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Externship Program FAQs

Following are answers to some frequently asked questions about the School of Law's Externship course.

Q. May I extern for a private law firm or private business?

A. No, even if the assignments are for pro bono cases. Qualifying sites are limited to non-profit public interest organizations, government and the judiciary. Students must be performing legal work under supervision of an attorney. Nor may students receive academic credit for paid externships.

Q. I plan to return to New York after I graduate. May I earn credit for a placement in New York?

A. Possibly. Consult with the Associate Dean for Experiential Programs if you have questions about a potential placement.

Q. Do I find my own placement or will I be placed?

A. Students find their own placements through UDC Law CareerNet (Symplicity), previous externships (including Community Service), the Office of Career and Professional Development, and other sources.We encourage students who are interested in the class to plan ahead as early as possible. You will still need to go through the organization’s application process.

Q. When may I take the class?

A. The externship class is offered in the spring and summer semesters only. Full-time students must have completed at least three semesters of law school, and part-time students must have completed six semesters before taking the class. The class may NOT be taken concurrently with a law school clinic. See the UDC Law Student Handbook, Volume I, Section 3.5.2.

Q. May I take the externship class more than once?

A. No (see above citation).

Q. Should I take the externship class in the summer or spring?

A. That depends on a number of factors. Students who want to extern full-time, and earn eight credits for their work, can do so in the summer. Some students are not sure of their longer-term career goals, and choose to spend the summer in the externship class to help sharpen their goals and to plan for their last year in school. Other students want to use the spring semester as a "launching pad” for a post-graduate position and find that the spring semester is a better time to take the class.

One note: For students who want a judicial clerkship after graduation, it is advisable to take the externship class in the summer before their third year. Most judges will make decisions about judicial clerkships by the fall or early winter, and students who have spent the summer working for that judge will be in a stronger position to apply for the clerkship than students who wait until the spring semester.

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