Prosecution Externship - Eastern District of New York

Formerly called the Prosecution Clinic - Eastern District of New York

Because of a policy change at the U.S. Attorney's Office, the clinical program will now be offered in a slightly different form from which it was offered in prior years.  The structure will be roughly equivalent to the fieldwork and seminar components of the clinics we offered at these offices in the past.

LW.10679 / LW.11210
Professor Lisa Kramer
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**

Course Description

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 6:00 to 7:50 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 New York State Senator Pedro Espada, who engaged in embezzlement and tax evasion; 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.  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 complimentary to, the EDNY seminar.

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 ethical and strategic considerations in exercising prosecutorial authority and other challenges facing 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.

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

**These courses may be taken concurrently with the clinic.