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 Elizabeth Geddes
Professor Evan Norris
Open to 3L and 2L students
Maximum of 8-10 students
Prerequisites/Co-requisites. Criminal Procedure and Evidence are recommended**
Also see Note: re security clearance.
The United States Attorney's Office will select up to ten students for externships in the Criminal Division of 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, public corruption, organized crime, civil rights, business and securities fraud, international narcotics trafficking, violent crime, and human trafficking.
NYU will select up to ten students to participate in a seminar on criminal prosecution in the Eastern District of New York. The seminar is separate from, but complementary to, the externship. The seminar will meet on Mondays from 6:10 to 8:00 PM.
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, public corruption, organized crime, civil rights, business and securities fraud, international narcotics trafficking, violent crime, and human trafficking. 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; members of a global cybercrime organization that stole $45 million in back-to-back cyberheists targeting several major financial institutions; various members and associates of the five families of New York City, including the boss and acting boss of the Bonnano crime family and a hitman for John Gotti; the NYPD officers responsible for the sexual assault on Abner Louima; former Congressman Michael Grimm and former New York State Senator Pedro Espada; Credit Suisse bankers who fraudulently sold toxic auction rate securities; executives of Symbol Technologies for massive stock fraud; members of MS-13, a violent international street gang; and numerous members of Mexican sex trafficking operations.
By participating in this externship, students will have an opportunity to learn 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 for approximately 10 to 15 hours per week. 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, 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, attending debriefings of 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 externship is separate from, although complementary to, the EDNY 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 ethical and strategic considerations in exercising prosecutorial authority and other challenges facing federal prosecutors. In particular, classes will examine how federal prosecutors may influence criminal cases at all stages of development, investigation, and arrest through investigative technique, charging decisions, plea bargaining, and sentencing. Students will also participate in in-class simulations to help them improve their advocacy skills.
Fieldwork is assessed on a credit/fail basis. The seminar receives a letter grade.
Note to Students Regarding Security Clearance
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. 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. 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 the externship. 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 externship.
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.
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 2015-16 school year:
* 5 credits include 3 clinical credits and 2 academic seminar credits.
**These courses may be taken concurrently with the clinic.