New York City Law Department Externship: Representing New York City

Professor Christine Billy
Professor Hilary Meltzer
Open to 2L and 3L students; LL.M.s if space is available*
Maximum of 10 students
Fall semester
5 credits**
Prerequisites: None.
Recommended: Law of NYC, Local Government Law

Course Description

"Representing New York City" provides an overview of work as an attorney for New York City. With approximately 850 attorneys working on a diverse range of matters including litigation in state and federal court, advice and counsel on local legislation and regulation, major real estate transactions involving city-owned land and other land use planning issues, and juvenile delinquency hearings before the Family Court, the Law Department, under the supervision of the NYC Corporation Counsel, has the legal responsibility of representing the largest and most complex city in the United States. Students enrolled in Representing New York City will work in one of the Law Department’s divisions, or in an agency counsel’s office, where they will perform research and writing under the supervision of assistant corporation counsels or other municipal counsel who serve as site supervisors. Students will also meet together weekly in seminar to discuss legal and policy topics that arise in connection with representing a municipal institution like New York City.  Each student will prepare a final project proposing law or policy reform through legislation, rulemaking, litigation or otherwise, to present to a municipal decision-maker at the end of the semester.


This will involve 10 hours per week of work at the Law Department, where students will be assigned to a particular division such as Labor and Employment, Commercial and Real Estate Litigation, Environmental Law, Economic Development, Legal Counsel, or Affirmative Litigation. Students may also be placed in the counsel’s office at an agency. Students will work on current litigation and counseling matters presenting public law issues of importance to the City.


Students will meet weekly to discuss legal and policy topics affecting the City. Many of these weekly seminar sessions will include speakers from the Law Department and other city agencies to discuss how the City is addressing various policy or legal problems.

Application Procedure

Students interested in applying for the clinic should submit the standard application, resume, and transcript online through CAMS. Students may then be contacted for a telephone interview.

Student Contacts

Students who participated in Spring 2023:
Alexi Comella
John Desan
Alexandra Klein
Jean Koo
Carly McCabe
Matan Skolnick

Students who participated in Spring 2022:
Adam Burton
Connor Fraser
Talia Lorch
Isabel Moss
Arjun Patel
Walker Schulte Schneider
Maria Stojanovic

* Consult the Clinics Open to LL.M. Students page to see if the clinic is available to LL.M.s in the current year. Please note there is a separate application form for LL.M.s. The deadline is different from that for JDs and is posted on the Clinic Application Timelines page.

** The credits consist of 3 clinical (fieldwork) credits for working 10 hours per week at the New York City Law Department, and 2 academic seminar credits per semester. This class is offered to JDs on a Credit/Fail basis for fieldwork, and is graded for the seminar. The final project for the seminar may be used to satisfy Writing Option B upon request.