September 5, 1996
Digest: A part-time judge may work as a part-time, unpaid law clerk for a County Court judge as part of his/her law school program.
Rule: 22 NYCRR 100.6(B)(4); Opinions 92-115, 88-69, 88-67
A town judge inquires whether part-time work as an unpaid law clerk for a County Court judge in another county is permissible. The position is part of an externship program assisting the inquirer in obtaining academic credit toward a law degree.
Section 100.6(B)(4) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct permits a part-time judge to accept private or public “employment that is not incompatible with judicial office and does not conflict or interfere with the proper performance of the judge's duties.” This Committee has previously rendered opinions indicating that employment such as described by the inquiring judge, is permissible where the employment is compensated and within the same county. See Opinions 88-67, 88-69, and 92-115. In the instant situation, there appears to be little chance that matters involving the inquiring judge would find their way into the inquirer's court. (Also, the inquiring justice has sought the permission of the Chief Administrator.)