Information for Students

Chicago-Kent offers three avenues for students to pursue externship opportunities in the areas of government, public interest, private, and for-profit firms and corporations. Examples of externships include working for the Office of the Illinois Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney’s Office; public defender offices; the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and numerous major law firms and nonprofits. All externships must be approved. The three types of externships include:

Judicial Externships acquaint you with the day-to-day operation of the courts as you work with trial and appellate court judges and their law clerks to research and write legal memoranda and draft opinions.

Legal Externships allow you to work in civil or criminal practice in a specialized area of your choice with supervising attorneys in federal, state, and local government agencies; corporate legal departments; or public interest organizations.

The Semester Law Firm Associate Program is a unique six credit program during which students have the opportunity to work for academic credit as “associates” for prestigious Chicago-based law firms. Students must spend 24 hours a week at the firm that selects them and also attend a classroom component. This program is only offered in the spring and fall semesters.

Judicial Externship Program

Judicial Externship Program (JEP) is a four credit hour, pass/low pass/fail program open to students who have completed at least their first full year of law school and want to do legal research and writing for a federal appellate, district or magistrate judge, or designated Illinois appellate or circuit court judges.

JEP enables a student to become involved in particular legal problems through research and writing, and to contribute to the resolution of those problems by participating in drafting memoranda and opinions. 

Depending upon the judge, an extern may also have the opportunity to observe the judge’s day-to-day routine and discuss with him/her the issues and problems that judges confront. Take advantage of this prestigious learning opportunity while enhancing your marketability in the legal world.

Informational Meeting: An informational meeting for students interested in participating in the Summer and Fall 2024 Judicial Externship Programs were already held but if you wish to view a prior meeting, one is available to watch on Panopto.

Application Process:  There are two ways to apply for a judicial externship:  Through judges already in our program or on your own through 12Twenty (see below).  

To apply for an externship through judges already in our program, fill out this Google Form and upload a packet which includes:

  • Cover letter addressed to each of the judges you're applying to
  • Resume
  • Transcript
  • Writing sample 

The due date for applications for the Fall 2024 semester has already passed but you can find your own externship, see below for that information and any new opportunites that we post.  If you have any questions about the application process, reach out to Michael Oakes (moakes@kentlaw.iit.edu).  Note:  Before you apply, please know that you must be able to commit 16 hours/week during the fall and spring semesters; 32 hours/week in the summer.  If you have any questions about the Program, please contact Professor Jon Decatorsmith (jdecator@kentlaw.iit.edu).

Find your own judicial externship:  Students can find their own externship through posts made by individual chambers on the Career Services Management System 12twenty* or get placed with judges in various divisions via the Cook County application. In the Summer, students can also apply to judges via the Just the Beginning - A Pipeline Organization, and applications typically close by the end of January each year.   We will also post any opportunites for externships below.  

Cover Letter and Resume Guidance:  Below are short guides on to help you prepare your cover letter and resume:

Cover Letter Guide

Writing Sample Guide

Judicial Externship Opportunity - Judge Alison Conlon, Cook County Chancery Division

Judge Conlon is seeking to hire Judicial Externs for the Fall of 2024. She sits in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County. The Chancery Division handles civil cases involving equitable remedies. Judge Conlon’s court call sees a variety of complex cases, often including TROs, FOIA issues, administrative reviews, and class actions. In addition, Judge Conlon often hears compelling “business divorces,” such as LLC break ups, and other elaborate business disputes, making the position a particularly good fit for those interested in business cases. There are also many emergency motions filed in front of Judge Conlon, such as TROs, which are exciting and provide extra opportunity for externs to observe.

For more information about the opportunity and how to apply, please download the complete announcement.  

 

Judicial Externship Opportunity - Law Division, Office of the Chief Judge

Applications are now being accepted for fall externships in the Law Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County. If you are interested in an externship with the Office of the Chief Judge, please email  Deijham.Swanson@cookcountyil.gov an application packet that includes all of the following: 

Applications are now being accepted so apply ASAP. If you have any questions or need any help, please contact Professor Decatorsmith (jdecator@kentlaw.iit.edu) or Michael Oakes (moakes@kentlaw.iit.edu).

Access2Practice (A2P) Legal Externship is a 4-credit-hour Pass/Fail program which enables Kent 2Ls and 3Ls to gain supervision/mentoring in a wide variety of legal areas – both civil and criminal.  Externs must work 16 hours per week during the Fall/Spring semesters and 32 hours per week in the Summer semester as well as attend a series of classes that focus on different legal areas and the often complex realities at the core of law practice.

The program does not assign students to particular field placements. Instead a student must first independently obtain an externship placement before applying to participate in and register for an Access2Practice Legal Externship. Each placement is independent and external to the law school and will have its own independent selection and screening process. 

Application Process:  Externships can be found via Chicago-Kent’s extensive legal network.  For information on how to do this, follow our document on How to Apply for a Legal Externship Placement. Students can find their own externships through 12twenty*, the Career Services Management System. Newly posted externships will also be featured in The Record.  

Once a student has secured an externship, you must apply to the externship program by (1) informing Professor Decatorsmith via email (jdecator@kentlaw.iit.edu) and (2) filling out this Google Form.  This information allows us to keep track of student placements as well as give us the information needed to reach out to firms and confirm student placement.  

Externship Opportunity - Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney

Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney are seeking an extern for the Fall 2024 semester. To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, and unofficial transcript to Michael Oakes (moakes@kentlaw.iit.edu) by the end of the day on July 23rd. This is an opportunity to participate in either the Legal Externship program or the Semester Law Firm Associate Program

Externship Opportunity - Law Office of Michael R. Johnson LLC

Our small but impactful law firm is seeking a highly motivated Legal Extern to join our team. The Legal Extern will work closely with more experienced lawyers to handle complex legal matters and represent our clients in primarily in the Appellate Court of Illinois and the Circuit Court of Cook County. Appellate work will principally involve civil commitment appeals on behalf of the committed person stemming from cases under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, 725 ILCS 207/1 et seq.  For more information on the position and how to apply, see our Record announcement

If you need assistance/need to be pointed in the right direction in terms of where to find Legal Externships, contact Michael Oakes (moakes@kentlaw.iit.edu

Semester Law Firm Associate Program (6 credits)

The Semester Law Firm Associate Program.  Chicago-Kent’s Semester Law Firm Associate Program is a unique for credit, non-graded program offered to 2Ls and 3Ls.  Semester Associate externs will receive 6 credits and devote 24 hours a week during the semester to the fieldwork component (compared to other externship programs, which are only four credits and 16 hours a week). There is also an accompanying classroom component.   This program is only offered in the spring and fall semesters.

Information for the Fall 2024 semester will be forthcoming.