New York City Law Department Externship: Representing New York City

Professor Christine Billy
Professor Hilary Meltzer
Open to 2L and 3L students; LLMs if space is available
Maximum of 10 students
Spring 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 in the New York City Law Department. With approximately 1000 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, 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 also prepare a pitch memo 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 Affirmative Litigation, Labor and Employment, Commercial and Real Estate Litigation, Environmental Law, or Legal Counsel. Students may also be placed in the counsel’s office at the Department of Sanitation or other 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, and the law or policy reform proposals selected by the students for research and development. Many of these weekly seminar sessions will include speakers from the Law Department and other city agencies to discuss how the City has addressed 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 2019:
Allie Agnostak
Marty Ascher
Garrett Fisher
Kiyana Grimes
Chad Hughes
Xiuna Lin
Jingfei Lu
Yelena Niazyan
Kevin Rogers
Chanel Thomas

Students who participated in 2018:
Priscilla Consolo
Allyson Dillon
Nahuel Fefer
Julie Hong
Catherine Larson
Jenny Lotova
Kirstie Yu

* 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.