Public Interest Externship Program

B547 is taught by L. Daghe, R. Downey, Farnsworth, S. Lahn, I. Van Der Cruysse, L. Violi

The Public Interest Externship provides an opportunity for second- and third-year students to receive academic credit for their work in a non-profit, legal service, local/state/federal government, or other public interest setting.


The student will work with attorneys in a non-profit, legal service, local/state/federal government, or other public interest setting, and gain insight into how the organization runs and how the legal personnel serve their client(s). The goal of the course is for students to be able to develop their own lawyering and legal skills, assess that development, reflect on their experience and its application to their legal career, and discuss it with their employer and faculty supervisors.


Successful completion of the 1L curriculum.


The student s role in this course will first and foremost consist of working as an extern at their organization. Work responsibilities at the externship will vary based on the employer, but will likely consist of legal research, reviewing and drafting memos and other legal documents, and observing and participating in meetings, depositions, court hearings, and/or transactional meetings.

Students are required to work 52 hours for each academic credit earned (i.e. 104 hours for two credits and 156 hours for three credits). The academic component consists of ABA-required work: (1) written goals and objectives for the externship, (2) reflective essays, (3) one-on-one meetings with the faculty supervisor, and (4) a final self-assessment and evaluation of the workplace. Students are required to maintain and submit a detailed timesheet throughout the semester.


For assistance with finding an externship, please work with your CSO Advisor. Faculty approval prior to registration is required. Students interested in this externship course are encouraged to contact Dean McFadden (

Once you have secured a position, getting set to work for credit is a fairly simple process: You need to complete the Externship Permission Form on CareerNet, which can be found under the Externships tab on the left side of your homepage. We ll review and approve the externship, and then you ll enroll in the relevant course for the semester during Registration or during the Drop/Add period.


The Syllabus and any additional reading materials and assignments will be posted on this course s Canvas page.


Before signing up for an externship course, please be sure review the Faculty Policy on Field Placements.

For additional questions, contact Dean McFadden (

NOTE: If you have not secured or approved your placement for the course as of registration day, please register for another course you want to take in case securing and/or approving the placement falls through. Once you secure and get your placement approved, you can drop the extra class and add the externship in the first week of classes.

Please note: Ordinarily, no student may enroll in a field placement concurrently with a law clinic. Rare exceptions may be made by Dean McFadden.