Clinics & Centers: Externship Clinics

APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR SPRING 2019 EXTERNSHIPS

Submission of all Externship applications for the spring semester will be accepted starting on November 20, 2018, and are due no later than December 7, 2018.

Please take note that no externship credit may be awarded without registration in an externship class.

The externship director will register students based off of application packets. Students do not add externship courses via GGU4YOU. To register, students must submit the externship application, registration request with total number of credits requested, and a current resume. Students will be notified once their applications are approved. All documents are due by the deadline above and must be sent via email. Submission of the application packet is mandatory to register in the class but does not guarantee approval of the placement or space in the class. For externship hours policies expand on Externship Clinics below.

Evening students and those with limited time during the day who wish to earn credit and gain experience with clients can apply for credit only to the Consumer Rights Clinic by the same process above. Students do not need to secure a placement to participate in this clinic. For more information, click here.


EXTERNSHIP CLINICS

ABOUT

In externship clinics, students work under faculty supervision and the supervision of judges and attorneys in government agencies, law offices, counsel offices, and judges' chambers. Students also attend a seminar to share experiences and insights and to focus on the substantive nature of their work. The Externship Supervisor and Extern Agreement form may be downloaded (see below). For assistance with securing a placement for academic credit, please book an appointment with an OCS counselor - click here to book the appointment in OCSonline. Evening appointments are available for evening part-time students. To register for the course email your application packet along with your updated resume to externships@ggu.edu. Find the application packet here. Hard copies applications will not be accepted.

Updated policies for the externship hours:

CONTACT

Teresa Wall-Cyb

Associate Professor of Law & Director, Externship Program
twallcyb@ggu.edu

 

EXTERNSHIP CLINICS

LAW 896A Externship: Civil Field Placement Clinic

This course involves both classroom and field work components. In class, students work toward effectiveness in the field by developing skills, engaging in discussion, and reflecting on goals and performance. In the field, students practice civil litigation or transactional work at private or non-profit law offices, government agencies, or in the legal departments of businesses. This course counts toward completion of the Experiential Learning Requirement and is graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Application required by deadline to enroll. See deadlines above and find the application here.

 
LAW 896R Externship: Consumer Rights Clinic

The Consumer Rights Clinic focuses on representation of clients facing debt-collection lawsuits and related issues. Students practice interviewing, issue-spotting and drafting legal information. They may also practice limited representation by drafting motions and arguing in court if certified by the California State Bar. In lieu of class meetings on campus, students must be able to attend the Bar Association of San Francisco's legal clinics on selected Wednesday evenings and on the last Saturday of the month. This course counts toward completion of the Experiential Learning Requirement, offered only in spring, and is graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Application required by deadline to enroll. Enrollment is restricted to evening, part-time students during priority registration. See deadlines above and find the application here.

 
LAW 896F Externship: Criminal Litigation Clinic

This course involves both classroom and field work components. In class, students work toward effectiveness in the field by developing skills, engaging in discussion, and reflecting on goals and performance. In the field, students practice criminal litigation with prosecutors, public defenders or private defense attorneys. This course counts toward completion of the Experiential Learning Requirement and is graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Application required by deadline to enroll. See deadlines above and find the application here.

 
LAW 896C Externship: Judicial Externships

This course involves both classroom and field work components. In class, students work toward effectiveness in the field by developing skills, engaging in discussion, and reflecting on goals and performance. In the field, students practice the research, writing and other skills needed to work under the supervision of a judge or court staff attorney. This course counts toward completion of the Experiential Learning Requirement and is graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Application required by deadline to enroll. See deadlines above and find the application here.

Prerequisite: cumulative GPA of 2.5 for state trial court and 2.75 for appellate and federal court.

Pre- or co-requisite: Evidence

 
LAW 896B Externship: Advanced

This course involves both classroom and field work components. In class, students work toward effectiveness in the field by developing skills, engaging in discussion, and reflecting on goals and performance. In the field, students practice civil litigation or transactional work at private or non-profit law offices, government agencies, or in the legal departments of businesses. This course counts toward completion of the Experiential Learning Requirement and is graded on a Credit/No Credit basis. Application required by deadline to enroll. See deadlines above and find the application here.

Prerequisite: completion of an externship course for credit in the same discipline.

