Externship Requirements

SUMMER EXTERNSHIPS

PART-TIME ACADEMIC YEAR EXTERNSHIPS:

FULL-TIME EXTERNSHIPS:

Please note: You must complete the online Registration before you apply for any externship. You may not accept any externship position until 48 hours after you have completed the Registration.

Summer Externships

Important Note:All students who plan to extern for the first time in Summer 2016 must attend a mandatory orientation. This orientation will take place on Tuesday, April 12th at 10:00am-1:00pm in EDU 1131. If this is your first externship, you must attend in order to earn credit for your work.

See the Part-Time Academic Year section for eligibility & deadlines.


REQUIREMENTS AND CREDIT STRUCTURE

  • Summer externs may earn four (4) credits, only, for a minimum of 168 hours of work. No additional credit will be awarded to students who work more hours.
  • The requirements, including coursework and participation in course activities, are the same for all externs, regardless of whether a student is earning credit for a first or second externship.
  • Students who wish to earn externship credit for their summer work must enroll in the appropriate externship course before the externship begins.
  • Summer externs complete their work and most classes during the summer; the course appears on each student’s fall transcript. These credits count toward the maximum number of credits that a student may earn in a semester (16; with Dean Schroeder’s approval, 17).
  • All summer externs (including those completing a second externship) are required to attend the mandatory training noted above. After this training, all externs will participate in coursework and activities designed to foster reflective learning. The final meeting of the summer externship course will be held at the time indicated in the fall course schedule. The class will only meet once during the regularly scheduled class time on one of the first few Fridays of the semester, date to be determined.
  • All summer externships are “part-time.” Although most students work full-time at their placements, there are not enough weeks in the summer to complete the hours required for a full-time externship.

Part-Time Academic Year Externships


GENERAL REQUIREMENTS


Student Eligibility

  • Students must comply with Rule I.  D. of the Academic Rules, Standards and Procedures with respect to the number of non-regularly scheduled units they may take.  For questions about the Academic Rules, please confer with the Assistant Dean of Student Services.
  • A student may participate in a part-time academic year externship only if the student has a minimum 3.0 GPA. (In certain instances, an exception to the GPA requirement may be obtained from the Assistant Dean of Student Services.)
  • Students who have previously earned law school credit for an externship may only enroll in an additional externship with the permission of the Assistant Dean of Student Services.

Placement Eligibility

An externship placement must involve the type and nature of work worthy of academic credit with appropriate supervision. Judicial chambers, non-profit organizations and government agencies are all eligible placements; for specific examples see the list of Past Externship Placements. Students may not extern at for-profit businesses or law firms. Students' work must be primarily legal work, with very few administrative responsibilities as part of their work for the organization. Legal work should include as many of the following activities as possible:

  • Writing and research skills, including intensive work on drafting documents such as complaints, answers, trial and appellate briefs, agreements, legal memoranda, opinion letters, and other similar documents requiring legal writing.
  • Interviewing, counseling, negotiation, advocacy, formulation of strategy, and development of facts.
  • The use of oral skills, including oral reports on matters on which the student is working.
  • Exposure to issues of professional responsibility within the context of actual practice.
  • Experience in specialized areas of the law through practice.

Judicial Externships

  • Judicial externships must be with either a state or federal judge, including a federal magistrate or bankruptcy judge. For students wishing to participate in an externship with a Commissioner, Referee, or other judicial officer not listed herein, please complete the online Registration selecting the "Non-Judicial" category.
  • A part-time externship with a state or federal judge does not require prior approval of the placement by the school, but students must confirm their own eligibility

Government and Non-Profit Externships

  • All non-judicial placements must be with either a) a non-profit organization, or b) a government agency. Placements with for-profit organizations are not permitted.
  • Students working with organizations may not be involved in political advocacy as part of their externship duties.

