The program marks a newly expanded footprint outside of New York City, as Washington, D.C. has become home to an increasing number of NYLS alums making an impact in our nation’s capital.
NEW YORK, NY – New York Law School (NYLS) has launched their new “NYLS in D.C. Honors Externship” program this semester. The externship provides NYLS students with in-person work placements, including at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Justice, leading advocacy groups and technology firms, and law firms, among others. The program is designed to provide students with vital legal experience in the political epicenter of the country accompanied by interactive seminars and a top-notch academic curriculum. The Honors Externship is a full semester program offered only to third-year law students.
D.C. externs earn 14–15 academic credits during the semester. In addition to a full-time externship placement, their experience also includes a new, specially-designed seminar on lawyering in Washington, D.C. The course is taught by expert faculty, including an NYLS alum, with significant Washington lawyering and advocacy experience. In addition to their weekly seminar, participating students may take advantage of remote coursework through the reimagined evening division, “NYLS Pro.” Each D.C. extern works under the close supervision of an experienced attorney, including a number of NYLS alums, and receives significant guidance and oversight from NYLS faculty and staff. Externs will also hear from high-profile guest speakers, interact with the NYLS D.C. community for networking events, and participate in a full-day retreat designed to help them think carefully and critically about their experiences. The Honors Externship is supported by a large and active community of D.C.-based NYLS alumni and friends who have enthusiastically greeted the externs and taken on key roles in their mentorship and development.
The program is directed by NYLS Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Matt Gewolb, who also runs the NYLS Externship Program and has significant experience designing and implementing D.C. programs. Florence Hutner, Senior Director of Special Projects, works directly with the students to ensure a high quality educational experience.
“What happens in New York, the world’s capital, is impacted by the policy-making, law-making, and advocacy that happens in our nation’s capital Washington, D.C.,” said New York Law School Dean and President Anthony Crowell. “Drawing on the world-class resources at NYLS, this program provides a vital link between the two centers of global and national power—giving students an unparalleled opportunity to gain full-time lawyering experience in the nation’s capital. The experiences our students gain there will help them develop as future lawyers and provide extraordinary insights into the connection between advocacy and lawyering.”
The program for the fall semester includes six students:
- Matt Palesano, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Legislative Affairs
- Lev Tsitron, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Nishat Choudhury, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Children’s Bureau
- Bridget Killen, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia
- Alexia Senkiw, Lilium
- Catherine Maranga, Duane Morris
“NYLS in D.C. is providing me with a unique opportunity to intern at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C., equipping me with hands-on experience, professional development, and training to set the stage for the rest of my career and differentiate me from other recent law school graduates,” said Bridget Killen, New York Law School 3L and extern for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Having the chance to live, learn, and work in our nation’s capital—a bustling metropolis with so much to offer—has been the perfect complement to my legal education at NYLS thus far, while also providing me with tight-knit connections with fellow NYLS students, colleagues at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and more.”
“I am so delighted about this new program. Each of the NYLS students will gain knowledge and skills that will allow them to contribute meaningfully to public sector work,” said Aysha E. Schomburg, NYLS Class of 2008. “The NYLS D.C. Program is training the next generation of legal professionals in advocating for changes that will positively impact the country.”
“When I was at NYLS as a 2L, I had the opportunity to complete two externships, one with a U.S. Magistrate Judge and the other at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York,” said David Henek, NYLS Class of 2012, “The experiences were invaluable in improving my writing and lawyering skills and gave me great exposure to two jobs that I would eventually land later in my career—first as a law clerk to a federal judge, and afterwards, as a federal prosecutor. I’m thrilled to see NYLS further expanding its already robust externship program to Washington, D.C. It’s been a pleasure working with and observing these students in class. Based on my own experiences, I know that this program will open doors for each of them and will have a lasting impact on their future legal careers.”
The launch of the externship comes as NYLS has seen an increase in alums embarking on their legal careers in D.C. upon graduation. Many of their alums have worked within government agencies and have since returned to NYLS to host guest lectures and provide mentorship for current law students.