Course Description

601:795 PRACTICE EXTERNSHIP I (Field Placement) S

Gotthelf, Simkins


All externships are “non-course” credit; consult Academic Rules about limits on such credits.

Practice Externship students will work in civil or criminal nonprofit or public sector settings, as approved by the externship director, under the supervision of experienced mentor attorneys. Students will do work similar to that of novice attorneys at the placement, with attention to their individual learning goals. Students will reflect upon their experiences and examine the skills and values necessary to the representation of clients. The course includes completing written assignments, maintaining a journal, and participation in a seminar component.


(1) Open to 2L and 3L students, or equivalent. Student practice rules may limit some placements to 3L students.

(2) Each student must have taken Professional Responsibility before enrollment, or may take Professional Responsibility concurrently with the placement if permitted by the site.

(3) Any student taking a placement that requires appearance in court on behalf of a client must take Evidence. Professional Responsibility and Evidence (if required) must be completed before the first term of enrollment in a Practice Externship requiring appearance in court.

(4) Any student taking a placement in a criminal litigation agency must take Criminal Procedure: Adjudication or Criminal Procedure: Investigations (these courses may be taken concurrently with the first term of the criminal litigation placement, or students may seek waivers with the agency).

Note that some Practice Externships will require or prefer that students enroll for three credits, and may request that students commit to work for a full year at the placement.

Students will work 120 hours per semester for two credits, and 180 hours per semester for three credits. Additional credits may be available for summer placements. Hourly requirements are met by working at the placement; by attending the seminar component; in conference with the externship director regarding progress and learning goals, and by completing other work as assigned by the externship director. School year placements will be made by the externship director from among approved placements pursuant to an application process, or may be proposed by a student and approved by the externship director. For further information about available placements and the application process, see the Field Placement webpage (from the law school’s homepage, follow the link from Real World Experience.)

Summer Externship: Students interested in summer placements in a civil or criminal agency should contact the externship director during the preceding school year about assistance with identifying placements. Summer externships may be completed at remote locations provided that the student can participate in the seminar component through online formats. Summer externship may be subject to enrollment limits; see summer registration materials for current information.