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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 presumption against any program in the student's last semester in Law School; a final semester program may be approved only on the student's showing good reason for not undertaking the program in an earlier semester, and on showing particularly important educational benefits to be gained from the program.

application process

After the student has identified an externship placement and secured a faculty sponsor, he or she must submit a hard copy of the externship application package to Professor Amy Sankaran, 3158 South Hall, for approval by the Curricular, Co-curricular, and Pedagogic Issues 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:

  • The student's written proposal.
  • A statement of commitment from the faculty sponsor to supervise the research paper.
  • The host organization statement.
  • The attorney supervisor's resume.
  • The student's resume.

Students who propose a final semester externship must include a completed Registrar Checklist, showing that at the end of the externship all requirements for their degree will have been met. They must also submit a 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 2014 externship is 5:00PM on Monday, October 7, 2013.

The deadline to submit a proposal for a Fall 2014 externship is 5:00PM on Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

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.
  • 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 written statement describing with specificity the nature of the work to be undertaken by the student, the manner in which supervision and training will be provided to the student, the names and resumes of the attorney supervisors, and the nature of the organization's educational commitment to the student.

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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