Criminal Practice Externship Fieldwork
Jodi S. Balsam
Prerequisites: All first-year courses. Students earn academic credit while working in approved placements across criminal practice settings in defense, prosecution, and federal, state, and city criminal justice agencies. Students find their own placements guided by postings on Symplicity and agency websites. At the placements, students are paired with a supervising Mentor Attorney to work on real legal matters, while receiving close supervision and regular feedback. At the law school, students are supported by faculty in a required seminar or tutorial to learn from their experience. Depending on the placement, students will have an opportunity to work on various aspects of a criminal case, including investigations, legal research, client and witness interviews, court filings, pretrial planning and strategy, and court proceedings and trials. Students will also have the opportunity to observe attorneys in a variety of lawyering activities, and discuss their experiences with their Mentor Attorney. Students may also gain exposure to policy and institutional issues affecting the criminal justice system.
Grading and Method of Evaluation:
High Pass-Pass-Low Pass-No Credit. Students will be assessed based on an end-of-semester evaluation provided by the Mentor Attorney and the student?s oral and written descriptions of and reflections on the fieldwork.
Students interested in enrolling in the Criminal Practice Externship fieldwork course must read the Externship Student Manual and follow its enrollment procedures. For information on current externship opportunities, visit Symplicity and agency websites. Students may repeat a Criminal Practice externship in the same placement for a maximum of two semesters, and may enroll in no more than three credit-bearing externships during law school. Exceptions may be made upon a showing of the educational benefit to be derived and subject to the approval of the Faculty Director.