The College of Law offers a range of field placements in a variety of practice areas, allowing students to develop lawyering skills while earning academic credit. During field placements, students do legal work under the supervision of a licensed attorney outside the law school. They also set learning goals and engage in robust reflection under the guidance of a faculty member.
Field placement opportunities vary each semester, depending on placement needs and student interests. Students can apply for placements through the online job board, request to be matched at a placement, or locate their own externship placement with the approval of the Director of Field Placements.
In addition, the College of Law offers one year-long externship opportunity: Criminal Process Externship: This externship is open to third-year students interested in spending a full year working in a prosecutor’s or public defender’s office. Students must take the companion classroom course, Criminal Process, and need to qualify to appear in court under the student practice rule, Rule 14-807.
How to Apply
There are multiple ways to secure a field placement.
- You can apply for openings on 12Twenty by selecting the “Field Placement” column under “Type of Job.”
- You can connect with a supervisor on our List of Approved Placements and ask about potential field placement opportunities.
- Have you found a placement that is not on the List of Approved Placements? Request approval from the Director of Field Placements with the New Placement Approval Request Form.
- Do you already have a placement in mind for Summer? Fill out the Summer Field Placement Confirmation Form. Do you already have a field placement in mind for Fall? Fill out the Fall Field Placement Confirmation Form.
- Do you want to earn course credit at a placement where you have already worked, interned, volunteered, or externed? Fill out the Petition for Repeat Field Placement.
Feeling overwhelmed and have no idea where to start? We’re happy to meet with you! Schedule a meeting with our Program Manager Emily Aplin or with the Director of Field Placements Jacqueline Morrison.
Field Placement FAQs
A field placement is an experiential course that provides a substantial lawyering experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney, or an individual otherwise qualified to supervise, in a setting outside the College of Law. This experience must be combined with ongoing, contemporaneous faculty-guided reflection. The term “externship” is synonymous with the term “field placement” when used at the College of Law.
You must be in good standing and have completed at least two semesters of law school to be eligible to register for a field placement.
Students in first-time field placements must register for the required field placement companion course, Learning from Practice (LAW 7815), in conjunction with Field Placement Credit (LAW 7925). Students in second field placements must register for Advanced Learning from Practice (LAW 7816) in conjunction with Field Placement Credit (LAW 7925). Third-year students in approved, year-long criminal placements may register for Criminal Process (LAW 7990) as the required companion course in lieu of Learning from Practice or Advanced Learning from Practice. Students in subsequent field placements who have already completed Learning from Practice and Advanced Learning from Practice must complete a series of reflection papers and arrange regular meetings throughout the semester with the Director of Field Placements.
Students may apply a maximum of fourteen (14) credits of Field Placement Credit (LAW 7925) toward graduation. Students, in coordination with their placement, select the number of credits, ranging from 1 to 14, per semester. Students wishing to enroll for more than five (5) credits of field placement work in a semester must consult with the Director of Field Placements in advance. Students must register in full credit increments only and may not register for half credits. Fifty (50) hours of work at the placement are required for each credit.
Once the add/drop deadline has passed and you are no longer able to self-adjust enrollment, you must complete the required hours for each enrolled credit, absent extraordinary circumstances. In the event of extraordinary circumstances, you may submit a Petition for Adjustment of Field Placement Credit before the last day of classes. The Petition must be approved by both the Director of Field Placements and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Supervisors must be licensed attorneys or individuals otherwise qualified to supervise. Students wishing to be supervised by someone other than a licensed attorney who is admitted to a Bar, in good standing, with at least five (5) years of experience must request approval from the Director of Field Placements. You may not earn credit for work performed under the supervision of a family member or relative or for work performed at a family member’s or relative’s office, agency, or firm.
You must begin their fieldwork by the second week of the semester, and you must work at least ten (10) weeks at their field placement (thirteen (13) weeks is highly recommended). Your work should be spread out relatively evenly over the semester. Any exceptions require approval from the Director of Field Placements.
You cannot receive credit for work performed prior to the start of the semester in which you are enrolled.
Students requesting to earn credit at placements where they have already worked, interned, volunteered, or externed, must submit a Petition for Repeat Field Placement to the Director of Field Placements. You must demonstrate the proposed opportunity will provide a qualitatively different or substantially more rigorous learning experience than previous experiences with the placement.
Remote field placements, where students work in a separate location from their supervisors more than 50% of the time, will be considered by the Director of Field Placements on a case-by-case basis. You are encouraged to work in-person where possible.
For work at an approved public interest externship placement, you may accept compensation in the form of hourly wages, stipends, scholarships, fellowships, and grants. (Public interest includes work for governmental entities, 501(c)(3)-(5) organizations, and universities and other public institutions.) Prior to accepting compensation, you must notify and receive approval from the Director of Externships. (Note: these hours are not to be counted against the College of Law policy limiting full-time students to not working more than 20 hours per week.) Students at any placement may accept reimbursements to offset travel expenses such as gas mileage and parking fees.