The primary objectives of the externship program of the Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America, are to enhance students’ learning through practice experience and critical reflection.
Our program enables students to earn academic credit while advancing their legal training at field placements that students themselves select, subject to program approval. This structure encourages students to take advantage of the wide array of legal opportunities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and gain practice experience that is tailored to their interests and professional goals. Through teaching methods such as reflective writing assignments, seminar or tutorial meetings, and oral presentations, externship program faculty guide students in considering issues including:
- how to identify and pursue learning goals for their placement experiences;
- how to reflect upon experiences and apply what is learned from them to future problems;
- how to develop an effective supervisory relationship and build a professional network;
- how to be guided by personal and professional values in determining the approach they will take to the practice of law and the type of legal practice to pursue;
- and how to identify and navigate issues of ethics and professionalism.
Site supervisors support students in their fieldwork by offering hands-on guidance and ongoing feedback as students apply and build upon their substantive legal training and develop legal skills such as research, writing, legal analysis, investigation, interviewing, counseling, negotiation, problem solving, communication, and advocacy. In all of these ways, CUA Law’s externship program prepares students to become ethical, effective, practice-ready lawyers.