Federal Court Clerk Externship: Eastern District of New York - Spring 2017
The Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis, Adjunct Professor of Law, and James Gatta, Lecturer-in-Law (2 ungraded academic and 2 ungraded fieldwork credits)
The Federal Court Clerk Externship for the Eastern District of New York provides an in-depth examination of the functioning of the federal trial courts. Students will have the opportunity to work with a federal judge, draft opinions, and observe trials, oral arguments and hearings. The course will be taught by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, and James Gatta, Chief of the Criminal Division of the US Attorney's office, both of whom have extensive experience in federal court. Students who satisfy the course requirements will receive 2 academic credits and 2 clinical credits. This externship is available only to (1) J.D. students who are U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents or have completed one full year of academic residence at Columbia Law School or another accredited U.S. law school; and (2) LL.M.s who are U.S. citizens or U.S. permanent residents.
During the semester, students will meet weekly on Thursday evenings (6:20 pm-8 pm) at the U.S. District Court, Eastern District (located in Brooklyn Heights) to discuss a number of externship related topics, including: judicial decision-making in various contexts (i.e., settlements, motions, sentencings), judicial ethics, the externship experience, and effective advocacy in civil and criminal litigation. Two of the classes will consist of panel discussions on criminal and civil law with experienced litigators and judges. Students will also participate in practical criminal and civil advocacy exercises as part of the classroom component. The class sessions are mandatory, so students should take that into consideration when applying. Please note that travel time to Brooklyn Heights, where the U.S. District Court is located, and where class will be held, is approximately 45 minutes by subway from Morningside Heights.
Students will be placed with a federal judge (either a District or Magistrate judge) in the Eastern District of New York. They will spend 10 hours per week working on judicial matters, with at least one day per week (or two half days) at the courthouse in Brooklyn. Working with their assigned judges, students will have the opportunity to conduct research, prepare written memoranda, draft judicial opinions, and observe judges and advocates engaged in trials, oral arguments and hearings in civil and criminal cases.
Submit the below materials as a PDF to James.Gatta@usdoj.gov by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016:
A document containing the following, in this order:
- Name and Class Year
- Telephone, cell numbers and Email
- List of upper-class courses you have taken that might be helpful to you in your work as a judicial intern
- Whether you are available Thursday evenings for the seminar
- (Optional) Up to three references with contact information
- A short statement (no more than one page) detailing why you want to participate in this externship.
You will be notified if you are accepted by Monday, November 14th. If you are accepted, you will need to notify James.Gatta@usdoj.gov as to whether you will participate by noon on Wednesday, November 16th. Applications will be sent to judges immediately thereafter and at that point you will be committed. Judges will call you to schedule interviews during the following few weeks. If you are not accepted, your name will be placed on a waiting list. Acceptance by a district court judge or magistrate judge through this process is a prerequisite for participation in this course.