College of Law > Academics > Experiential Learning > Externship Program > Program Requirements
Students should review the Externship Manual available on this website which will answer almost all of your questions and provide further detail.
The following is a summary of the ABA Requirements for law school Externship Programs:
Substantial Lawyering Experience and Designated Externship Site Supervisor. An Externship should provide a student substantial lawyering experience that is reasonably similar to the experience of a lawyer advising or representing a client or engaging in other lawyering tasks in a setting outside a law clinic under the supervision of a licensed attorney or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise.
Affiliation Agreement. An Externship must also include an Affiliation Agreement between the Externship Program and the Externship Site that describes both:
· the substantial lawyering experience and opportunities for performance, feedback, and self-evaluation; and
· the respective roles of faculty and the Externship Site supervisor in supervising the student and in assuring the educational quality of the experience for the student, including a clearly articulated method of evaluating the student’s academic performance.
Externship Site Supervisor Oversight. An Externship must include a method for selecting, training, evaluating and communicating with Externship Site supervisors, including regular contact between the faculty and Externship Site supervisors through in-person visits or other methods of communication that will assure the quality of the student educational experience.
Student Evaluation. An Externship must include an evaluation of each student’s educational achievement by the Externship Program.
Sufficient Control over Student Experience. An Externship must include sufficient control of the student experience to ensure that the requirements of the ABA Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools are met.
The Externship Manual provides greater detail, but broadly, the process to participate in the Externship Program is as follows (Standard Externships only*):
1. Find an Externship.
i) Students must first apply to, and be hired by, an Externship Site.
ii) To find an Externship Posting, you can either (i) choose from the available Externship Position Listings, or (ii) find an Externship on your own.
- If your preferred site is not in the Externship Position Listings and you want to find an Externship on your own, you must notify your preferred site that they must apply, and be approved, to participate in the Externship Program before the Externship Program can register you for your Externship. Please see the 'Application Process, for Externship Sites' section of the Externship Manual. For more information about how a site applies to and is approved to participate in the Externship Program, please see the 'Externship Site, Minimum Requirements' section of the Externship Manual.
2. Submit an Application to the Externship Program.
i) After a student is hired by an Externship Site, the student then applies to the Externship Program for approval to join the Externship Program. Students must apply to the Externship Program by submitting the Student Externship Application. This application must be submitted in accordance with the timeline set forth in the Experiential Learning Calendar. Please note these are firm deadlines so please review them carefully.
3. Externship Director Then Approves or Rejects Students Application.
i) After a student applies to the Externship Program, the Externship Director will review the student’s application and determine (i) whether the student satisfies the Academic Minimum Requirements to join the Externship Program, and (ii) whether the student’s Externship Site is approved. To determine whether you qualify to join the Externship Program, please review the 'Academic Minimum Requirements' section of the Externship Manual. If the Externship Site is not listed on the Externship Position Listings as an approved Externship Site, the Externship Director will review the Externship Site and approve, reject or further investigate the Externship Site.
4. Externship Director Verifies Execution of Affiliation Agreement.
i) After the student is approved to join the Externship Program and the Externship Site has been approved, the Externship Director will verify that the Externship Site has executed an Affiliation Agreement. Externship Sites that do not execute an Affiliation Agreement prior to the first day of classes for the academic semester will disqualify the student from receiving academic credit for the Externship for that semester. Thus, it is vitally important that the student coordinate with the Externship Site to ensure the Affiliation Agreement is executed promptly upon receipt. For more information please see the 'Affiliation Agreement, section of the Externship Manual.
5. Externship Program Registers Approved Student in Externship Course and Seminar.
i) After (i) the student is approved to join the Externship Program and (ii) the student’s Externship Site is approved, the Externship Program will enroll the student in the Externship course as well as enroll the student in the applicable Externship Seminar. Please note that students cannot register themselves for an Externship. Instead, the Externship Program will register students for the Externship Program’s fieldwork component and related Externship Seminar. Externship registration does not occur during the law school registration period but later in the semester. The Externship Program will send you an email when you are being registered. If you do not have sufficient space in your schedule, you will be asked to rearrange your schedule to make room for the requisite credits needed for your Externship.
i) To begin the Externship, the student:
- should arrange a start date and end date with the Externship Site supervisor that corresponds with the academic calendar. For Fall and Spring Externships, the first day of work should be no later than the first week of classes and the last day of work should be no later than the last week of classes. For Summer Externships, please see the 'Summer Externships' section in the Externship Manual.
- must attend the Externship Seminar. For more information please review the 'Externship Seminar' section of the Externship Manual.
7. Student Submits Daily Logs and Progress Reports During Externship.
i) During the semester, the student, now an Extern, must complete and submit the Daily Logs and the Progress Reports in the timeframe required. For more information about these submissions, please see the 'Progress Reports and Daily Logs' section of the Externship Manual. The links to reports and logs to be completed can be found below.
8. Student Receives Pass/Fail Grade at End of Semester.
i) By the end of the semester, the student must have satisfied all the requirements of the Externship to receive a passing grade for the Externship and the Externship Seminar. For more information about the requirements for successful completion, please see the 'Grading and Evaluation' section of the Externship Manual.
*Unless otherwise noted, all provisions described here relate only to Standard Externships, not Intensive Externships obtained from enrollment in the Third Year in Practice Program (3YP). For more information on 3YP, please visit the program’s webpage.
Minimum Work Hours. Externs are required to complete the following minimum number of hours over the course of the fourteen (14) week academic semester to earn the following number of credit hours:
Credit Hours Earned
Minimum Number of Hours Worked During the Academic Semester
Number of Hours per Week
3YP Intensive Externship
Externship Seminar Credit Hours. For the Externship Seminar, Externs will earn one (1) additional pass/fail credit hour. For example, if a student enrolls in a three (3) credit Externship, the student will earn a total of four (4) credits: three (3) credits for the Externship field work plus one (1) credit for the Externship Seminar.
Full-Time Status Note. If a full-time student is registered for less than twelve (12) credits or a part-time student is registered for less than nine (9) credits, the student should consider registering for an extra class initially to ensure that he or she receives all of his or her financial aid at the first distribution. (Note that class credit requirements are different for a student’s last semester in law school.). Please review your specific circumstances with the law school’s Academic Advisor.
Retroactive Credit for Previous Work. Students are not permitted to retroactively receive Externship credit for work completed in a prior semester or prior to the beginning of a semester.
Please see the Experiential Learning Application Calendar for Externship Application Deadlines