To earn credit for fieldwork through the Externship Program, students must work for a minimum number of required hours at an approved placement while contemporaneously participating in an Externship seminar. Every placement is required to have one Supervising Attorney who will guide and mentor students during the semester.
Student externs receive two academic credits (graded pass/fail) for the fieldwork portion of the course.*
- During the fall and spring semesters, students must perform and document at least 10 hours of fieldwork per week for a minimum of 13 weeks during the semester.
- During the summer semester, students must perform and document at least 20 hours of fieldwork per week for a minimum of 8 weeks during the semester
Students may not be paid by their employer.
- Students may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses such as travel to work.
- Additionally, students can receive fellowship money from a third party source as well as externship credit for work at the same placement, but only if:
- A significant number of additional fieldwork hours are performed beyond that required for externship credit alone. To learn more about fellowships that support work outside of the Law School, contact the Public Interest Resource Center.
* While the two credits for fieldwork count toward your semester credit load and toward the required 83 credits to complete your degree, they may not be used towards the residency requirement. For additional information, please visit the Registrar's web page on Academic Regulations.
Student externs receive one academic credit (letter grade) for the externship seminar course.
- Seminar grades are based on the quality of class participation and written assignments.
- All student externs (regardless of seminar) are required to submit the following assignments:
(a) Statement of Goals, signed by the Supervising Attorney;
(b) Acknowledgment of Program Requirements, signed by the Supervising Attorney;
(c) And the end-of-semester Reflections (which includes an evaluation of the field placement).
- Additional written assignments vary for each seminar.
Requirements for Supervising Attorneys
Supervising Attorneys are responsible for:
- Supervising student externs on a consistent basis and should be accessible to the Externship Program’s Faculty Director.
- Working with student externs to develop their Statement of Goals, a document that sets forth goals and responsibilities.
- Offering student externs a variety of assignments to help them develop identified skills.
- Providing opportunities, whenever possible and appropriate, for student externs to perform the same legal tasks as the Supervising Attorney, i.e., to work with clients as well as appear before courts and/or administrative bodies.
- Meeting formally with student externs at least twice during each semester to evaluate the students' work product and informally on a more frequent basis.
- Observing and providing meaningful feedback (both written and oral).
- Providing written evaluations to the Externship Program (at the conclusion of the semester).
Supervising Attorneys agree to not bill any clients for the work performed by student externs or to request reimbursement of attorney’s fees for such work (even in connection with an otherwise fee-generating matter).
Details regarding the expectations of the Externship Program for all Supervising Attorneys will be found in the Handbook for Supervising Attorneys. Students should read this Handbook in addition to the Student Handbook, and are required to provide a copy to their Supervising Attorney at the start of their fieldwork.