Levin College of Law

Externship Program

Welcome from the Director of Externship Programs

Welcome to the University of Florida Levin College of Law Academic Externship Program. Each year, between 250 and 300 Levin law students participate in academic externships and our intensive Semester in Practice Program. Externships combine work experience in a law practice setting with an academic component and allow students to earn academic credit for their experiences.

On a year-round basis, our students participate in a wide variety of externships at sites throughout the United States, including local public defenders’ offices, the United Nations, Judge Advocate Generals’ offices, state and federal trial and appellate courts, and corporate in-house counsel, to name just a few places where our students have worked.

We encourage students to participate in externships in order to: begin applying the doctrine learned in school to the practice of law; explore practice areas in which they have an interest; develop the professional skills needed in their future careers; develop a career network; and begin creating their legal resumes.

Our office works with students to identify existing opportunities that match the student’s interests or to find new opportunities.

We also work with attorneys and judges who express an interest in working with our students. If you are interested in becoming an approved externship site, please see the information below.

Thank you for your interest in our program. We look forward to working with you!

Silvia Menendez
Director of Externship Programs

Overview

All externships are made up of two parts: a field placement and an academic component. In the past, Levin students have obtained field placements throughout Florida and the United States, with government agencies and nonprofit organizations, including EEOC, FCC, NOAA, World Intellectual Property Organization, Department of Homeland Security and the ACLU; with sitting federal and state judges including federal district courts, bankruptcy courts, state circuit courts, district courts of appeal, federal circuit courts of appeal, and the Florida Supreme Court; and for-profit corporations, including the Discovery Network, Elizabeth Arden, Office Depot and Sony Corporation. Students may access a list of currently available and previously approved externships on Symplicity.

During their externships, students are closely supervised by lawyers and judges at the field placement and by a faculty member who provides the academic framework for the placement. Depending upon the time of year, a faculty supervisor provides academic guidance through an online class, or one–on-one tutorial. All students participating in an externship are required to complete the academic portion of the externship in order to receive a passing grade.

For second-semester third-year law students, a more intensive version of the externship program is available in the Semester in Practice Program (SIP). SIP students spend the entire spring semester working between 18 and 36 hours per week in an externship located where the student wishes to practice after graduation. During our first SIP, students participated in externships in South Florida and Washington, DC.

Externships are considered a class, so students register and pay for credits like any other course. Financial aid is available for academic year and summer externships; please see the Office of Financial Aid in Student Affairs for detailed information.

Externship Eligibility

In order for a student to participate in an externship, the student must have completed the first year of law school (28 credits). SIP has additional eligibility requirements; please see below.

Total credit limits

A student may earn up to 6 credits in traditional fall, spring and summer externships. However, a student who participates in SIP may earn up to 12 externship credits, a maximum 10 of which may be earned during SIP.

Finding an Externship

Prospective externs are responsible for identifying and securing a position at an approved externship site. Although the externship program does not place students in externships, it has a list of previously approved externship sites, and can provide students with that information. If a student is interested in working at a site that has not been approved, the student needs to obtain all the information necessary for approval and submit the request for approval to the director of Academic Externships. Keep in mind that approval of a proposed externship is not guaranteed, and any request for a new externship needs to be submitted at least one month prior to registration for the semester in which the student intends to participate in the externship.

Externship Announcements

Externship applications now being accepted

Please email externships@law.ufl.edu for details.

Keep reading

Externship Pathways

 

Fall and Spring Semester Externships

During the spring and fall semesters, second- and third-year law students may participate in externships located throughout North Florida (for Semester in Practice externships, please see below). Students may earn 2-5 credits for participating in an externship, depending on the number of hours they work. Externs are expected to work for the entire semester.

Key dates

Fall externships are listed in Symplicity beginning in the middle of the spring semester. Spring externships are listed in Symplicity, during the fall semester. Deadlines are listed on the externship calendar.

