The Externship Program is an experiential course in which students earn 1, 2, or 3 academic credits for legal work performed at a court, government agency, or non-profit legal organization under the supervision of an attorney. Loyola students can participate in an externship during any fall, spring, or summer semester after their 1L year and have access to over 100 local placements offering opportunities in every imaginable field of practice. Students may also arrange a self-created summer externships anywhere in the U.S. The required externship seminar gives students the opportunity to reflect upon their field work, share their experiences with one another, and develop skills and professional values. Students instruction through an externship seminar alongside real-world lawyering experience in essential skills such as research and writing, legal problem-solving and analysis, cross-cultural competence, and professionalism. Over the course of the semester, students produce written work products for their field placement, submit regular journal entries for the seminar, and assess themselves on individualized learning goals they develop in the seminar course. Students are selected for participation in the program through an application process and must receive an offer from a qualifying placement prior to enrollment.
To learn more about externships, including application deadlines, pre-approved field placements, and the process for approval of self-created externships, please visit law.loyno.edu/externships.
The Learning Goals for the Externship Program include:
- Externs will develop knowledge of the substantive law and procedure relevant to their placement's legal practice area.
- Externs will strengthen their legal analysis and reasoning skills and their ability to construct effective arguments through the identification of relevant facts and their application to correctly articulated legal principles in contexts relevant to the legal practice of their placement.
- Externs will learn to develop and implement a research plan, to utilize the research and drafting tools common to their area of practice, and to draft the type of legal documents typically produced by attorneys or law clerks at their placement.
- Externs will develop professional interpersonal and communication skills and learn to work collaboratively with others as part of a legal team.
- Externs will develop the professional skills and values expected of practicing attorneys and acquire a capacity for self-reflection that will aid in their professional growth throughout their careers.
- Externs will learn to recognize and resolve ethical dilemmas commonly confronted by attorneys and judges at their placements.
- Externs will discover more about their own career interests through exposure to issues of work-life balance and other aspects of day-to day practice of attorneys at their placements.
- Externs will gain exposure to other general lawyering and advocacy skills applicable to the type of legal practice conducted at their placement.
- Externs will gain deeper insight into the law's real-world impact on vulnerable individuals and populations in society and the many tools available to lawyers to promote fairness within the legal system and contribute towards the creation of a more just society.