Externships provide students the opportunity to learn the law outside of the classroom by participating in and observing the legal system in action while earning course credits. Students work in settings where, under the close supervision of an attorney or judge, they contribute to the ongoing work of the office. Students have the chance to learn the law by being active participants in the legal process. Externs also get to observe legal proceedings—e.g., depositions, settlement conferences, trials—so that they receive broad exposure to the legal system. A key aspect of every externship is close supervision by an attorney or judge who will review and comment on the student’s work throughout the term so that the student hones professional skills and expands one’s understanding of professional responsibilities. Externships also feature a classroom component that allow students to meet with other student externs and a clinical faculty member to discuss their experiences and further explore how their doctrinal coursework applies in their externship experiences.
Externships are with judicial and governmental offices and other organizations that serve the public interest. Student work depends on the office. When working in a judge’s chambers a student may research and write bench memos in preparation for hearings on cases or draft orders and opinions. In other offices they may conduct client or witness interviews, engage in discovery and document review, or other types of fact investigation.
For more information about the Externship Program, please read the Externship Program Handbook. If you have additional questions, please contact the Office of Career Planning, or 216-687-6871.