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 by Professor Vivian Gross. 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 Applications
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.
For externships achieved through Chicago-Kent’s extensive network, follow our document on How to Apply for a Judicial Externship Placement.
Applications for Summer 2023 Judicial Externships are available below (and physical copies by the 3rd Floor elevators, in Career Services, and in the Law Offices):
Completed applications should be submitted to Suzanne Blaz (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 12 p.m. on Monday, February 20, 2023.
Applications for Fall 2023 Judicial Externships will become available here and in paper by approximately Thursday, February 23, 2023. Completed applications should be submitted to Suzanne Blaz (email@example.com) by 12 p.m. on Monday, March 13, 2023.
Informational Meeting: On Wednesday, February 8, at 3 p.m., via Zoom, Professor Gross will conduct an informational meeting for students interested in participating in the Summer and/or Fall 2023 Judicial Externship Program. For more information, please email Suzanne.
Students can also find their own externships through posts made by individual chambers on 12twenty*, the Career Services Management System, 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 Begining - A Pipeline Organization, but applications closed for this year on January 20, 2023. For those students who have secured their own judicial externship, please inform Prof Gross and Suzanne by sending in the following short application form:
Interested in the Domestic Relations Division? A short presentation was held by DomRel staff attorneys for Chicago-Kent students and can be viewed on Panopto. Upcoming deadlines for applications to Domestic Relations TBA.
Legal Externship Programs
Access2Practice (A2P) Legal Externship is a four 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. LEP externships are offered in the fall and spring semesters and in the summer session and consist of two separate components: fieldwork and classes. Externs must work 16 hours a week during the fall/spring semesters and 32 hours per week in the summer semester. In addition, externs must attend a series of classes that meet on designated Wednesdays from 4–5:50 p.m. Classes focus on different legal areas and the often complex realities at the core of law practice.
For externships achieved through Chicago-Kent’s extensive legal network, 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.
For those students who wish to apply for a legal externship in the Summer/Fall, an informational session will be held on March 8, 2023 at 3p.m. via Zoom. Please contact Suzanne for more information.
Once you have secured a legal externship, you must submit the below application form to Prof Gross (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Suzanne Blaz (email@example.com) and, for Summer 2023, receive approval to participate by Tuesday, May 2, 2023:
Upon receipt of an externship in a legal and judicial externship placement, the extern must submit an application to and be approved by Professor Gross before the extern can officially enroll in and begin the program. This is because Professor Gross must contact the prospective supervisor to ensure that the placement and supervisor are informed of and able to comply with academic requirements.
Semester Law Firm Associate Program (6 credits)
The Semester Law Firm Associate Program is announced during the spring and fall semesters via The Record and email. Applications go to Suzanne Blaz (firstname.lastname@example.org). The program is six credits and 24 hours a week, compared to other externship programs, which are only four credits and 16 hours a week.
The Fall 2023 program will be announced in late March/early April.