Information for Host Organizations
Externships, also known as external studies opportunities, offer an exciting opportunity to augment classroom study with real-world work experience. Michigan's externship program is designed to provide individual students with advanced training and research opportunities in areas of particular interest to them that go beyond what is traditionally offered in a classroom setting. Although skills training may be a component of an external studies program, the object of the program must be to further the student's legal education in the sense of deepening his or her understanding of the nature of law and the legal system; skills training alone is not an adequate justification for engaging in study outside the Law School.
It is expected that most programs will be undertaken in connection with government agencies or with charitable, educational, or other nonprofit organizations operated for the public benefit.
The ABA requires that a faculty member make an on-site visit to each externship placement when students are granted in excess of six credits during the externship term. Therefore, guidelines have been formulated to help the faculty member prepare his/her report on the site visit. Through conversations with the attorney supervisor(s) and the student, the faculty member should determine:
- The nature and level of work done by the office.
- Assignments given to the student.
- Adequacy of supervision.
- The student's performance during the course of the externship.
- Whether that particular externship is of value sufficient to warrant repeating in subsequent terms.
The faculty member will document his/her impressions in a written report and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org to become part of the student's external studies file.
Host organizations should expect the site visit to occur at about the midway point of the semester.
The host organization must be shown to have undertaken a specifically educational commitment to the student, including an explicit statement that the student will be supervised by an identified attorney or group of attorneys. There must be a commitment to participate with the student in analyzing and discussing the intellectual lessons to be drawn from the student's experience. A formal program of seminars or like activities is not required, but such programs are especially desirable.
The attorneys who supervise the student must assume responsibility for continuous evaluation of the student's work, with particular attention paid to ways in which it can be improved.
The host organization must commit itself to provide an experience that can be integrated directly with the faculty-supervised research project undertaken by the student as a required part of the external studies.
The host organization must also agree not to use student externs primarily for undesirable make-work tasks, such as cite-checking or perfunctory research projects.
Therefore, the host organization must sign a Supervising Attorney Agreement that demonstrates its commitment to the student and his or her learning, as well as a resume for one supervising attorney, or equivalent documentation of qualifications.
The student's supervising attorney at the host organization must submit two formal written evaluations, once at the midterm point in the externship and again at the conclusion. These evaluations should detail the work the extern has done and the supervisor’s evaluation of the student's performance during the time period covered. Items marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
It is the responsibility of the student to ensure these evaluations are submitted.
Click here to complete the extern's Midterm Evaluation.
Click here to complete the extern's Final Evaluation.