Experiential Learning Overview

The for-credit experiential offerings currently include externships and clinics. Students are eligible to participate once they have successfully completed all first-year courses or 45 credit hours, have at least a 2.3 GPA, and are in good-standing. Part-time students are also eligible once they meet these criteria and are urged to plan ahead to create the time and schedule adjustments to take advantage of these opportunities. For more detailed information regarding student and supervisor roles in the the Externship Program, read the Student Handbook for Externships and the Supervisor Handbook for Externships.


Students must complete 45 credit hours before they are eligible for an externship. Additionally, students may earn a total of nine (9) hours in externship credits towards their J.D. The number of externship credit hours is based upon a student’s GPA, as referenced by the following:

Externship Credit Chart

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

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 semester a student must work 141 hours or approximately 10 hours a week for 3 credits.

To enroll in an externship class, students must currently:

  1. Secure a position at an approved placement.
  2. Complete and submit a Secured Placement Contract via Symplicity.
  3. Join the Externship TWEN Class for that semester.

Mandatory externship meetings are held each semester for students interested in an externship the following semester. The externship program, including the application process, is explained at each meeting. Traditionally, the Office of Experiential Learning collected and sent student resumes to potential employers. The application process for the upcoming school year will use Symplicity, an online system designed to coordinate applications and interviews. Any student interested in applying
for an externship must view the Mandatory Experiential Learning Presentation (found in link). Students who miss this application cycle may secure positions on their own; however, they cannot apply to offices that have already extended interviews.

Field Placements

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. A list of approved placements can be found on the AMJLS website. Effective September 2014, approved placements will be on Symplicity. Please join the Externship Basics TWEN page for more information. You may also contact Dean Bridgett Ortega at bortega@johnmarshall.edu.