Entry-Level FAQs

How many graduating law students does the Law Department hire each year?
How are applicants hired? Are there any deadlines?
How do I apply?
Does the Law Department hire only from New York area schools?
What is the starting salary? Is there a bar admission raise?
What are the benefits offered to Law Department attorneys?
Does the Law Department reimburse for travel expenses related to interviews?
What is the interview process?
What do I need to bring to my interview?
Is there a mentor program for new attorneys?
What types of training and professional development programs are provided to new attorneys?
Are new attorneys subject to the Law Department's three-year commitment requirement?
Is there a City residency requirement?
Is there a U.S. citizenship requirement?
Must applicants be admitted to the New York State bar?
Does the Law Department permit transfers between divisions?


How many graduating law students does the Law Department hire each year?
Usually somewhere between 40 and 60.

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How are applicants hired? Are there any deadlines?
About half of the Law Department's entry class is hired from our Summer Honors Program, with offers extended in August following the Program. Law students applying through fall On-Campus Interviews (OCI) or write-in applications will be interviewed throughout the fall and into the spring. There are no fixed deadlines. Decisions to grant interviews and extend offers are made on a rolling basis.

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How do I apply?
We accept applications only through our online application system after August 1.  Applications should include a cover letter and resume. Law school transcripts (official or non-official), writing samples, and a list of three references may be requested at a later date. Please ensure your application materials comply with the Law Department's application guidelines. Applicants are advised to discuss their division preferences in their cover letters.

Applications may be addressed to:

Stuart D. Smith, Esq.
Director of Legal Recruitment
New York City Law Department
100 Church Street
New York, NY 10007

Applications will no longer be accepted by regular mail or e-mail.  Questions, however, may be sent to recruitment@law.nyc.gov.

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Does the Law Department hire only from New York area schools?
No. The Law Department's entry class is usually made up of graduates from between 25 and 30 different law schools.

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What is the starting salary? Is there a bar admission raise?
The starting salary for entry class attorneys is $68,494. An admitted attorney's salary increases on his or her first anniversary with the Law Department. Judicial law clerks are given salary credit for their clerkship years. 

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What are the benefits offered to Law Department attorneys?
Benefits offered to Law Department attorneys include the following:

  • 18 days of annual leave
  • 10 days of sick leave
  • 11 paid holidays
  • 6 weeks of paid parental leave for birth, adoption, or foster care of a child
  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage
  • Life and long-term disability insurance
  • Pre-tax health and dependent care spending programs
  • Pre-tax "Transit Chek" programs
  • Deferred compensation 401K plan
  • Deferred compensation 457 plan
  • Health club reimbursement
  • Domestic partnership benefits 
  • New York City Employees Retirement System Pension

Find a full description of benefits.

Find information about the City's pension plan.

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Does the Law Department reimburse for travel expenses related to interviews?
Sorry, no.

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What is the interview process?
Applicants will be screened either on-campus or at our office. Applicants who are selected for further interviews will meet with two senior attorneys and one junior attorney. Applicants recommended for further interviews will meet with the Director of Legal Recruitment and, if chosen, the First Assistant Corporation Counsel or the Corporation Counsel on subsequent dates.

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What do I need to bring to my interview?
We recommend that you bring copies of your most up-to-date resume, writing samples, law school transcript, and list of references.  Please ensure that your application materials comply with the Law Department's application guidelines.  

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Is there a mentor program for new attorneys?
Attorneys in the entry class are assigned a mentor in their division.

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What types of training and professional development programs are provided to new attorneys?
All new attorneys participate in a week-long orientation program (“The ABC's for ACCs”). Tort and Family Court attorneys have individualized classroom training in preparation for courtroom appearances. Most litigating ACCs will also be invited to participate in our week-long civil trial advocacy program, designed specifically for the kind of cases handled by the office. The Law Department is an accredited Continuing Legal Education provider and offers live and video tape courses free of charge to all its attorneys.  Learn more about professional development at the Law Department.

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Are new attorneys subject to the Law Department's three-year commitment requirement?
Yes. All attorneys working at the Law Department make a three-year commitment to the office. This assures that we have the time to train our attorneys appropriately so that they are prepared to take primary responsibility for important and complex cases. The average time that attorneys stay at the New York City Law Department, as measured by those leaving over the past three years, is just under 10 years.

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Is there a City residency requirement?
No.

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Is there a U.S. citizenship requirement?
No.

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Must applicants be admitted to the New York State bar?
In accordance with the State court practice orders that permit our non-admitted attorneys to appear in court, members of our entry class, absent unusual circumstances, must take the first available New York State bar examination following graduation. Employees who do not pass on their first try can take the next available bar examination. Employees who do not pass the bar examination on their second try are no longer eligible to practice under the practice orders and may be transferred to a paralegal title or asked to leave the Law Department.

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Does the Law Department permit transfers between divisions?
An attorney with two or more years of service in a division may request a transfer to another division. Transfers are subject to the needs of the Law Department. Transfers for attorneys with fewer than two years of service may be granted in unusual circumstances.

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