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Information for Host Organizations

the program

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.

educational commitment & host organization statement

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. 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 also agree not to use student externs primarily for undesirable make-work tasks, such as cite-checking or perfunctory research projects.

on-site inspections

The ABA requires that a faculty member make an on-site visit to each externship placement when students are granted in excess of four 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 should document his/her impressions in a written report and submit it to the Office of Experiential Education 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 student's supervising attorney at the host organization must submit the formal written evaluation below at the conclusion of the externship. This evaluation should detail the work the extern has done and the supervisor’s evaluation of the student's performance during the time period covered.

It is the responsibility of the student to ensure these evaluations are submitted.

Review Date *:
Select a date from the calendar.
Date of Review
Extern's Name *:
Placement *:Enter the Name of the Host Organization
Supervisor *:Name of the Attorney Supervisor, or the name of the person completing this form.
Supervisory Consultation *:Did you consult with other attorneys for whom the student worked prior to completing out this form?
Research and Analytical Skills *:Is the student able to bring his/her knowledge of legal principles to bear in analyzing cases? Is the student able to recognize and properly identify legal issues in case fact patterns? Has the student shown creativity in turning facts to legal advantage? Is the student able to distinguish relevant from tangential issues? Is the student skilled with utilizing both computer and print resources?
Research and Analytical Skills Comments or Examples:Please provide any comments and/or examples to support your rating.
Writing Skills *:Does the student use proper grammar, spelling, and citation format? Does the student appreciate the differences in style among the different forms of legal writing (e.g., analytical for memoranda, argumentative/advocative for motions/pleadings)? Is the student's work well organized, concise, and clear?
Writing Skills Comments or Examples:Please provide any comments and/or examples to support your rating.
Legal Knowledge *:Has the student demonstrated adequate familiarity with basic concepts of applicable law and procedure? Is the student adept at grasping legal problems and at fashioning solutions to them independently? Have you seen progress in these areas?
Legal Knowledge Comments or Examples:Please provide any comments and/or examples to support your rating.
Oral Skills *:Is the student able to communicate clearly concerning legal matters? Is the student able to "think on his or her feet" and respond to extemporaneous questions? Is the student able to communicate in a manner appropriate to the particular audience (e.g., clients, supervising attorneys, staff, judges, etc.)? How would you describe the student's demeanor and efficacy in communicating in the courtroom, if applicable?
Oral Skills Comments or Examples:Please provide any comments and/or examples to support your rating.
Ethical Concerns *:Does the student recognize ethical problems as they arise and deal with them appropriately? Does the student seem properly reflective concerning the ethics of judicial decision making or practice? Has the student properly conformed with confidentiality protocols? If applicable, is the student able to advocate zealously on a client's behalf while operating within ethical norms?
Ethical Concerns Comments or Examples:Please provide any comments and/or examples to support your rating.
Professionalism *:Has the student demonstrated maturity, good judgment, and sensitivity in interactions with other staff, attorneys, judges, clients, etc.?
Professionalism Comments or Examples:Please provide any comments and/or examples to support your rating.
Attitude and Work Habits *:Does the student seem eager to learn? Does the student accept constructive criticism? Is the student diligent? Has the student's attendance, punctuality, industriousness, and attention to detail been satisfactory?
Attitude and Work Habits Comments or Examples:Please provide any comments and/or examples to support your rating.
Additional Comments:Please provide any additional comments regarding the student's time with your organization.
Overall Evaluation *:What advice do you have for the student regarding his or her future professional development?
Student Discussion *:
Electronic Signature *:Please sign this form by entering your complete name in this box.
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