Committee Reports

Letter to ABA supporting proposed rule change to allow academic credit to law students for paid internships


New York City Bar President Debra L. Raskin sent a letter to the ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in order to endorse the Council’s proposal regarding paid internships completed by law students. Specifically, the Council proposes to eliminate Interpretation 305-2, which prohibits giving academic credit to a law student if the student receives pay for his or her field placement. As explained by President Raskin in this letter, and based on her previous April 2015 and June 2015 letters to the ABA on this topic: internships offer “substantial lawyering experience” to law students, whether or not the students are compensated. Therefore, whether or not the student participating in the internship is paid should be irrelevant to the question of granting academic credit; in both situations, the student has the opportunity to gain a valuable first-hand lawyering experience. The City Bar will continue to urge the ABA to adopt the Council’s recommendation and eliminate the artificial paid/unpaid distinction that currently exists.