Externship Fairs

Spring Externship Fair

Spring Externship Fair

The annual Spring Externship Fair hosts employers from over 150 organizations who are seeking WCL students for internships and externships. This is an amazing opportunity created for all students to network, apply for internships and externships, informally interview with employers, and explore a tremendous variety of organizations and practice areas. This event, held each year in late January, is exclusive to WCL and many of the organizations in attendance are represented by WCL alumni. All students should plan on attending regardless of your intention to find a summer internship or externship.

Students should visit Careerlink for fair preparation resources and a list of registered employers. A directory, map, and other resources will be added to this page throughout January.

Employers interested in learning more can email externship@wcl.american.edu.


Who comes to the Externship Fairs?


Representatives from not-for-profit organizations, government agencies, courts, and law firms engaged in pro bono work attend the Externship Fairs. Participants include numerous divisions of the United States Department of Justice and other government agencies such as the FCC, the SEC, and the Departments of Commerce, Education, and State. Also in attendance are prosecutors from a variety of jurisdictions and the public defender services for D.C., Virginia, and Maryland, as well as dozens of public interest organizations, such as the ACLU and the Legal Aid Society. For a more comprehensive list, click here.

How can you prepare for an Externship Fair?


The Externship Fairs can be overwhelming, but it is important to prepare yourself ahead of time to make a good impression on potential employers. Most organizations will accept resumes at the Fair and many will use the opportunity to screen applicants and engage in informal interviews. Here are some tips to prepare yourself for the Fair:

  • Update your resume. Meet with a career counselor from OCPD to discuss your career objectives and update your resume. If you are unable to schedule an appointment prior to the Fair, there will be "drop-in" hours during the week immediately preceding the Fair. Here are some useful resources for creating your resume.

    Students Dressed to Impress at the Externship Fair
  • Dress to impress. Dress professionally. You should aim to wear a suit, or at a minimum, business casual. In many cases, employers make hiring decisions at the Fair, so your attire should reflect this. Do not wear casual clothing such as sneakers or baseball caps. 

  • Create a plan. Prior to the Fair, the Externship Program issues an Employer Directory with a comprehensive list of the employers attending, as well as a layout of where each employer will be located at the Fair. Identify and research the employers you would like to speak with and familiarize yourself with the layout of the Fair. This will help you use your time effectively.

  • Develop your "elevator speech." An elevator speech will allow you to introduce yourself, explain your interest and background, and lead into any questions for the employer in just a few minutes. For tips on creating your elevator speech, check out this great resource on networking.

  • Don't limit yourself. When you see someone who is not speaking with

    Externship Fair Table Talk

    anyone else, stop by to talk with them. This is a very effective way of getting an externship. Don't leave before your time is up and don't limit yourself to organizations you have already heard of. You may find that there are organizations which have opportunities for externs that would provide you with the skills you seek.

  • Follow up promptly. After the Fair, follow up with connections you made through email by reintroducing yourself, expressing your interest, and attaching your resume, even if you already gave them a hard copy. You should also follow up with representatives you gave your resume to even if you are no longer interested in a position with their organization.

In the weeks leading up to the Externship Fair, the Externship Program will provide more information about the Fair, employers attending, and comprehensive information on how to prepare.

Externship Fair Calendar

Annually in the Spring Semester (January)