Minimum Credit and Hours Requirement

The total and average weekly hour requirements for credits, during a 15 week semester, are as follows*:

  • 2 credits = 7.3 hours/week = 110 total hours
  • 3 credits = 11 hours/week = 165 total hours
  • 4 credits = 14.67 hours/week = 220 total hours
  • 5 credits = 18.3 hours/week = 275 total hours

*Beginning Fall 2017

Available Field Placements

During the fall and spring semesters, students, under the supervision of a practicing attorney, may participate in externships with federal and state courts; nonprofit organizations; state and federal agencies; or for profit corporations.

Academic Requirements

While working at the field placement, the extern will also work with a faculty member to complete the academic component of the externship. To complete the academic component, the student submits to the faculty supervisor regular journal entries in which the student discusses the work performed and reflects on what the student learned and any issues that presented themselves. In addition to the journals, faculty supervisors will assign additional work, including research and writing assignments, and other assignments intended to supplement the externship and ensure its educational and experiential focus.

Summer

Key dates

Summer Externship positions are posted on Symplicity throughout the academic year. Application dates vary.  Many federal agencies expect to receive applications during the fall semester, but others don’t request or expect applications until the spring semester.

Students are expected to work at the field placement for 8-9 weeks during the Summer B session. All summer externs participate in the externship’s academic component through the Canvas platform during the Summer B session. At all times that a student is working hours to attain course credits, a faculty member supervises the student to ensure the academic and experiential nature of the placement. Externship hours must be completed on or before the last day of the summer session.

Please let Professor Menendez or Ms. Barnes know about your summer externship plans before the start date of summer registration. If you are waiting to hear from a site, you should let us know what you are planning, so that we may ensure that you have a spot in the program. If, after registration, you tell us about your plans for the first time, we cannot guarantee that you will be able to participate in the externship program.

Available Field Placements

Between their first and second year of law school students may participate in and earn credit for all types of externship placements (federal and state courts, non-profit organizations, corporate in-house counsel, and government agencies). Between their second and third years, students are permitted to participate in externships with non-profit organizations, federal and state agencies, appellate courts and corporate in-house counsel.

Students may propose new externships for the summer; however, there is no guarantee that a proposal will be approved. If you are interested in an opportunity, but you are not certain if it fits into one of the acceptable categories of externships, please contact Professor Menendez before you accept a position.

Minimum Credit and Hours Requirement

The total and average weekly hour requirements for credits, during the 9 week term summer session, are as follows*:

  • 2 credits = 12.25 hours/week = 110 total hours
  • 3 credits = 18.33 hours/week = 165 total hours
  • 4 credits = 24.5 hours/week = 220 total hours
  • 5 credits = 30.5 hours/week = 275 total hours
  • 6 credits = 36.67 hours/week = 330 total hours

*Beginning Summer 2017

Semester in Practice

Semester in Practice (SIP) provides second-semester third-year law students the opportunity to work, for academic credit, in the city in which he or she wishes to practice after law school. The objective is to give students work experience and opportunities to network and search for future employment. Students involved in SIP cannot take classes on campus during the SIP. View the Semester in Practice fact sheet.

Eligibility

Semester in Practice (SIP) is available to third-year law students during the spring semester. A student may participate only if, prior to the start of the SIP, he or she has completed all required courses, and if, during the SIP, the student is able to take the necessary number of credits to graduate.

In Spring and Fall semester, please insert this after Credits allowed and before the table.

Key dates

Students who are interested in participating in SIP should begin looking for a position during the summer prior to the third year, or early in the fall semester. Because many SIP students may be finding externships with sites that have not been previously approved, it is very important that students submit proposals for new externships early during the fall semester — at least one month prior to the spring semester registration date.

Students who participate in SIP need to be particularly proactive, and start this process early. Keep in mind that in addition to applying for the program and for positions, a SIP student also needs time to arrange for housing in the location of the externship, as well as make arrangements for any housing in Gainesville. Specific deadlines can be found on the externship calendar.

