Approved supervised work outside of the law school for credit
Externships are paid or unpaid forcredit positions that entail taking an externship class at the Law School while working with a law firm, in-house corporation, government agency, court, or public interest organization. Externships allow students to learn and enhance their legal skills by combining classroom work with practical experience in the field. Learning from experience is critical for life long professional development.
Information for Students
Externship Program Overview
The Externship Program is a class with two components: 1) an off-campus organization and direct supervisor; and, 2) an extersnhip class conducted at the Law School. You will register for both 1 and 2.
You will extern with an approved supervisor and sponsor outside of the Law School while also taking a companion class here at the law school. Externships are paid or unpaid for-credit positions that entail working with a law firm, in-house corporation, government agency, court, or public interest organization.
Types of Externship Placements
- Civil Practice, Social Justice and High Tech Law (LAW 590 or 597)
- Criminal Justice (LAW 591)
- Judicial (LAW 594)
- Panetta Fellowship (Law 523)
The type of externship for which you will register depends on the type of sponsor or organization for which you will extern.
Requirements, Units Earned and Registration
Students must be rising 2L’s, , have completed both semesters of Civil Procedure, and have met the minimum GPA requirements, if applicable,.. Externships are contingent upon acceptance by the sponsoring firm or organization and approval by the Externship Program.
There are two parts to every externship: your sponsoring organization (externship placement) and the mandatory class taught at Santa Clara Law. Students must enroll and attend the Externship Seminar (Law 705) for their first placement, or the Externship Workshop (Law 706) for their second and third placement. Students also register for the corresponding externship placement to receive academic credit.
Students will earn 1 academic unit of credit for each 50 hours of qualified extern work. The minimum number of units for which students may register is as follows:
- Full time J.D. students: 3 to 5 units, or 11 units (full-time judicial) depending on the placement
- Part time J.D. students, graduating 3L’s, LLM’s: 2 to 5 units, depending on the placement
- Students receive 1 unit for successful completion of LAW 705. This is a mandatory class that must be taken contemporaneously with your first externship
- Students receive 0 units for successful completion of LAW 706. This is a mandatory class that must be taken contemporaneously with your second or third externship
- Students must successfully enroll in and complete the required class to be eligible to receive credit for their externship placement
ALL externships must run concurrent to the academic semester. Thus, spring and fall externship will span 14 weeks, and summer externships will span 8 weeks. Students must be fully engaged at their externship sponsor for each week of the entire semester.
How to Register
ALL externships must be approved by the Externship Program before students may register. Registration permission numbers are emailed directly to the student after approval and receipt of a signed Supervision Agreement Form. To register for an externship:
- Secure offer from extern sponsor and agree to hours and days you will present
- Submit a fully completed Student Registration Form. All forms not completely filled out will be returned
- Submit a Sponsor Request Form, if the organization is new to the Externship Program, or your supervisor has not previously and/or recently hosted a Santa Clara Law extern student. (Please check with Sandy Vega if you are unsure if you need to submit this form.)
- After ALL forms are received we will vet your placement for approval. Vetting generally requires confirmation from your supervisor regarding compliance with Externship Program requirements. Please see the Supervisor Program Requirements page for more information as to the standards for extern supervisors and sponsors.
- Upon approval you will receive a Supervisor Agreement form via email from the Externship Program. You and your supervisor must sign, date, and return this form.
- Upon receipt of an executed Supervisor Agreement you will receive two permission numbers to register for: 1) your externship; and, 2) your externship class.
Please note that this process may not correspond with your assigned registration date/time as issued by Student Services. Externship registration forms are accepted 30 days prior to the start of each semester. Thereafter, forms are accepted on a rolling basis subject to class availability.