4.11 Externships

  • 4.11.01 Introduction.

    Externships, in common with clinical programs, complement the more traditional curriculum and simulation courses. Externships are intended to provide opportunities to apply the law learned in the traditional curriculum and to develop the lawyering skills learned in Legal Writing and the simulation courses. 
  •  4.11.02 General Policies

    A. Program’s Academic Goals and Methods to Measure/Assure Their Attainment  


    1. While the exact nature of skills to be derived from externships will vary with each externship, the goals of the externship program include:

    a. Application of basic legal research and writing skills to the particular needs of a court, agency, non-profit organization or other externship site;

    b. Development of substantive knowledge of law affecting the extern placement;

    c. Insight into the legal process;

    d. Development of professionalism and understanding of lawyer professional responsibilities; and

    e. Preparation of students for a legal career

    2. The Extern Faculty Monitor will evaluate whether the student makes progress in attaining these goals by several methods, including:

    a. Monitoring the student's experience at the Site through individual conferences and communications with the extern throughout the term;

    b. Discussion of the Student’s performance with the Site Supervisor;

    c. Attention to the extern's performance evaluations written by the Site Supervisor;

    d. Review and evaluation of student journals and papers written for the• Externship class (stored in student Notebook, submitted to Faculty Monitor periodically throughout the term);

    e. Review of the student's written work at the Site (placed in the student's Externship Notebook); and

    f. A final evaluation of the student's performance and written work at the end of the term, assessing whether it deserves academic credit.

    B. Selection of Extern Placements and Efforts to Monitor High Quality Site Experience

    1. The Externship Director, under supervision of the Externship Committee, will approve sites to be included in the Capital Externship Program based on certain standards, including the following:

    a. Placement must be with a court, government agency, public service or non-profit organization, pro bono, or with the office of in-house corporate counsel;

    b. A placement must involve legal projects that will help the student achieve the educational objectives of the program;

    c. Students will receive careful supervision of legal work by an attorney at the Site placement;

    d. The Supervisor at the site placement will communicate regularly with both the student externs and Faculty Monitor in evaluating the student's work;

    e. Placement must be consistent with Capital University's Human Dignity Policy; and

    f. Students may not receive any monetary compensation for the externship from the supervising agency, either directly or indirectly.

    2. The Externship Director and/or Faculty Monitor will work cooperatively with the Site Supervisor to improve supervision of externs at the Site. Methods may include both written suggestions for effectively working with students and verbal discussions of ways to improve the site experience during the mid¬term conference between the Faculty Monitor and Site Supervisor.

    3. Each term the Externship Director and/or Faculty Monitor will evaluate whether the active extern sites continue to provide the students with a good learning experience and meet the program goals, based upon student evaluation of the experience and independent assessment derived from the site conferences. If an externship site does not meet the program goals, and cannot be improved to do so, it will be dropped from the Capital program.

    C. Selections of Students For Externship

    1. The selection and assignment of students to an externship placement will be made upon written application prior to the beginning of the school term by the Externship Director under supervision of the Faculty Externship Committee.

    a. The following criteria shall apply to the number and qualifications of students who may participate in externships during a given term and to their supervision:       

    1. While the exact nature of skills to be derived from externships will vary with each externship, the goals of the externship program include:

    a. Application of basic legal research and writing skills to the particular needs of a court, agency, non-profit organization or other externship site;

    b. Development of substantive knowledge of law affecting the extern placement;

    c. Insight into the legal process;

    d. Development of professionalism and understanding of lawyer professional responsibilities; and

    e. Preparation of students for a legal career

    2. The Extern Faculty Monitor will evaluate whether the student makes progress in attaining these goals by several methods, including:

    a. Monitoring the student's experience at the Site through individual conferences and communications with the extern throughout the term;

    b. Discussion of the Student’s performance with the Site Supervisor;

    c. Attention to the extern's performance evaluations written by the Site Supervisor;

    d. Review and evaluation of student journals and papers written for the• Externship class (stored in student Notebook, submitted to Faculty Monitor periodically throughout the term);

    e. Review of the student's written work at the Site (placed in the student's Externship Notebook); and

    f. A final evaluation of the student's performance and written work at the end of the term, assessing whether it deserves academic credit.

