Externships - Bringing the Law to Life
Externship Approval Process
Once you have received an offer from the field placement, you must submit your externship for approval on UB Law Connect. To submit your externship for approval, go to the Experiential Learning section and click “Add Experience.” After you have submitted your externship information, an email will be sent to the field placement asking them to approve your placement and to ensure they are in agreement with the externship program requirements. After the field placement supervisor has approved you application, the Director of Externships, Prof. Neha Lall, will approve your placement and you will be given permission to enroll in the course. Externships should be submitted for approval no later than one week before the start of classes for the semester when your externship will take place.
The UB Law Externship Program engages students in real life experiences with practicing lawyers and judges. In addition to their work in the field, students participate in a classroom seminar where they develop professionalism skills necessary to becoming self-directed learners. Through the program, students can explore a particular area of practice and observe different lawyering styles and techniques. Externships promote the development of key competencies such as legal analysis, research and writing, interviewing and counseling, negotiation, policy-making and advocacy.
The UB Law Externship Program has special program requirements. Students will focus on identifying specific learning goals and the importance of learning from observation and reflection. Participation in the externship program involves working while taking an externship course. Externships are all 3 academic credits and count towards the 6-credit experiential learning graduation requirement.
Watch this video to learn more about our externship programs.
Attorney Practice Externships (year-round)
Attorney Practice Externships allow students to work in the field and complete substantive legal assignments under the supervision of an experienced attorney, all while earning credits towards their experiential learning requirements. Students extern in every legal sector: private, public interest and nonprofit, as well as local, state and federal government.
Public Interest Lawyering Externship (Fall only)
This specialized attorney externship course delves into the legal and social challenges that public interest lawyers face and builds competencies that will strengthen students' ability to pursue public interest or pro bono practices. The classroom component focuses on skills such as trauma-informed interviewing, as well as exploring the overarching challenges facing low-income and other vulnerable populations. Students learn about the lawyering process first hand by externing at a public interest office, all while making a positive contribution to the larger community.
Corporate Counsel Externship (Spring only)
This specialized attorney externship provides a unique opportunity for students to work on the client-side of corporate law by externing at either private or public sector general counsel offices. The course explores core lawyering and relationship skills essential for servicing an internal corporate client. Topics include understanding the modern role of in-house counsel, building trusted relationships with internal clients and external counsel, and solving problems to advance the company's strategic objectives. The course also helps students develop connections and competencies useful in pursuing a corporate counsel career.
Judicial Externships (year-round)
Get to know the legal system from the inside while developing a mentorship relationship with a judge. A judicial externship is an unforgettable and invaluable opportunity for an aspiring attorney to learn about judicial decision-making and hone their writing skills. Students extern with judges at the state, federal, and administrative courts. This is a great course for students who are considering pursuing a post-graduate judicial clerkship as nearly a quarter of our graduates do.
Advanced Externship (year-round)
The Advanced Externship is designed for those who have already completed and externship for credit, and who wish to participate in a second externship of the same type. The Advanced Externship does not have a classroom component but all the other requirements still apply, including journal assignments, timekeeping, and individual meetings with the instructor.
To participate in the UB Law Externship Program, you must be enrolled in the JD program, be in academic good standing, and have completed your 1L curriculum (3 semesters for part-time and evening program students)
Securing a Position
Organizations interested in working with law students post positions through UB Law Connect.
Students should start looking at least two months in advance of the semester in which you would like extern. You may identify an organization on your own and then discuss it with the Director of Externships to determine if the opportunity is appropriate for the program. For the Corporate Counsel and Public Interest Lawyering programs, the Externship Program will help direct you to available placements. If you would like to discuss externship options or need assistance please schedule an appointment with a counselor at the Law Career Development Office or Prof. Neha Lall, the Director of Externships.
Externship Curriculum Rules
• No student may take the same externship course twice.
• Externship credits are capped at 9 credits.
• Externship are considered non-classroom credits, which are capped at 12 total. Other non-classroom credit activities include moot court, journals and fellows.