Externship Program

The law school's Supervised Externship Program allows students to learn about the legal profession through law-related fieldwork and, at the same time, to develop their reflective learning skills under close faculty supervision. Students are placed in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, courts, and law firms engaged in pro bono activities, where they work under the supervision of practicing attorneys. In tandem with the field placement, students meet weekly in a seminar led by a faculty member. The seminar draws on the placement work and assists students in reflecting on the work of the lawyer and on their own professional goals. Students also meet ¬ frequently in small groups or individually with the faculty member to discuss the progress of the externship. In some cases, students may participate in independent tutorial externships, which must be arranged with and supervised by a ¬ faculty sponsor.

LAW-769 Externship Seminar (3 hrs.) Externship seminars provide students with an opportunity to engage in critical reflection about the legal profession, their own future legal careers, and their priorities and values as lawyers in conjunction with their field placement experiences.

Externship seminars are open to students in a wide variety of field-placements and, rather than emphasizing a particular area of law, focus on the lawyering experience, the legal profession, and the workings of legal institutions. Instructors choose various general themes for their own seminars, but within each seminar some specific topics are likely to include the nature of law practice in different settings (including private firms, public interest ¬ organizations, and government agencies), the varieties of lawyer-client relationships in these settings, and the dynamics and politics of the workplace. Other topics that may be covered include images of lawyers in fiction and popular culture, theories of bureaucracy in relation to the lawyering process, legal ethics in theory and practice, issues of gender, race, and difference in the legal profession, and the profession's history. Finally, in all the seminars students have the opportunity to explore their own professional development through discussions of critique and self-evaluation, the transition from school to work, and career goals and career planning. Concurrent registration for field placement, LAW-899, is required.

Externship Component

LAW-899 Externship (Seminar and Field Placement). Students who have completed one year of law school may receive academic credit for performing substantive legal work under the supervision of an attorney in a government agency, nonprofit organization, court, or private law firm engaged in pro bono activities. Students registered in the externship program also participate in an externship seminar which draws upon the field placement experience to enhance each student's understanding of legal institutions and of the work of the lawyer. Field placements must be approved by the student's externship seminar instructor. Concurrent registration for LAW-769 (Externship Seminar) is required.

LAW-754 Externship (Individual Faculty Supervision). Under the terms of a formal agreement among student, individual faculty member, and supervising attorney in the field, students receive academic credit for legal field experience in a government agency, nonprofit organization, or private law firm engaged in pro bono activities. Over the course of the semester, the student and faculty supervisor meet regularly to discuss the progress of the externship. Each independent tutorial student must also complete a writing project.