Governmental Externship Placements
Click on the accordion tabs below to learn more about the individual local, state, and federal government agencies listed in the chart.
|USCIS Asylum Office||La. Alcohol & Tobacco Control||N.O. City Attorney|
|U.S. Coast Guard||La. Attorney Disciplinary Board||N.O. Independent Police Monitor|
|EEOC||La. Attorney General||Metropolitan Human Services District|
|FINRA||Judiciary Commission of La.||Other local city or parish attorneys offices|
|IRS||Mental Health Advocacy Service||General counsel for local school boards|
|NLRB||La. Dept. of Natural Resources|
USCIS Asylum Office
The New Orleans Asylum sub-office serves the interest of the government to address the need of people who seek protection because they have suffered persecution or fear of persecution due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion. Legal externs experience a gambit of issues and training. The office adjudicates cases in Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee and operates within the jurisdiction of the Fifth, Sixth and Eighth Circuit courts.
Externs work along side a supervisory asylum officer in conducting interviews, gathering factual research for asylum cases and conducting legal research. There is a strong preference for externs who can schedule some field hours on Mondays, as training for the entire office scheduled on this day gives students exposure to dynamic training on relevant immigration issues. This placement is an incredible primer for a 3L clinical experience in immigration.
U.S. Coast Guard
Headquartered in New Orleans, the 8th Coast Guard District is responsible for U.S. Coast Guard operations spanning 26 states, including the Gulf of Mexico coastline from Florida to Mexico, the adjacent offshore waters and outer continental shelf, as well as the inland waterways of the Mississippi, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee River systems.
Externs will be involved with substantive legal work and will be supervised by a practicing attorney. Externs may work in all Coast Guard practice areas, including criminal law/military justice, operations, international activities, civil advocacy, claims and litigation, internal organizational law, contract law, environmental law, regulations and administrative law, legislative support and legal assistance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. Students interested in employment law, human resources, gender discrimination or civil rights are encouraged to apply. Extern work closely with the director who provides a direct mentoring experience. Externs will receive assignments from the direction to include investigating claims or researching an area of law. As an extern's skill level increases, the director will challenge the extern to evaluate and analyze the filed evidence. Externs may also experience practical drafting assignments.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
FINRA is authorized by Congress to protect America’s investors by making sure the broker-dealer industry operates fairly and honestly. Working under the supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA's mission is tasked with the following: Write and enforce rules governing the ethical activities of all registered broker-dealer firms and registered brokers in the U.S.; Examine firms for compliance with those rules; Foster market transparency; and Educate investors.
The Externship Program for the Department of Enforcement is designed for students who have an interest in securities law and regulation. The legal extern will assist attorneys and investigative staff to investigate and initiate enforcement actions against FINRA regulated firms and associated individuals (typically, perform a variety of tasks including legal research and writing, document review, as well as investigative testimony and hearings). Opportunities to observe on-the-record interviews of other witnesses and settlement negotiations are made available to Externs.
Location: 1100 Poydras Street, #850, New Orleans, LA 70163
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Externs at the New Orleans IRS office are assigned a variety of tasks such as discovery, interviewing and fact gathering, and drafting pleadings and legal memoranda. Students may have the opportunity to resolve small business matters, including working directly with and interviewing tax payers; performing legal research and writing; exposure to the tax code and procedure; recommending whether a case should settle or proceed to trial; visiting Tax Court; and working with and providing relevant information to the IRS attorney. Externs may also have the opportunity to appear before the Tax Court through the "Student Practice Program." When Tax Court is in New Orleans, students may have the opportunity to present a case before the Tax Court judge.
Eligibility Requirements: This placement accepts 2Ls and 3Ls in the top 25% with strong writing skills who have taken coursework in tax law. Students wiling to commit to a yearlong externship are preferred.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is comprised of a team of professionals who work to assure fair labor practices and workplace democracy nationwide. Since its creation by Congress in 1935, this small, highly respected, independent Federal agency has had daily impact on the way America's companies, industries and unions conduct business. Agency staff members investigate and remedy unfair labor practices by unions and employers. They also conduct elections to determine whether employees wish to be represented by a union, and if so, which union.
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
The Department of Veterans Affairs Office of General Counsel for the Continental District represents the interests of the V.A. Secretary and the appointed leaders of the VA facilities in a nine-state region (CO, UT, WY, OK, TX, AR, LA, and MS). Our work is primarily focused on personnel law litigation before the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), and Title 38 Disciplinary Appeals Board (DAB). Our office also handles general hospital administrative law matters, as well as Judicial Commitments. Externs work on a variety of legal matters, with as much hands on experience as possible. Students with an interest in health law or employment law are encouraged to apply.
Location: 2400 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119
La. Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control (ATC)
The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control is responsible for overseeing the alcoholic beverage, tobacco, vapor product, and retail CBD industries within the state of Louisiana. In furtherance of this mission, the agency maintains a legal/administrative division, a business division, and an enforcement division. Legal externs are used to assist the Commissioner and agency attorneys with research, litigation/prosecutorial assistance, bill/rule drafting, and administrative hearing/prosecutorial assistance.
La. Attorney Disciplinary Board (LADB)
LADB is a statewide agency enabled by the Louisiana Supreme Court to administer the lawyer discipline and disability system. The agency investigates complaints of lawyer ethical misconduct and makes recommendations to the Louisiana Supreme Court when discipline is warranted. Externs conduct legal research and writing to support the office specifically with Board Hearings in lawyer discipline matters.
