ABA Policy Statement
Loyola Law School Externship Program Policy Statement: On-and Off-Campus Program Overview
[Revised, April, 2011; re-adopted by faculty, April, 2011]
One of the hallmarks of Loyola Law School is its long-standing commitment to teaching the practical as well as the theoretical. This philosophy is reflected in many of the school's courses devoted to the teaching of lawyering skills, legal writing, and clinical and externship training.
Loyola's clinical and externship programs are an important facet of that diversity. The on-campus clinical programs and the off-campus externship program offer students the opportunity to experience the attorney-client relationship, to observe and participate in the actual operation of legal institutions, and to develop or refine the lawyering skills they will use as future attorneys.
The law school Program and Policy Statement is revised periodically and reviewed by the faculty to ensure that the law school and the faculty exercise their responsibilities in the implementation of the clinical and externship programs.
With respect to the off-campus externship program, Loyola Law School employs a full-time Faculty Externship Director, a full-time Public Interest Faculty Director, a full-time Externship Administrative Assistant and a full-time Public Interest Administrative Assistant. The two full-time faculty members are primarily responsible for externship supervision, with additional full-time faculty support from time to time. Loyola has developed a list of approved agencies and institutions in which it regularly places students. These approved agencies are generally shared agencies with other Los Angeles area ABA-accredited law schools, who have formed a consortium known as GLACE (Greater Los Angeles Consortium on Externships – www.lls.edu/glace). Loyola and GLACE shared placement approved opportunities have continually demonstrated, over the years, a commitment to providing educational opportunities for Loyola students. Only approved agencies which are not student-initiated are authorized for externship placements. The law school prepares and revises as appropriate a detailed document entitled "Externship Policies and Procedures" setting forth the responsibilities of externs and supervising attorneys. The document shall be provided to each extern at the beginning of the externship semester and shall be provided to each supervising attorney at the beginning of the externship semester.
In the off-campus externship program, Loyola allows full-time (7-10 units) and part-time (six or fewer units) placements. Full-time placements are only authorized in state or federal court. Full-time judicial externs must complete the first year of studies, have a minimum verified GPA of 3.33, and must participate in a regular tutorial or guided reflection concurrent course with the Faculty Externship Director. The Externship Director performs and documents a site visit for each full-time judicial extern. Part-time externs must complete the first year of studies, have a minimum verified GPA 2.32, and complete all externship reporting requirements. All off campus externs must attend a mandatory classroom component on “Ethics, Professionalism and Course Requirements” taught by the faculty externship director.
All off-campus externs are graded either "pass" or "fail".
All on-campus clinical externs must participate in approved Loyola Law School clinics that are supervised, taught and graded by Loyola faculty. All externs attend mandatory training and orientation meetings with either on-campus clinical faculty or the off-campus Faculty Externship Director to discuss course requirements and professional responsibilities such as attorney-client confidentiality and avoiding the unauthorized practice of law.
Externship enrollment numbers are set according to limitations established by the faculty from time to time in order to ensure adequate full-time faculty supervision of clinical externs or field placement externs. All field placement programs are reviewed and evaluated periodically, both by the Faculty Externship Director and by externship directors at GLACE law schools.
All externs, on and off campus, must complete reporting requirements to receive a grade of "pass." Each extern must document 52 hours of supervised legal services per credit hour and describe daily tasks by breaking them down into discrete events, including each meeting with a supervising attorney. Documented hours and tasks must be verified by the supervising attorney. Externs must submit samples of written work prepared during the externship which demonstrates legal research, legal writing and analysis, and the application of legal principles. Written work must be critiqued in writing by supervisors.
Full-time faculty supervisors engage all externs on a regular basis throughout the semester in a critical evaluation of the student's performance through mandatory classroom meetings, informal discussions, careful review of written work, activity journaling, guided reflection assignments and telephone and e-mail contact. Field instructors are engaged regularly as well, through telephone contact, site visits, evaluation through a comprehensive GLACE supervisor data base, evaluation at regular GLACE meetings, visits on campus for extern recruitment, and visits on campus for recognition for outstanding supervision and participation. All field instructors, judicial and non judicial, receive a GLACE-endorsed supervision manual at the beginning of each externship semester. All off-campus field supervisors receive a copy of jointly adopted (by all 7 GLACE member schools) field supervision standards each time a student in placed under supervision.
Each extern must prepare an evaluation of the placement, and the supervising attorney must prepare an evaluation of the extern.
Educational Objectives Off-Campus Externship Placements
The faculty recognizes that operation of the off-campus placement program relies upon the placement supervisors to supply part of the legal education for Loyola students. The concern is far less for the on-campus externships at the Disability Rights Legal Center, the Education Advocacy Project, the Center for Conflict Resolution, the Cancer Legal Resource Center, the Disability Mediation Center and The Center for Juvenile Law and Policy since students are supervised by Loyola faculty and adjunct faculty only. To assist off campus placement supervisors in fulfilling their role in this part of the educational process the faculty has established a list of educational objectives for all off campus placements.
