Legal Counsel

The Legal Counsel Division is a counseling unit that advises the Mayor, other elected officials, and City agencies on issues concerning virtually every area of municipal law. The Division provides the legal advice and crafts the legislative changes necessary to shape and implement policy initiatives. The Division is responsible for drafting State and local legislation proposed by the Mayor and City agencies, and for assisting in the drafting of administrative rules. On a daily basis, Division attorneys field questions from City Hall and City agencies on issues of overriding importance to the City as well as those regarding day-to-day administration. Division attorneys often represent the Law Department on interagency task forces considering policy initiatives and work closely with the Mayor's Offices of Intergovernmental Affairs to assist in the passage or defeat of legislation.

The Grants and Compliance Unit, housed within the Legal Counsel Division, provides ongoing advice and counseling to ensure lawful claiming and expenditure of federal and State financial aid, and assists in the development, implementation and enforcement of internal compliance protocols. The Unit also represents the City before federal and State oversight entities and in connection with audits.

What New Attorneys Do

New attorneys in the Legal Counsel Division work together with senior attorneys in the Division and the Law Department executive staff to advise City agencies, the Mayor and other elected officials with respect to policy initiatives and pending federal, state and local legislation. They assist with drafting and reviewing legislation and local regulations and participate in meetings with City officials, regarding legislation and other projects and initiatives. New attorneys research and write legal memoranda on a wide range of municipal law issues, focusing on areas such as education, health, civil rights, the environment, transportation and the powers and duties of elected officials.

What Summer Interns Do

Interns in the Legal Counsel Division research various areas of municipal law, including statutory and legislative issues, in order to advise clients such as other city agencies. Interns present the results of their research in memos or in more informal writings or orally. Interns may attend meetings with Law Department attorneys and City officials and/or public hearings related to their work. The subjects addressed by the Legal Counsel division vary widely and interns have the opportunity to experience many different areas of municipal law.

Read the Law Department's Annual Reports for More Information about the Legal Counsel Division