The Externship Clinic provides students an opportunity to perform legal work under the supervision of a practicing attorney at approved governmental agencies, as well as nonprofit legal services organizations and nonprofit public national and international organizations. Students will work a specified number of hours per week under the supervision of a practicing attorney, complete a goals memorandum, maintain weekly journals of their experience, participate in online discussions, and write a final reflective paper.
The ultimate service: Lindsey Collins, L'14
Lindsey Collins spent her entire professional career before law school in public service. As a lawyer, she plans to continue on that path, and she views joining the Army Judge Advocate General Corps as “the definitive way to serve my community and my country.” KU Law’s Externship Clinic provided an ideal opportunity for Collins to accept a competitive summer position with Army JAG at Fort Leavenworth – earning course credit while accumulating invaluable practice experience in precisely the arena she wants to enter after graduation.
“On day two, I sat down with trial counsel and started working through a case. I had an assignment to write three motions my second day,” said Collins, L’14. “It was a little overwhelming, but so exciting.”
Because her superiors have a true open-door policy, Collins has learned volumes about the military justice system and been empowered to take on challenging assignments. After President Obama’s recent comments about sexual assault in the military, questions arose regarding undue command influence in military cases, and Collins conducted research and served as part of a team that drafted new jury selection questions for consideration.
“I don’t think you need to have an interest in pursuing an Army career to pursue an internship with the JAG office,” she said. “The practical experience that begins immediately is worth it for every aspiring attorney – great trial strategy exercises and fantastic writing assignments, all while wrestling with substantive issues in the law. It’s going to be applicable in any law practice.”
To participate in the Clinic, students must have completed the equivalent of two semesters of law school and be in academic good standing.
Students may earn between two and four credit hours during each of the fall and spring semesters. During the summer, students may earn between two and eight credit hours. A student may earn a maximum of eight credit hours of Externship Clinic credit toward graduation.
Each credit hour requires forty hours of work. All work must be completed during the academic term in which the student is enrolled in the Externship Clinic.
The Clinic is graded on a credit/no credit basis.
If approved, an externship will consist of two components:
- A clinical experience in the approved field placement (a “job” at the organization), which consists of:
- Completion of a specified number of hours of work per week at the approved field placement. AND
- An academic experience, which consists of:
- In the fall and spring semesters, attendance at a mandatory orientation class session and a mid-semester meeting with the Clinic Director;
- In the summer, attendance at a mandatory orientation class session and online or telephone meetings with the Clinic Director;
- Completion of a goals memo;
- Submission of weekly journal entries to the Clinic Director;
- Completion of a reflective paper; and
- Submission of a final student report to the Clinic Director.
Jobs that Qualify for Externship Credit
A student may receive academic credit for legal positions with pre‐approved government agencies, non‐profit legal services organizations, and non‐profit public national and international organizations. All externship placements must be approved by the Clinic Director.
Positions with a private law firm or other for‐profit entity do not qualify for externship credit.
A student may not gain academic credit for work in which he is simultaneously receiving monetary compensation of any kind, including scholarship assistance. Reimbursement for expenses such as mileage may be permitted. Students may not receive Externship Clinic credit at placements where they have previously been employed for pay, or where they have received an offer of paid employment. Students also may not receive Externship Clinic credit in a placement for which there is an existing specialized KU Law clinic or externship program without prior permission from both the director of the affected specialized law school clinic or externship program and the director of the Externship Clinic.
Obtaining an Externship Placement
A student may obtain an externship placement on his own. (For example, if a student is going home to Arizona for the summer and can arrange a placement at the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, this placement would qualify for externship credit.)
A student may visit the Career Services office and seek the assistance and guidance of its professional staff. Some, but not all, externship opportunities are posted on Symplicity, which is an online database utilized by the Career Services Office.
A student may seek assistance and guidance from Clinic Director.
Applying for the Externship Clinic
An application for participation in the Externship Clinic must be submitted for each academic term (fall, spring, or summer) in which the student wishes to participate in the clinic. Applications should be submitted to the Clinic Director as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline prescribed by the Clinic Director. All inquiries about externship opportunities should be directed to the Clinic Director or Career Services professional staff.
For an Externship Clinic application to be processed:
- The student must obtain a placement with a qualified employer.
- The student must complete and submit an application, which can be found and downloaded from the KU Law website (go to Academics/Experiential Learning/Clinics, click Externship Clinic).
- The supervisor at the placement must be a licensed lawyer. He or she must submit a letter of interest, which specifies what the student will do for the organization and addressing how the organization will ensure an excellent legal learning experience for the student. The letter of interest can be included with the application packet or can be submitted separately to the Clinic Director.
Spring 2015 applications are due by 5 p.m. on January 15, 2015. Applications must be submitted in hard copy to Professor Rosenberg’s mailbox in the Green Hall main office.
There will be a mandatory orientation session for all participants at 4:30 p.m. January 20, 2015. Students who do not attend will not be permitted to participate in the Externship Clinic.
Clinic Application (PDF)
Clinic Requirements (PDF)