How to Find a Field Placements
Determine the Type of Externship You Want
Before thinking about specific field placements, you should think about what kind of experience you are looking for. Some externships offer primarily research and writing experience; others involve interviewing/intake and representation of clients; still others may offer the opportunity to work in a policy area. If you do not have a particular substantive area in mind, think about which courses you have taken that were interesting and what about them interested you.
Locating an Externship
- Externship Database
--The WCL Externship Program Database offers information about employers that have requested a WCL student for an externship and/or have sponsored a student in the past. Search by area of practice or keyword to find externship that interest you.
In addition, review the section of the database describing the duties of the extern. Keep in mind that the actual tasks involved in the externship are at least as important as the substantive area. For example, if you are interested in having client contact and working in the immigration law area, you will probably be disappointed with an externship at an immigration policy organization. The database contains over 500 employers located in the Washington metropolitan area, as well as a limited number of national externships. Students interested in pursuing an externship outside of the United States should contact the Externship Program Office for assistance. International listings are available from the Externship Program Office.
- Externship Fair --In January, the Externship Program hosts an Externship Fair, held at the Washington College of Law. Representatives from over 100 organizations and agencies generally attend. Students have the opportunity to speak with employers and to obtain information about the organizations and the externships available. Most employers will accept resumes at the Fair.
- Posted Listings --Watch The Docket and our bulletin boards (outside Rooms 411 & 413) for new listings and employers who are currently searching for externs.
- Counseling --Make an appointment with the Externship Program Director to discuss field placement opportunities. email@example.com
- Design Your Own Externship --Rather than selecting from externships used by the law school in the past, you are also free to design your own field placement, if it fits our program criteria. Use our "Yellow Books" (located in the Externship Office) to get names and addresses of most government and not-for-profit organizations in Washington, DC.
- Meet with Career Services Specialists --in the Office of Career Services WCL career counselors are available for students who want to consider how to most effectively take advantage of an externship to assist them in meeting their long-term career goals. In addition, specialists in public interest law, government law, international relations, and judicial clerkships are available to meet with students. For individual counseling, contact the OCS at Office of Career Services.
- Review Evaluations --After reviewing the database listings, peruse the field placement evaluations, available in binders in the Externship office, room 413. These evaluations, written by WCL students, can be quite helpful in providing additional information about the field placements and supervisors.