Externship Requirements and Expectations

 

Any student who has successfully completed the first year of law school is eligible to participate in a field placement program. Students must be in good academic standing and have a GPA of 2.0.  

Students enrolled in the externship program during the school year must complete the following requirements:

1. Field Work

Externs are expected to devote a minimum of 60 hours to their externship experience over the course of a semester to earn one academic credit hour. Accordingly, students enrolled in the externship course for two credit hours must complete 120 hours of work during the semester of enrollment, and students enrolled in three credit hours must complete 180 hours of work. In addition to the time spent working at and for the externship field placement, this requirement also includes time spent on reflective journals, timesheets, and other class assignments as well as class time and time spent meeting individually with the externship professor. 

2. Time Sheets

Externs must keep their time in the proper format detailing their extern activity. Externs must submit timesheets on the first and sixteenth of each month during the semester of enrollment. Students enrolled in the externship course for the summer semester must submit timesheets each week.

3. Reflective Journal Entries

One foundation to practice is routine reflection.  Externs are required to begin a reflective practice through required journal entries about experiences from the externship.  Such insight allows the professor into the types of professional identity issues experienced by the extern.  

4. Individualized Learning Goals 

Externs develop individual learning goals to outline specific areas of development for the semester. The learning goals are developed by the extern early in the semester with input from the placement supervisor and the externship professor. Externs assess themselves on their current level of development for each goal when they are first developed. Over the course of the semester, these goals may be refined, and students again assess their level of development for each goal at the end of the semester. Externship supervisors also conduct a Final Assessment evaluation the student's development in each area related to the Externship Program's course-level learning objectives.  

5. Written Portfolio

All externs must write extensively in the context of the placement office.   Supervisors assign legal research and writing assignments which is required for the final written work product.  Externs should receive written or oral feedback from the Supervisor on each of these writing assignments. Externs shall submit a redacted written portfolio consisting of 10 pages per credit hour showcasing substantive legal analysis and practical drafting assignments. The portfolio may include multiple assignments. If submission of a written work product is not possible even though redacted due to the nature of a placement organization's work, the placement organization will be asked to certify compliance with the Externship Program's written portfolio requirement at the conclusion of the semester in lieu of submission of the portfolio itself by the student.