Where Do Externships Fit? A New Paradigm is Needed: Marshaling Law School Resources to Provide an Externship for Every Student
Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 56, p. 615, 2006
41 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2008 Last revised: 8 Jun 2015
I argue that every law student can have the opportunity to participate in an externship. This goal can be met by law schools and the law schools can satisfy accreditation standards, evaluation guidelines and best practices for externships by adopting an apprenticeship model for externship programs instead of the clinic-based model used by many law schools. The article explores characteristics of these two models for providing externships and suggests choices for implementation in order to increase externship availability to larger proportions of law school students. Topics considered include placement approval, faculty involvement, program goals, learning objectives, student reflection, alternatives for working with fieldwork supervisors and evaluation. Law schools should consider accommodations to overcome barriers to increased student participation by adjusting the classroom and site visit components of their programs because of the impact these features have on faculty to student ratio requirements. The article also surveys accreditation standards for similar experiential programs in other academic disciplines showing a range of internship delivery approaches in apprenticeship model programs compared to a clinic-based model for internships.
Keywords: Kexternships, accreditation and best practice standards, characteristics of apprenticeship-based and clinic-based models for externships, impact of externship model choices on law school resources, classroom and site visit accommodations, comparison of internship standards
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation