Summer Law Clerk Program

The application process for the 2021 Summer Law Clerk Program has closed. We will accept applications for the 2022 Summer Law Clerk Program beginning December 15, 2021.

PROGRAM STRUCTURE

The Legal Function of the New York Fed hires first-year law students each summer for a 10-week paid clerkship program. Law clerks receive challenging, diverse assignments from each of the three divisions of the Legal Function. The assignments usually involve legal research and writing, and are typical of the assignments given to attorneys in the Legal Function. Law clerks are paired with mentors for the summer to provide guidance on a personal and professional basis. Law clerks are paid approximately $7,000 monthly over the course of the 10-week program.


A NOTE ON COVID-19

Unlike in prior years, the New York Fed will be conducting interviews for the 2021 summer program solely via web-based videoconference, as further described below. We are also preparing for the possibility of a fully or partially virtual / remote program rather than a traditional in-office program, depending on the state of our physical operating environment as the summer approaches. The physical work location of summer law clerks will not impact the pay or duration of the program, and is not expected to materially impact the scope or nature of projects assigned to summer law clerks.


WHY THE NEW YORK FED?

Working at the New York Fed positions you at the center of the financial world with a unique perspective on national and international markets and economies. You'll work in an environment with a diverse group of talented professionals to foster and support the safety, soundness, and vitality of our economic and financial systems. It's a challenge that demands the skills of a financial services professional and the intellectual curiosity of an academic—all combined with a passion for public service. Working here provides talented law students the chance to grow their skills at an institution that has served a critical role in the financial system of the United States and the world for over a century.


OVERVIEW OF THE NEW YORK FED’S LEGAL FUNCTION

The Legal Function's mission is to provide high-quality legal services to the New York Fed. The function is headed by the Bank's general counsel and is divided into three divisions, each headed by a deputy general counsel:

The Bank Supervision and Markets Division (BSM) provides legal advice in connection with (i) financial institution supervisory and regulatory matters, including legal support for supervision and regulatory reporting and legal analysis of regulatory applications; (ii) the Bank’s open market, U.S. Treasury auction, foreign exchange, reference rate and discount window operations; and (iii) the Bank’s external and sponsored committees. BSM also tracks legislative affairs for the Bank, and the head of the division oversees the Bank Applications Function.

The Enforcement, Litigation, Investigations and Corporate Affairs Division (ELICA) handles all litigation for the Bank and pursues regulatory enforcement investigations and actions against financial institutions in the Second Federal Reserve District. In addition, ELICA conducts investigations of internal Bank matters and advises with respect to the Bank's corporate affairs, including human resources and employment law matters. The head of the division also oversees the Bank's police arm, the Law Enforcement Unit.

The Financial Services, Technology, and Contracts Division (FSTC) provides legal support for the areas of the Bank that are responsible for financial services, including the Fedwire services, international and domestic currency and coin distribution, and account services for the U.S. Treasury, foreign central banks and international organizations, depository institutions, and other account-holders. FSTC also advises with respect to contract, procurement, and technology matters for the Bank, including software licenses and cloud computing.

Learn more about our Legal Department


APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

First-Year Law Students:

The Summer Law Clerk Program requires that applicants complete their first year of law school by the beginning of the clerkship, which is typically in late May. As the program is highly competitive and the class size is limited, we seek applicants with outstanding academic records, evidence of strong research and writing skills, an interest in and commitment to public sector employment, maturity, and personal achievement. Applicants must generally be available for web-based videoconference interviews during January and February of 2021, which will likely be conducted via WebEx or Skype.

Candidates are requested to supply a cover letter, résumé, and transcript. Undergraduate transcripts are acceptable if first-semester law school grades are not yet available at the time of application, but all applicants must submit first-semester law school transcripts as soon as they are available. Applications will be accepted from December 14, 2020 to February 15, 2021, and positions will be filled on a rolling basis starting in January.

Second-Year and Third-Year Law Students:

The Legal Function does not currently hire second-year law school students for summer positions, so we are unable to accept résumés from second-year students. Third-year students may wish to inquire about our 2-year Legal Fellow Honors Program.

Experienced Attorneys:

Positions in the Legal Function for experienced attorneys become available from time to time. These positions are posted separately, so please submit applications for such positions directly to the appropriate listing.

For any questions regarding the Summer Law Clerk Program, please contact Jeffrey Keenan at jeffrey.keenan@ny.frb.org.

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