College of Law > Academics > Experiential Learning > Externship Program >
Externship Program FAQs
General Note: Students
should review the Externship Manual available on this website which will answer
almost all of your questions and provide further detail.
Are Externships required for graduation?
No, students are not required to complete Externships as a condition of graduation. Please note that students are required to complete a minimum number of experiential learning credits as a condition of graduation and Externships count toward those experiential learning credits. Externships are a valuable means of learning a new practice area, gaining work experience and building your resume. We encourage you to find an Externship that best fits your background and practice interests.
Who can do an externship?
- To qualify for an Externship, students must:
- Have completed at least twenty-eight (28) or more credit hours. Twenty-eight (28) credit hours are the number of credits a student completes in his or her first full-time year at DePaul. Students must have completed 28 credit hours toward their J.D. at the College of Law in order to be eligible for an Externship – there are no exceptions to this policy;
- Have at least a 2.0 G.P.A. However, per the Student Handbook, if a rising 2L student has a 2.2 G.P.A. or below, the student cannot be registered for a summer course; and
- Be in good academic standing.
LL.M. students at DePaul can participate in the Externship Program after the completion of their first semester of enrollment. LL.M. students should verify with their program director that the Externship counts toward their program requirements.
Can I do an Externship out of state?
Yes, students can work at an Externship out of state. Please note, however, that students are limited in the number of distance education credits they can take. Please see the Student Handbook and the law school Academic Advisor for more information.
Who can do a 2-4 credit externship and who can do a 5-9 credit externship?
Externships are available for the following credit hours: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The Externship Program manages Standard Externships for 2, 3, and 4 credit hours and the Third Year in Practice Program (3YP) manages Intensive Externships for 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 credit hours. A student may only participate in an Intensive Externship if they have been accepted into 3YP.
Students can participate in the Externship Program either by applying to: (i) the Externship Program for a Standard Externship as set forth in the Externship Manual; or (ii) (3YP) for an Intensive Externship. More information on 3YP is available here.
Does a for-profit firm or company have to pay students who are Externs?
Students may receive both compensation and course credit for an Externship. However, subject to the requirements of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, for-profit firms are not required to pay students as a condition of an Externship. We strongly encourage our for-profit Externship Sites to compensate our students for their hard work and contribution to the Externship Site’s work.
Except as otherwise detailed below, Externship Sites cannot bill client(s) for the Extern’s work on client matters or for its time spent supervising the student. However, if an Externship Site is compensating the Extern in accordance with all applicable wage and hour rules, the Extern may work on client matters and the Externship Site may bill its client(s) for such work as deemed appropriate by the Externship Site.
By when should I apply for an externship?
Students should apply for an Externship early enough prior to the beginning of the semester to enable the Externship Program to review the student’s application, vet the Externship Site, and execute an Affiliation Agreement with the Externship Site.
Students should review the Experiential Learning calendar available on the Experiential Learning website
for information on when Externship postings are available for review and application.
May I do an externship at the same site for more than one semester?
Students can work at the same Externship Site during subsequent semesters. However, students may not complete more than three (3) Externships for credit during their time at the College of Law (a maximum of 2 during the fall and spring semesters). If a student elects to complete three (3) Externships, one of those Externships must take place during the summer. For example, an eligible student may enroll in the Externship Program during fall and spring semester of their 2L year, but may not take an Externship during the fall or spring semester of their 3L year. The only additional Externship can occur during the summer term.
If I am working or volunteering in addition to my Externship, do I need to notify the Externship director and my Externship site?
If students have a job or volunteer position in addition to their Externship in the same semester, the student must inform the Externship Site and the Externship Program prior to commencement of the Externship so that the Externship Site and the Externship Program can be aware of any potential ethical conflicts. If there are potential conflicts, the student, the Externship Director and the Externship Site may be able to resolve the conflict, but students should be aware that the student may not be permitted to do both.
How many Externships can I get credit for?
Students may not complete more than three (3) Externships for credit (a maximum of 2 during the Fall and Spring semesters). If a student elects to complete three (3) Externships, one of those Externships must take place during the summer. For example, an eligible student may enroll in the Externship Program during Fall and Spring semester of their 2L year, but may not take an Externship during the Fall or Spring semester of their 3L year; the only additional Externship can occur during the Summer term.
Do Externships count as non-classroom courses?
Yes, Externships are considered non-classroom credits. With the exception of students enrolled in 3YP, the law school caps the credit hours a JD student can earn for non-classroom courses. For information on the policy governing maximum non-classroom credit hours, please see the Student Handbook available on the Student Affairs webpage. Students are encouraged to meet with the law school Academic Advisor to review the student’s current and anticipated accumulation of non-classroom hours.