The Semester in NYC program offers UConn School of Law students the opportunity to live and engage in legal practice in New York City. Students work full-time in credit-bearing field placements at New York-based legal offices, government agencies and public interest organizations. Under the supervision of experienced lawyers, students gain valuable practice experience and insight into the legal culture of New York. The program, established for the spring semester of 2019, is modeled after the successful Semester in DC program.
In addition to performing substantive legal work at their placements, students enroll in two evening courses in New York that are designed to enhance the students’ understanding of legal rules and norms, and their development professional skills and identity.
This Statement of Course Expectations articulates the general roles and responsibilities of participants in the UConn Law School Semester in NYC Program (“Program”), consistent with the ABA Standards for Approval of Law Schools.* Participants must execute a separate Field Placement Approval Form incorporating the terms of this Statement of Course Expectations.
1. Supervision: The Site Supervisor will supervise the Student’s experience with a view to ensuring that the Student has a substantial lawyering experience that is reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer in the field placement sponsoring organization, as set forth in further detail in subsection 3 below.
2. Work Schedule and Office Space: The Site Supervisor will confer with the Student to establish a 36-hour-per-week work schedule that ensures the Student is present in the office to observe and participate in projects and activities that will enhance the Student’s educational experience and provide insight into the nature of the sponsoring organization’s legal practice. The Site Supervisor will ensure that the Student has a designated workplace at the sponsoring organization and access to office resources and support reasonably necessary to complete assignments.
3. Substantial Lawyering Experiences: The Site Supervisor will endeavor to ensure that the Student has the opportunity to perform, to the maximum extent possible, substantial lawyering tasks that are both useful to the sponsoring organization and educational for the Student; that the Student has opportunities to observe lawyers and/or other professional staff in their daily activities; that the Student receives feedback on the Student’s performance (including the professionalism of their comportment and work product); and that the Student has opportunities to discuss the Student’s observations and experiences with sponsoring organization staff.
4. Individualized Learning Goals: The Site Supervisor will meet and confer with the Student early in the semester to agree upon realistic learning goals. To the extent feasible, consistent with the needs of the sponsoring organization, the Site Supervisor will select and prioritize assignments and other experiences designed to help the Student achieve the agreed upon learning goals.
5. Assessment Meetings and Evaluation: The Site Supervisor will meet with the Student at the mid-term and end-of-term to discuss the Student’s performance and will complete a final written evaluation of the Student’s performance at the semester’s end.
1. Reflection: Through a concurrent reflective seminar, the Faculty Supervisor will ensure that the Student engages in ongoing, contemporaneous faculty-guided reflection throughout the term. The Faculty Supervisor will engage the Student in reflection on such topics as the organizational structure and operational dynamic of the organization in which the Student is working; the legal/policy/political context in which that organization operates; the professional and ethical norms that guide the practice of professionals in this realm; career opportunities that are or may be open to the Student in that area; and the Student’s own professional goals and values.
2. Communication with Site Supervisor and Student: The Faculty Supervisor will maintain regular contact, including site visits where appropriate, with the Site Supervisor and Student to ensure the quality of the Student’s educational experience.
3. Availability: The Faculty Supervisor will be available as a resource to the Site Supervisor and Student should any concerns or issues regarding the field placement arise.
4. Evaluation: The Faculty Supervisor will evaluate the Student’s performance in the field placement and award the Student a pass/fail grade for the field placement portion of the Semester in NYC Program. The Faculty Supervisor’s assessment will be based on consultation with the Site Supervisor; written evaluations of the Student’s performance in the field placement provided by the Site Supervisor and Student; and the Student’s compliance with the work-log submission requirements of the field placement portion of the Semester in NYC Program. The Faculty Supervisor will award the student a separate letter grade for performance in the reflective seminar based on criteria set forth in the seminar syllabus.
1. No Compensation: The Student will comply with the UConn Law School policy prohibiting the receipt of compensation for work performed in connection with a credit-bearing field placement course. Reimbursement of the Student’s reasonable out-of-pocket expenses is permitted, but must be reported to the Faculty Supervisor.
2. Work Schedule: The Student will confer with the Site Supervisor at the outset of the course to establish a 36-hour-per-week work schedule that ensures the Student is present in the office to observe and participate in substantial lawyering experiences.
3. Individualized Learning Goals: The Student will confer with the Site Supervisor early in the semester to develop realistic and mutually agreed upon learning goals and identify assignments and other experiences designed to help the Student achieve the learning goals.
4. Professionalism and Confidentiality: In all matters connected with the field placement, the Student will act with professionalism, civility, integrity, and in accordance with the Rules of Professional Conduct. The Student will invite guidance and feedback on professionalism and work ethic, as well as on performance of legal projects. In preparing reflections and other work required by the concurrent seminar, and in engaging in seminar class discussion and meetings with the Faculty Supervisor, the Student will comply with confidentiality obligations and will raise with the Site Supervisor any questions or concerns about confidentiality.
5. Reflection: As part of the concurrent seminar course, the Student will reflect on observations and experiences at the field placement and explore such topics as the organizational structure and operational dynamic of the organization in which the Student is working; the legal/policy/political context in which that organization operates; the professional and ethical norms that guide the practice of professionals in this realm; career opportunities that are or may be open to the Student in that area; and the Student’s own professional goals and values.
6. Field Placement Record-keeping Requirements: The Student will complete and submit in a timely manner weekly work logs reflecting the hours of work performed and the general nature of the work, in compliance with confidentiality and other ethical obligations. Failure to submit timely work logs may result in denial or reduction of field placement credits.
7. Self-Evaluation: The Student will engage in self-assessment throughout the field placement experience, and, where appropriate, discuss self-assessment with the Site Supervisor and Faculty Supervisor. At the end of the semester, the Student will complete a written evaluation of the Student’s field placement performance and experience, using a form provided by the law school for this purpose.
All participants in the UConn Law School Field Placement Program shall comply with the University of Connecticut Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment and Related Interpersonal Violence, which requires that students, including those engaged in field placement programs, are afforded an educational environment free from discrimination, harassment, and inappropriate romantic relationships.
Effective December 2018
*ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools 2016-2017, Standard 303(c)(iii)
Enrollment is open to current UConn School of Law students in their 2L or 3L year. Information sessions are held in the spring and early fall. Students interested in participating in the Semester in NYC program are encouraged to contact Professor Jennifer Mailly, firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-570-5216, at any time of the year.