The Catholic University of America

Externships Information for Law Students

CUA Law Externship Program Student Handbook

Students interested in pursuing a legal externship for academic credit should review the Externship Program Student Handbook for detailed information about program resources and policies. 

 

Identifying an Externship Placement 

Students interested in completing a legal externship should seek out placements that best serve their specific professional development goals and interests. The Office of Experiential Curriculum is here to provide assistance to students looking for an externship for credit experience. Professor Paul Kurth, as the Legal Externship course Faculty Supervisor, invites all students to discuss possible placements and how to ensure that particular placements will advance professional goals.
 

CUA law students searching for externship opportunities are invited to consult Symplicity, a job  database regularly updated by the Office of Career and Professional Development. To obtain a  Symplicity username and password, students should email the request to jobs@law.edu including their name and class/graduation year. 

The Office of Career and Professional Development (“OCPD”) also offers a variety of resources  to students searching for externship placements. Students are invited to meet with OCPD  Director Jill Frost and Assistant Director Tonya Gaskin and consult the OCPD library of  materials on conducting a successful job search, located both in the OCPD office suite and electronically on Symplicity. 
 

 Externship Placement Approval Process

 
Before the semester begins:
 
  1. Tentatively find a fieldwork placement.
  2. To begin the process of seeking academic credit, visit Symplicity and click on Accounts, then the Exp. Learning Tab. You will be prompted to first compelte a one-time 2 question form. Next, click on "Add New Experience" to provide information to the school regarding your potential employer.
  3. After your application is approved, sign the Site Supervisor, Faculty Supervisor and Extern Agreement with your Site Supervisor and email the agreement to Professor Paul Kurth: kurth@law.edu, or deliver the agreement to Suite 138. Professor Paul Kurth will sign the agreement and email you and your Site Supervisor final copies. 

Enrollment in Externship Courses

Students completing their first externship for academic credit:
  1. Enroll in a Becoming a Lawyer (BAL), Becoming a Public Policy Lawyer (BPPL - fall only), Communications Law Practicum (CLP - fall only), and

  2. Enroll in the Legal Externships course (for 2 or 3 credits) to receive credit for your fieldwork, or
  3. Enroll in the SEC Student Honors Program course.
Students completing a second or subsequent externship for academic credit:
  1. Enroll only in the Legal Externship Course for 2 or 3 credits. You will participate in the Supervised Fieldwork program (non-credit based) and will be contacted by your faculty instructor with more information about course requirements at the beginning of the semester.
**Important Note: The placement application in Symplicity must be submitted and approved and the Site Supervisor, Faculty Supervisor, and Extern Agreement completed and signed by the student and their Site Supervisor and emailed to kurth@law.edu or returned to Professor Paul Kurth in Suite 138 before students will be granted permission to enroll in the Legal Externships course.

Requirements to Earn Academic Credit for Fieldwork Hours

To successfully complete the Legal Externships course and receive academic credit for their  externship fieldwork hours, all externship program students must do the following: 
 
(1)  Complete the minimum number of fieldwork hours required for the number of credits  selected. 
 
  • Students who enroll in Legal Externships for 2 credits must complete 120 hours of  fieldwork throughout the semester, or an average of 10 or more hours per week for 14 weeks.
  • Students who enroll in Legal Externships for 3 credits must complete 180 hours of  fieldwork throughout the semester, or an average of 14 or more hours per week for 14 weeks. 
 
(2)  Provide timely, detailed documentation of your fieldwork hours using the Externships Program time-log template. 
 
  • At the beginning of the semester, students will be invited to join the Legal Externships (whichever  semester you are in) **Google Drive page. Students may also access their bi-weekly time-log grades in their Google Drive student folders.  
  • Students are encouraged to update their time logs in the Google Drive in real time. Every two weeks, students are required to complete their time-logs documenting their hours and  describing their work.  The school has created a time-log template for this purpose, which  automatically tallies students’ total fieldwork hours and requests for the minimum information needed to evaluate student fieldwork.  The time-log template is included in  the appendix for your reference.  Students registered to the Google Drive will see time- log due dates and receive reminder emails in advance of deadlines.

(3)   Complete an Evaluation of the Placement 

  • At the end of the semester, students must submit written evaluations of their  placements using a Google Form, which will be emailed to them by the Office of Experiential Curriculum.

(4)  Ensure that your supervisor submits an evaluation of your work. 

  • Finally, we must receive written evaluations of students’ work from their fieldwork  supervisors.  The Office of the Experiential Curriculum will email electronic evaluation  forms to supervisors for this purpose near the mid-point and end of the semester.   Students should confirm with their supervisors that they received the form and will  submit it prior to the mid-point and end of semester deadlines.  Supervisors typically  discuss their feedback with students during both of these times.
  
**Note: All students doing externships for credit must maintain and submit detailed records of their fieldwork hours. Each extern will be invited to the "Legal Externships" Google Drive in which they'll have the class folder and their own private files for the relevant semester in which to update time logs. The time-log template can be found on the Google Drive. Contact Professor Paul Kurth at kurth@law.edu in Suite 138 for more details.

 

Legal Externship Program
Contact Information

  

The Catholic University of America
Columbus School of Law
Office of Experiential Curriculum
3600 John McCormack Rd., NE

Washington, DC 20064

Professor Paul Kurth
Director of Experiential Curriculum

Email: kurth@law.edu