Practical Skills. Insight. Mentorship.
What is an Attorney Practice Externship?
Externship Approval Process
Once you have received an offer from the field placement, please review the UB Law Externship Program Overview. Then 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.
- An Attorney Practice Externship is an experiential learning course where students receive academic credit for legal work completed under the supervision of an attorney at an approved field placement.
- The course is a total of 3 credits (pass/fail) which includes both the fieldwork and the weekly seminar.
- Students must complete at least 130 hours in the field placement and are encouraged to spread their hours evenly over the semester.
- The seminar will include students in a mix of attorney placements and will focus on developing professional skills and competencies applicable to all areas of law practice
When can I complete an Attorney Practice Externship?
- The weekly seminar and writing requirements are required to receive academic credit.
- The Attorney Practice Externship course is generally offered year-round.
- Generally there are two sections offered during the academic year and one section in the summer. This schedule may vary based on demand and staffing considerations.
- Due to COVID-19, seminars will be conducted online through a combination of synchronous Zoom sessions and asynchronous writing and discussion assignments. You must be available to attend the synchronous Zoom sessions.
Does an Attorney Practice Externship fulfill my experiential learning requirements?
- An Attorney Practice Externship fulfills your 3 credit, live-client, experiential learning graduation requirement.
- All students in the J.D. program must complete at least 6 credits of experiential learning.
How do I find an Attorney Practice Externship?
- You must find your own placement and apply directly to the employer.
- You can look on UB Law Connect for posted opportunities, or you can find your own placement.
- Please make an appointment with a Law Career Development Office counselor or Prof. Lall, Director of Externships, for additional guidance in finding a placement.
How do I know if it is an appropriate placement?
- All placements must be unpaid learning experiences and you cannot have previously been a paid employee at the placement.
- Students must engage in substantive legal work and must produce at least 10 cumulative pages of original written work product in the placement.
- Field placements may be conducted at both public and private sector legal offices, and can include policy or legislative work.
- At least one of the field placement supervisors must be an attorney with at least 3 years of experience.
- Placements may not bill for extern time.
- If you have previously volunteered at the field placement you may complete an externship there if you can demonstrate that you will not simply be repeating what you have done before. You must be building new skills or professional competencies.
- There are limitations on externing with an attorney to whom you are related.
What about remote placements?
- Due to COVID-19, remote and hybrid externships are permitted.
- Until the global health situation improves, all field placements will be required to have a plan for student remote work in case a stay-at-home order is issued again.
- If a student chooses to work in-person at a placement and it is legally permissible, in-person work is permitted as long as the employer signs this pledge.
- Discuss whether work will be in-person or remote when you are interviewing. Make sure that you and the field placement supervisor have a mutual understanding of what will be required of you and what limitations the pandemic pose on your time or ability to work in-person.
- Remote work skills are essential for all new lawyers in a post-COVID 19 world. A remote externship will be a good opportunity to learn and build these competencies.