These objectives are:
1. To encourage the further development of student research, writing and drafting skills through work on legal documents such as complaints, answers, trial and appellate briefs, agreements, legal memoranda, motions, opinion letters, and so forth;
2. To expose students to the skills involved in the practice of law through participation in activities such as interviewing, counseling, negotiation, oral advocacy, investigation, and the formulation of strategy;
3. To develop students' oral advocacy skills through participation in, or observation of (in the case of judicial placements), court, discovery and administrative proceedings;
4. To give students practical legal experience, and to enhance their understanding of the application of the principles learned in law school to everyday legal problems;
5. To give students the opportunity to participate in the work of legal institutions;
6. To expose students to issues of professional responsibility within the context of legal practice;
7. To encourage students to explore and consider different roles for lawyers, and to expose them to the range of career opportunities available in the law; and
8. To permit students to gain practical experience in specialized areas of the law through experience that will supplement their course work within the law school.
Responsibilities of Field Placement Supervisors
An off-campus externship is an important part of each participating student's law school career. Each placement agency assumes partial responsibility for the legal education of students assigned to the placement through Loyola's Externship Program. Prior to accepting Loyola students in an off-campus externship, each participating agency and supervising attorney or judge must agree to the following:
1. To appoint one attorney to be responsible for the supervision of the activities of each extern accepted for placement. Supervising attorneys or judges must be familiar with the Greater Los Angeles Consortium on Externships' GLACE Joint Standards for Supervision of Externship Students. A copy of the "joint standards" will be provided to the supervising attorney or judge each time an externship is confirmed.
2. Supervision of a Certified Law Student requires compliance with Rule 5 of the State Bar of California Rules Governing the Practical Training of Law Students. Part A of this Rule specifies that a supervising attorney shall be an active member of the California State Bar, have practiced law for a minimum of two years, and may supervise no more than five students. GLACE law schools recommend a one-to-four supervisor-to-student ratio as appropriate for adequate supervision in part-time field placements. For full-time externships, GLACE law schools recommend a one-to-one ratio between students and supervisors.
3. The supervising attorney must be available as necessary for consultation with the Faculty Externship Director when needed, and with the extern as necessary. At a minimum, the supervisor should meet with the student at least once a week to discuss assignments and/or problems, provide feedback, and make suggestions.
4. The supervising attorney must ensure that the student is given meaningful, challenging and interesting work assignments. When drafts of any assigned work are completed, the supervising attorney, or the attorney in charge of the project, should give the student a critique of the project as to the adequacy and accuracy of the research, mastery of relevant facts, style, clarity and persuasive content. The student should be required to redraft the document, or redo the assignment, as many times as is necessary to produce a product that meets the project supervisor's own standards for performance.
5. Student assignments should be similar to assignments given to lawyers working for the agency. Assignments may include document drafting, preparation of pleadings and/or legal memoranda, legal research, fact investigation and development, negotiation with and on behalf of clients, client and witness interviewing, client counseling, participation in discovery processes, and observation of and/or participation in conferences with outside parties, meetings, hearings, or court proceedings.
6. Where possible, assignments should be made so that students are involved in a matter from inception to disposition. Students should be involved, to the extent possible, in the decision making process concerning cases on which the student is working.
7. As much as is practical, students should prepare the final documents which will be presented to the court, agency, client or opposition. Observation assignments, such as going to court or meeting with a client, should be encouraged, especially in conjunction with work assignments. Students should also be encouraged to participate in staff meetings, presentations to clients, and other opportunities for oral advocacy.
8. The supervising attorney must meet with the student in conjunction with each written assignment the student selects for submission to the Faculty Externship Director to satisfy the writing requirement. The meeting is for the purpose of evaluation of the student's performance on the writing assignment, to suggest areas of excellence, or areas for further improvement in writing or research skills. The supervising attorney must prepare a written evaluation of each student writing assignment submitted to the school during the semester, and submit the critique with the student submission.
9. At the end of the semester, the supervising attorney must prepare a written evaluation of the extern and submit it to the law school. A form for this evaluation will be provided by the law school. It is important that the evaluation is accurate and completed and returned promptly.
10. The supervising attorney must be available to establish a working relationship with the Faculty Externship Director. The supervising attorney must make the work site available for site inspections by the Faculty Externship Director as requested. The supervising attorney must promptly communicate with the Director should problems arise.
11. Agencies or attorneys who fail to comply with these designated placement responsibilities on a repeated basis will be discontinued for student placement.
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