“It was one of the best learning experiences of my life. It was an amazing feeling to have such a positive impact on the life of an entire family as a summer associate.” — Former Summer Associate
Our summer program offers summer associates a chance to make a lasting difference in the lives of families in need, while enhancing their legal skills and growing in confidence as lawyers and advocates.
Give your summer associates an opportunity to advocate on behalf of the City’s most vulnerable families
The summer program is an excellent opportunity for summer associates and supervising attorneys to work together on challenging and compelling matters, and to experience first-hand the firm’s commitment to assisting some of the most vulnerable and neglected members of our community.
Summer associates take an active role representing clients in cases involving at least one of the following:
- Custody and/or visitation
- Child and/or spousal support
- Non-litigated or litigated divorces
- Violence Against Women Act and U Nonimmigrant Status immigration matters
Summer associates and supervising attorneys can:
- Build attorney-client relationships
- Draft and file pleadings, affidavits and motions
- Negotiate with opposing counsel
- Interact with court personnel
- Develop general litigation skills
Her Justice’s Appellate Division practice order enables law students to appear and speak on the record in Family Court and Supreme Court, at the discretion of the presiding judge or magistrate, so long as a supervising attorney from the firm, who is admitted in New York State, is present in court.
Earn free CLE credit while supervising summer associates at your firm
Supervising partners and associates receive CLE credit for the trainings they attend or watch on video and pro bono CLE credit for the representation.
How does it work?
- One or more summer associates accept a legal matter for
representation in late May/early June.
- Each summer associate team must
be supervised by an associate and/or partner at the firm, admitted in
New York, who will be the attorney of record, supervise all work done by
the summer associates, and attend all court hearings with the summer
Please note that many of our clients are Spanish-speaking and cannot communicate in English.
- Supervising attorneys are responsible for bringing the
matter to conclusion once the summer associates have left the firm. We
cannot guarantee that matters will conclude during the summer.
Many firms staff these matters with paralegals or other firm employees
who can serve as interpreters and gain a rewarding pro bono experience.
Please let us know if you have any special language concerns or can
offer interpretation and/or translation skills in connection with these
Trainings and scheduling
- Multi-firm CLE trainings in each of the practice areas are scheduled
in late May/early June. Trainings are two or two-and-a-half hours long,
depending on the practice area, and include an interactive question and
answer session to address issues that may arise.
All summer associates must attend the trainings or watch our video
trainings relevant to their assigned matters. We strongly suggest that
summer associates attend the live trainings so that they can ask
questions about their cases and the substantive areas of the law.
Supervising attorneys must attend the trainings or watch our video
trainings if they have not practiced in, or been trained in, the
relevant practice area.
We forward matter descriptions and copies of clients’ documents in
advance of the training sessions to enable firms to complete conflicts
Firms may request matters of each type up to the limits specified under "What are the options." Requests for additional matters will be placed on a waitlist and,
to the extent available, additional matters will be provided once all
participating firms’ initial requests have been satisfied.
Manuals and mentoring
- We supply our detailed substantive and procedural practice manuals
to firms prior to the trainings so that firms can copy and distribute
the manuals in advance to the participating summer associates and
- Our experienced staff attorneys provide intensive
mentoring during the course of the representation until the matter is
Question and answer sessions
To enhance and complement the summer program, we also offer each
participating firm a personalized question and answer session (Q&A)
midway through the summer.
- The Q&A can be scheduled at the firm for
one hour so that summer associates and their supervisors can meet with
their mentors to discuss their cases and share common issues
that arise during the course of the representation.
- Depending on the
cases handled in the summer, in-person meetings with Her Justice
mentors and the individual teams can be scheduled as well.
What are the options?
Family Court—Orders of Protection, Custody/Visitation, and Child and Spousal Support
Summer associates are introduced to an area of family law and
practice and see how litigants who are indigent or working poor fare in
our city’s Family Courts.
- We select matters with a Family Court
appearance scheduled during the summer so that summer associates will
have the opportunity to go to court and appear in the case at least
Each firm may request up to 3 Family Court matters, designating a
preference for one or more practice areas. We will try to honor
preferences, but firms will be assigned matters based on availability.
Supreme Court—Non-litigated and Litigated Divorces
Summer associates are introduced to Supreme Court practice and to
the basics of matrimonial law in New York State.
non-litigated matters will meet with their clients, and prepare the
initial and final pleadings before the end of the summer. There is
usually no court appearance for non-litigated divorce matters.
Litigated divorces have issues that need to be litigated, such as
equitable distribution of a house or pension, custody, child support or
maintenance. Summer associates handling contested matters will meet with
their clients, and prepare and file the initial pleadings. They may see
responsive pleadings, prepare an emergency motion for support,
participate in the commencement of negotiations with opposing counsel,
and attend a court appearance before the end of the summer.
Firms handling divorces are required to use the latest version of
Drafting Libraries divorce software, which is available for purchase at www.draftinglib.com. Please contact us for further information.
Each firm may request up to 4 non-litigated divorce matters and up to 3 litigated divorce matters.
Her Justice refers three types of immigration matters: Violence Against
Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitions and Battered Spouse Waivers, and
Petitions for U Nonimmigrant Status (U visas). Summer associates
working on immigration matters are introduced to basic immigration law
concepts and practices, and assist clients in preparing affidavits and
supporting documents for filing with the United States Citizenship and
Immigration Services (USCIS).
VAWA Self-Petitions and Battered Spouse Waivers enable immigrant
women who are domestic violence victims to seek lawful permanent
residence in the U.S. for themselves and their children without the
permission or assistance of their abusive husbands. After the summer,
the firm will be responsible for continuing to represent the client
through her grant of adjustment of status. This may involve attending an
informal hearing before a USCIS officer.
U Nonimmigrant status is offered to a victim of certain crimes, like
domestic violence and rape, who cooperates in the investigation or
prosecution of her attacker. U Nonimmigrant status allows a client and
her family members to work and live lawfully in the U.S., and creates a
pathway to their being able to obtain lawful permanent resident status.
It also allows derivative family members living abroad to travel to the
U.S. and reunite with the victim. After the summer, the firm will be
responsible for continuing to represent the client and any derivative
family members through the grant of U Nonimmigrant status. There is no
court appearance or interview associated with petitions for U
Firms can specify a preference for a VAWA matter or a U visa matter and we will try to honor preferences, but firms will be
assigned matters based on case availability.
Each firm may request up to 2 immigration matters.
Registration for the 2014 Her Justice Summer Associate Program has not begun.
Contact us at email@example.com for more information about our upcoming Summer Associate Program.