Minimum Credit and Hours Requirement

The total and average weekly hour requirements for credits, during a 15 week semester, are as follows*:

  • 5 credits: 18.33 hours/ week= 275 hours
  • 6 credits: 22 hours/ week= 330 hours
  • 7 credits: 25.67 hours/ week= 385 hours
  • 8 Credits: 29.33 hours/ week= 440 hours
  • 9 credits: 33 hours/ week= 495 hours
  • 10 credits: 36.67 hours/ week= 550 hours

*Beginning Spring 2018

Available Field Placements

SIP students are expected to find and apply for externships on their own. However, SIP externships are approved, they will be included in the program’s list of approved externships. SIP students may participate in externships with state or federal government agencies, federal or state appellate courts, corporate in-house counsel, or nonprofit entities.

Academic Requirements

In addition to the externship itself, SIP students participate in a 2-credit Bridge to Practice course, taught as a distance course. This course is taken in addition to the faculty supervision that all externship students receive.

If a student needs additional credits to graduate, the student may: take an online class through the law school or through the UF graduate school; arrange for an independent study with a faculty member; or take courses at a law school in the city where the student is working.

Like other externs, SIP students also have faculty supervisors, submit regular journal entries to faculty supervisors. In the journals, students report the work performed and discuss what the student learned; and reflect on any issues that arose while doing the work. This journaling requirement is in addition to the Bridge to Practice class.

Last, before committing to an externship position, SIP students should confirm with Student Affairs that the student’s plans for the semester will allow him or her to graduate on time.


Information for Students in Externships

During the semester prior to the externship

  • Apply for externships using Symplicity or by identifying opportunities on your own
  • Keep up with Application and Registration deadlines. Most externship deadlines occur before the last day of classes during the semester prior to your externship.
  • If your preferred site is not currently approved for externships, you are responsible for submitting, or having the site submit, a request for approval. Due date: 6 weeks before the last day of the semester prior to the externship.
  • Attend all required training and orientation sessions. Failure to do so can result in being dropped from the program.
  • Come to an agreement with the site about how many hours you will work, and when you will work.
  • Do not accept an externship unless you intend to fulfill the commitment. Except for extraordinary circumstances, we will not allow a student to drop an externship.

During the Externship

  • Act professionally — show up at the site ready and willing to work; at a minimum work the number of hours you have registered for; get approval from the site supervisor before changing your work schedule; dress appropriately (more conservatively than you ordinarily would); and have a good attitude.
  • Keep track of your hours at the externship, have your site supervisor sign off on your hours, and submit your hours to the externship program coordinator.
  • Stay on top of the academic requirement for your externship and stay in regular contact with your faculty supervisor. Externships are more than the site placement; if you fail to complete the academic component, you will not pass the externship. Each faculty supervisor assigns the submission of externship journals; additionally, the faculty supervisor will assign research, writing, or skills assignments intended to supplement the externship experience.
  • Inform your faculty or site supervisor if problems arise. Although problems are not the norm, illness or other issues can interrupt an externship, and the sooner you let us know about a problem, the sooner we can work to correct it.

Information for Faculty Supervisors


Information for Field Placement Sites

Welcome to the Levin College of Law Academic Externship Program. We are very happy for you to be part of our program. The experiences that our students get while working in the field are invaluable and almost impossible to duplicate in the classroom. Your participation is greatly appreciated.

Qualifying as a Field Placement Site

Before a student can earn credit for a field placement, the law school must have approved the site. Sites interested in being approved should complete and submit an approval form. In accordance with standards set by the ABA, we ask sites to demonstrate the following:

  • The student will be provided assignments that only someone with legal training can perform.
  • The student will be supervised on-site by a licensed attorney.
  • The site will provide the student with written feedback on the student’s work and will help to ensure the educational nature of the placement.
  • The student will work on-site with attorneys who can assist the student as needed.

Other requirements

Hours

Students are required to work a minimum number of hours in order to receive credit for an externship. Therefore, we ask the sites to work with the student to ensure that the minimum hours will be met and submit student time sheets to the externship coordinator in order to demonstrate completion of the hours.

Communication

While a student is working at a field placement, the student is also supervised by a faculty supervisor, who provides additional academic support to the student. The faculty supervisor will contact the site supervisor during the externship to ensure that the placement is successful from the site’s perspective. Additionally, we ask the field supervisor to let us know if any concerns or questions come up.

