Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks provides NYU Law students with an opportunity to volunteer with public service organizations across the country while fostering institutional and personal relationships with these same organizations. As an official student group, Alternative Breaks contributes to the law school’s intellectual and social life, fosters community within the law school, develops networking opportunities between students and external organizations, and provides services to the wider community. Alternative Breaks provides students with the unique opportunity to work at organizations across the country, which would otherwise be out-of-reach for existing term-time internship or volunteer programs.

Create Impact

Through Alternative Break trips, NYU law students volunteer dozens of hours of assistance to various public interest organizations and the populations they serve. Continued relations with these public service organizations demonstrate NYU Law’s commitment to public service.

Gain Hands-On Legal Skills 

Alternative Breaks provides an opportunity to gain hands-on legal experience in a variety of settings. Through volunteering with host organizations, participants exercise the skills they develop in Lawyering and doctrinal classes in a real-world setting.


Alternative Breaks brings together students from all walks of life, encouraging and supporting a diversity of participants. 1Ls, 2Ls and even 3Ls participate in Alternative Breaks, fostering cross-class mentorship and learning opportunities. Providing full-funding for trips ensures that participants are not precluded by their personal financial resources. Participants who work together develop personal and professional relationships, enhancing the law school community.


Alternative Breaks host organizations appreciate both the services rendered by students and the exposure to socially conscious and academically excellent students. Because of the strength of these relationships, host organizations interview, recruit and employ not only trip participants but also others from the Law School as well. Alternative Break participants have been offered jobs at their host organizations and many who have explored opportunities in public interest through the trips further commit to a career in the public service.

2018-2019 Co-Chairs

Megan McCoy

Madhuri Swarna

Marcela Schaefer

For more information on Alternative Breaks, please contact us at

The content on student group pages is created by each group and does not constitute official statements or views of NYU Law.