Academic Year Legal Externship Programs
Access2Practice enables second- and/or third-year Chicago-Kent students to receive academic credit, not pay, for working on an approved curriculum in a specialized area of law under the supervision of a designated attorney. Externs are placed in a wide variety of legal areas in the private or public sectors, which enables them to gain exposure to an area of law in which they are interested. In turn, externs integrate and assimilate skills learned in the classroom with those acquired in law practice.
Most academic year externship placements are with public agencies and entities. Private employers must be reviewed and approved by the Faculty Externship Screening Committee in order to accept academic year externs.
LEP is offered each fall and spring semester.
- The 2012 fall semester is scheduled for August 27-December 7, 2012.
- The 2013 spring semester is scheduled for January 22-May 3, 2013.
LEP consists primarily of a fieldwork experience with a supervising lawyer, accompanied by faculty supervision and a classroom component. Fieldwork allows students to have sufficient opportunity to see and work with lawyers as they practice on a day-to-day basis serving actual clients in an education-focused, yet real world, setting. In the 14-week fall and spring semesters, an extern is required to:
- Devote 16 hours per week to the fieldwork experience for a minimum of 224 hours.
- Attend a series of classes (Perspectives in Lawyering) that focuses on different practice areas and address the often complex and unpredictable realities at the core of the actual practice of law.
- Maintain weekly activity reports and journals based on their fieldwork experience, as required by the law school and ABA rules.
Firms or organizations hosting externs should be able to commit to the following in order to comply with the guidelines of the LEP:
- The extern should have a supervising lawyer who allocates substantive work project assignments and provides on-going guidance.
- The supervising lawyer should provide constructive feedback on said assignments.
- The supervising lawyer will be asked to complete a formal graded evaluation at the end of the semester, assessing his/her extern's competence in performing various lawyering responsibilities; the extern's enthusiasm and willingness to take on new challenges; and the extern's general ability to complete competent work professionally and efficiently.
- The firm/organization should have a designated workspace and access to tools (phone, computer, etc.) and support that will enable the extern to complete fieldwork assignments.
Any clinical program runs the risk of being a token educational experience if the student does not complete work or projects without proper direction or supervision. To overcome this risk, Chicago-Kent's LEP selects only those placements and lawyers whom we believe share an interest and commitment to our goals.
Please Note: While we cannot guarantee there will be a suitable extern candidate for each externship, please know, however, that your interest and availability are still important to us.