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. Bryan McDermott, Director of Experiential Curriculum, invites all students to discuss possible placements and how to ensure that particular placements will advance professional goals.  A database of all current and prior externships held by CUA students can be found here.

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 Tonya Gaskins 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, complete this application.
  3. After your application is approved, sign the Site Supervisor, Faculty Supervisor and Extern Agreement with your Site Supervisor and email the agreement to Director Bryan McDermott: mcdermottb@law.edu, or deliver the agreement to Suite 343. Director Bryan McDermott 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.

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.
  • 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.