With Hearing Set for January 29th, City Bar Endorses ABA Council’s Call to Allow Academic Credit for Paid Internships

The New York City Bar Association has endorsed a proposal put forth by the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar to allow law students to receive academic credit for participating in an internship, whether or not the students receive compensation. The American Bar Association has set January 22nd as the deadline for comments and January 29th for a hearing on the matter. In a letter signed by President Debra L. Raskin, the City Bar endorses the Council’s proposal to eliminate Interpretation 305-2 of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, which prohibits law students who work in internships for pay from receiving academic credit. “The Council has correctly recognized that internships, or what it refers to as ‘field placements,’ with law firms or other private employers such as banks, whether or not the student is compensated, offer ‘substantial lawyering experience’ to law students, as simulation courses and law clinics also do,” states the City Bar’s letter. “There is no reason why the ABA rules governing academic credit for these different lawyering experiences should not be substantially the same, as the Council now proposes. We commend the Council for recognizing that whether the student participating in the internship is paid or not is irrelevant; in both situations the student has the opportunity to gain a valuable first hand lawyering experience.” The City Bar’s letter, along with two previous letters on the topic, may be read here: