Lisa Smith

Assistant Professor of Clinical Law

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Email
Areas of Expertise
Criminal Law
Domestic Violence
Family Law
Education
B.A., Franklin and Marshall College
J.D., Brooklyn Law School

Clinic - Civil Practice Externship

Students select an area of civil practice in which they will focus and are assigned to work in a placement in that concentration. The areas of concentration are: Arts and Entertainment; Client Centered/Individual Responsibility; Corporate Counsel; Government Litigation and Counsel; and Investors, Securities and Market Regulation. Students are placed in an office in the selected area of practice, where they intern under the supervision of an attorney in practice. The students' responsibilities will, of course, vary with the type of setting and practice they have chosen. Students are required to identify the individual goals they hope to achieve through their internship so that the work experience can be structured to meet those goals. Students typically have responsibility for conducting client interviews and undertaking fact investigation, legal research and drafting written memoranda and other documents, engaging in agency and court proceedings on behalf of the clients, and generally performing tasks that would be appropriate for a junior attorney under supervision.

Seminar Credits: 1.00

Seminar: The clinic includes a 1-credit seminar based on the students' area of concentration and focusing on their particular experiences. These seminars are taught by adjunct instructors chosen for their knowledge of the area of law and practice, all of whom have extensive experience both in practice and in the supervision of law students in a practice environment.

Enrollment Notes: Students can take two semesters in the same placement or in the same practice setting regardless of the placement. The seminar may not be repeated in the same practice area but students will have to fulfill other course requirements including journals and periodic meetings with the clinic director.

Students can take a third semester in the same practice setting at a different placement only with permission of the instructor and only upon a showing of the educational benefit to be derived. In the event that a third semester in the same practice setting is approved, a student will be required to meet regularly with an assigned faculty member to review the progress of the externship. Students can take a third or even fourth semester in the Civil Clinic in different practice settings, but must participate in the seminar corresponding to that practice setting for that semester and fulfill the requirements of the course.

Clinic - Criminal Practice Externship

Students may intern in a variety of settings in the criminal justice system. Both prosecution and defense placements are available as well as some placements in agencies. In this internship, students conduct research on issues related to criminal law, procedure and evidence, assist in drafting motions and memoranda of law, participate in case investigations and witness preparation, and generally observe motions, hearings, trials and other court proceedings. Those students working at agencies will focus more on policy and planning matters.

Seminar Credits: 1.00

Seminar: The clinic includes a 1-credit seminar.

Enrollment Notes: A student wishing to continue in the same or another placement beyond two semesters in any setting can do so only with the permission of the instructor and only upon a showing of the educational benefit to be derived, and must fulfill the requirements of the course. There will be no seminar requirement after the first semester in this externship.

Clinic - Judicial Clerkship Externship

The goal of this internship is to expose students to the judicial decision-making process through both a formal class and a fieldwork experience, and to study the work of both lawyers and judges. In the federal system, students are assigned to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and judges, magistrate judges and bankruptcy judges in the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. In the state system, students can be assigned to work for judges in the Appellate Division, Family, Surrogates or Supreme Courts (Civil or Criminal Terms), or the Civil Court of the City of New York. In addition to providing exposure to the inner workings of the various courts, the program offers an opportunity to do legal research, prepare written memoranda and drafts of judicial opinions, and to observe in the courtroom and at pretrial conferences.

Seminar Credits: 1.00

Seminar: The externship includes a 1-credit seminar at which the students' experiences are discussed in relation to selected topics about the courts and judging.

Enrollment Notes: There is a two-semester cap on participation in this externship in any setting. Students can enroll in both the federal and state seminar if the second semester placement is in the other court system. Otherwise, a student repeating the externship in the same placement can enroll in the seminar only once.

Clinic - Prosecutors: Brooklyn District Attorney

Recommended: Criminal Procedure I and Evidence

Under the supervision of a faculty member, students work as Student Assistant District Attorneys in the Brooklyn District Attorney's Office, handling all stages of the prosecution of misdemeanor cases from intake in the complaint room through final disposition. The work includes complaint drafting, motion practice, plea negotiation, interviewing and counseling witnesses, and conducting evidentiary hearings. Students also are permitted to try cases before a judge or jury. The students are personally responsible for the cases, appear in court, and learn the legal and ethical skills of prosecution by actually making the decisions the cases require.

Seminar Credits: 2.00

Seminar: The clinic includes a 2-credit seminar focusing on the legal, ethical, and skills dimensions of the prosecutor.

Enrollment Notes: Enrollment is limited to third-year students. This clinic requires a two-semester commitment.