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How to Apply for an Externship

An externship is an unpaid internship for which a student receives course credit where the student is supervised by a licensed attorney.  In addition to gaining valuable work experience at a placement, you will also take a contemporaneous seminar that will help develop your lawyering skills.  During the summer, externships are three credits (two pass/fail credits for the placement and one graded credit for the seminar) and require 168 hours at the placement.  During the fall and spring, externships are four credits (two pass/fail credits for the placement and two credits for the seminar) and require 140 hours at the placement.  The seminar meets once per week.  For students who have completed the regular externship, an advanced seminar is available.

Step 1:  Apply

Pre-approved externship placements are listed on Symplicity under Career Opportunities.  The deadline for most Summer placements is early March; for the Fall, it is June; and for the Spring it is October.  However, deadlines vary by employer.  Some placements require only a resume, while others ask for a cover letter and other documents.  Consult with your Career Development Office Counselor for advice on externships.  Some placements are more competitive than others, and you should not apply for an externship that does not match up with your long-term career goals.  Check Symplicity frequently for new externship placements.

You can also apply for internships on your own and, if you receive an offer, request that the placement be approved for course credit. Not all internships will qualify. The placement must provide the student with a substantial lawyering experience. Jobs in which you receive compensation are not eligible for course credit. Also, you can extern at a placement only once (with limited exceptions).

Step 2:  Interview with Placements

Externship placements will contact you directly to schedule interviews. Be prepared to explain to your interviewer why you wish to intern at that particular placement. Conducting a mock interview with your Career Development Office counselor is strongly recommended.

Step 3:  Accept an Offer

Most placements will give you some time to think about whether you want to accept an offer. However, for judicial internships and externships: “to apply is to accept.” If you receive an offer to extern for a judge, you must accept the offer immediately.

Step 4:  Register & Notify the Externship Office

The final step is to register for the Externship Seminar. To register, you must have secured a placement or be in the process of securing a placement. Registration for the Externship Seminar is done online during the class registration period.   Once registered, complete the Externship Placement Registration Form and submit it to the Career Development Office or externships@stjohns.edu as soon as you have secured your placement (BEFORE THE FIRST CLASS). Your Placement Registration Form will contain the name of the employer, the semester for which you are applying (fall, spring or summer) and the name of and contact information for your mentor attorney.