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Academic Requirements

Through academic coursework and exposure to a variety of public interest law practice, the Stein Scholars program provides participating students with a firm grounding in legal ethics and with the analytical tools needed to examine the role of lawyers in society.

The Program includes an externship component that gives students the opportunity to work in public interest law settings during the summers. These externships are supported by stipends available through the generous support of the Stein family.

Stein Scholars are required to do an externship during the summer after their first year and attend a Stein section of the summer externship seminar (there is an "out-of-town section) that includes readings and discussions related to the externship for which they receive two academic credits. First-year students are supported by a stipend of $4,000.

Second-year and third-year evening division Stein Scholars may opt to do a summer externship and receive stipends of $5,000 for their second or third placement.

During their second year, Stein Scholars are required to enroll in two courses dealing with ethics and public interest law. In the fall semester, Stein Scholars can choose between Ethics and Public Interest Law, which focuses on civil practice, and Ethics in Criminal Advocacy, which examines the ethical responsibilities of lawyers who work in the criminal justice system.

In the Spring of their second year, Stein Scholars enroll in an Advanced Seminar on Ethics and Public Interest Law. In the Advanced Seminar, students work in small groups with public interest law offices in New York City. These group projects enable Stein Scholars to apply the principles considered in the classroom to real life situations.

Stein Scholars extern/intern in a variety of placements in legal services, government, and other public interest settings, both in the United States and abroad.

Externships and Internships

Students have externed in a wide variety of public interest settings in New York City, New York State, nationally, and internationally.  The options are unlimited... being a Fordham Law Stein Scholar opens doors for you around the world. Here are a few examples of where Stein Scholars have externed/interned by topic:


  • Advocates for Children, New York, NY
  • Children's Rights Inc., New York, NY
  • Lawyers for Children, New York, NY
  • New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, New York, NY
  • The Family Court Mediation Project, New York, NY

Civil and Constitutional Rights

  • American Indian Law Alliance, New York, NY
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Center for Constitutional Rights, New York, NY
  • Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama, Alabama
  • Georgia Justice Project, Atlanta, GA
  • LAMBDA Legal Defense and Education Fund, New York, NY
  • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, Washington, DC
  • New York Civil Liberties Union
  • Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, New York, NY

Criminal Defense

  • Bronx Defenders
  • Clark County Defenders Office, Las Vegas, NV
  • Federal Defenders of Brooklyn
  • Federal Defenders of New York
  • Federal Defenders of San Diego
  • Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense
  • Public Defenders Office of the District of Columbia
  • Neighborhood Defenders of Harlem

Environmental Law

  • Natural Resources Defense Counsel, Washington, DC
  • New York City Environmental Defense Fund, New York, NY
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC

Government Offices

  • C-Plan, The Office of the Public Advocate, New York, NY
  • Kings County District Attorney, Brooklyn, NY
  • New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, New York, NY
  • New York City Health & Hospitals General Counsel
  • New York City Housing Authority, New York, NY
  • New York City Law Department, Corporation Counsel, New York, NY
  • New York County District Attorney's Office Witness Program, New York, NY
  • New York County District Attorney's Office, New York, NY
  • New York Governor Pataki's General Counsel Office, Albany, NY
  • New York State Attorney General's Office, New York, NY
  • New York State Department of Education, Civil Rights Unit
  • Pro Se Office, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, New York, NY
  • Senator Murray's Office (D-WA), Washington, DC
  • The Office of White House Counsel, Washington, DC
  • US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Special Litigation
  • Westchester County District Attorney


  • Association of Civil Rights, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Advocacy Forum, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Center for the Study of Violence & Reconciliation, Criminal Justice Policy Unit, Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Committee for the Administration of Justice, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Human Rights Watch, New York, NY
  • International Human Rights Rescue Committee, New York, NY
  • Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, Rome, Italy
  • Palestine Peace Project
  • Permanent Mission of Trinidad & Tobago to the United Nations
  • United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, New York, NY
  • United Nations, New York, NY
  • United Nations, The Conference of NGO’s, New York, NY
  • Witness Program, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, West Bank, Palestine and Jerusalem, Israel
  • World Organization Against Torture, Geneva, Switzerland

