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, Cook County Public Guardian, Office of the Illinois Attorney General, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Illinois Human Rights Commission, Lurie Children’s Hospital, and Equip for Equality.

Governmental and Public Interest Sector externship credits count toward fulfilling some of the required coursework for the Public Interest Law certificate program. 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 Seyfarth Shaw, Hinshaw & Culbertson, and at corporations such as Accenture, Brightstar, and ULTA. 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 Externship Program

Judicial Externships are a 4-credit hour Pass/Low Pass/Fail program open to students in their second- and third-year with a minimum cumulative GPA to be determined yearly who want to do legal research and writing for participating state and federal judges.

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.

In addition to work in chambers, there is also an accompanying classroom discussion component that focuses on various aspects of judicial decision-making and, where appropriate, how those aspects affect the extern’s work product.

This program is offered every semester, and 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.

If you have questions about any of the many externship opportunities, please contact Professor Gross.

Legal Externship Program

Access2Practice (A2P) Legal Externship is a 4-credit-hour Pass/Fail program which enables Kent 2Ls and 3Ls to gain supervision/mentoring in a wide variety of legal areas - both civil and criminal.  Some students gain experience when they are hired as part-time clerks.  LEP presents a unique and important opportunity to gain exposure to an area of law you are interested in and helps you significantly broaden your practical employment opportunities.   LEP externships are offered in the Fall and Spring semesters and in the Summer session and consist of two separate components: fieldwork and class.

Where Can Students Extern?

You select and obtain your own externship. This program does not assign you to a particular placement. To gain access to the many available externship placement possibilities, consult Symplicity.  Students interested in civil law may extern in a wide variety of places. For example, some have externed at the City of Chicago Corporation Counsel’s Office, Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Illinois Commerce Commission, Immigration Court of the U.S. Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. and Illinois Environmental Protection Agencies.  Students interested in criminal law may extern at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Federal Defender, and at the offices of the State’s Attorney and Public Defender in Cook County as well as the surrounding counties.  In addition, there are a small number of private law firms and in-house corporate legal departments which have been formally screened and approved for Spring 2021 LEP placements. These externship opportunities will also be posted on Symplicity.

Applications when available can be found here.

Semester Law Firm Associate Program

The Semester Law Firm Associate Program (“SLFAP”) is a unique 6-credit  non-graded program open to second- and third-year students, during which they have the opportunity to work for academic credit as “Associates” for prestigious law firms such as Beermann LLP, Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney, and Stahl Cowen Crowley Addis LLC, among others. Students must spend 24 hours a week at the firm that selects them, and also attend a classroom component. This program is only offered in the Spring and Fall semesters.