Credit Structure and Course Requirements

  • The number of externship credits a student registers for depends on 1) whether the student has completed a previous externship, and 2) how many hours the student intends to work.
  • To earn credit for a first externship during the academic year, a student must complete 168 hours for four (4) credits, 224 hours for five (5) credits, or 280 hours of work for six (6) credits. A student must work with the judge or supervisor to determine an appropriate schedule through which she or he will complete the 168, 224 or 280 hours. During the academic year, 168 hours can be completed by working 12 hours per week, 224 by working 16 hours per week and 280 by working 20 hours per week. For a first externship during the academic year students must also attend seminar class sessions during the semester they work at their placement.
  • To earn credit for a second externship during the academic year a student does not attend the seminar class sessions, and therefore earns a lower number of credits. A student may earn either three (3), four (4) or (5) units of credit/no credit. To earn credit, a student must complete 168 hours, 224 hours, or 280 hours of work respectively during the semester. The student must determine an appropriate schedule through which she or he will complete these hours.
  • All externs must complete bi-weekly time sheets, indicating the work completed on a daily basis as part of the externship, including such activities as writing, research, conferences with supervisors, observation of trials, hearings, interviews, negotiations, or other relevant legal work. Detailed timesheets shall be submitted bi-weekly via TWEN.
  • Reflective assignments will be required of each student, based upon the provided prompts, through the semester. This requirement is the same for students registered for part-time or summer full-time externships, regardless of the number of credits earned. Each student must complete at least one written project in the course of their externship unless precluded by confidentiality restrictions. A copy of such a written project must be submitted as part of the student's classroom course requirement. Please be aware that the supervising attorney or judicial officer must approve the release of any writing sample to any outside party, including UCI, and most samples will need to be redacted to protect privacy

Deadlines

Note: The following deadlines occur months after registration opens for the indicated semesters and, in most cases, long after applications to judges are due. A student's functional deadline is determined by when she or he wishes to enroll in the externship; thus it may be substantially earlier than these dates.

You must submit your completed Request for Authorization for an externship as soon as possible and no later than the specified deadline dates, unless prior written authorization is secured for an extension due to exceptional circumstances.

  • Fall deadline: Two weeks prior to the start of fall classes
  • Spring deadline: Two weeks prior to the start of spring classes
  • Summer deadline: One week prior to the last day of spring classes

Full-Time Externships


GENERAL REQUIREMENTS


Student Eligibility

  • A student may not apply for any full-time externship position until after she or he has obtained permission to do so from the Assistant Dean of Student Services. To obtain approval a student must complete and submit the online Externship Registration and make an appointment to meet with the Assistant Dean.
  • A student must also meet with the Director of Externships to discuss the nature and adequacy of the experience available at the proposed placement.
  • Students must comply with Rule I. D. of the Academic Rules, Standards and Procedures with respect to the number of non-regularly scheduled units they may take. For questions about the Academic Rules, please confer with the Assistant Dean of Student Services.
  • Students who have previously earned law school credit for an externship may only enroll in an additional externship with the permission of the Assistant Dean of Student Services.
  • Generally, full-time externships will only be approved when a comparable experience is not available through a part-time placement. Examples are externships with judges at the federal circuit court or the state Supreme Court level. Full-time externships in federal district courts will only be approved if the judge requires that externs work full-time. Non-profit and governmental opportunities will be considered, but a full-time externship will not be approved simply because it expands the geographic range of a student's opportunities.
  • A student may participate in a full-time externship during her or his fourth or fifth semester; exceptions may be made on an individual basis to allow a full-time externship during the third or sixth semesters. First year students are not eligible for full-time externships.
  • A student must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to enroll in a full-time externship. (In some cases, an exception to the GPA requirement may be obtained from the Assistant Dean of Student Services).

Placement Eligibility

  • A full-time externship placement must involve the type and nature of work worthy of academic credit with appropriate supervision. Judicial chambers, non-profit organizations and government agencies are all eligible placements; for specific examples see the list of Past Externship Placements. Students may not extern at for-profit businesses or law firms. Students' work must be primarily legal work, with very few administrative responsibilities as part of their work for the organization.  Legal work should include as many of the following activities as possible:
    • Writing and research skills, including intensive work on drafting documents such as complaints, answers, trial and appellate briefs, agreements, legal memoranda, opinion letters, and other similar documents requiring legal writing.
    • Interviewing, counseling, negotiation, advocacy, formulation of strategy, and development of facts.
    • The use of oral skills, including oral reports on matters on which the student is working.
    • Exposure to issues of professional responsibility within the context of actual practice.
    • Experience in specialized areas of the law through practice.
  • A determination of worthiness and the appropriate level of supervision shall be made by the Associate Dean of Clinical Education and Service Learning Programs, or a designee of the Associate Dean.  Following submission of the completed Request for Authorization to Enroll for a full-time externship, the student will be notified within three (3) days as to whether their externship application has been accepted or denied.

