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Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program

The Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program places high-achieving inner-city high school students with legal employers for the summer. This Program is part of the New York City Bar’s continuing efforts to enhance the diversity of the legal profession.

Photo courtesy of Rick Kopstein, NY Law Journal
Students from the 2010 Thurgood Marshall Program met John W. Marshall and Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Fern Fisher, at the Program's Closing Reception.


The Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program is an intensive program which places high-achieving inner-city high school students with legal employers for the summer, and provides them with additional programming before, during, and after the summer designed to help them prepare for a legal career.

Students are selected to participate in the Program based upon personal interviews and demonstrated academic excellence. They are first nominated by their schools and then interviewed at the New York City Bar; this process consists of face-to-face meetings with the students and a written test that is administered to determine comfort with challenges common in an office environment. Job assignments in firms vary depending on the needs of the employer, but typically include assisting paralegals, filing, record keeping, assisting library and back-office personnel, data entry and document and exhibit organization.

Prior to interviewing with employers, all applicants participate in a mandatory, three-part Pre Employment Training. The purpose of this training is to identify the students who are most prepared to take on the requirements of the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program, and to provide valuable training for all students to help them strengthen their application materials for future opportunities.

In addition to their employment, the interns attend the following development workshops:

Pre-Employment Trainings
These trainings, in collaboration with human resources representatives from partner firms and career services professionals from regional law schools, provide all applicants with one-on-one resume and cover letter review, presentations on interview preparation, mock interviews, and general office etiquette including email/telephone training, speaking and presentation exercises; and professional attire workshops.
2014 Pre Employment Training Schedule: Monday, April 14; Tuesday, April 15; Monday, April 21 & Thursday, May 1

Roundtable orientation sessions, led by alumni of the program, include discussions on successful internship guidelines, such as workplace attire, electronic etiquette, networking, interacting at meetings and workshops, and tips for making a lasting impression.

Networking Workshop & Speed Networking at ABC News
A comprehensive networking training, followed by participation in a Speed Networking Program sponsored by ABC, where students meet in speed-sessions with volunteer attorneys.

Law Class at Columbia University
A law class provided by a Columbia Law School professor where interns discuss a domestic abuse case and are exposed to the Socratic method.

Diverse Career Opportunities Panel
A panel of four attorneys in diverse career fields speaks about their career paths and provide advice for attaining one’s professional goals. The students are then divided into small group sessions with attorneys who speak about their career paths, and the students report back to the group, followed by an open networking session.  

Mock Trial in Federal Court
Law students and volunteer attorneys coach the interns at Fordham Law School as they prepare for a mock trial, which is argued before a Federal Court judge.

Job Shadow Week
To culminate their internships, students spend a week shadowing attorneys in companies and organizations; each student is paired with the company that most closely aligned with their career aspirations. The students participate in mock meetings, observe attorneys within each organization, and some students shadow attorneys in court.
More info & Job Shadow Week Host Registration

Last year marked the 20th anniversary of the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program.  Since the program's inception in 1993, the program has placed more than 1,200 students in law firms, corporate law departments, non-profit/government organizations and law schools throughout the city.

Program Brochure [PDF]



2014 Program Student Application (PDF)
The application deadline for the 2014 Program is Friday, February 28th 


For Employers

Employer Registration Form (PDF)
Employer Registration Deadline: Friday, March 22nd 

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)


For Volunteer Attorneys

To volunteer at a weekly development program, please visit the registration links below:

Pre-Employment Trainings:

Speed Networking Event:

Legal Writing Workshop:

Diverse Career Opportunities Program:


Alumni Networking Group/Mentor Program

To encourage continued participation in the Thurgood Marshall Program, the City Bar implemented an Alumni Networking Group to provide support and programming for past participants. Under this, the City Bar launched a two-part Mentor Program in which current and past participants are mentored by law students from various law schools in New York City. In return, the participating law students will have the opportunity to be matched with attorney mentors.

Alumni Registration Form (PDF)


Program Support

Our Supporters


For more information, please contact

Clare Plunkett
Diversity Pipeline Initiatives
P: (212) 382-6772| F: (212) 869-215 

Gabrielle Lyse Brown
Director, Diversity of Diversity & Inclusion
P: (212) 382-6713 | F: (212) 768-8116 

Paula Edgar
Chair, Diversity Pipeline Initiatives Committee

Katelin O'Rourke Gorman
Chair, Subcommittee on High School Initiatives