Field Placement Policies and Procedures

Responsibilities of Externs

Externs who intend on participating in a field placement for units must be mindful of the obligations described below:

1.     Off-Campus Field Placements:  Off-campus field placements are subject to application deadlines and course enrollment limits established each academic year. Applicants must be verified for GPA eligibility and choice of placement approved in advance by the Field Placements Department. Students who do not follow application procedures may not be permitted to enroll. Each unit requires 52 hours of supervised legal services.

2.     On-Campus Field Placements: Field placement application deadlines do not apply to on-campus clinical placements such as the Center for Conflict Resolution or the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy.  Students should apply directly to the office of interest.

3.     Off-Campus Field Placements Application Deadlines: Application deadlines for off-campus field placements change each year. Deadlines are posted on the Loyola Law School Field Placements Department website. Please check the Field Placements Department website for deadline dates.

4.     Field Placement Eligibility: Students are eligible for a field placement after completing 28 units of study. The minimum eligible cumulative GPA for a part-time field placement is 2.33. A minimum verified cumulative GPA of 3.33 is required for a field placement of more than six units. Students on Academic Probation may not enroll in a field placement. Academic probation is a GPA below 2.33. The maximum number of field placement units a student may complete during his/her legal education is 14.=

5.     Field Placement UnitCap: Of the 87 units needed to graduate, 20 of them may be ungraded units, and a maximum of 14 units may be field placement units, whether graded or ungraded.

6.     Enrollment: Enrollment is always done through the Field Placements Department for an off-campus field placement.

7.     Mandatory Course Component Class:  All off campus externs must attend a mandatory or online class at the beginning of the semester on “Ethics, Professionalism and Course Requirements", taught by  the Faculty Field Placement Director.  The Field Placement Director reserves the right to refuse to enroll students who fail to attend or complete the mandatory class.  In addition all externs must participate in the course component class course taught by Loyola Faculty. All off campus externs will receive a copy of Off Campus Policies and Procedures and must be familiar with course requirements.

8.     Approved Opportunities: Field Placement opportunities must be selected from an approved list or be approved in advance by the Faculty Field Placements Director for any placement not on the approved list. Unapproved field placements may not be confirmed.

9.     Time Commitment: A field placement unit requires a minimum of 52 hours of legal services performed under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Part-time field placements may range from 2-6 units. Full-time field placements may range from 7–10 units.  All hours must be completed during the term in which the extern is enrolled.  There are no exceptions or waivers to the component course requirement for externs.

10.     Professional Obligations/Confidentiality/Unauthorized Practice of Law: Externs must perform all legal services professionally under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney. Externs shall become familiar with the confidentiality policy of the placement and shall not reveal information designated as confidential by supervising attorneys or judicial chambers. Externs shall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client, disclose the identity of a client or reveal information leading to the disclosure of the identity of a client without the express advance authorization of the supervising attorney. Externs shall redact all written work submitted to the Field Placements Department to comply with the confidentiality rules of the workplace and legal profession. Externs are not permitted to give legal advice to any person or client unless supervised by an attorney or expressly authorized to give advice by a supervising attorney.

11.     Email Notification: During the term of enrollment, the preferred method of contacting off campus externs for any reason by Field Placements faculty and staff is through Loyola Law School individual student email accounts. Off campus externs agree to check Loyola Law School email frequently, but not less than one time per week.

A printed copy of an email indicating the student name, date and time it was sent amounts to presumptive notice on the part of Field Placements faculty and staff that a student received the email and is aware of the contents. Any administrative notice regarding delinquent performance or imposition of time penalties may be sent by email and is governed by this paragraph.

12.     Second Year Judicial Field Placements:  Second year students may not enroll in a full-time field placement in the Fall or Spring semester of the second year if the placement conflicts with a required course such as Ethical Lawyering.  Second year students receive no preference in registration for required classes, nor will enrollment in required classes be waived if required classes conflict with a field placement.

13.     Course Requirements: Activity Journals: Externs must prepare and submit regular activity journals and timesheets on established due dates. The journal must be typewritten. Timesheets are due at the end of each month and must be signed by the supervising attorney for the hours to be credited towards course completion. Journal entries must be organized on a daily basis and rounded off to the nearest tenth of an hour. Each entry must contain a description of the legal work performed that day, broken down into discrete tasks or events, such as memorandum drafting, legal research, observation of courtroom proceedings, etc. Journals must also include events such as meetings with supervising attorneys and other matters related to the operation of the workplace. Journals should include reflections on the quality of advocacy observed and how ethical issues are handled. The Faculty Field Placement Director and/or the faculty teaching the course component class will review each journal for the purpose of ensuring that the work performed meets the educational goals and objectives for externships adopted by the Loyola faculty. Other readings and written assignments are required as part of the concurrent course component class as identified in the syllabus for that class.

Written work: 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: At the conclusion of the semester, externs must evaluate the placement and the supervising attorney must evaluate the extern.  Externs must provide supervisors with the evaluation form and the relevant due date.

Timesheets: Externs will be preparing and submitting time sheets on a monthly basis documenting time worked in the filed placement.  The timesheets must be signed by the supervising attorney or judge.

Course Component Assignments:  In addition to preparing Activity Journals, Written Samples of Work, Evaluations and Timesheets, externs will also be required to participate in the course component. 

14.     Late Penalty: Late journals are subject to a time penalty of 1/2 hour per field placement unit for each school day beyond the due date that the document is late. The submission date is determined by the email date or the date/time assigned for that assignment.

15.     Withdrawal:  No student may withdraw from a field placement until adequate safeguards for the handling of cases and/or client problems assigned to the student have been arranged in advance with the Field Placement Director and the extern’s supervising attorney.

16.     Field Placements/Public Interest Graduation Requirement: Completion of a minimum of two units at a qualified public interest placement automatically fulfills the public interest graduation requirement.

17.     Prohibition on Compensation: Externs who receive units for field placements may not receive compensation for legal services performed in the field placements other than reimbursement for incidental expenses such as parking or photocopying.

18.     First Year Summer Limitations: Students who have completed the required first year course work of study may enroll in a maximum of six Summer Session field placement units. If finalized first year grades place an extern on academic probation, a maximum of four field placement units are permitted.

19.     Transfer Students: 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.

20. Failing a Prior Off Campus Field Placement: Students who have failed to complete an off campus field placement or who have received a grade of “fail” in an off campus field placement are not subsequently eligible to enroll in an off campus field placement.