Catholic 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 Academic Affairs is here to provide assistance to students looking for an externship for credit experience. Bryan McDermott, Assistant Dean for Academic and Bar Support, 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 Catholic Law students can be found here.
Catholic Law students searching for externship opportunities are also 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, their name, and class/graduation year to email@example.com.
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 Assistant Dean for Career & Professional Development Julie Dietrich 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:
- Tentatively find a fieldwork placement.
- To begin the process of seeking academic credit, complete this application.
- After your application is approved, sign the Site Supervisor, Faculty Supervisor and Extern Agreement with your Site Supervisor and email the agreement to Natalie Pucillo, firstname.lastname@example.org, or deliver the agreement to Suite 343. Dean McDermott will sign the agreement and a final copy will be uploaded to a Shared Drive folder assigned to you.
Enrollment in Externship Courses
Students completing their first externship for academic credit:
- Enroll in a Becoming a Lawyer (BAL), Becoming a Public Policy Lawyer (BPPL - fall only), or Communications Law Practicum (CLP - fall only), and
- Enroll in the Legal Externship course (for 2 or 3 credits) to receive credit for your fieldwork.
- Students in the SEC Student Honors Program should enroll in the SEC Honors course, Catalog 937.
Students completing a second or subsequent externship for academic credit:
- 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 Externship 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 the Legal Externship course during the fall or spring semester 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 the Legal Externship course during the fall or spring semester 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.
- Students who enroll in the Legal Externship course during the summer semester for 2 credits must complete 120 hours of fieldwork throughout the semester, or an average of 15 or more hours per week for eight weeks.
- Students who enroll in the Legal Externship course during the summer semester for 3 credits must complete 180 hours of fieldwork throughout the semester, or an average of 23 or more hours per week for eight weeks.
(2) Provide timely, detailed documentation of your fieldwork hours using the Externship Program time log template.
- At the beginning of the semester, students will be given to individual Google Drive student folders where they can access documents including their time log, a sample time log, and a program calendar.
- 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 will receive reminder emails in advance of deadlines.
(3) Complete evaluations of the placement.
- At the mid-point and 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 Academic Affairs.
(4) Ensure that your supervisor submits evaluations of your work.
- Finally, we must receive written evaluations of students’ work from their fieldwork supervisors. The Office of Academic Affairs 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.