Externships are one of several ways students can begin to put the knowledge and skills they are developing into practice. The Law School also provides students with the opportunity to undertake clinical experiences, enroll in simulations courses and legal practicums, and moot courts. Learn more on the range of Experiential courses offered at the Law School.
“My judicial externship was the highlight of my law school career. I grew as a writer, I made lasting connections with inspiring advocates, and I contributed to something that really matters.”
- Summer 2024 Externships: Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 5:00 pm
- Fall 2024 Externships: Sunday, August 18, 2024 at 5:00 pm
- Spring 2025 Externships: Sunday, January 5, 2025 at 5:00 pm
WHAT IS AN EXTERNSHIP?
Lewis & Clark Law School offers students the opportunity to earn academic credits for a carefully supervised, well-crafted work experience. The expectation is that students will be given a meaningful work experience, with a focus on student learning, in a field of law or work that enhances and builds on their classroom experience.
The educational objectives of externships are to:
- learn an area of substantive law or develop substantive 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 a lawyer’s professional responsibility.
WHERE CAN A STUDENT EXTERN?
While the Law School’s Career Services Office advertises numerous externship opportunities, students are also encouraged to develop their own externship placements. Externships can be done with public interest organizations, governmental agencies, courts, law firms, or in corporate settings.
In all cases, an extern must be supervised by an experienced attorney (or the equivalent) authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction in which the externship will be done.
We maintain a comprehensive list of all the Externship placements to date, which is a good place to start. In addition, some employers post Externship positions and you can find those in CareerConnect. We have also assembled a list of some possible placements from a variety of sources.
Externships can be done internationally. Lewis & Clark believes that it can accomplish a number of educational objectives when it allows students to study law abroad. Studying law abroad includes doing an externship or taking courses at qualified overseas institutions approved by Lewis & Clark, and with whom the school has negotiated a written memorandum of understanding allowing for student exchanges. Lewis & Clark seeks to achieve the following educational objectives in particular:
- Learn international law or the law of a specific nation or nations, and observe the context and environment in which these laws operate.
- Develop an understanding of differences between our own law and that of another country or countries, as well as of interconnections between and among them.
- Gain first-hand knowledge of another legal system and culture.
- Gain international and transnational perspectives on legal problem solving.
- Foster contacts with legal professionals abroad that may be useful for a future law practice.
- In the case of an externship, learn to engage with colleagues and clients from different backgrounds and cultures, and potentially in different languages — a skill that could be applied in the U.S. with diverse clients or colleagues, or with foreign clients.
- Also in the case of an externship, develop practical legal skills that could be applied in a U.S. or foreign practice, potentially through opportunities that students would not otherwise be able to obtain domestically.
THE EXTERNSHIP MODELS
Students elect between 10 Models and, based on the Model selected, will be required to work a minimum number of hours in the Externship placement. Please refer to the Externship Guide for an overview of the Models.
For more information or to ask specific questions, please contact Libby Davis, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, who oversees Externships, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (503) 768-6610.
Students considering an externship must:
- Review the Externship Guide and consider when they are interested in externing and what the requirements are.
- Email Associate Dean Libby Davis (email@example.com) to verify they meet the prerequisites for the type of externship they want to undertake.
- Apply for and secure a placement.
- Complete the required paperwork needed to gain approval to extern (access to the paperwork will be provided by Associate Dean Libby Davis; firstname.lastname@example.org)
- International Students: refer to International Students & Scholars Employment Opportunities webpage.
Note: Lewis & Clark Law School allows paid (directly from the employer, through work study, and through stipends/award) externships.
Employers interested in securing a Lewis & Clark Law School extern should contact the Career & Professional Development Center, email@example.com or (503) 768-6608
- Access to documents required to apply for approval of an externship placement should be requested by email to Associate Dean Libby Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Externship Handbook
For Employers/On-Site Mentors:
- Memorandum of Agreement (part 1 of application)
- On-Site Mentor Questionnaire (part 2 of application)
- On-Site Mentor Handbook
- Judicial Extern On-Site Mentor Handbook
Mid-Externship Evaluation Form
- Final Evaluation Form