Information for Students

Students matriculating at the law school after August 1, 2016, must earn six (6) credit hours in one or more experiential courses. Experiential courses include simulation courses, law clinics, and externships. Students interested in pursuing a legal externship for academic credit should review the Student Externship Handbook for detailed information about program resources and policies.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Forms

Externship Program Requirements (Effective Spring 2018)

(a) Eligibility

In order to enroll in a clinic or the Externship Program, a student must have completed 45 credit hours (including all required first-year courses), be in good academic standing, and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.30 to participate in a summer externship and /or at least a 2.7 or higher to participate in a spring or fall externship.

(b) Externship Credit Requirements

A student is limited to the number of externship credits as indicated in the following schedule:

  • Students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or higher may take up to a maximum of 9 externship credits. These credits may be taken in one semester or over a period of semesters, including the summer.
  • Students with a cumulative grade point average of 2.3 – 2.699 may take up to a maximum of 6 externship credits. These credits may be taken only during the summer session.
  • Students with a cumulative grade point average of fewer than 2.3 are not eligible to take an externship.

Total maximum externship hours may be divided among multiple externships, subject to the approval of the Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning. A student otherwise eligible to take an externship upon good cause may petition the Associate Dean of Academic Programs for permission to exceed the allowable number of externship credits.

Any questions or concerns regarding these changes should be directed to the Associate Dean of Academic Programs, Jace Gatewood at jgatewood@johnmarshall.edu.

GPAMaximum Number of Lifetime Externship Credits allowable per Student
Less than 2.30
2.3 - 2.7Up to 6 credit hours
*Taken only in summer semesters
Greater than 2.79 credits maximum

Identifying an Externship Placement

Students interested in completing a legal externship should seek out placements that best serve their specific professional development goals and interests. The Office of Experiential Learning is here to provide assistance to students looking for an externship for credit experience. Professor Bridgett Ortega, as the Assistant Dean for Experiential Learning, invites all students to discuss possible placements and how to ensure that particular placements will advance professional goals.

In order to qualify for the externship program, a placement must:

  1. Be a judicial clerkship or a position with a governmental agency, corporate legal department, or a legal non-profit agency;
  2. Meet the educational goals of the Externship Program; and
  3. Be under the supervision of a practicing attorney.

Placements with private firms or attorneys are allowed only if the firm or attorney meets the Private Firm Certification requirements and has a practice in particular practice areas. Preference is given to firms that have pro bono cases for students to work on during their externship. Please contact Dean Ortega for further details about placements with private firms.

AJMLS students searching for externship opportunities are invited to consult the AJMLS Symplicity database regularly for available externship opportunities. To obtain a Symplicity username and password, students should contact their assigned advisor in the Career Development Office.

Externship Field Placement Hours

Students must earn a minimum of two and no more than six credit hours in a semester. Students are required to work a total of 47 hours for each credit hour. For example, in a 14-week fall or spring semester, a student must work 141 hours or approximately 10 hours a week for 3 credits.

CreditsField Placement Hours Per SemesterFall/Spring Hours Per WeekSummer Hours Per Week
2946.719.40
314110.0714.10
418813.4318.80
523516.7923.50
628220.1428.20

Externship Placement Approval Process

Before the semester begins:

  1. Attend a Mandatory Externship Orientation Meeting.
  2. Externship orientations are offered in March (for Summer-Fall externships) and in October (for Spring externships).
  3. The externship program, including the application process, is explained at each meeting.
  4. Find and secure a fieldwork placement.
  5. To begin the process of seeking academic credit, visit Symplicity and click on Accounts, then the Exp. Learning Tab. You will be prompted to first complete the Exp. Learning Secured Placement Contract form. Next, click on “Add New Experience” to provide information to the school regarding your potential employer.
  6. After your application is approved, sign the Memorandum of Understanding with your Site Supervisor and email the agreement to Bridgett Oretega at bortega@johnmarshall.edu or deliver the agreement to the Office of Experiential Learning on the 7th Floor. Dean Bridgett Ortega will sign the agreement and email you and your Site Supervisor final copies.

Enrollment in Legal Externship Courses

Students completing their first externship for academic credit:

  1. Register your placement on Symplicity (for 2 to 6 credits); and
  2. Enroll in the 1-credit Learning from Practice seminar (DD-665) class using the student portal; and
  3. Enroll in the Learning from Practice TWEN course to access the class syllabus and required assignments.

Students completing a second or subsequent externship for academic credit:

  1. Register your placement on Symplicity (for 2 to 6 credits); and
  2. You will participate in the non-credit based Advanced Legal Externship seminar (D-660) class; and
  3. Enroll in the Advanced Legal Externship TWEN course to access the class syllabus and required assignments.

Important Note: The secured placement application in Symplicity must be submitted and approved, and the Memorandum of Understanding must be completed and signed by the student and their Site Supervisor and emailed to bortega@johnmarshall.edu or returned to Office of Experiential Learning located on the 7th Floor before students will be granted permission to enroll in the Legal Externships course.

Some field placements such as Grady, the Tax Law Externship Clinic, the Veterans Law Externship, and most prosecutors’ offices require a clearance process that takes 2-3 weeks before you can start working on-site. Please take this into consideration when applying.

All prosecutors’ offices (solicitor’s and district attorneys) require that students be eligible under the Third-Year Practice Act. They will not accept the Student Practice Certificate.