The Field Placement Program offers a diverse array of opportunities for students to experience the actual operation of legal institutions, explore the nature of attorney-client relationships, and hone the essential lawyering skills needed for their future legal careers. Under the guidance of experienced lawyers or judges, students can earn academic credit for their unpaid work.
Field placements expose students to particular areas of practice through work in specialized offices, including the judiciary, public interest organizations, government offices, and a limited number of private firms and corporations. As externs, students more fully develop their legal research and writing skills, interact with clients and develop practical skills in oral advocacy and courtroom procedure.
Talking Field Placements
Professor Grace Parrish discusses the importance of practical skills training in law school.
All field placement applications must be submitted through the Experiential Learning tab in 12twenty and must be submitted by or before the deadline date. No applications will be reviewed or accepted after the posted date for the semester. Instructions on how to apply for field placement units can be found here.
|Semester||Deadline to Apply|
|Spring 2024||December 22, 2023|
|Summer 2024||May 4, 2024|
Additional resources for each type of field placement can be found by visiting the links in the sidebar.
Students who have completed a minimum of 28 units in day or evening studies in good academic standing are eligible. Part-time field placements range from 2-6 units and require a minimum GPA of 2.33. Full-time field placements from 7-10 units are available to students with a verified GPA of 3.33 or higher, so long as a full-time field placement does not conflict with required curriculum (see below). Full-time field placements are only available to judicial placements.
Loyola allows students to do field placements during the summer term, however, all summer field placements require payment for each unit requested. Please contact Student Accounts for tuition costs.
Students on academic probation (a GPA below 2.33) are not eligible to participate in a field placement for units.
Second-year students may not enroll in a field placement if it conflicts with any required second year courses such as Constitutional Law, Evidence, or Ethical Lawyering. 2Ls in most cases are not advised to seek or enroll in a full-time judicial field placement in the fall semester of the second year of studies unless they are concurrently enrolled in at least one of the required 2L courses and have discussed a commitment of 7-10 units in advance with the Faculty Field Placement Director. Students will not receive priority in registration if proposed field placements conflict with required curriculum.
Transfer students cannot enroll in a field placement until they have completed at least one semester at Loyola and have a Loyola GPA. After their first semester at Loyola, transfer students may enroll in six or fewer units of a field placement during the academic year in which they have no official Loyola GPA. Transfer students may not enroll in a full-time field placement (seven or more units) until they have completed a full academic year and have a Loyola GPA of 3.33 or higher.
Students are responsible for identifying, applying to, and securing placements on their own. Detailed referral lists with contact information can be found in the 12twenty Resource Library. Current field placement openings/postings can also be found on 12twenty under OCI and Job Listings.
All field placements must be vetted and approved in advance by the Field Placement Director prior to a student’s enrollment in the Program. Placements will not be vetted until after students complete the application process.
It is up to you to contact judges, agencies, and firms that you are interested in directly. Use the referral lists in the 12twenty Resource Library as a starting point for your search. 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, polish your resume, and polish a brief (5-10 page) sample of your legal writing. Some placements may require a transcript; if so, an unofficial copy is acceptable. Make an appointment with your assigned Career Development counselor to review your cover letter and resume.
Some placements allow email 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. After securing a placement, apply through 12twenty. Please note any Field Placement Department application deadlines on the homepage. No applications will be considered after the published deadline dates.
We assume you will “Google” any attorney interviewing you, and they will also “Google” you. Make sure your social networking pages reflect the professional you.
Think seriously about where you would like to have a field placement before applying. Apply only to those chambers, entities, and organizations where you would accept if given an offer.
If you are given an offer, be prepared to accept it and politely cancel the remainder of your scheduled interviews. Never accept a position and then later decline to accept another. Try to schedule your interviews in the order of your preference. Your tact and professionalism in these matters are critical to your reputation.
After you have secured an offer, apply through 12twenty. More information on how to apply for field placement units can be found here.
Only the Field Placement Department can enroll you in field placement units administered by the Department. Please make sure you have room in your schedule for the placement units.
If you are actively interviewing for a field placement before the application deadline for field placements, please contact the Field Placement Department to discuss options.
