By Naeema Hernandez, Center for Co-op & Professional Advancement
Thinking about working in New York City at some point during your legal education? NUSL’s co-op program has you covered! CCOPA recently outreached to a number of public interest and international employers to strengthen existing relationships and to build new opportunities for student exploration and post-graduate career placement. Every employer that CCOPA has connected with in NYC has reinforced the importance of establishing legal connections and experiences in the city during the law student’s education if the student ultimately wants to work in NYC after graduation.
Fortunately, NUSL students have the opportunity to pursue four full time co-op opportunities which provides the perfect platform to network and connect with employers in geographic locations all over the world. NYC is a large city with a huge public interest and international presence. A number of public interest and international organizations have national offices in New York City including the United Nations, the Open Society Institute and the American Civil Liberties Union to name just a few. Additionally, many federal government agencies have regional enforcement offices in New York City, like the Department of Education, the EPA and the SEC. The scale and size of the city can be quite intimidating for some students, but CCOPA is here to provide a plan to help students get connected with their dream co-ops and careers in NYC.
NUSL has a strong alumni/ae presence in New York City including a mentoring program coordinated by alums to ensure that students are supported throughout their co-op and are connected to important networking opportunities. The mentoring program connects current students with a NUSL alumus/a that is doing work in the field that the student is interested in. Students also have the opportunity to meet with alums and other public interest employers in NYC for advising sessions and informational interviews. Some students have secured post-graduate jobs during time spent for a co-op experience in NYC and many students have established deeper connections in the city that have presented opportunities to work on interesting projects once the student has returned to school after completing a co-op. In some cases, these opportunities have developed into post-graduate fellowship proposals with a sponsoring organization in NYC.
CCOPA has also developed an extensive list of funding opportunities that students can apply to that can help to financially support a student’s time in NYC during a co-op. Many public interest and international employers will work with the student to find funding to support a student’s work experience in NYC, and some organizations may provide a stipend to help offset transportation costs.
If NYC is your ultimate destination, or even if it is just an interest, CCOPA will support you in getting there and will work with you to develop a plan to make the most out of your co-op in the Big Apple!