What is an externship? Is it the same thing as an internship?
An externship is an off-campus learning experience for one semester (during the academic year only) in a judge's chambers, a government agency, non-profit or public interest organization, or in some cases, in-house counsel with a private company or corporation. Students in the externship program receive consistent and rigorous feedback from their placement supervisors, and critically reflect on their experience with their peers in a corresponding seminar course, or through a one-on-one faculty tutorial.
Are externships graded?
The field placement component of an externship is graded on a P/U/NC basis. The part-time extern seminar and tutorial are also P/U/NC. Students who do not complete the required components will not pass the 1 credit course, but letter grades are not assigned. The seminar and tutorial for full-time students is a 2 credit, graded course.
Are there any prerequisites? (discuss PTLS)
While there are no pre-requisites to take an externship, externs hoping to appear on the record in court will need to apply for the California Bar’s “Practical Training of Law Students” program, which certifies law students to provide legal services under the supervision of an attorney. Current students can learn more about the process by reviewing the Externship Wiki page on the topic.
My summer employer offered me a fall externship. Will that work?
Students rarely turn their summer employment into fall externships, for a variety of reasons. First, externships must be at UCLA-approved placement sites only. Secondly, students may not work at an externship site where they have previously worked, unless they can prove that the experience will be sufficiently different: it must involve meaningfully different challenges, learning opportunities, and, ideally, a different supervisor. If you’re interested in exploring this possibility, reach out to the externship office to discuss the position as soon as possible.
I am an LLM student, here on a student visa. Can I still take an externship?
Yes, with some limitations. Reach out to Vic Telesino, the Director of Graduate Admissions, to discuss the details. The externship office works closely with the Graduate Studies team to ensure that LLMs have a positive experience.
How do I find an externship?
Students generally find an externship either by networking, or by reaching out directly to one of our approved placements. We always encourage students to start by requesting a meeting with Director Davidson, to discuss your goals for your externships, and to obtain contact information for relevant placement sites. To learn more, visit the Externship Wiki.
When is the right time to apply to externships?
Students hoping to do a fall semester externship should begin searching for positions and applying around April. Note that start times for externship postings vary widely by subject area. Judicial externships and positions requiring security clearance generally get posted quite early. Transactional and public interest positions are posted throughout the spring and summer. Deadlines for the externship program are posted on the Wiki’s Deadlines and Deliverables page.