Entry-Level Attorney FAQ's

Entry-Level Frequently Asked Questions

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?
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?
How are entry class attorneys assigned to divisions?
How long does the Law Department keep entry class offers open?
What is the starting salary? Is there a bar admission raise?
What are the benefits offered to Law Department attorneys?
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 80.

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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 following the Program. Third year law students can apply through fall On-Campus Interviews (OCI) or through our online application system. There are no fixed deadlines. Decisions to grant interviews and extend offers are made on a rolling basis.

[back to top]How do I apply?

The Law Department participates in the on-campus interviewing process at law schools and job fairs, and we also accept applications through our online application system. Apply for our 2023 entry-level attorney class through this link.  Applications should include a cover letter and resume. Applicants are advised to discuss their division preferences in their cover letters. Law school transcripts (official or non-official), writing samples, and a list of three references are also requested. Please ensure your application materials comply with the Law Department's application guidelines.

Applications may be addressed to:

Lillian Evans
Director of Legal Recruitment
New York City Law Department
100 Church Street
New York, NY 10007

Applications are not accepted by regular mail or e-mail.  Questions 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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Does the Law Department reimburse for travel expenses related to interviews?
Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse travel expenses related to interviewing with the Law Department. However, we intend to primarily conduct virtual interviews during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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What is the interview process?
At a first-round interview, candidates meet one-on-one with an attorney from our office. Candidates who are selected for a second-round interview will meet with two senior attorneys and one junior attorney. Candidates recommended for a third-round interview will then meet with the Director of Legal Recruitment. Finally, if recommend, a candidate will meet for a fourth and final round interview with an Executive.

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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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How are entry class attorneys assigned to divisions?
Throughout the interview process, candidates are asked which divisions they are most interested in to ensure that the agency will have an available position in one of the candidate’s top division preferences. Candidates are encouraged to review our division descriptions, ask questions during the interview process and contact Attorney Ambassadors to learn more about which divisions they are most interested in. After a candidate accepts an offer, they are asked to confirm their top four division preferences. As our Tort Division is our largest division, the majority of placements are in that division.  For example, in 2022, we hired the following numbers of entry level attorneys for our divisions: Tort (37), Labor and Employment (8), Family Court (8), Special Federal Litigation (6), General Litigation (3), Commercial and Real Estate Litigation (2), Administrative Law and Regulatory Litigation (1) and Workers' Compensation (1).  On occasion, we have placed an individual in our Affirmative Litigation, Appeals, Environmental Law, Legal Counsel, and Tax and Bankruptcy Litigation Divisions.  Generally, we do not place entry level attorneys in our transactional divisions, which include our Economic Development, Contracts and Real Estate, and Municipal Finance Divisions. 

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How long does the Law Department leave entry class offers open?
In accordance with the National Association for Law Placement’s (NALP) “Principles for a Fair and Ethical Recruitment Process,” the Law Department will continue to abide by the NALP Timing Guidelines in place prior to the December 2018 amendments. Thus, during the fall recruitment season, offers of entry-level or summer honors intern employment made to current law students prior to December 15 will be kept open for 28 days, or until December 31, whichever is earlier. Offers made to law students after December 15 will be kept open for two weeks. Offers of permanent employment made to second year law students who interned in our summer program will be kept open until October 1. As always, we will make every effort to accommodate reasonable requests for extensions. Where law schools have adopted timing guidelines for their students that differ from the former NALP timing guidelines, we will make every effort to abide by those guidelines to the extent we are made aware of them by the school or the applicant.

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What is the starting salary? Is there a bar admission raise?
The starting salary for entry class attorneys is $73,579. 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
  • 12 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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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.  The Law Department is also a member of the Practicing Law Institute where attorneys can received additional training and CLE credits. 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.

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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 Uniform Bar Examination following graduation. Entry Class attorneys are encouraged to pass the New York Law Examination (NYLE) and the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) during law school. Entry class attorneys who have not pass the NYLE and MPRE during law school are required to sit for the first available NYLE and MPRE after graduation.

Employees who do not pass the bar examination 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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