EXTERNSHIP FAQ

CONTACT

Teresa Wall-Cyb

Associate Professor of Law and Director of Externships


Why should I be interested in gaining practical experience while in law school?

At Golden Gate University School of Law, all students are urged to participate in one or more forms of clinical legal education because our mission is to prepare our students to practice law, not merely to be ready to learn to practice law. To that end, we devote a substantial portion of our resources to skills training. Opportunities to gain lawyering experience outside the traditional classroom include:

 
What is an Externship Clinic?

The Externship Clinics, consistent with American Bar Association standards, offer students opportunities to earn credit while participating in practical training opportunities away from the law school campus. Also known as field placement clinics, these apprenticeship programs offer students course credit for attendance at a seminar plus full or part-time legal experience with practicing lawyers or judges in supervised settings, with academic oversight.

 
In addition to working in an approved placement, is there a classroom component to all externships?

Yes, students must attend a companion seminar that meets frequently, although not necessarily every week of the semester. See individual course descriptions for more information about the seminar.

 
Where can I work as an extern?

You can work at approved placement in government agencies, non-profits, civil law firms, companies, and judicial chambers. You can extern locally or outside of the Bay Area.

 
Can I receive academic credit while getting paid for my work?

Yes, according to new American Bar Association standards, you can receive an academic credit while doing paid work. However, placements for pay and credit must be approved by the Director of Externships well before the start of the semester.

 
What will I learn from participating in an externship while in law school?

The overarching goal of our skills program is to help students become accomplished and reflective practitioners. In the seminar component of each externship, students explore ethical, substantive, and procedural issues relevant to their practice. This combination of hands-on, supervised work experience, and classroom discussion helps students develop professional skills and contact while enhancing their critical perspective of the issues confronting lawyers and legal institutions in modern society.

 
Who is eligible to enroll in an externship?

Students who have completed 28 units, are in good academic standing, and have completed any required pre-requisites for a course. The Legal Externship also requires a consent of the Director of Externships.

Students on academic probation are not eligible to apply to a clinic without permission from the Dean or Director for Student Support.

For judicial externships, students must have completed 3 terms of law school and must meet other GPA and course prerequisites.

Enrollment in Clinic courses is limited in number, and prior permission of the instructor is necessary. Check the specific field placement course descriptions for additional prerequisites.

 
Can evening part-time (EPT) students participate in clinics and/or externship programs?

Yes. The Consumer Rights Clinic offer priority enrollment to EPT students. EPT students are encouraged to consult with the clinic directors or the Director of Externships to see if the particular clinic can accommodate the student's schedule.

 
Are LLM students eligible for clinics and/or externship programs?

Yes, as long as there is space available.

 
How many hours do I have to work for each field placement unit?

For each unit, students must work for 45 hours at an approved placement. Hours spent preparing for and/or in the accompanying clinic seminar do not count toward the units earned.

 
Can I take more than one clinic/externship at a time?

No. A student may enroll in only one clinic course per term.

 
Are there limits on the number of clinic units I can earn during law school?

JD students are limited to no more than a total of 13 units during law school for any combination of clinic courses. In rare circumstances and with the consent of the instructor, the Dean or Director for Student Support may approve a total of 14 units.

Courses that count toward this unit limitation include all externships, clinics, and the Street Law Program.

 
How many units can I earn through each of the clinical programs?

For specifics about each clinic and clinical course, see the Student Clinic Handbook

  • Judicial Externship Program: Students may earn 2-13 units.
  • In-House Clinics: Environmental Law and Justice Clinic or Women's Employment Rights Clinic are each offered for 1-3 units. Students must also enroll in a companion 3 unit seminar. Students may enroll in subsequent semesters in the in-house clinic with permission of the instructor. For more information on the office hours for the in-house clinics, see the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic and the Women's Employment Rights Clinic; Pro Bono Tax Clinic.
  • Externship: Field Placement Clinics: Students may earn 2-13 units. The option of earning additional units in one semester is available to students who have completed 3 terms and have a grade point average of 2.5 or better, and who have received permission from the Director of Externships.
  • Students are encouraged to enroll for at least 3 units for their first externship experience.

Note that students may choose to enroll in fewer hours than for which they are earning academic credit. For example, it is not uncommon for a student to work for 20 hours/week at a placement, but only enroll in the clinic for 3 units. Please see the Dean or Director for Student Support for advice regarding planning.

