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Cleveland-Marshall's Engaged Learning program offers externship placements with judicial, governmental, corporate counsel, and other agencies and organizations that serve the public interest. 

Some externships require background clearances. When a background clearance is required, you will need to apply well in advance of the term in which you wish to extern because most sites do not allow work to being until the background clearance has been completed, which can sometimes take as long as six to eight weeks.

Students are not eligible to apply for an externship until they have submitted an Externship Pre-Application in CareerConnect and met with an OCP adviser to discuss their externship preferences. It is also expected that every student will read and understand the Externship Program Handbook prior to applying for an externship.

For every externship, a student must commit to work a certain number of hours and participate in the Externship Seminar. The number of credits you may receive depends total number of hours you agree to work at the externship site. Please see the Externship Program Handbook for complete information on credit hours.

Externships Available: SPRING 2016 Term


Students may work for a federal district court judge or magistrate, a federal bankruptcy court judge, a federal appellate court judge, a state appellate court judge, or a county common pleas court judge. Externs are integrated into the work of the chambers: writing bench memos, drafting opinions, researching issues during trials, observing settlement conference and mediations. Students also have the opportunity to observe proceedings in the courthouse, which may include trials, sentencing hearings or oral arguments.

Students interested in pursuing a judicial externship should familiarize themselves with the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees, which extends to interns, externs, and other volunteers of the court, as explained in a March 2014 Advisory Opinion by the Committee on Codes of Conduct.

Applications for judicial externships for the Spring 2016 semester open on Thursday, September 24, 2015. The application deadline is Thursday, October 8, 2015. Any remaining externships after that date will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. A completed Judicial Externship Placement Questionnaire must be submitted with your externship application. Students will be matched with judges based on the credentials sought by the judges and the preferences provided by the student in their Questionnaire.

The following judges' chambers are accepting applications for the Spring 2016 term:

  • Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas
    • Judge Michael Astrab
    • Judge Michael P. Donnelly
    • Judge John Sutula
  • Ohio Court of Appeals, Eighth Appellate District
    • Judge Patricia Blackmon
    • Judge Melody Stewart
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
    • Judge Sarah Lioi
    • Magistrate Judge Kathleen Burke

This list will be updated periodically, so please check back. Last updated 10/26/2015.

Government, Public Interest & Corporate Counsel

These externships provide opportunities in numerous subject areas, including civil, criminal, education, health, immigration, labor/employment, and tax. These externships allow a student to have the opportunity to delve into substantive areas of law, investigate claims, research and write motions or briefs, draft contracts, and participate in hearings, trials, settlement conferences and/or negotiations. 

Some sites require background checks and/or security clearances; these sites generally post earlier and require applications to be submitted earlier. Please see the Externship Handbook for full details regarding background checks, drug screenings, course pre-requisites, etc.

The following sites are accepting applications for Spring 2016 Externships:

Sites with applications opening on Monday, October 26:

  • City of Cleveland Law Department
  • City of Lorain Law Department
  • City of Sheffield Lake Law Department
  • Cleveland Municipal Court, Housing Division
  • Cuyahoga Community College, Office of General Counsel
  • Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division
  • Cuyahoga County Law Department
  • Cuyahoga County Public Defender's Office
  • Eaton Corporation, Office of General Counsel
  • Eliza Jennings Senior Care Network
  • Federal Public Defender, Northern District of Ohio
  • Forest City Enterprises, Residential Management Group
  • Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
  • Lorain County Prosecutor's Office
  • National Labor Relations Board, Region 8
  • Nueva Luz Resource Center
  • Ohio Attorney General's Office
  • Parker-Hannifin Corporation
  • SPIRE Institute
  • U.S. Coast Guard, Ninth District Legal Office
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ICE Deputy Chief Counsel (application deadline of 11/13/15)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio, Civil Division
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor
  • University Hospitals, Ethics & Compliance Department

This list will be updated periodically. Last updated on 10/26/15.


Students may also pursue opportunities outside of the pre-arranged externship placements. Once a student secures an offer from a qualifying organization, he/she must submit an application to receive academic credit for the placement through the College of Law's Independent Externship program. For complete information, please review carefully the College of Law's Independent Externship Policy.

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