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Externships provide students the chance to use theories they learn in class on real cases. Students earn class credit while working with non-profits, government agencies, corporations and law firms. Students are paired with attorneys who help them develop their skills. They also work with a faculty supervisor who helps guide their learning experience. Externships allow students to serve the public, make contacts in the field, and learn skills for daily law practice.
- Students must be in good academic standing with a grade point average of at least 2.2 to participate in an externship.
- Students must successfully complete all required first-year, first-semester courses or be currently enrolled in all required first-year, second-semester courses.
- Students participating in the Externship Program at a government agency, judicial or non-profit placement are subject to the Georgia Student Practice Rule. They must complete the Law Student Certification and Oath when they accept an externship. The law school will certify the student to the Office of Bar Admissions, which will assign the student a registration number.
- Some externships require 3L status because students will represent clients in court. Many (not all) of the criminal prosecution externships include this requirement.
- Several externships, particularly those in federal agencies, require a security clearance before a student can begin.
- Students who need clearance to perform legal work, but have not secured it– within two weeks of their start date in the fall and spring and within one week of their start date in the summer– will have to withdraw from their externship.
Students who have not previously completed an externship are required to take the Externship Seminar. This is a one-credit hour graded class.
The Externship Seminar meets every week for the first seven weeks of the semester. All Externship Seminar classes meet for an hour and 40 minutes. Absences will not be excused barring exceptional circumstances. Please refer to the class schedule for the days and times the Externship Seminar will be offered.
The externship fieldwork course is graded as Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
The course is typically offered for three credits. Higher credit options are available for some predesignated externship placements. Part-time students may elect two credits with pre-approval from the Externship Program and the externship placement. Students must choose the number of credits they plan to take prior to class registration.
The externship fieldwork course credit breakdown is as follows:
|Academic Credit Hours||2*||3||4||5||6|
|Externship Field Work Hours (per semester)||93||140||186||233||280|
|Externship Field Work Hours x 14 weeks (Fall/Spring)||6.5||10||13.5||16.5||20|
|Externship Field Work Hours x 7 weeks (Summer)||13.5||20||26.5||33.5||40|
*This option is available for part-time students only.
All work for externship credit must be done within the semester for which credit is to be earned.
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.
Students must work their class schedule around their planned externships. Before accepting a placement offer, discuss scheduling expectations with the site supervisor.
There is no particular schedule required by the externship program outside of the total externship course fieldwork hours. Some sites require students to be present on particular days because of court or work schedules.
Students may not frontload or backload externship hours. Students must work a minimum of 14 weeks throughout the fall or spring semester and seven consecutive weeks during the summer semester.
- Legislative Placements
Students enrolled in legislative externships during the spring semester must ensure that all externship hours are complete before the end of the legislative session.
Externship applications are usually accepted in late September for spring semester placements and late February or early March for summer and fall semester placements. Externship applications will be accepted through Symplicity.
Spring 2019 Externships
Application Period: 09/18/2019 – 10/02/2019
Summer & Fall 2020 Externships
Application period: 02/12/2020 – 02/26/2020
-Rachel Di Santo (J.D. ’19)
Is there a cost to participate in an externship?
Can I work more than one semester at the same site?
Students may extern at the same externship placement for more than one semester only if they can demonstrate that the work is substantially different from the work they plan to do in the subsequent semester and the work will provide increased educational value. Students must provide to Professor Kerew a written memo signed by the externship site supervisor that outlines this information.
Is there a limit on how many externships I can take?
Can I participate in a clinic and externship in the same semester?
Please be mindful that some external clinics will not allow a student to participate in an externship and the clinic during the same semester.
Can I do more than one externship in the same semester?
Are there any externships that aren't allowed?
What happens if I withdraw?
- A student will not be permitted to withdraw from an externship, either before or during the semester, in the absence of significant hardship.
- In the event of a significant hardship, the student must contact Professor Kerew and request permission to withdraw.
- Students who withdraw from an externship without approval will have a letter of reprimand placed in their permanent file and will not be allowed to participate in the Externship Program in the future.
- Class conflicts are not sufficient grounds for withdrawal from the program or being excused from the class component of the externship.
- Securing a paid position outside of the Externship Program will almost never be a sufficient reason for withdrawal from the program.
Does this count toward my Pro Bono hours?
Will this get me a job?
Can I be paid for my externship?
GSU Law awards academic credit for student work at externships, for which the student receives compensation, provided the requirements below have been met. This policy applies to externships during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
An externship is considered paid if the extern receives any financial compensation, provided by the placement or another outside source, while also receiving academic credit. Financial compensation can include, but is not limited to: an hourly/weekly/monthly wage, stipend, fellowship, and/or grant. Such financial compensation can be provided by the field placement OR another outside source. GSU Law does not provide any payment for externships.
A student’s time may not be billed in any externship
Regardless of pay status, both the student and supervisor must abide by all of the requirements, rules, and regulations surrounding externships for credit.
Students cannot record paid externship hours toward Pro Bono.
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