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. You may participate in an externship for units or for no units.  If you choose to earn units for your externship, you must work with Loyola’s Externship Department to register for the units and comply with the policies and procedures established by the Externship Department, some of which are described below.

               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. 

               The Externship Department is located in Founders Hall 240.        

Who is eligible to participate in the Externship Program?

               Students who have completed a minimum of 28 units of law school course work in 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.  Detailed referral lists with contact information and current externships openings/postings can be located on the Externship Department web page, by clicking on the link for “Externship Opportunities.” 

               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, the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy and the Homebase Immigration  Clinic.  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.

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 preparing daily activity journal entries and submitting them twice a month. You will be preparing and submitting time sheets signed by your supervising attorney once per month. You will also be preparing a few other assignments such as establishing your goals and finding out the about the confidentiality policy of your placement. You will evaluate your placement and your placement will evaluate you.

               If you are enrolled in a full time externship (7-10 units) you will also be required to participate in the on-line Judicial Process Course.  This course is self-paced, but requires that you read a number of articles (the links to which will be provided) about the role and work of the judiciary, and that you prepare five short written assignments which reflect on the readings. 

How do I begin looking for an externship?  

               Detailed referral lists with contact information for public entities and other organizations that accept externs and current externships openings/postings can be located on the Externship Department web page, by clicking on the link for “Externship Opportunities.”  If you are interested in a judicial externship, click on the menu tab “Handbook for Judicial Externs. Start early to plan and apply for any of these opportunities. 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.

               Prepare a cover letter (a sample cover letter is posted on the Externship Department website), polish your resume, and polish a brief (about 10 pages) sample of your legal writing. Some placements may require a transcript; if so, an internet copy is acceptable.  Make an appointment in career services with your assigned counselor to review your cover letter and resume.

               Some placements allow e-mail applications, but if the placement does not state a preference for delivery, then send your cover letter requesting an interview and your supporting documentation directly by U.S. mail 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, Founders 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.

Can I apply for an externship independently of the Externship Department?

               If you plan to do an externship for no units you are free to apply for an externship independently from the Externship Department.  If you plan to receive units for the externship then 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.  You must also complete the other course requirements which include attending mandatory meetings, completing required hours, preparing and submitting activity journals, reflection assignments, time sheets, and preparing and submitting required evaluations.  All required documents must be submitted in a timely fashion in the appropriate drop boxes TWEN page for the Off-Campus Externship Course.  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.

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.  If you are enrolled in a full time externship (7-10 units) you will also be required to participate in the on-line Judicial Process Course.  This course is self-paced, but requires that you read a number of articles (the links to which will be provided) about the role and work of the judiciary, and that you prepare five short written assignments which reflect on the readings.  

Can I enroll in an externship for a private law firm?

               Yes, if you identify a private law firm with an attorney willing to supervise you, you may be permitted to enroll for units.  Information about private placement externships can be obtained from Adjunct Professor Barbara Schwerin (Barbara.Schwerin@lls.edu), in the Private Placement Office in Founders Hall 225.