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Eligibility and Prerequisites
Unless otherwise stated, second- third- and fourth-year students in good academic standing (having completed thirty credits as a part-time student or two semesters as a full-time student) are eligible to practice law under the Student Practice Order and may apply for any of the programs. Preference will usually be given to students entering their final year of law school (third-year full-time, fourth-year part-time, students).
Please read course descriptions carefully and make sure that you have satisfied any necessary course prerequisites or requested a waiver on your application.
All participants in JJLS client representation clinics and externship programs must avoid conflicts of interest based on past or concurrent employment (or volunteer work) situations. If you have questions about a potential conflict, please consult Professor Flint.
Please assume that you will need an average of 5 hours /credit of time per week, in addition to the two-hour seminar, for Clinic work. Some weeks it will be much less, and others, much more; the key is to carve out significant blocks of time during the week that you can devote to clinic work.
One important point: a lawyer's obligations, like a doctor's, do not disappear on weekends and over holidays. Students in client representation clinics and externships must be prepared to continue handling their responsibilities throughout exam and break periods. The faculty will help you develop the knack of adroit scheduling, and cooperation with colleagues can minimize these conflicts, but it still may happen that a court appearance will cause you to miss a class or that a crucial meeting with an adversary will occur during a break.
For a semester I had a judicial clerkship with a federal judge. I researched issues, wrote bench memoranda on contracts and torts, and sat in on criminal cases. It enhanced my writing and editing skills. As part of a judicial clerkship mentoring program, I wrote a decision, based on the facts of a real case, that served as my resume. It led to a two-year clerkship with a federal magistrate in Connecticut.
The Barbara C. Salken Criminal Justice Clinic operates in conjunction with the Bronx County Legal Aid Society, and students in that program must plan to have at least one full day per week available to spend in court.
The Equal Justice America Disability Rights/Health Law Clinic is designed to accommodate both day-division and evening-division students, for between four and six credits per semester. The four-credit option involves about 10-12 hours per week of work in addition to seminar. The six credit option involves on average 20 hours of work per week.
The Investor Rights Clinic seminar meets in the day, but most of the Clinic work can be done in the evening. A hearing or negotiation, usually scheduled long in advance, may occasionally occur during the workday. With the permission of the professors, students may elect up to three clinical credits, in addition to seminar, for each of the two required semesters. The one-credit option entails about five hours, the two-credit option about ten hours, and the three-credit option about fifteen hours per week of clinical work in addition to seminar.
Scheduling your time for the Immigration Justice Clinic is generally quite flexible, since appearances in proceedings are relatively rare.
Students in the Neighborhood Justice Clinic typically meet and appear in court during the day, although some client meetings may be scheduled in the evening.
While the externship program seminars meet in the late afternoon or evening, students must be able to work during the day at the externship sites. All the externships require work at least 12 hours per week away from the Law School, except for the Family Court Externship, which requires 8 hours.
The Pretrial Civil Litigation Simulation is an intensive program of simulated civil litigation, involving significant work (probably four to six hours per week on average) outside "class" hours. Other simulation and lawyering skills courses, such as Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiating, do not require a special application and are recommended for second-year (full-time) or third-year (part-time) students.