    B. Selection of Extern Placements and Efforts to Monitor High Quality Site Experience

    1. The Externship Director, under supervision of the Externship Committee, will approve sites to be included in the Capital Externship Program based on certain standards, including the following:
    a. Placement must be with a court, government agency, public service or non-profit organization, pro bono, or with the office of in-house corporate counsel;

    b. A placement must involve legal projects that will help the student achieve the educational objectives of the program;

    c. Students will receive careful supervision of legal work by an attorney at the Site placement;

    d. The Supervisor at the site placement will communicate regularly with both the student externs and Faculty Monitor in evaluating the student's work;

    e. Placement must be consistent with Capital University's Human Dignity Policy; and

    f. Students may not receive any monetary compensation for the externship from the supervising agency, either directly or indirectly.

    2. The Externship Director and/or Faculty Monitor will work cooperatively with the Site Supervisor to improve supervision of externs at the Site. Methods may include both written suggestions for effectively working with students and verbal discussions of ways to improve the site experience during the mid¬term conference between the Faculty Monitor and Site Supervisor.

    3. Each term the Externship Director and/or Faculty Monitor will evaluate whether the active extern sites continue to provide the students with a good learning experience and meet the program goals, based upon student evaluation of the experience and independent assessment derived from the site conferences. If an externship site does not meet the program goals, and cannot be improved to do so, it will be dropped from the Capital program.

    C. Selection of Students for Externship

    1. The selection and assignment of students to an externship placement will be made upon written application prior to the beginning of the school term by the Externship Director under supervision of the Faculty Externship Committee.

    a. The following criteria shall apply to the number and qualifications of students who may participate in externships during a given term and to their supervision:       

     No more than 20 to 25 students per faculty supervisor may participate in an externship; 

     No student may register for an externship while on academic probation. A student, who is subsequently placed on academic probation after commencing an externship, may complete the externship; and Students participating in the externship program must have completed the equivalent of one year of law school coursework, including Civil Procedure Rules.

    b. The Externship Committee shall develop and implement other criteria to use in selecting students for the externship program when the number of students requesting assignment to an externship exceeds the number of available placements. Such criteria might give preference to:

    Graduating seniors with no previous clinical or externship experience;
    Students with cumulative grade point averages that are significantly higher than the averages of other students applying for the same placement; or

    Students who, on the basis of a written application, demonstrate a particularly high degree of interest in a career field closely related to the desired placement.


    D. Course Credit and Grading

    1. The duration of an externship is either one semester or one summer term. Where circumstances warrant, a student may take an externship in the regular program for either 2 or 3 credit hours per term, and with approval of the Director for up to 4 hours per term as part of the regular externship program.

    2. Where a special opportunity is available that meets the program’s externship criteria and with permission of the Director, Associate Dean, a student may be permitted to obtain externship credit for more than four credit hours, but no more than ten credit hours, in a single term. More than six hours of externship credit must also be approved by the Academic Affairs Committee AND WILL ONLY BE GRANTED if extraordinary circumstances exist that will enable the student to obtain an educational experience that would not be available with fewer hours of externship credit. There is a presumption against approving more than six hours of externship credit in a semester in which the student is expected to complete the requirements for graduation.

    3. Course credit is predicated on a minimum participation of 50 site hours for each semester hour of credit plus up to 10 hours of class or tutorial per externship per term.

    4. Grading shall be on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis, with "satisfactory" defined as the equivalent of “C” or better. The grade for each student extern shall be assigned by the Externship Director and Faculty Monitor, with input from the supervising attorney at the Site.

    5. A student may earn a maximum of six (6) hours of credit for externships in the regular externship program and a maximum of ten (10) by special application for an extended credit externship. A student who takes an extended credit externship may also take an externship through the regular externship program, but may earn no more than ten (10) credit hours total for externships.

    E. Student Responsibilities

    1. Students must maintain the schedules and time commitments to which they agreed during the externship.

    2. Student externs must periodically communicate with their Faculty Monitor throughout the term about the progress at the externship by assigned e-mails, papers, and scheduled conferences. They must also submit copies of representative briefs, memoranda, pleadings, or other legal writing prepared for the extern ship during the term to their Faculty Monitor.

    3. At the conclusion of the term, student externs shall submit a comprehensive Notebook that contains class assignments, a summary of the externship work hours, a description of the nature and scope of the assignments and duties undertaken during the externship, work product documents, and an evaluation of the externship experience. The assignments, work product documents (or their equivalent), reports, and summaries will be reviewed by the Externship Director and/or the Faculty Monitor, and will be taken into account along with site evaluations in awarding course credit. No student will receive a satisfactory grade unless the required documents or their equivalents are submitted.