NYU School of Law offers the following year-long clinics. Each of these clinics is 14 credits and therefore accounts for roughly half of a student's course load for the academic year. (The exceptions are the Civil Litigation-Employment Law Clinic, which carries 12 credits, and the NYS Office of Attorney General Social Justice Externship, which carries 10 credits.) Please select from the links at the left to learn more about each clinic.
To apply for clinics, please use the Clinic Application and Matching System (CAMS). For specific questions regarding individual clinics, please contact the professors. Their information may be found on the Contact Us page.
Civil Litigation - Employment Law Clinic
In this clinic, taught by Professor Laura Sager, students represent plaintiffs in claims of employment discrimination, failure to pay minimum wage or overtime, and failure to grant leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The cases are brought in federal and state courts and agencies. Students meet with clients, draft pleadings, discovery requests and motions, take depositions, and appear in court for hearings or trials. They also participate in seminar discussions of substantive and procedural issues related to the clinic's cases, and in simulation exercises to develop written and oral litigation skills.
Criminal Defense and Reentry Clinic
This clinic, taught by Professor Vincent Southerland, explores the responsibilities and challenges involved in providing holistic, community-based public defense and reentry services to individuals in the criminal justice system. The course focuses on individual representation and helps students understand the dynamics of client-centered advocacy from arrest through a client’s reintegration into his/her community. In addition, the course explores the various forms of advocacy available to community-oriented defenders, such as media advocacy, community advocacy and legislative advocacy. Students will be assigned to work in either the Brooklyn Defender Services or The Legal Aid Society in the Bronx where they will engage in activities related to the representation of individuals charged in the criminal justice system. Students will also work closely with defenders and community activists developing and facilitating their collaborative efforts to address and reform criminal justice policies that affect individuals caught up in the justice system.
Family Defense Clinic
The child welfare system disproportionately targets minority and poor families for government intervention in family life, too often taking children into foster care rather than providing the social services to which they are entitled. The Family Defense Clinic defends the fundamental constitutional right to parent and works to prevent the unnecessary break-up of indigent families and ensure due process and equal treatment by government authorities. Students in the clinic represent parents in Family Court, directly handling all aspects of litigation in child abuse, neglect, and termination of parental rights proceedings. Fieldwork includes extensive client contact, interviewing, counseling, investigation, legal research, motion practice, discovery, out-of-court advocacy, and preparing for and conducting trials and other contested court hearings. The clinic also provides opportunities to work on policy projects designed to reform the foster care and Family Court systems. The clinic includes both law and graduate social work students and emphasizes the importance of approaching child welfare from an interdisciplinary perspective.
Federal Defender Clinic
In this clinic, students represent indigent clients charged with petty offenses and misdemeanors in the Eastern District of New York through all stages of the criminal process, potentially beginning before the initial appearance in court and continuing through the life of the case. Students are tasked with investigation, negotiation, client counseling, and motions practice, as well as handling pleas, trials, sentencing, and appeals. Additional fieldwork includes assisting attorneys at the Federal Defenders of New York in their representation of indigent clients charged with felonies in both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Global Justice Clinic - for JDs
The Global Justice Clinic explores how human rights law can be brought to bear on situations of global injustice. Working on cases and projects that involve cross-border human rights violations, the deleterious impacts of extraterritorial activities by state and non-state actors, and emerging problems that require close collaboration between actors at the local and international levels, students engage in human rights advocacy in domestic and international settings. Fieldwork consists of projects undertaken for or in collaboration with individual clients, human rights organizations in the United States and abroad, and intergovernmental human rights experts and bodies (including the United Nations). Fieldwork focuses on issues related to global injustice such as: economic and social rights; transnational corporate accountability; environmental rights and climate change; and the human rights of marginalized groups. Legal empowerment, a growing field of human rights practice and scholarship, that centers affected communities and empowers them to use the law to find solutions to their justice problems, guides the practice of the Clinic’s work. These projects give students an opportunity to assist in formulating policy, research, and legal responses to cross-border human rights problems. Professors César Rodríguez Garavito* and Ellie Happel.
Immigrant Rights Clinic
This clinic, co-taught by Professor Alina Das and Immigrant Defense Fellow Jessica Rofé, is a leading institution in both local and national struggles for immigrant rights. Students engage in direct legal representation of immigrants and community organizations in litigation before the immigration court and the federal courts and in immigrant rights campaigns at the local, state, and national level. Each student, along with a student partner, will typically have the opportunity to represent both an individual or a set of individuals in litigation (such as a removal proceeding or appeal, detention litigation, or a civil suit) as well as a community or advocacy organization in a campaign (such an organizing project or legislative campaign). The clinic chooses its docket in consultation with our community partners and engages in work that is responsive to community needs. Students have direct responsibility for these cases and the opportunity to build their understanding of legal practice and the field of immigrant rights law and organizing.
International Transactions Clinic - for JDs
Students in the International Transactions Clinic (ITC), taught by Professor Deborah Burand, provide legal services to internationally-focused clients that are intent on making the world a better place. In the ITC, students learn drafting and negotiation skills as applied to cross-border transactions, analyze ethical issues that can arise in international business, build skills in structuring and documenting investments in enterprises that work primarily in emerging markets, and deepen their understanding of international economic and financial policy. Students also learn how to give legal advice and support to clients working in challenging business and legal environments.
Juvenile Defender Clinic
This clinic represents young persons accused of felony offenses in juvenile delinquency proceedings in the New York Family Court. The clinic is designed to allow students to experience all stages of the juvenile/criminal process. Students work on all aspects of the process, including arraignment, investigation, drafting of motions, motions arguments, negotiation, client counseling, suppression hearings, trial, and sentencing (which, in Family Court, may take the form of a contested evidentiary hearing).
NYS Office of Attorney General Social Justice Externship
State attorneys general have increasingly taken on the mantle of promoting social justice. They have brought cutting-edge impact litigation and, where necessary, filled gaps in federal enforcement and actively opposed federal policies. This course teaches students about the work of the New York State Attorney General in promoting equal justice under law, while giving them hands-on experience in public interest investigation and litigation. Each student will be assigned to work in one of the Social Justice Division’s five bureaus: Civil Rights, Environmental Protection, Labor, Charities, and Health Care. The externship will focus on the law enforcement work of each bureau and will also discuss other methods the Attorney General uses to protect the rights of New Yorkers, including proposing legislation, issuing reports and opinions, and working with the media.
* Please note that confirmation of Professor César Rodríguez Garavito’s role teaching GJC during 2019-2020 is pending approval of his visa application.