 
What Externship Clinics do we offer? And when?
  • Civil Field Placement Clinic -- Fall, Spring and Summer
  • Consumer Rights Clinic -- Spring
  • Criminal Litigation Clinic -- Fall, Spring and Summer
  • Judicial Externships -- Fall, Spring and Summer
 
How do I find a placement? And apply to a clinic?
  • Work with Office of Career Services to identify an area in which you'd like to gain practical experience and get referrals to placements.
  • Visit OCSonline for current listings, and review student evaluations of externship experiences.
    • Two ways to find a placement through OCSonline:
      • Method A
        1. Go to OCSonline
        2. login - if you are missing your username or password, contact LCD at lawcareer@ggu.edu or 415-442-6625
        3. In the menu bar, click on "Browse Employers"
        4. Under "Practice Area & Clinics" dropdown, select the field placement clinic for which you need placement and click "Search"
        5. You will see a list of potential employers where students have previously worked as an extern earning academic credit. NOTE: Just because the employer is not listing any job openings, it does not mean that they do not have openings for externs. Contact the employer to find out if they are accepting students for academic credit for the upcoming semester.
      • Method B
        1. Follow steps 1-2 in 'Method A' above
        2. In the menu bar, click on "View Job Listings"
        3. Enter in the "keyword" box words such as "credit," "volunteer," or "unpaid" and click "search" to find employers with current job openings; likely those employers are willing to be a supervising attorney for your externship if they won't pay. Find out from them if they are familiar with the GGU Law Externship Program. If they are not, ask if they would be able to take a moment to read more information about the program and meet with you about the position, then you can email the employer the document called Information for Prospective Supervising Attorneys. The document should help employers understand if the type of work they plan to assign qualifies them as a potential placement for students to earn academic credit. Your externship instructor can also answer any questions about expectations and requirements.
  • Contact the instructor for the relevant field placement clinic course. The instructor may assist in finding you a placement or direct you to find your own.
  • Fill out an Externship Application and submit it, along with a current resume, to the Externship Program Coordinator through e-mail or in-person at Suite 2333.
  • You should apply for the class even if you haven't secured a placement yet. Remember to consult with the course instructor if you have any problems securing a placement.
 
When should I start looking for a placement?

Only students who have successfully completed 28 credits are eligible to receive credit for an Externship experience. In most cases, students should begin seeking placements in the beginning of the semester PRIOR to the semester in which placement will be completed. (For example, begin applying for summer placements at the beginning of the spring semester.)

 
If I want to work as an extern for an agency or office away from the Bay Area and earn credit through one of our Externships, what do I have to do?

Placements that are located away from the Bay Area must receive consent from the Director of Externships. Please plan ahead and follow these steps:

  • Be a student in good academic standing.
  • Meet with the Dean or Director for Law Student Affairs to discuss how such a plan would fit in with your overall academic objectives.
  • Create a proposal listing the name and address of the place where you will be working, and describing in detail the work of the placement agency or office. Include a detailed description of the work you would be doing as a supervised law student extern and explain your learning objectives. Make sure to provide contact information for your supervising attorney. Attach a completed externship application, an unofficial transcript, and a resume.
  • Submit your proposal to the Director of Externship Program. The Director, in consultation with the appropriate Externship Clinic instructor, will determine whether or not to approve your proposed placement.
  • If your proposal is approved, enroll in the Legal Externship Clinic and meet with your instructor to finalize details.
 
What if I don't have the minimum GPA for the Judicial Externship Seminar?

Students must have the requisite GPA at the time of enrollment. No exceptions will be granted.

 
What if I want to obtain practical skills but I haven't secured an externship?

Other options include: enroll in Lawyering Skills: Client Advocacy or the Street Law course. You can also investigate pro bono opportunities; participate in the Litigation Program and/or seek paid or volunteer positions. You can consult with LCD or consider enrolling in an externship clinic that provides placements. Example: Help the clients at the SF Bar's Justice & Diversity Center's Consumer Debt and Defense Education Clinic by enrolling in the Consumer Rights externship clinic.


*What is the difference between the Environmental Law LLM Externship and the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic?

The Environmental Law LLM Externship is the name for the course where students work as externs in off-campus environmental law placements. The Environmental Law and Justice Clinic is GGU's in-house clinic.