Litigation externships

Major law firms provide extraordinary assistance to Her Justice clients through full-time externships

Law firm attorneys work full-time in Her Justice’s offices providing immediate in-court representation to women with complex matters and emergency situations.

Our externship program with Her Justice is extremely important and valuable. Our externs are in court regularly working on cases that they care about. Invariably, our externs return to the firm energized, more confident and better lawyers. The Her Justice externship is very popular within our disputes practices, and gives us a great opportunity to recognize and reward our best associates. —David Koschik, partner, White & Case LLP


Kim Koopersmith, Chairperson, Akin Gump, talks about the benefits to her firm of externships

Firms currently providing externs to Her Justice

  • Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP (since 2012)
  • Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP (since 2005)
  • White & Case LLP (since 2002)
  • Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP (since 2008)

The extern experience

Hands-on litigation experience, responsibility and personal satisfaction

  • Mid-level associates from major law firms work full-time in Her Justice’s offices for four months or more, providing immediate in-court representation to women in emergency situations
  • Externs handle 20–25 active, litigated family law and divorce matters
  • Externs have an average of three court appearances per week in Supreme and Family Courts throughout New York City
  • Externs may also handle immigration law matters representing victims of gender violence
  • Experienced Her Justice staff attorneys provide quality, hands-on training and mentoring
  • Where possible, Her Justice assigns externs cases that offer the possibility of establishing new legal precedent
  • Externs remain firm employees, with salaries and benefits paid by their firms

Benefits of an externship

For externs

  • In-court experience
    Externs quickly gain significant in-court experience as the lead counsel representing their own clients in every aspect of important, contested matters and become adept at interacting with judges, court personnel and opposing counsel
  • Confidence, skills
    Externs develop confidence and skill in oral and written advocacy and valuable, practical litigation skills at an early stage of their careers, and uniformly report that they return to their firms as better lawyers
  • Satisfaction
    Externs experience the personal satisfaction of bringing safety, greater financial security and freedom from abuse to deserving women and children who are among our city’s most vulnerable families

For firms sponsoring externships

  • Substantial increase in pro bono hours
    The externship firm is the attorney of record on the cases handled by its externs
  • Valuable supervisors for firm pro bono matters
    Externs return to the firm with the experience and sophistication to supervise and advise their colleagues on pro bono matters referred by Her Justice, and serve as support for incoming externs
  • Recruiting
    Partners at externship firms report that law students are impressed by the firm’s strong, active commitment to providing access to justice to low-income, minority women and children in our community
  • Associate satisfaction and retention
    Firms reward valued associates with the opportunity for an independent, legal services experience, providing professional growth and personal satisfaction

For Her Justice clients

  • Clients with urgent, challenging, civil legal matters receive immediate assistance from dedicated lawyers who often appear in court for new clients with less than 24-hours’ notice
  • With intelligent, caring advocates by their side, committed to achieving a just result, our clients learn that they are not alone and find the strength to pursue their legal rights and their dreams

Hear what externs say about their externship experience

Former Akin Gump extern

“I wanted to say thank you to everyone at Her Justice for providing an incredibly enriching and rewarding experience over the course of the last several months. It was wonderful to work in an office filled with people dedicated to doing the difficult, important work of helping women and families live happier, safer lives. And I will be forever grateful to my mentors Margie and Susanna for their limitless patience, guidance, and mentorship.”

Former Fried Frank extern

“Her Justice is a very special place and I’m so glad I was able to work with such knowledgeable and dedicated people, serve such inspiring clients, and grow as a lawyer and an advocate.”

Former White & Case extern

“Over the past few months I have grown as a lawyer and have truly enjoyed this experience. This has been a wonderful opportunity and I appreciate having had the privilege to represent such exceptional and deserving clients.”

Former Willkie extern

“My experience here has been wonderful. I’m thankful I’ve had the opportunity to help, even in a small way, several deserving clients and do meaningful and satisfying legal work on a daily basis for the past four months. I am also very grateful to have met and worked with you—a team of smart, hardworking, and caring people. I have found your dedication to be truly inspiring.”

For more information [email protected]