Frequently Asked Questions
If the answer to your question is not found in our frequently asked questions, contact the Externship Office.
The externship provides work experience in the legal profession and gives students an opportunity to determine the type of work that will best suit them post graduation, whether or not they’ve done any legal work in the past.
The Externship Program is associated with nonprofit and governmental agencies in diverse legal fields around metropolitan Atlanta. When you look through opportunities, you can sort or search by practice area or organization type.
No matter which one you choose, every externship in our program will strengthen your practical skills, gain insight into the operation of the legal system and develop a heightened sense of professional responsibility.
If you have additional questions about whether a particular externship is right for you, discuss them with one of the faculty co-directors or Saundra Blalock, program coordinator.
Many second-year students have participated in the Externship Program. The most successful participants carefully consider in advance how to balance the time required for their externship, academic classes, job interviews and extracurricular activities.
Despite this, the program provides invaluable experience. Students who work in prosecutorial offices after graduation often are able to have their externship time considered when calculating a starting salary.
In most cases, students won’t receive permission to participate in a clinical program and an externship during the same semester because students who have done so have had a difficult time meeting the time commitments of each program.
No more than 12 credit hours of combined clinical coursework and externships can be applied toward graduation. Students may only take six credit hours of externships (equivalent to two semesters).
In the absence of extraordinary circumstances, students who accept a two-semester placement, but complete only one semester of the assignment will receive no credit for either semester.
The vast majority of students secure clearance, but some have not. Students should carefully consider whether issues in their past could affect their ability to secure clearance. Credit problems or a record of criminal conduct, for example, can delay or preclude clearance for many federal agencies.
If you have questions about your ability to secure clearance for a particular externship, speak with a faculty co-director before submitting your application.
Students who need clearance to perform legal work, but have not secured it within two weeks of their start date will have to drop their externship.
Students with part-time or full-time paid positions with an approved externship site cannot take that particular externship.
Students who have a part-time or full-time paid position with an agency approved by the Externship Office may not take an externship with that agency.
To qualify under the Third-Year Practice Act, students must have earned at least 58 credits prior to the beginning of the externship.
Many also prefer or require students to work two five-hour days (when 10 hours a week is required) rather than a few hours each day. Before you accept a placement offer, discuss scheduling expectations with the site supervisor.
Absent a significant hardship, we do not permit students who accept an offer to drop the externship at any time.
If it is determined that an externship must be dropped, explicit approval of a faculty co-director also is required and a Letter of Reprimand will go into your permanent file. Students who drop an externship will receive no academic credit and cannot reapply in the future.
The summer course requires completion of 20 hours per week for seven weeks.