Government Anti-Corruption Externship

LW.12769 / LW.12770
Professor Rachel Pauley
Professor Jennifer Rodgers
Open to 2L, 3L and LLM students
Maximum of 14 students
Spring semester
5 credits*
No prerequisites or co-requisites.

Course Description

Public corruption - the abuse of entrusted power for private gain - undermines democracy, violates the public trust, and is inextricably intertwined with a wide variety of societal ills, including human rights abuses and the deterioration of standards of living worldwide. The Externship on Government Anti-Corruption Programs provides students with an opportunity to participate in efforts by a wide variety of anti-corruption authorities to identify and combat corruption in federal, state, and local government here in the U.S., and in an international context at the United Nations, and to examine the different approaches and jurisdictions of the various agencies. Through their fieldwork and the seminar, students will gaun a detailed understanding of government anti-corruption efforts and their efficacy, will be able to identify areas where gaps, redundancies, and structural problems hinder those efforts, and should develop ideas about ways in which to solve some of the identified problems.


Students will spend 10-15 hours per week at an anti-corruption agency chosen with guidance from the instructors. Students will work with attorneys in the field, learning how the public integrity professionals in these offices investigate and respond to corruption, and participating in those efforts. In each placement, the student will be under the direct supervision of a government attorney, and we will make sure that students receive meaningful work and a significant amount of feedback. We will also ensure that students have ample opportunity for professional development, including goal-setting and self-reflection. The agencies we select will comprise the primary local, state, and federal entities in New York that handle matters of public integrity and ethics, each doing so from a unique perspective wielding unique jurisdiction and powers. Some of the agencies are investigatory agencies, some are prosecutors’ offices, some focus on oversight and regulation, and some do a combination of these tasks. Students, for example, may work on investigations, criminal cases, regulation of elections, or civil cases, among a wide variety of other areas in the public integrity field.

The agencies expected to be available for students participating in the externship this semester are as follows:

  • New York County Office of the District Attorney, Public Corruption Bureau;
  • King’s County District Attorney’s Office, Conviction Review Unit;
  • Office of the Inspector General of the New York City Police Department, Department of Investigation;
  • New York City Department of Investigation;
  • the New York State Attorney General’s Office, Public Integrity Bureau;
  • US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Public Corruption Unit;
  • US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Public Corruption Unit;
  • NYC Campaign Finance Board;
  • NYC Business Integrity Commission;
  • United Nations’ Office of Internal Oversight Services;
  • NYC Comptroller’s Office;
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Enforcement Division;
  • NYS Joint Commission on Public Ethics.

In the interview, we will ascertain each student’s interests in terms of placement agencies, and we will do our best to match students with one of their top choices. LLM students from outside of the US will be more limited in the agencies in which they can work, because many governmental agencies require US citizenship for externs; the UN Office of Internal Oversight Enforcement Services is one office that does not require US citizenship.


The seminar will meet for two hours weekly, and will involve lecture, discussion, and experiential learning components. Students will learn how each of the field placement agencies fits into the broader anti-corruption effort through discussion about and simulation exercises involving the various legal mechanisms in place to combat corruption, the roles of each of the placement agencies (and other relevant offices), and actual case studies. In the seminar, students will also interact with guest speakers from federal, state, and local agencies and the UN to enhance the lessons of that particular class, and to ensure that students are considering all of the relevant entities and all possible approaches to dealing with the public corruption problem. Guest speakers will be invited from representative anti-corruption agencies to highlight the different mechanisms that exist at various government levels to combat corruption. With students approaching public corruption matters from a variety of perspectives, the seminar component will be an opportunity for enriched consideration of and learning about the ways in which these complex issues are handled.

Application Procedure

Students interested in applying should submit the standard application, resume, and transcript online through CAMS. Selected applicants will be invited to interview. If you have questions regarding the externship, please contact Rachel Pauley or Jennifer Rodgers.

The application period for LL.M.s will take place at a time TBD. There is a separate application form for LL.M. students. Please use that form and submit it along with a resume and unofficial transcript to CAMS. Selected LL.M. students will be contacted for interviews in the summer as part of the selection process. Many of the governmental placement offices we partner with for our Government Anti-Corruption Programs Clinic do not accept interns who are not U.S. citizens, but a few do, including the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services.

Student Contacts

The following students were in the Spring 2021 clinic:

Kelsey Borenzweig
Fabiola Delgado Cruz
Jackson Frazier
Leon Jiang
Emily Kaplan
Alex Langer
Daniel Lipkowitz
John Murchison
Cassidy O’Sullivan
Paulena Prager
Eduardo Schneider
Scott Woods
Stephanie Wuenscher


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