Mini Externship Fairs Connect Students With Employers in Specific Areas of Law

This fall, AUWCL will host a series of specialized “mini” externship fairs. Students interested in specific areas of law will be matched up with employers for future externships and career opportunities.

Although AUWCL already welcomes more than 150 employers to the law school for the large annual Externship Fair each January, Avis Sanders, the director of the Externship Program at AUWCL, saw a need to connect upper-level students with employers working in their specific fields of interest.

Areas of the law featured at the mini fairs include Criminal Law (Sept. 19); Intellectual Property and Media and Communications (Oct. 8); and Gender Law, which will include family law, women’s right, LGBT issues, and juvenile advocacy (Oct. 16). Business Law and Health Law fairs are also being planned.

"Students with an interest in intellectual property law should take advantage of this unique opportunity to meet face to face with employers and learn about the wide range of ways to practice in the field," said Professor Michael Carroll, director, Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property at AUWCL.

Unlike the annual Externship Fair, the mini fairs are open to employers offering a wide array of positions which might not meet the law school’s externship requirements—students participating in externships are earning academic credit for unpaid legal work outside of school.

“Employers attending the mini fairs may have paid internships, fellowships, paid or unpaid internships, or part-time or full-time positions available,” explained Sanders. “There may also be employers who are very interested in getting to know our students even if they don’t have a position open at the time.”

The Externship Office has also initiated preparation sessions prior to each fair to help students with their resumes and provide career guidance. Approximately 35 students attended the preparation session for the Criminal Law Mini-Fair, which was organized by Professor Cynthia Jones and the Criminal Justice Practice and Policy Institute. Thirteen faculty and alumni assisted students in honing their resumes and provided guidance specific to pursuing a career in criminal law.

“I think communicating with someone who practices in the area you want to go into can help students get a better understanding of exactly what you need to put into your resume—or even what you need to take out,” said Sanders.

AUWCL was recently recognized by the The National Jurist as one of the top 25 law schools with the best ratio of externship offerings per full-time student. The 2013 ABA-LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools reports 42 percent or 510 AUWCL students externed.

For more information about externships or the mini fairs, contact externship@wcl.american.edu.

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