students will work closely with Assistant United States Attorneys in investigating and prosecuting complex and significant criminal cases. Each student will appear in court on behalf of the United States at a trial, hearing, and/or other court appearance.

The Eastern District of New York encompasses Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and Long Island. The Clinic will operate out of the downtown Brooklyn offices of the United States Attorney, located near Borough Hall. The clinic includes fieldwork and a weekly two-hour seminar. Students will be required to work approximately fifteen hours each week in the United States Attorney's Office. The seminar will meet on Tuesday evenings from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the United States Attorney's Office (with the exception of the first class).

Work of the Criminal Division

Criminal Division Assistant United States Attorneys handle criminal cases from the initial investigative stage through appeal, working with federal agents, investigators, and local police to plan strategy, presenting cases to the grand jury, negotiating with defense counsel, handling all court appearances and motion practice, trying cases before the bench and jury, and briefing and arguing appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Assistant United States Attorneys in the Eastern District of New York have prosecuted some of the most significant criminal cases in the nation in the areas of terrorism, cybercrime, organized crime, public corruption, violent crime, civil rights, human trafficking, international narcotics trafficking and business and securities fraud. Recent examples include successful prosecutions of: Al Qaeda operatives arrested in the United States; home-grown terrorists who plotted to bomb the NYC subway system and JFK Airport; the cybercriminal who co-founded CarderPlanet, one of the first online marketplaces for stolen financial data; the boss and acting boss of the Bonnano crime family and other members and associates of the five families of New York City; NYPD detectives who served as hitmen for the mafia; the NYPD officers responsible for the sexual assault on Abner Louima; former-New York State Senator Pedro Espada, who engaged in embezzlement and tax evasion; members of the notorious Stapleton Crew, including Ronell Wilson, who murdered two undercover police detectives in Staten Island; numerous members of Mexican sex trafficking operations; Credit Suisse bankers who fraudulently sold toxic auction rate securities; and executives of Symbol Technologies for massive stock fraud.

Fieldwork

By participating in this clinic, students will have an opportunity to learn all about the inner workings of the federal criminal justice system. Each student will report to, assist, and work under the supervision of one or two Criminal Division Assistant United States Attorneys. Each student will report to, assist, and work under the supervision of two Criminal Division Assistant United States Attorneys. Students will work closely with each of their supervisors in the investigation, preparation, and prosecution of criminal cases in federal court in Brooklyn. The students' work may include, for example, interviewing federal agents, attending proffers of cooperating witnesses, and drafting motions, briefs, plea agreements, and other pleadings, and otherwise assisting in the preparation of such materials. Students will also assist Assistant United States Attorneys who are preparing for trial by, for example, debriefing witnesses and drafting jury instructions. Every student will appear in court on behalf of the United States at a trial, hearing and/or other court appearance.

The Seminar

Participants will meet weekly for a two-hour evening seminar to discuss, study, and explore the many important roles of the prosecutor in the federal criminal justice system. Classes will focus on numerous topics, including ethical considerations in the prosecution of criminal cases and the strategies and practical skills involved in federal criminal prosecutions. Students will also be required to participate in courtroom simulations of detention hearings, jury addresses, and witness examinations, so that students can improve and enhance their advocacy skills and prepare for actual court appearances on behalf of the United States.


*These courses may be taken concurrently with the clinic.