Office of the Louisiana Attorney General
The Office of the Louisiana Attorney General/Louisiana Department of Justice strives to protect the people and resources of the State of Louisiana by providing a variety of services including superior legal representation to the state, professional and effective law enforcement, and public education programs. The Louisiana Department of Justice is organized by various Divisions, including Civil, Criminal, the Solicitor General's Office, Litigation, and Public Protection.
Although the Attorney General's Office maintains an office in New Orleans, most sections are housed in the main offices in Baton Rouge and physical space limitations prevent placement in the New Orleans office. As a result, students interested in an externship with the Attorney General should either be based within driving distance of the Baton Rouge area for summer externships or be willing to travel at least every other week to Baton Rouge during term-time externships with the remainder of the work being done remotely.
The Civil Division of the Louisiana Department of Justice is divided into the following sections:
- Governmental/Litigation Section
- Public Finance and Contracts Section
- Environmental Section
- Lands and Natural Resources Section
The Litigation Division of the Louisiana Department of Justice is divided into the following sections:
- Administration Section
- Civil Rights Section
- General Liability Section
- Medical Malpractice Section
- Road Hazards Section
- Workers Compensation Section
- Medical Malpractice Section
Location: 1885 N. 3rd Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
Judiciary Commission of Louisiana
The Judiciary Commission of Louisiana serves as an extension of the eyes and ears of the Justices of the Louisiana Supreme Court. Its members act as independent “fact finders” conducting inquires and investigations into alleged violations of the ethical rules for state judicial officers. The Commission determines whether to recommend to the Supreme Court that a judicial officer be disciplined. When considering the Judiciary Commission’s recommendation, the Louisiana Supreme Court receives and reviews a written report and a record of the proceedings before the Commission and listens to the oral arguments.
Externs assist in conducting research, compiling reports and preparing for hearings. This work is highly confidential. Students develop research and writing skills, a better understanding of Louisiana Supreme Court administrative procedure, and may have the opportunity to observe oral arguments at the Supreme Court.
Location: 400 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
Louisiana Mental Health Advocacy Service (MHAS)
Louisiana's Mental Health Advocacy Service is an independent state agency under the office of the governor of the state of Louisiana established for the purpose of providing legal counsel and representation to both children and adults who have a mental illness or substance-related/addictive disorder and are admitted for treatment pursuant to Louisiana’s mental health law. Legal counsel includes, but is not limited to, voluntary and involuntary admissions, commitment, legal competency, change of status, transfer, and discharge. MHAS also provides qualified legal counsel to children in child abuse and neglect cases in Orleans Parish through its Child Advocacy Program. Externs are placed in both the mental health and child advocacy programs and assist with all aspects of representation.
Louisiana Department of Natural Resources
The Louisiana Department of Natural Resources works every day to ensure and promote sustainable and responsible use of the natural resources of Louisiana so that they are available for the enjoyment and benefit of our citizens now and in the future. The department's goal is to provide a fair, predictable and effective regulatory system that allows opportunities for development and economic growth through the use of the state's natural resources while at the same time ensuring protection of public safety and the environment. The Legal Division serves as legal counsel for all primary divisions in the Department and its duties consist of, but are not limited to, reviewing contracts, cost-share agreements, and other documents which could have a legal or liability implication for the Department or the State, and to review in conjunction with the Public Information Office all requests for public records.
Externs assist with the day-to-day work of licensed attorneys and may have the opportunity to attend board meetings, legal proceedings, departmental meetings and other professional activities.
Location: 617 3rd Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70802
New Orleans City Attorney's Office
The City Attorney is responsible for directing and supervising the legal affairs of the City of New Orleans. The City Charter defines the duties of the City Attorney as follows: to provide legal advice to the Mayor, the Council, and other city offices, departments and boards; to take charge of all legal matters in which the City has an interest or is a party; to prepare proposed ordinances upon request of the Mayor or City Council members; and to review all City contracts, documents and instruments creating any legal obligation affecting the City. Legal externs receive exposure to a wide cross-section of the office's work with consideration given to the particular interests of the student.
New Orleans Office of the Independent Police Monitor
The New Orleans OIPM monitors the process by which the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) investigates allegations of misconduct by its employees in order to determine if the process is timely, thorough and fair. It collects and analyzes data about complaints and police operations in order to identify problem areas and their root causes and makes those analyses public. The OIPM encourages constructive and informed public dialogue about systemic issues of police policy and procedure by making recommendations for reform that meet best practices nationwide, and it conducts extensive community outreach.
The primary duties of legal externs are to conduct research, analyze data, and prepare reports on policy issues related to police oversight and misconduct, as well as preventing and detecting fraud and abuse. They also conduct complaint intake after appropriate training. Externs review completed investigations of complaints of misconduct against NOPD officers to determine whether the investigations performed by the NOPD Public Integrity Bureau comply with substantive and procedural due process standards. They may assist with community outreach events designed to disseminate information about the agency and its function and with drafting outreach literature.
Location: 2714 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA 70119
Metropolitan Human Services District (MHSD)
MHSD is the local government entity responsible for developing, supporting, and sustaining vulnerable residents in Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes. The agency serves as the single point of entry to mental health, addiction and intellectual/developmental disability services for adults and children.
Externs with the General Counsel's office of this agency will assist MHSD attorneys representing the agency's interests and offering legal advice. The majority of the office's work consists of labor and employment issues involving the agency's civil service employees as well as transactional work centered on reviewing contracts with the agency's service providers. Externs also have the opportunity to assist with matters directly related to health law, such as HIPPA compliance and eligibility determinations.