Evaluation

The purpose of an externship is to build on and supplement a student’s in-class education. Therefore, we ask that field supervisors provide students with meaningful feedback on the assignments given. Additionally, at the end of the externship, field supervisors provide written evaluations of the student’s work and professional demeanor.

Other experiences

Many of our field supervisors go well beyond the minimum requirements for an approved externship. Students benefit from observing court proceedings, meetings with clients and attending networking events. Depending on the type of placement, there are any number of additional experiences in which students can participate, and that will expand their understanding of the practice of law.


Externship Calendar

Fall Term 2017
2017 Fall Externships are open for application Late March
Fall Classes Begin Monday, August 14, 2017
Drop/Add using ONE.UF Mon-Fri, August 14-18
Students who plan to participate in the Semester in Practice program (SIP) (open to 3rd year spring graduates) must contact the Externship Program Coordinator, Julie Barnes, barnes@law.ufl.edu, with notification of intent to participate prior to September 21st. Students are not required to have secured positions at that time, but must notify intent to participate. The deadline to secure positions is October 25th. Monday, August 21 – Thursday, September 21
Informational meeting for students interested in 2018 Spring Externship
at noon in room 355C Holland Hall
Tuesday, August 29
Labor Day Holiday Monday, September 4
Informational meeting for students interested in 2018 Spring Externships. Positions open for application. Early September
State Appellate Court opportunities posted in Symplicity Monday, September 11
Application Deadline for many Spring Externships
(Deadline may be extended as far as October 10)
Thursday, September 21
UF Homecoming Holiday – no classes Friday, October 6
Informational Meeting for 2018 Summer Externships with early deadlines, including Federal Courts at noon in room 180 Holland Hall Tuesday, October 10
Orientation for Spring Externs at noon in room 285C Holland Hall Tuesday, October 17
Deadline to submit Spring semester Request for Approval of New Externship Site form for locations that have not been previously approved. Friday, October 20
Deadline to notify the Externship Program of placement Wednesday, October 25
Advanced Registration for Spring Semester Tues-Thurs, Oct. 31-Nov. 2
Veterans’ Day Holiday – no classes Friday, November 10
Last Day of Fall Classes Tuesday, November 21
1st year students may begin applying for Summer 2018 Externship opportunities Friday, December 1
Reading/Exam Period Mon-Wed, Nov. 27-Dec. 13
Summer applications accepted for Florida Federal and State Appellate Courts December TBD

 

Drop/Add using ONE.UFMon.-Fri.-Jan. 8-12, 2018

Spring Term 2018
Spring Classes Begin Monday, January 8, 2018
MLK Holiday Monday, January 15
Informational Meeting for Summer & Fall Externships at noon in room TBD Tuesday, January 23
Summer Externships Advertised on Symplicity Tuesday, January 23
Application Deadline for externship positions advertised in January in Symplicity Thursday, February 22
Spring Break Mon.-Fri., March 5-9
2018 Fall Externships are open for application in Symplicity Tuesday, March 27
Advanced registration for Summer and Fall terms Tues.-Thurs., April 3-5
Mandatory for Judicial Externs Only – Judicial Externship Preparation Mini Course 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in room TBD Friday, April TBD
Deadline to submit Summer semester Request for Approval of New Externship Site form for locations that have not been previously approved. Tuesday, April 10
Application Deadline for Fall Externships Tuesday, April 17
Mandatory for all Externs – Extern Orientation Meeting at noon in room TBD Mid-April TBD
Last Day of Spring Classes Monday, April 23
Reading/Exam Period April 24-May 10
Drop/Add using ONE.UF TBD
Summer Semester Dates – 8 week course on Canvas May-July TBD
Memorial Day Holiday Monday, May 28
Independence Day Holiday Wednesday, July 4
Reading/Exam Period TBD
Last day for students to complete required externship hours Friday, August 3

 

Summer Semester 2018

Several Summer 2018 externship opportunities are currently posted in Symplicity. Summer externships are posted as they become available. Many government agencies have very early deadlines. It is best to check Symplicity on a regular basis.