Legal Aid/Legal Services

  • Bronx Legal Services, Bronx, NY
  • Brooklyn Legal Services Corp. "A", Brooklyn, NY
  • Brooklyn Legal Services Corp. "B", Government Benefits Unit, Brooklyn, NY
  • Brooklyn Legal Services Corp. "B", HIV Unit, Brooklyn, NY
  • Brooklyn Legal Services, Corporation "B"
  • Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), Brooklyn, NY
  • Community Legal Services, Philadelphia, PA
  • Farmworker Legal Services, New Paltz, NY
  • Gay Men's Health Crisis, New York, NY
  • Harlem Legal Services, New York, NY
  • Kentucky Farmworkers Legal Services, Lexington, KY
  • Legal Aid Society, Civil Appeals and Law Reform Unit, New York, NY
  • Legal Aid Society, Harlem Neighborhood Office, New York, NY
  • Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, Bronx, NY
  • Legal Aid Society, Lower Manhattan Neighborhood Office, New York, NY
  • Legal Aid Society, Staten Island Neighborhood Office, Staten Island, NY
  • Mental Hygiene Legal Services, New York, NY
  • Nassau Suffolk Legal Services
  • Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, New York, NY
  • Queens Legal Services for the Elderly, Queens, NY
  • Westchester Putnam Legal Services

Poverty Law

  • Center for Social Policy and Welfare Law, New York, NY
  • Make the Road
  • Southern Poverty Law Center, AL
  • Welfare Law Center, New York, NY

Reproductive Rights

  • The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, International Office, New York, NY
  • The Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, New York, NY

United States Attorneys' Offices

  • U.S. Attorney's Office, EDNY, Brooklyn, NY
  • U.S. Attorney's Office, EDNY, Organized Crime Unit, Brooklyn, NY
  • US Attorney's Office, Newark, NJ
  • US Attorney's Office, San Francisco, CA

Women' Rights

  • Sanctuary For Families, New York, NY
  • Victim Services, Domestic Violence Law Project, New York, NY
  • Women's Housing and Economic Development Corp., New York, NY

In the summer after their first year of law school, Stein Scholars receive a summer stipend for work in public sector law offices.  They may choose where to work, as long as they are supervised by a practicing staff attorney, work a minimum of 350 hours in ten weeks performing legal skills building work, and the organization is a 501(c)3 or government entity. Stein Scholars may also qualify for a summer stipend for working in public sector law offices (501(c)3 entities and government organizations) in their second summer (and, in the case of Evening Division students, their third summer). At any time except the first summer, many Stein Scholars intern in the judiciary or with for-profit public interest law firms, although these positions do not qualify for Stein summer stipends.


Summer Externship

Stein Scholars enroll in a Stein section of this course as a requirement their 1L summer.

Stein Scholar Summer Externship Seminar - 1 credit. Stein Scholars with fieldwork placements located in NYC or the NYC metropolitan area may apply to register for this course [Section options might include Civil and Criminal, or "Out of Town" for those who are outside NYC metro area]. See the Externship Program web page for the Course Registration Application & process. Class meetings. See the Externship Program web page for additional Policies and Procedures. 2 additional concurrent Pass/Fail Credits for your Fieldwork for which a minimum of 160 hours of Fieldwork is required.

Professional Responsibility

Stein Scholars enroll in one of these courses as a requirement in the fall semester of their second year.

Professional Responsibility: Ethics in Criminal Advocacy. 3 credits Professor Bruce Green

This course focuses on the ethical responsibilities of prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers. Topics include the allocation of decision-making authority, the duty of confidentiality and its limits, conflicts of interests, and ethical responsibilities in the investigation and trial of criminal cases. While focusing on the codified standards of professional responsibility, the course will also explore the relationship between the Constitution and ethical rules as well as how problems left unresolved by those rules ought to be addressed. A paper will be required. Enrollment is limited. Notes/Miscellaneous: This course can be used to satisfy the Professional Responsibility Requirement and the Writing Requirement.

