Providing students with the necessary building blocks for a rewarding legal career
We guide you toward the essential, real world opportunities that give your resume a competitive edge. Students are guided along their career paths from the first semester, through graduation, and beyond. We assist in developing the tools necessary to conduct a successful job search and in preparing the materials you need to establish yourself as a marketable, successful candidate for a multitude of positions. Our job development effort is led by the Dean of Career and Professional Development and spearheaded by our Director of Employer Relations. Through this rigorous approach to career development, graduates continue to find employment with a wide range of employers in the public and private sector.
You will spend a good deal of energy during law school preparing for life beyond graduation. Our Career Development Center team is dedicated to helping you navigate a variety of choices so that you can meet your goals.
Our internship program is one of the largest of any law school and is available during both the academic year and summer. Internships can be paid, for credit, or done on a volunteer basis based on the type of employer. Additionally, many students receive public service grants, paid for by the law school, to intern with public sector employers during the summer.
Each summer approximately 400 students attain externships with judges, government agencies, public interest organizations, as well as in private, for-profit practice, in law firms and companies, general counsel offices, and corporations and the financial services industry. Externships are internships that are completed for credit. An additional 175 plus externships are offered throughout the academic year.
- Judicial Internships
Through hands-on experience in federal and state judicial chambers, judicial interns are exposed to essential research, analysis, and writing skills, and an opportunity to observe judges as they hear cases or meet with lawyers in pre-trial negotiations. Career Development Center job listings contain many judicial externship opportunities. Your career counselor can meet with you to explain the various opportunities and discuss the application process.
- Government Internships
Regardless of which area of the law you ultimately choose, government internships provide an excellent foundation for law students and recent graduates. Government lawyers practice in a variety of areas, such as litigation, torts, civil rights, criminal law, antitrust, securities, and intellectual property. New government lawyers may assume full responsibility for their own caseloads much sooner than their counterparts in the private sector.
- Corporate Internships
Many corporations have summer programs as well as internships during the academic year.
- Law Firm Internships
Large and small law firms interview and hire our students for academic year and summer positions as well as post-graduate positions. In addition, the Fall On-Campus Interviewing Program brings large law firms to Brooklyn Law School during the late summer and throughout the fall to interview second, third, and fourth year students for both summer and permanent positions.
Public Service Opportunities
The Career Development Center recommends that students interested in exploring a career in the public sector consult with Brooklyn Law School’s Public Service Law Center which is dedicated entirely to helping students gain entry to this specific and competitive legal sector.
Career Path Options
We walk you through the many career path options that await you as a legal professional.
Although very few corporations hire recent law school graduates, several offer summer programs for first and second year students as well as internships/externships during the academic year. If you are interested in eventually working for a corporation, it is recommended that you intern/extern for a corporation.
Practice in a corporation compares favorably to law firm practice. Salaries and benefits are comparable, and hours are usually (although not always) better. While many corporations still refer their more complex matters to outside law firms, others have responded to rising legal costs by increasing their legal staff in order to handle more matters in house. This trend has made corporate legal positions more interesting, challenging, and sought-after.
Together with the faculty's Judicial Clerkship Committee, the Career Development Center helps second and third-year students and alumni in obtaining post-graduate judicial clerkships with federal and state court judges across the country. The career counselors reviews cover letters and resumes that will be sent to judges and counsel students regarding the clerkship application process. Because timing is critical in the application process, the Career Development Center provides a full mail-merge service to ensure that applications and recommendations are sent out promptly and accurately.
Government practice is a particularly attractive career choice for law school graduates. Although there is a substantial difference in salary levels between larger law firms and government agencies, the difference is less significant when compared to smaller law firms. Hiring patterns vary among government agencies, but most prefer to hire someone who has worked for them previously or who has demonstrated an interest in government work through clinical experience, summer employment, internships/externships, or experience prior to law school. Practicing as a government lawyer can be a very rewarding and exciting experience.
At the federal level, you can obtain experience in nearly any type of legal practice, including environmental law, consumer protection, labor law, immigration, energy law, civil rights, criminal, torts, securities, business and tax law and intellectual property. A government lawyer usually has more responsibility than an associate in a law firm, and the work often involves issues of national significance. At the state level, State government positions are as varied as those in the federal government. Opportunities exist for attorneys interested in numerous substantive areas and for litigation, regulatory, investigative, and administrative work.
At the city level, among the most sought-after positions are those with the offices of the District Attorney and with City Law Departments, which represent major cities in all types of litigation. Assistant District Attorneys prosecute persons accused of crimes. They are given enormous responsibility for substantial caseloads and opportunities to grow and develop as litigators. Lawyers who represent major cities work on a variety of civil matters, including torts, real estate, and civil rights, and in some instances, criminal law, and are given responsibility for substantial caseloads.
Lawyers in private practice are in the business of delivering legal services to clients for a fee. The term private practice includes the solo practitioner as well as a law firm of several hundred attorneys. Differences in size determine salary, hours, atmosphere, client contact, and entry-level opportunities. Size is relative to geographical location. Large corporate firms recruit second- and third-year students almost exclusively during the Fall On-Campus Interviewing season, and many of their first-year associates are drawn from the second-year summer program. There is almost always an emphasis on class rank, as well as law review or journal membership, and/or moot court honor society membership.
Smaller law firms do not have structured hiring programs, nor do they follow any kind of hiring patterns. Generally, they hire on an "as needed" basis. They are most likely to hire second-year students in late spring for summer positions and recent graduates in the late summer and fall following the bar examination. Emphasis on academic criteria is mixed, but these firms seek students and graduates with relevant experience that will enable them to “hit the ground running.”