Judicial Externships

Full-time judicial externships are only permitted with federal circuit court or the state supreme court judges or justices. Exceptions may be made for federal district courts only if the judge requires that externs work full-time in her or his chambers.

Government and Non-Profit Externships

  • All non-judicial placements must be with either a) a non-profit organization, or b) a government agency. Placements with for-profit organizations are not permitted.
  • Students may not be involved in political advocacy as part of their externship duties.

Credit Structure and Course Requirements

To earn credit for a full-time externship:

  • A student will earn 10 credit/no credit units and three graded units for participation in any full-time externship other than the UCDC program (a separate application is required to participate in UCDC). The 10 credit/no credit units will be awarded for the student's work at the placement, a minimum of 40 hours per week for 14 weeks (560 hours) and the work described in the following four paragraphs. Full-time externs must also take the three graded units awarded for completion of the directed research project that a student develops in consultation with her or his faculty supervisor. This directed research project should be structured so that it meets the requirements of the Upper Level Writing Requirement. (See the Academic Rules, Appendix 1.A.)
  • A full-time extern must complete detailed timesheets indicating the work completed on a daily basis at the placement, including such activities as writing, research, conferences with supervisors, observation of trials, hearings, interviews, negotiations, or other relevant legal work. The detailed timesheets shall be submitted to the externship director via TWEN on a schedule set by the director.
  • A full-time extern must complete reflective assignments, based upon the questions that each student and the externship director develop. These reflective assignments shall be submitted via TWEN on a schedule set by the director.
  • A full-time extern must meet with the externship director every other week, by phone or in person, to review the progress on the directed research project and to discuss the issues covered in her or his reflective assignments.
  • A full-time extern must complete at least one written project at the placement in the course of her or his externship. A copy of a sample project shall be submitted to the externship director via TWEN unless the sample cannot be released because of confidentiality restrictions. Please be aware that the placement supervisor must authorize the release of any sample work to any outside party, including the externship director or other faculty or staff of UCI. Most submissions will require redaction.

Application Process: Specific to Full-Time Externships

  • Before looking for a full-time placement and before sending any applications out for full-time externship positions, a student must meet with the Assistant Dean of Students for academic counseling and obtain her approval through the online Externship Registration system. Approval will not be given for a full-time externship simply because it expands the geographic range of a student's opportunities.
  • A student applying to full-time government or non-profit placements must also consult with the Director of Externships before sending applications to placements. A preliminary evaluation of the suitability of the placement will prevent problems during the remainder of the process.
  • After obtaining the Assistant Dean's permission and submitting the Registration form, a student may apply for full-time externships.
  • A student must also identify and secure a faculty advisor on the UCI School of Law faculty. We strongly encourage students to secure their faculty advisor early in the semester in which they are applying for externships.
  • Once a placement and faculty advisor have been secured, the student completes and submits the online Request for Authorization to Enroll in an Externship. The additional forms and documents required must be attached to the Request before it may be submitted.
  • Once a student's request is complete, the Director of Externships will evaluate the application. The Director will either approve or request additional or clarifying information within three (3) business days of receipt of the application. If the director approves the application, her assistant will email the student the codes necessary to register for the externship credits.
  • Contact the Externships program, if you have questions about any of these requirements. (externship@law.uci.edu).

Deadlines

Note: The following deadlines occur months after registration opens for the indicated semesters and, in most cases, long after applications to judges are due. A student's functional deadline is determined by when she or he wishes to enroll in the externship; thus it may be substantially earlier than these dates.

You must submit your completed Request for Authorization for an externship as soon as possible and no later than the specified deadline dates, unless prior written authorization is secured for an extension due to exceptional circumstances.

  • Fall deadline: July 20
  • Spring deadline: November 20