Professional Responsibility: Ethics in Public Interest Law. 3 credits Professor Russ Pearce

This course will examine the ethical responsibilities of public service lawyers, as well as related jurisprudential issues. It will cover the topics discussed in the general course on Professional Responsibility but will deal with most of these topics in the context of civil public service practice. It will also cover the issues relating to public service practice in greater depth. These issues will include: How is justice a factor in a lawyer's work? What are the special obligations of an attorney representing a person with mental health disabilities or a child? Do government attorneys have a duty to the public that limits the zealousness of their representation or modifies their duty of confidentiality? Who is the client for a lawyer representing a class or a group? This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement.

Advanced Seminar

Stein Scholars enroll in this advanced seminar as a requirement in the spring semester of their second year. The seminar follows the courses "Ethics in Public Interest Law" or "Ethics in Criminal Advocacy," either of which Stein Scholars are required to take in the fall semester of their second year. The advanced seminar in the spring provides students with the opportunity to apply the principles considered in the previous semester's classes to practical public interest work experiences. Some of the projects students have worked on are described below.

Community Economic Development

Students worked with Joan Vermeulen of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, Dean Nitza Escalera, and Dean John Feerick to assess the need for legal services to support community development corporations and other entities engaged in community economic development in the Bronx. The students' assessment was based on economic and demographic information about the Bronx, relevant literature, and 22 in-person interviews that included legal service providers, officers of community development corporations, and elected officials.

International Public Interest Lawyering

Students participated in a three-day conference, "Partnerships Across Borders: A Global Forum on Access to Justice," held at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York on April 6-8, 2000. The international conference participants shared information about their experiences as lawyers who work to improve poor communities' access to justice. The students assisted the moderators of two roundtable discussions, gathered information from participating lawyers, and prepared a paper focusing on issues involved in legal services funding and private bar involvement in public interest legal practice.

Welfare Advocacy

Students examined how Brooklyn Legal Services, Corp. "A", through its innovative work with a community organization called the North Brooklyn Welfare Education and Community Advocacy Network ("WE CAN"), works to expand the availability of assistance to welfare applicants and beneficiaries and to promote the improvement of welfare law and processes within the confines of newly enacted federal restrictions on the work of Legal Services-funding recipients.

Impact Litigation Under the Privileges and Immunities Clause

Working in conjunction with Martha Davis of NOW Legal Defense Fund, students explored the benefits and advantages of undertaking impact litigation under the Supreme Court's recently expanded interpretation of the privileges and immunities clause in Saenz v. Roe, 119 S. Ct. 1518 (1999).

Role of Lawyers for Parents in Child Welfare Cases

Students worked with Professor Ann Moynihan, a member of the extended Stein faculty, to gather information and analyze questions relating to the work of New York lawyers who are appointed under the "18-B" system to represent parents in child welfare cases. Based on interviews with lawyers and judges and a review of relevant statutes, cases, and secondary literature, their paper concluded that unduly low compensation and other defects in the existing process result in inadequate representation of parents, to the ultimate detriment of the children whom the child welfare system is meant to protect.

Ethical Issues for Government Lawyers

In conjunction with the New York Attorney General's Office, students examined how government lawyers resolve conflicts of interest, such as those that arise when different government agencies are opposed in a lawsuit or assert different legal positions in different lawsuits.

Human Rights/Labor Issues in International Business Transactions

Students worked with the law school's Crowley Program on International Human Rights to lay the groundwork for a joint Crowley-Stein Center conference to be held in the Spring of 2001. The conference would be designed for lawyers who represent multinational corporations. It would examine how international human rights standards affect these corporations and how the corporations may exert pressure on their host countries to adhere to human rights norms.