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Types of Externships

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Governmental and Public Interest Sectors

Extern placements in these areas include county, city, state and federal legislative and executive offices. Students have externed in diverse places such as the various county offices of the State's Attorney and Public Defender, the Office of the U.S. Attorney, City of Chicago Department of Law, Office of the IL Attorney General, IL Commerce Commission, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), and Equip for Equality.

Governmental and Public Interest Sector externship credit counts toward fulfilling some of the required course work for the J.D. Certificate in Public Interest Law. Externships with a legal aid bureau, legal assistance program or organization, and certain governmental agencies may enable 3Ls to acquire a 711 student practice license and appear in court.

Private/For-Profit Firms and Corporations

Students can earn academic credit while gaining experience at a private law firm or corporation. In the past, students have externed at law firms such as McAndrews, Held & Malloy, DLA Piper LLP, and Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson, LLP, and at corporations such as Warner Brothers Entertainment, Inc. Accenture, LLP, AT&T Services, Inc., and Fox Group.

Private employers must be pre-approved in order to participate in the LEP. If you receive an offer to extern with a private employer who has not been pre-approved and wish to convert that into a for-credit externship, please contact Professor Gross as soon as possible to ensure sufficient time for screening and approval.

If you receive an offer to extern from an approved private placement, please contact Professor Gross.

Judicial Externships

Judicial Externships are a 4-credit hour Pass/Low Pass/Fail program open to students in their second- and third-year with a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA who want to do legal research and writing for participating federal judges in district, appellate and bankruptcy court. Externs work directly with the judge and the judge's law clerks researching, writing memoranda of law, drafting opinions, and generally observing and participating in the day-to-day operation of the court. Depending upon the judge, an extern may have the opportunity to observe the day-to-day routine of a judge and discuss with the judge or the judge's law clerk those legal problems which attorneys face in their profession, as well as the specific problems confronted in the courtroom.

This prestigious program is offered in fall and spring semesters and in the summer session as well. An accompanying classroom discussion component meets on Fridays from 11:45 a.m. - 12:40 p.m. during the fall and spring semesters, and on Wednesdays from 12:00 - 12:55 p.m. during the summer session. The class focuses on various aspects of judicial decision-making and, where appropriate, how those aspects affect the extern's work product.

All judicial externs will work under the direct supervision of and coordinate their externship schedule with their judge and/or their judge's law clerk. Students put in a minimum of 16 hours per week during the 14-week semester and 32 hours per week during the summer session for a total of 240 hours.

Externs are selected by the respective participating judge(s) through an application procedure conducted by the law school. Applications for summer and fall Judicial Externships are available in the Law Offices reception area (Room 600), in the Career Services Office, and in front of the Spakateria at the beginning of February and will be submitted to each respective chamber by approximately the first week in March. Applications for Spring Judicial Externships are available at the end of September and will be submitted to each respective chamber by approximately mid-October.

Students may do a Judicial Externship for more than one semester.

Students enrolled in the Judicial Externship Program may also choose to opt out of Legal Writing 4.  Applications when available can be found here

Environmental and Energy Law Externship Program

The Environmental and Energy Law Externship Program provides students in the J.D. Certificate in Environmental and Energy Law program with the opportunity to extern for one-credit, graded on a pass/low pass/fail basis at environmental governmental agencies and public interest groups. Agencies include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Regional Office, the Illinois Attorney General's Office (Environmental Office), the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the City of Chicago Law Department (Environmental Unit), the City of Chicago Housing Authority (Environmental Unit), the Illinois Pollution Control Board, Citizens for a Better Environment, the Chicago Legal Clinic, and the Lake Michigan Federation.

Students may enroll in their second- or third-year of law school and must put in a minimum of 8 hours per week during the 14-week semester. Students gain a variety of experiences at these placements: research and writing of memoranda and briefs, and preparation for and attendance at negotiation sessions, court hearings, and client meetings.

For more information about the Environmental and Energy Law Externship program, please contact Professor Dan Tarlock.

If you have questions about the LEP, please contact Profesor Gross at vgross@kentlaw.iit.edu.