Rutgers Law students get valuable experience outside of the classroom at practice externships.

Rutgers Law School welcomes and appreciates the relationship with government and public interest law offices and judicial chambers in our region in which our students gain invaluable experience through supervised work.  The links on this page will inform current and prospective placement locations about our program.

Summary of Responsibilities - This link explains what your office is expected to do, as well as what you can expect from the law school and the student, when a student is working in your office or chambers.

How You Request Student Externs- This link explains the process for requesting a student, and setting standards for qualifications of students.

Request to Participate- Information on this form will be used to post information about your placement opportunity for prospective students. See “how you request student externs” above for more information, first.                                       

Educational Goals- Read this link to understand general educational goals, and example of individual goals.  Your student will be asked to set personal goals for professional development, which will be reviewed with you, so that you can mentor that development.

Student Practice Rules- Links to a summary and text of rules for federal and state courts in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware, including instructions for students and placements about compliance with the rules.

Final Evaluation Form- Please complete this form for each student at the end of the term, discuss with the student, and send to the supervising faculty member.

 

More information for Placement Agencies
  • How to Request Student Externs
  • Summary of Responsibilities

Apply to be an approved placement by contacting Professor Barbara Gotthelf at barbara.gotthelf@rutgers.edu or 856-225-6692. The form "Request to Participate" is located on this webpage under information for placement agencies. You may complete this form first, or begin with a discussion of your interest in the program.

Keep your office information up to date
At least once each year all approved placements are asked about participation for the coming year. You will be reminded to review and update information about your office, including contact person, supervisor names, any qualifications or prerequisites for students and so forth. However, updated information is always appreciated at any time and will be promptly posted. For help updating information, please contact Mary Ann Purvenas at purvenas@camden.rutgers.edu

How and when students are placed
For the full school-year program and the Fall and Spring terms, students apply and are matched by the supervising faculty with placements based on their preferences and educational goals and the requirements of the placements. The chambers or agency interviews and approves the student. For example, if you request one student and want to see a resume and writing sample, your referral letter will tell you the recommended student's name, and include the requested documentation. The student will call to arrange an interview, and after the interview you can confirm that you accept the student. Background or security clearance processes may begin at this time, if applicable. Generally, Fall term student referrals will be made in May, and Spring term in November. If your office requires an earlier start to review candidates, please advise and we will do our best to accommodate you.

For the summer program, we encourage students to participate in established summer hiring processes by applying directly to the office in which they are interested. Students may be open to pay or work-study, if eligible, rather than academic credit. You or a student may also contact me about Externship enrollment for a volunteer placement that has already been arranged via your normal summer hiring process.

Qualifications of students
Practice Externship and Judicial Externship students must be in good academic standing and have completed the course in Professional Responsibility, or some cases enrolled in Professional Responsibility contemporaneously with the placement. Any student applying for a position representing clients in court must have completed Evidence. Students in criminal law positions must have completed or be concurrently enrolled in an advanced criminal procedure course. Placements may set additional prerequisites, such as success in specific prior coursework, or a minimum grade point average, although we encourage you to give any interested students a chance. All students are asked to disclose current and past employment or other affiliations and any planned work that will be contemporaneous with the proposed placement, so as to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. Please discuss any particular requirements or concerns with the Externship Director.

The Externship Program permits qualified law students to be placed in judicial chambers, government, and nonprofit law departments for academic credit. Third year law students are eligible for any of these placements, and second year students are eligible for judicial placements. If you participate in this program, you will benefit from excellent work by our students, and in addition, you will get a great deal of professional satisfaction in contributing to the development of the lawyering skills and values of these students. These are the general parameters of the program:

Educational goals of the Externship Program and the individual learning goals of students: Externship provides significant opportunities for students to learn professional skills and values, gain insight into their individual development as attorneys, learn to take responsibility for continued professional education, and provide assistance to offices and organizations serving the community. Students will be required to set personal learning goals. Our students are expected to think critically about the law, the legal system, and themselves as developing lawyers; we ask that supervising attorneys and judges encourage them and join them in this process.

Schedule and time commitment of students: For the school year program, students are placed either for one or two terms, as arranged.

Externship students will either work 120 hours during a spring or fall term for 2 credits, or will work 180 hours for 3 credits. During the summer, students will choose to earn 2, 3, 4, or 5 credits. The choice of hours will depend on the student's schedule, as well as the preferences of the placement.

Credit/pay: Externs receive academic credit and are not paid. Placements may compensate students for expenses.

Supervision and work assignments : To be approved as a placement for our students, a law department or chambers must be committed to providing substantial work, guidance, and critique to the student and to communicate with the law school about student progress. A student should be assigned to an attorney who will provide guidance to the student, being aware of the student’s individual learning goals and the program objectives. As far as possible, students should have assignments which correspond to the type of legal work done by new attorneys or judicial clerks at the placement, and should get candid and constructive critical feedback from supervisors. Supervisors are encouraged to permit supervised student practice pursuant to student practice rules for your jurisdiction.It is also very appropriate for students to have opportunities for learning by observation of experienced attorneys, for example, observing in court or attending client meetings or negotiations, which can be discussed with the supervising attorney.

Student Practice For texts and review summary of local rules, please click on the Student Practice Rules Link on the page with general Information for Placement Agencies.(prior page to this one. From the law school's home page, choose Real-World Experience/Field Placements/Information for Placement Agencies.)

Reporting/evaluation requirements: At the beginning of the externship, the supervising attorney or judge (or law clerk, in some chambers) meets with the student to discuss goals for the year or semester. The student is provided orientation to the placement. During the externship period, students keep time records, which supervisors review and sign. We ask that these records be sufficiently detailed to help review student progress at the placement, without, of course, violating any duty of confidentiality. The Externship Director contacts each supervisor during the term to discuss student progress. At the end of each semester, supervisors are asked to write evaluations of each student, to be reviewed with the student. We also ask that supervisors periodically discuss with the student how he or she is doing at other points during the externship experience.