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Externship Requirements

externship courses

The Office of Experiential Education coordinates course enrollment for the South Africa externship program. Unlike the domestic externship program requirements, a research paper is not required for the South Africa program.

Externs are required to take LAW 680, Constitutionalism in South Africa (3 credits), and LAW 939, South Africa Externship Seminar (1 credit). These courses occur during the first weeks of the winter semester and are required components of the South Africa externship program. They must be taken during the same semester in which the student is going to South Africa.

The third required course is LAW 938, South Africa Externship (8 credits), which covers the remaining weeks of the semester. Requirements for satisfactory completion of this course are outlined below.

Credits for both LAW 938 and LAW 939 are mandatory pass/fail. Students may elect to take LAW 680 for a letter grade or as pass/fail.

Contemporaneous Journal

The student must keep a contemporaneous journal, or triweekly report, of activities during the externship. It should be in narrative form and must be uploaded every three weeks. These triweekly reports should include:

  • A description of the student's daily work, including the nature of the projects worked on and the student's role in the projects and special assignments.
  • A specific description of the training and supervision the student is receiving in connection with each project.
  • Contemporaneous reflections on the manner in which the work relates to the educational goals for the externship.
  • The manner in which the externship has exposed the student to issues concerning professional responsibility and the role of attorneys.
  • How the externship has contributed to the student's development of knowledge in particular substantive areas and to the student's professional growth.

Final Report and Written Externship Assignments

At the end of the externship, the student must upload a final report on the externship experience. It must be accompanied by at least three pieces of any written work (e.g., reports, briefs, memos, etc.) the student produced during the externship.

The final report must be in form and substance satisfactory to the professor who teaches the South Africa Externship Seminar course. Although it may naturally include some repetition with portions of the student's contemporaneous journals, it should be a report that stands on its own and provides an end-of-term retrospective summary of the student's externship experiences and their educational significance. The report should include:

  • A description of the specific projects the student worked on and the student's role in each project.
  • The quality and method of supervision provided.
  • An overall evaluation of the externship.
  • Most important, the report should specifically focus on the student's personal reflections on what he or she learned from the externship, and the significance of the experience toward the student's intellectual and professional development and objectives.

faculty site visit

A faculty member will conduct a site visit at your placement. The faculty member, through conversations with the attorney supervisor(s) and the student, will 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 the Office of Experiential Education to become part of the student's external studies file.

Supervising Attorney Evaluation

The student's supervising attorney at the host organization must submit a formal written evaluation of the student's performance to the Office of Experiential Education at the end of the externship semester. This evaluation should detail the work the student has done and the supervisor's evaluation of their work during the time period covered.

Click here to complete and submit the final evaluation.


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