Application Information FAQ

How to Apply for an Externship and Get Credit for It

Applications involve a two step procedure:

  1. Sending a cover letter, resume and brief legal writing sample to your proposed placements requesting an interview, and
  2. Filing an Application, a resume and a contact sheet on time in the Externship Department, Burns 240.

1. When do I send out applications?  

In general, eligible students in good academic standing who have completed the first year of legal studies should start sending out applications for an externship. Start early to plan and apply. Use the following schedule as a guide:

For the fall semester               Apply by March of the spring semester

For the spring semester          Apply during the first week of classes in August or earlier!

For the summer session          Upper division students should apply in October of the fall semester.

First year students may not apply for a summer externship until December 1 of the fall semester.

2. What does an application look like? 

An application consists of a cover letter, a resume, and a brief legal writing sample, and sometimes a transcript if is indicated in referral information.

3. Can I send my documents by email?

Some placements will allow email application document delivery, but assume that most placements want a hard copy application packet delivered by snail mail.

4. How do I let the Externship Department know I’m looking for an externship? 

 Nearly every student benefits by discussing externship goals with the Faculty Externship Director before the application procedure starts. The Director can make sure you are considering judges or agencies for whom you are eligible in terms of your time commitment and pre-requisites, if applicable. The Director will also review your cover letter and resume if you wish to make sure you are using your resume to your best advantage.

When you meet with the Faculty Director, file an Application with a resume (See the New Applicant Forms menu tab) in the externship department to reserve your space in the course and let them know you are looking for a position.

5. Do I contact judges and agencies that I am interested in directly?

 Yes. After you have discussed options and interests with the Faculty Director, it is up to you to prepare a cover letter asking for an interview and include your resume, a brief legal writing sample and your transcript (and internet copy is acceptable) if your judge or agency requests one. For more specific information, click on the General Externships FAQ menu tab or the Judicial Externship FAQ menu tab

6. How do I get contact information for judges, government agencies and public interest law firms? 

Contact the Faculty Externship Director or the Assistant to the Director (see the contact box on the Externship home page) for detailed government agency and public interest referral lists. Click on the Judicial Handbook menu tab for a comprehensive list of judges with the appropriate contact information.

7. Any tips for writing my cover letter?

We have lots of them for you. Click on the menu tab for the Judicial Handbook. There is a sample cover letter applicable for nearly any agency and a list of helpful hints on what NOT to write in a cover letter.

8. If I get an offer, how do I enroll?

 Only the Externship Department can enroll in you in an externship administered by the Department. Enroll for a full slate of classes first - we can assist you to drop inconvenient classes later and enroll you in your externship.