Hours and Units
Each field placement unit requires 52 hours of legal services performed under the supervision of a qualified licensed attorney. However, even 1-unit placements, which are only available in the summer, require a minimum of 104 hours. Students will only receive credit for hours completed during the semester or summer session of enrollment.
Students must commit to the number of units they wish to receive at the beginning of the semester. Once the add/drop deadline for the semester has passed, changes cannot be made to the number of units.
Of the 87 units needed to graduate, 20 units may be ungraded and 14 of the 20 units may be field placement units, whether graded or ungraded. Only 6 of the 14 allowable field placement units may be private field placement units.
Part-time field placements range from 2-6 units. Full-time field placements from 7-10 units. Please refer to the Students section above for information regarding part-time vs full-time eligibility.
No. Students must select the number of units they wish to receive at the beginning of the semester. Students often complete more hours than the 52 hour/unit minimum, however, they will not retroactively receive additional units at the end of the semester for completing more hours.
Students will receive access to the Field Placement Handbook and Syllabus on Brightspace, which discusses all of the field placement requirements, at the beginning of the semester. More detailed information on the course component can also be found in Field Placement Policies and Procedures.
All externs must attend a mandatory online orientation class at the beginning of the semester on “Ethics, Professionalism and Course Requirements.” All students must attend the orientation regardless of whether they did a field placement in a prior semester. The Field Placement Department Director reserves the right to refuse to enroll students who do not attend the orientation.
All externs must participate in a seminar or online tutorial course taught by Loyola Faculty. Class attendance is mandatory. Work is not an excuse to miss class as your field placement is aware that you are required to attend class as part of receiving credit for your field placement.
Students must prepare and submit regular hour logs on established due dates. The hour logs must include detailed journal entries and will be submitted through 12twenty. Hour logs must also be signed by the supervising attorney on the established due date for the hours to be credited towards course completion.
Reflection Assignments encourage students to interact with their supervisors and thoughtfully and critically explore various issues within the context of their field placement. Because reflection and learning from experience are goals of the field placement program, students should demonstrate thoughtful, serious consideration of these issues.
Externs must submit samples of written work generated during the field placement. Written work must demonstrate legal research, legal writing and analysis, and the application of legal principles. Written work must be critiqued by the supervising attorney or judge. Externs must redact work prior to submission to comply with confidentiality rules of the workplace. Externs must keep copies of all written work submitted.
Evaluations are required at the end of the semester and will be completed via 12twenty.
- Students: Students must complete an evaluation of their workplace.
- Supervisors: Students must provide their supervisor with the evaluation form to evaluate their work.
The Field Placement Department will take care of coordinating with the Registrar’s Office to enroll you in the proper number of units once your application is approved. Please make sure you have room in your schedule to accommodate the number of units for your placement.
|Semester||Application Review by the Department Begins|
Frequently Asked Questions
A field placement is an academic opportunity to experience the day-to-day operations of various legal institutions, including public interest organizations, government offices, federal and state courts, and private firms and companies. You may participate in a field placement for units, or for no units. If you choose to earn units for your field placement, you must work with Loyola’s Field Placement Department to register for the units and comply with the policies and procedures established by the Field Placement Department.
In a field placement, 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.
All field placements are graded on a “pass” or “fail” basis. To receive a passing grade for your units, you must complete all course requirements.
Instructions on how to apply for field placement units can be found here.
Yes. All field placement units count toward a student’s experiential unit requirements.
No. However, all students must be supervised by a currently licensed attorney who has been licensed for a minimum of 2 years. Paralegals and/or support staff cannot act as supervisors.
No. Students must complete all hours during the semester in which they are enrolled in field placement units. Students must take a concurrent course component during the term in which they extern and thus, students cannot retroactively apply to receive credit for work performed in a semester or summer term in which they were not enrolled in the Field Placement Program.
No. Field placements must be unpaid if you are seeking course units. Students should check the JD Handbook (Section 9.11.3) for the school's guidelines relating to field placements.
If you plan to do a field placement for no units or for pay, you are free to apply for a field placement independently from the Field Placement Department. If you want to receive academic credit for the field placement, then you must apply for units through the Field Placement Department. Enrollment may be prohibited for those students failing to follow application procedures or obtaining advance approval.