College of Law > Academics > Experiential Learning > Third Year in Practice

Third Year in Practice (3YP)

The Third Year in Practice Program (3YP) provides qualifying students with a unique third-year experience engaging in the actual and simulated practice of law. The 3YP program employs a combination of select courses and field placements, tailored to a student’s professional interests, in order to facilitate a student’s transition into the practice of law. Students can apply for the 3YP program after completion of their first year of law school. Eligibility criteria will include academic performance and a demonstrated commitment to spending one’s third year in practice.

Program Requirements

Students admitted to the 3YP program will be required to complete 24 credit hours of experiential courses, including a one semester 5 to 9 credit intensive externship and to enroll in the 3YP Seminar course. In addition, students choose from an array of Skills courses, Legal Drafting courses and Legal Clinic courses to create a fully immersive third year in practice. Admitted students can apply up to 6 credits of experiential courses taken during their second year toward the 24 credit hour requirement. Admitted students are allowed to take up to 21 credits of out-of-classroom courses.

The five components of the 3YP program are described below.

Professional Skills Courses teach fundamental lawyering skills. Professional Skills courses first focus on the purpose and strategic uses of such skills and then require students to employ those skills in a supervised simulated setting.

Professional Skills Courses

The DePaul Legal Clinics teach the practice of law through the representation of actual clients with real legal issues in a supervised setting. The Legal Clinics offer a variety of practice areas and allow students to gain experience before state and federal trial courts, state and federal appellate courts, and state and federal administrative agencies as well as practicing business and IP law.

Depaul Legal Clinics

Legal Drafting courses teach students how to draft the most important legal documents used in a specific practice area. DePaul offers legal drafting courses in a range of areas.

Legal Drafting Courses via the course catalog

Externships are an integral part of 3YP, allowing students to work off-site spending a significant amount of time working in a multitude of practice areas. DePaul College of Law places students in over a hundred Externships each year. Students participating in 3YP will be eligible for select placements in government agencies, law firms, non-profit organizations and corporations. While Externships are available to all students, those admitted to 3YP have the unique opportunity to complete a one-semester intensive externship allowing the student to work at least 21 hours per week at a 3YP placement site.

Please note that there are restrictions on the number and timing of Externships that must be complied with for all students, including 3YP students. That information is available on the Externships webpage, in the Externships Manual located on the Externships webpage and in the Externships FAQ on the Externships webpage. For any additional questions, please ask either the 3YP Director or the Externships Director.

Externships Overview

Externships Student Information Webpage

Externships Manual

Externships Program FAQ

The 3YP Seminar is a two-credit course required for those students admitted to the 3YP program and complements the 3YP intensive externship. This course will bring together students of different practice interests to further develop the litigation and transactional skills learned in other parts of the 3YP program.