Externships offer an exciting opportunity to augment classroom study with real-world work experience. Students (under the guidance of both a faculty sponsor and an attorney supervisor) immerse themselves in legal work with local, state, and federal governmental agencies, and with nonprofit organizations located throughout the country. Our externship program is designed to provide students with advanced training and research opportunities in areas of particular interest to them that go beyond what we offer in a classroom setting. The externship is expected the complete the student's personal agenda of study, complementing courses carefully chosen at the Law School and enabling the student to pursue sophisticated work and research in a particular field beyond our curricular offerings.
The Law School also has formal externship programs with nonprofit organizations based in South Africa and with leading international, non-governmental, and governmental institutions in Geneva, Switzerland. Both of these programs occur during the winter academic term.
Amy Sankaran, Clinical Assistant Professor, serves as the externship supervisor for the field or classroom portion of all full-time, part-time, and South Africa placements.
Anna Nicol, Adjunct Clinical Professor of Law, serves as the externship supervisor for students participating in an externship in Geneva.
Externship interest meetings are held at the beginning of each semester. Students interested in pursuing an externship are advised to attend one of these sessions. Students may also meet with Mark Gebhart, 307 HH, to discuss initial steps in the application process, and to view samples of past proposals.
Students interested in pursuing a full- or part-time semester-long externship should begin searching for placements early in the semester prior to the proposed externship semester, as application requirements will vary from site to site. A variety of placement opportunities are listed on this site; students are not limited to these, however, and should feel free to explore areas that are of interest to them. Students should also feel free to meet with Professor Sankaran to discuss career plans and sites that might dovetail well with those plans.
Students interested in either the South Africa or Geneva externship programs are placed based on their stated location preferences.
An externship may not be undertaken with an organization engaged in providing legal services of any nature for profit. Full-time externships may not be with a court as a judicial clerkship; however, part time externships with courts are permitted.
Special care must be taken in structuring a program with a legislative office to guard against diversion from legal education to political effort; staff positions with legislative committees are thus more likely to be approved than positions with individual legislators or elected officials. Special care must also be taken by a student proposing work for a small organization to ensure the organization has a sufficient agenda of worthwhile projects and is able to provide careful and adequate supervision.
The student may not accept payment from the externship placement for work done during the externship, except for reimbursement of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to the program.