Our Chicago-Kent alumni and friends are a unique resource in providing second-year and/or third-year students with externship opportunities and the kinds of experiences that can't be simulated in a law school classroom. We encourage alumni and friends to participate by hosting externs for the Access2Practice (A2P) program, which is aimed at helping students gain practical experience in their law school careers.
Students receive academic credit, not pay, for working on an approved curriculum in a specialized area of law under the supervision of a designated attorney. Students will also be subject to faculty supervision and attend a classroom component.
Private employers must be reviewed and approved by the Faculty Externship Screening Committee in order to accept academic year externs. Employers should contact Jon Decatorsmith (email@example.com) to begin the screening process.
Externships typically coincide with semester start and end dates, which can be referenced on our Academic Calendar.
An extern is required to:
- Devote 16 hours per week in the fall and spring, or 32 hours per week in the summer, to the fieldwork experience for a minimum of 224 hours, regardless of semester
- Attend a series of classes (Perspectives in Lawyering) that focuses on different practice areas and address the often complex and unpredictable realities at the core of the actual practice of law
- Maintain weekly activity reports and journals based on their fieldwork experience, as required by the law school and ABA rules
Firms or organizations hosting externs should be able to commit to the following in order to comply with the guidelines of the A2P:
- The extern should have a supervising lawyer who allocates substantive work project assignments and provides ongoing guidance.
- The supervising lawyer should provide constructive feedback on said assignments.
- The supervising lawyer will be asked to complete a formal graded evaluation at the end of the semester, assessing his/her extern's competence in performing various lawyering responsibilities; the extern's enthusiasm and willingness to take on new challenges; and the extern's general ability to complete competent work professionally and efficiently.
- The firm/organization should have a designated workspace and access to tools (phone, computer, etc.) and support that will enable the extern to complete fieldwork assignments.
Any clinical program runs the risk of being a token educational experience if the student does not complete work or projects without proper direction or supervision. To overcome this risk, Chicago-Kent's A2P selects only those placements and lawyers whom we believe share an interest and commitment to our goals.
While we cannot guarantee there will be a suitable extern candidate for each externship, please know, however, that your interest and availability are still important to us.
Jon Decatorsmith, Director of Externship Programs