Policing Project Externship

Professor Barry Friedman
Professor Maria Ponomarenko
Professor Farhang Heydari
Open to 2L and 3L students
Maximum of 12 students
Not offered 2019-20
4-5 credits*
No prerequisites.

Course Description

We entrust police with awesome authority—to conduct surveillance, to use force—and awesome responsibility—to keep us safe.  But we govern policing differently from the rest of executive government.  In the rest of executive government, there are rules in place before officials act, formulated with public input, and made public so all can see.  Policing agencies, on the other hand, are authorized in the broadest of terms to enforce the law, and then make their own decisions about how to do so, often through processes that are hidden from public view.  Instead, when things go wrong in policing, we try to fix them on the back end, with inspectors general, judicial review, civilian review boards, and—now—body cameras. The Policing Project seeks to reframe this approach.

The chief mission of the Policing Project at NYU Law is to strengthen policing and strengthen communities by applying the regular rules of democratic governance—promoting greater engagement between police departments and their communities around matters of substantive policy (i.e. giving communities a voice in how they are policed); researching and drafting model policies on various aspects of policing; developing metrics that are better tailored to the goals of community policing; and engaging in cost-benefit analysis around policing practices.  Our work touches on many of the most salient and most controversial policing issues of our day—uses of force, vehicle and pedestrian stops, and body cameras, to name a few.

TWe are pursuing these goals through a variety of projects across the country—Chicago, Nashville, Tucson, Tampa, Camden, Cleveland, and more.  In connection with these projects we work directly with police departments and communities, research and evaluate existing oversight models, engage in public advocacy, and convene conferences and roundtables with academics and law enforcement personnel. Students in the Democratic Policing Externship will work closely with the Policing Project at NYU Law, as well as its coalition partners, on all these various endeavors.

Application Procedure

The Policing Project is not part of the clinic matching system. The Externship is offered in both Fall and Spring, and students may sign up for either or both semesters. To apply for this Externship, please go to this page. Applications will be due April 1, 2018.

Student Contacts

Current students in the externship are available to discuss their experiences:

Erik Bakke
Daniel Blaze
Ariel Deshe
Cassandra Deskus
Kyra Ferber
Chloe George
Dmitri Henry
Sofia McDonald
Kathryn Morris
Jack Nebe
Andrew Wong
Lamya Agarwala
Chelsea Anelli
Tamara Cesaretti
Alyssa DeRosa
Nathalie Herrand
Julia Schuurman

* 5 credits include 2-3 externship credits and 2 academic seminar credits.