General Externship FAQ
What is an externship?
An off-campus externship is an academic opportunity to experience the day-to-day operation of various legal institutions, including public interest organizations, government offices, and federal and state courts. Loyola also offers externships at non-profit organizations the Law School sponsors such as the Disability Rights Legal Center, the Cancer Legal Resource Center, the Center for Conflict Resolution and the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy. If you are interested in those agencies, contact them directly. You can find out information about them by going on Loyola’s home page and clicking on Centers and Programs. Part-time externships range from 2-6 units, and require a minimum GPA of 2.33. Full-time judicial externships (7 to 10 units) are available to students with a verified GPA of 3.33 or higher. Loyola has Summer Session externships, although all summer externships require payment for each unit. Externs are usually involved in all aspects of a placement's practice, such as legal research, writing, client contact and development of practical skills, including courtroom-type experience, if applicable.
Who is eligible to participate in the Externship Program?
Students who have completed the first year of day or evening studies in good academic standing are eligible. Students on academic probation may not enroll in an externship. Academic probation involves a GPA below 2.33. Of the 87 units needed to graduate, 20 units may be ungraded and 14 of the 20 units may be externship units, whether graded or ungraded.
What externship opportunities are available?
The Externship Department has a wide range of placements, including judicial chambers, government agencies and public interest law firms. Obtain detailed referral lists with contact information by emailing the Faculty Director or the Assistant to the Director (see the Contact Box on the Externship Department website home page).
How many hours are required for each unit?
Each externship unit requires 52 hours of legal services performed under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Hours must be completed within the semester or summer session of enrollment. Summer externship work schedules are flexible within reason.
In addition to completing my hours, are there other course requirements?
Yes, you will be completing and submitting daily activity journals for each day you work, you’ll be completing and submitting monthly time sheets signed by your supervisor, you’ll be completing and submitting a few other assignments such as establishing your goals and finding out about the confidentiality policy of your placement. You will evaluate your placement and your placement will evaluate you.
How do I begin looking for an externship?
If you are interested in a judicial externship, click on the menu tab “Judicial Externship FAQ” and the menu tab “Handbook for Judicial Externs.” For public interest externships or government agency externships, start early to plan and apply. Use this chart for reference:
For the fall semester Apply in 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 until December 1 of the fall semester.
Obtain the detailed referral lists as suggested above, and identify at least ten opportunities of interest. Prepare a cover letter (a sample cover letter is available in the Judicial Handbook posted on this site), polish your resume, and polish a brief sample of your legal writing. Some placements may require a transcript; if so, an internet copy is acceptable. The faculty director is happy to review your cover letter and resume; please email for an appointment.
Send your cover letter requesting an interview and your supporting documentation directly by hard mailed copies to your placement of interest. At the same time, complete an application form (click on the “New Applicant Forms” tab on the Externship website, attach your resume, and file it in the Externship Department, Burns 240, to reserve your place in the course. Please note any Externship Department application deadlines in the Deadline box on the Externship Department home page. Externships need not be confirmed by the application deadline, but the application itself must be filed by the deadline.
Off campus application deadlines:
Application deadlines for off-campus externships change each year. Deadlines are posted on the Loyola Law School Externship website on the Externship Department home page. Remember, you do not have to have a placement confirmed by the deadline date. The application deadline date is the deadline to verify eligibility and begin the process of looking for an externship.
Can I apply for an externship independently of the Externship Department?
You must apply for pre-approved off campus externships in government agencies, judicial chambers and public interest law firms through the Externship Department. Enrollment may be prohibited for those students failing to follow application procedures or obtain advance approval.
How do I get enrolled and receive credit for my externship units?
Once you have filed a timely application and resume and have accepted an offer, go to the Externship Department web site (click on the “New Applicant Forms” tab) and download a “Contact Sheet” for your placement. When you file a completed “Contact Sheet” with the Externship Department Administrative Assistant, she will assist you to get enrolled. The Externship Department is the only office that can provide you with your course number for enrollment. Other course requirements include attending mandatory meetings, completing required hours, preparing and submitting activity journals, reflection assignments and time sheets, and preparing and submitting required evaluations. All required documents must be submitted in a timely fashion. Off-campus externships are graded “pass" or "fail."
Can I satisfy my public interest graduation requirement with an externship?
Yes. Students completing at least two units in an approved public interest externship automatically complete the public interest graduation requirement at the same time. Completing the one unit Volunteer Income Tax Assistance course offered each Spring also satisfies the requirement.
What if a proposed externship conflicts with required second year classes?
You may not enroll in an externship if it conflicts with required second year courses such as Evidence or Ethical Lawyering. Second year students are counseled against accepting an externship in the fall semester of the second year if the externship conflicts with any required curriculum. Students will receive no priority in registration if proposed externships conflict with required curriculum.
Is there a classroom component for externships?
All externs must attend a mandatory class at the beginning of the semester on “Ethics, Professionalism and Course Requirements.” The Externship Director reserves the right to refuse to enroll students who do not attend the mandatory class. Full-time judicial externs (7-10 units) must participate in a concurrent seminar or online guided reflection course taught by the Faculty Externship Director at a time to be arranged.
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