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Law Courses Catalog

Externships

See also: Externship Classroom Component.

Description: An externship is a period of full-time apprenticeship under the joint guidance of a practitioner and a faculty advisor. An extern serves with a government agency, public interest group or court, doing responsible work analogous to that of an attorney. He or she works under the direct supervision of an attorney or judge who is committed to the educational purpose of the externship. The extern also works closely with a law school faculty advisor. The advisor guides a regular review of progress toward the extern’s goals, and guides and evaluates a substantial research paper that grows out of the externship. Externs also participate in a total of 28 hours of classroom instruction; 6 hours of which are completed before beginning the externship, 20 of which are completed during the externship and 2 hours after returning.

The central goal of the externship is to have the extern develop substantive legal expertise beyond the level offered in courses at the law school; develop practical lawyering skills including research, writing and analytical problem solving in context, and build a direct understanding of their professional responsibility.

Externships are available during the academic year and during the summer, in a wide variety of fields. Students with solid academic achievement and demonstrated research and writing skills are eligible to participate in the program following their third full-time semester (or equivalent). Students must secure their own externship placements prior to posted deadlines. Extensive information is available in the Career Services Office.

Externships must make a significant contribution to a student’s legal education which is unavailable but for the externship. Externships require extensive advance planning and careful curriculum choices. Students are required to make an appointment with Asst. Dean Libby Davis well in advance of the application deadline. See Externship Guidelines under “Special Programs” in What’s What. Externship Information

Externship: Judicial Special Arrangement

Summer or semester-long placements with federal trial and appellate courts and state appellate courts. A judicial extern functions much as a graduate law clerk, reviewing case files, drafting memoranda, and assisting with opinion writing.

Externship: Environmental Law Special Arrangement

Summer or semester placement with a government agency, public interest organization or legislative body with an environmental or natural resources practice. Environmental externs do regulatory, legislative and policy development, litigation, and project implementation work.

Externship: Criminal Justice Special Arrangement

A summer plus a semester placement with a state or federal prosecutor’s or public defender’s office. Students are assigned a caseload. Another option is to participate in a major law reform project with a public body or public interest organization.

Externship: International Law Special Arrangement

Summer or semester placement with corporate counsel office or agency specializing in public or private international law.

Externship: General Special Arrangement

Placements developed by students, in consultation with the faculty and Externship Program Director, to meet individual goals.

Externship: Business/Commercial Law/Tax Special Arrangement

A business/commercial law extern works under the direct supervision of an attorney in a corporate counsel’s office, in a government agency, on a legislative committee, or in an organization active in business/commercial litigation or practice. A tax extern may work at the state or federal tax court, corporation, or an accounting firm (under the supervision of an attorney). The placement can be for either a semester or a summer.

Course Pre-requisites: Students are required to take at least one basic and one advanced course in subjects directly related to the placement proposed. The Business Law Faculty highly recommends that students pursuing specialized Externships in the following areas take these pre-requisite courses:

Type of Business or Commercial Externship Recommended Prerequisite courses
TAX Income Tax I; a minimum of two additional graded academic credits in the tax field; plus substantial law school experience in tax research and writing.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IP Survey and any of the following: Copyright Law; Patent Law; Trademark Law
CORPORATE COUNSEL/GENERAL CORPORATE BA I, and any of the following: Advanced Contracts, BA II, Sales & Leases or Commercial Transactions; Securities Regulation; Secured Transactions; Antitrust; Contract Drafting Seminar. If the student will pursue a corporate counsel Externship with a more general focus, the student is advised to carefully research the work being done in the office and speak with the Assistant Dean of the Business Law Program or the faculty advisor regarding the most appropriate pre-requisite courses prior to applying for the Externship.*If a student wishes to work in a corporate counsel’s office and focus on a particular area of law, the student should take BA I and at least one basic and one advanced course in the specialized area. (For example, if the student will focus on Employment law, the student should take Employment Law I and at any Employment Law upper division courses.
EMPLOYMENT Employment Law I, and any one the following: Employment Discrimination; Employment. Law II; Clinic Employment Law Program; Labor Law

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