The Externship Office reviews all field placement requests prior to approval as part of the registration process. The Office contacts all new employers to ensure they understand the Program requirements and agree to provide externs with a substantive work experience that meets those requirements.
You can turn any internship into an externship, as long as it meets the following requirements:
- The placement must be at a not-for-profit organization, government agency, court, or an in-house counsel office in an approved corporation. Students may not extern with a law firm unless they are assigned exclusively to pro bono matters.
- Student must be engaged in substantive legal work.
- Student must be supervised by a licensed attorney.
- The position must be unpaid.
- Student must work onsite in the same location as the supervising attorney, and may not work remotely.
For more information, see Finding a Field Placement.
If you have any questions or concerns about whether a potential internship will qualify, please speak with the Externship Program staff before securing the position.
Register for an Externship Seminar: Select an Externship Seminar section from the relevant semester's course schedule (LAW 769: Externship Seminar). Register for your desired seminar section through Eagle Service in the myAU portal, as you would register for any other class. For information on what types of seminars we offer, check out the Seminars page.
Important Note: You may register for a seminar as soon as they are posted, and you do not need to wait until your externship has been finalized. Unless the course description explicitly states otherwise, all externship seminars are open to students in any placement.
Request Approval/Register for your Field Placement. After you have registered for an externship seminar, begin the field credit approval/registration process.
Complete the application to begin field placement approval processing. You will need to know the name, title, email, and phone number of your attorney supervisor in order to complete this process.
Important Note: Students who are seeking approval of placements which are new to the Externship Program, must provide the Program staff with sufficient time to determine whether the placement meets Program requirements. Do not wait until after the semester has started to request approval or you risk having the request denied after you have already started working and the add/drop period has ended.
The Field Placement Approval Application is at the bottom of this page. Read the remainder of these steps before proceeding.
Employer and Student Agreements. Once your field placement application has been approved, we will email your supervisor an employer agreement to sign electronically. After the employer agreement is filled out and signed by your supervisor, you will receive a student contract. Before you sign the student contract, make sure to review the employer agreement and familiarize yourself with your anticipated responsibilities. This will help you create your goals for the semester. It will also give you an opportunity to see if there are any discrepancies between your expectations and those of your supervisor which you can then straighten out with your supervisor sooner rather than later.
Add Drop Form. As soon as you complete the student contract, you will be emailed an add/drop form. Print this form, sign it, and bring it to the Externship Office (located in Y341) for final signature and approval to formally enroll in the field credit component, which will be added to your semester schedule as LAW-899: Externship Component.
Second Externships (Advanced Supervision): You may only receive credit for a field placement if you are also enrolled in an Externship Seminar. If you have already participated in the Two-Credit Externship Seminar, you may not enroll in a second two-credit seminar. Instead you should enroll in the One-Credit Advanced Supervision Seminar, which is offered every semester. Exceptions may be made for students participating in a Long-Distance Externship or the In-House Counsel Externship program. For more information on the types of seminars offered, please see the Seminars page.
Repeating an Externship with the Same Employer: Students may not extern twice for the same organization without the permission of the Externship Office. Only students engaged in substantially different or more advanced work will be permitted to repeat an externship. To request permission, confer with your attorney supervisor and send an explanation to the Externship Director. Describe what you had been doing before and compare this to your new duties. Provide the name of new or additional attorneys with whom you will work.
Maximum Credits: Students may enroll in a total of six externship field placement credits and six externship seminar credits throughout law school.
The academic credits you receive through the Externship seminar and the fieldwork are law school credits that contribute to your graduation total. You will be charged tuition for any credits you want to earn for your field placement as well as the Externship seminar. Students must enroll in a minimum of one field placement in addition to teh seminar.
Summer classes are not counted as part of regular tuition. This means you will be paying above and beyond the regular WCL tuition price. Students can offset the costs of doing an Externship during the summer semester by going part-time in a subsequent semester. This option is not available to all students. Students should consult with Financial Aid and the Office of Student Affairs to determine whether doing so is in their best interest. For more information on how to save by doing a Summer Externship, click here.
In order to be eligible for financial aid in the Summer, you must register for a minimum of six credits. This can be achieved solely through an Externship by registering for a two-credit seminar and four field placement credits. You can also meet the six-credit minimum by taking some externship credits and taking other summer courses. Keep in mind that in order to receive credit for an Externship, you must be enrolled in a minimum of one credit for the fieldwork in addition to the seminar.