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Full-time Externship Information and Application Process

General

Externship programs are under the jurisdiction of the Curricular, Co-curricular, and Pedagogic Issues Committee. Students are responsible for following the correct procedures for their externship application/proposal.

Credits

A student may earn a maximum of 12 credits for an approved externship program in a regular academic term, and 8 credits in a full summer term. Three of the awarded credits must be allocated to a research project under faculty supervision that is integrated with the balance of the external studies program.

It is expected that the student will devote full time to the externship for the duration of the term of enrollment. A student may not engage in both the externship and study abroad program during his or her matriculation at the Law School.

Student Eligibility

Only students who have completed their first year core requirements are eligible for an externship program. Only students in good academic standing are eligible to participate in an externship. In deciding whether to approve an externship program, the members of the Committee may take into account the student's academic performance at the Law School.

The Committee will more than likely not approve a proposal from a student who has two or more outstanding Incompletes on his or her transcript at the time the proposal is submitted. Students are not permitted to enroll in an externship with more than one Incomplete grade on their transcript at the time of their departure.

There is a rebuttable presumption against any program in the student's last semester in Law School; a student seeking a final semester externship should describe your reasons for not undertaking the program in an earlier semester.

application process

After the student has identified possible externship placements (or secured an externship position) and secured a faculty sponsor, he or she must submit a PDF copy of all of the required documents in one email to lawexternships@umich.edu, with Application and his or her name in the subject line. Applications are reviewed by Professor Amy Sankaran and then sent for approval to the Curriculum Committee. In considering the application, the Committee may take into account multiple factors, including the Law School's experience with the agency, the student's academic record, the demonstrated quality of the agency's educational and supervisory commitment, and the final recommendation of Professor Sankaran. The application package consists of five parts:

  1. The student's written proposal (see below)
  2. The student's resume
  3. An email statement from a faculty member committing to supervising the research paper, which can be sent to lawexternships@umich.edu.

  4. If the student has secured a placement, the student must also include:

  5. The Full-Time Supervising Attorney Agreement and
  6. The Superivising Attorney's resume or equivalent document.

If a student is proposing a final semester externship, there are two additional requirements:

  1. A completed Registrar Checklist, showing that at the end of the externship all requirements for their degree will have been met. 
  2. research paper timeline, discussed with and approved by the faculty supervisor, showing how their paper will be completed in time to graduate.

Deadline

The deadline for submitting externship proposals will be no later than six weeks before the end of fall term classes for a winter term externship, and six weeks before the end of the winter term classes for a summer or fall term externship. It is the student's responsibility to make sure that all parts of the externship application package have been received by the deadline.

The deadline to submit a proposal for a Winter 2015 externship is 5:00PM on Friday, October 10, 2014.

The deadline to submit a proposal for a Fall 2015 externship will be set in January 2015, but in 2014 it was 5:00PM on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

A STUDENT DOES NOT NEED TO HAVE A POSITION SECURED TO APPLY. Instead, students must list all the sites they are considering in your proposal. Failure to list a possible placement will likely lead to the student being unable to extern at that placement.

The Proposal

The student should enumerate the specific educational objectives he or she hopes to achieve through the proposed externship and the manner in which this will occur. The written proposal should address the following:

  • Name and description of the host organization(s).
  • Work to be performed/duties and responsibilities.
  • Specific educational objectives.
  • Why the educational objectives cannot be achieved in the classroom.
  • How the externship will build on your academic experience. How the externship will build on your prior work experience.
  • The name of your faculty sponsor.
  • As specific a description as possible of the topic for your research paper.

The student must submit a copy of his or her resume with the proposal.

Faculty Sponsor Statement

The faculty sponsor must provide written confirmation of his or her commitment to supervise and grade the student's research paper at the end of the externship. This confirmation may be sent via email to lawexternships@umich.edu.

Host Supervisor Statement

The host organization must provide a signed Supervising Attorney Agreement which describes the site's obligation to our student and a resume of a supervising attorney or the equivalent.

Once an externship proposal has been approved by the Committee, Professor Sankaran will vet the proposed site by discussing the program with the supervising attorney at the host organization and confirming the commitments described above.

 
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