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Emory Law Student Guide to Externships

Everything Emory Law students need to know about getting and participating in externships.

Sarah Shalf

on 2 January 2017

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Transcript of Emory Law Student Guide to Externships

Visit the Emory Law Externships
Emory Law Student Externship Guide
About Our Externship
General Program
: All 2Ls (which does not include AJDs in their first year at Emory), 3Ls (including AJDs in their second year at Emory), exchange students and LLMs* are generally eligible. However, individual placements may have more specific requirements, so read postings carefully. In particular, most federal government agencies either cannot hire noncitizens or are restricted in which noncitizens they can hire. Additionally, LLMs are typically not eligible for work authorization, which some placements may require.

: Students go to the placement each of at least 12 weeks during the 14-week semester. In addition, they attend one of nine practice-area based, one-hour weekly classes. Some placements also have a regular on-site seminar.

Students are evaluated based on effort at the placement, as well as performance in the companion course. The externship is pass/fail, and most are 3 credit hours for a total of 150 hours (including both fieldwork and coursework). Placements that can provide a distinct and significantly enhanced experience at higher levels of hours may be approved for up to 6 credit hours for 3Ls only. Students commit in advance to 50 additional hours for each additional credit hour.

Selection Method:
Students apply to externship job postings for approved placements in Symplicity. Placements receive the applications from Emory, conduct their selection processes independently, and provide their selections back to Emory. Emory releases offers to students via Symplicity and manages the acceptance and registration process.
In this program, students work 10-24 hours a week at a variety of preapproved metro Atlanta placements and attend a practice-area-specific companion class to help them absorb and process the lessons learned on-site.
Small Firm
This program offers students an inside look at small-firm practice through work at select small firms, combined with a course on small-firm practice taught by faculty but featuring the insights of the host firms' attorneys.
3Ls only (including AJDs in their second year at Emory), capped at 15. Individual placements may have additional eligibility requirements.

Students go to the placement each of at least 12 weeks during the 14-week semester. In addition, they attend a one-hour weekly class focused on small-firm practice. (Students must take this class, not any of the General externship classes.)

Students are evaluated based on effort at the placement, as well as performance in the companion course. The externship is pass/fail, 3 credit hours for a total of 150 hours (including both fieldwork and coursework). This program is not eligible for higher credit options.

Selection Method:
Students apply to the program via the Small Firm externship job posting in Symplicity. The application includes a ranking of available firms. Students are accepted into the program primarily on the basis of their interest in learning about small-firm practice, with some weight to likelihood of placement in one of the student's top 3 firms. Once students accept their offers, placements receive the applications from Emory, conduct interviews if they prefer, and provide their rankings back to Emory, which matches the students to the firms.
: Rising 3Ls, preferably with prior externship experience, and AJDs preparing to enter their second year at Emory, are eligible. The placement must be one which is not available to the student during the school year.

: Students go to the placement each of at least 6 weeks during the summer. In addition, they have the option of either a professional-development focused tutorial or writing a 15-30 page paper related to their fieldwork under the supervision of a faculty member. In either case, students must submit a midterm and final self-evaluation, the supervisor must submit online evaluations, and the student and supervisor must have a midterm phone or videoconference with the Director.

: Students are evaluated based on effort at the placement, as well as performance in the companion academic component. The externship is available for 3 to 6 credit hours. Students commit in advance to a minimum of 150 hours (including field and coursework) for 3 credits, with 50 additional hours for each additional credit hour. Students electing the paper option may select 1-2 credit hours (graded), but are limited to 6 total credit hours; the standard tutorial component is 1 credit pass/fail. Tuition is paid at the prorated per-credit rate; financial aid is available for 5-6 credit hours, and may be available for 3-4 credit hours (university consideration pending).

Selection Method
: Students apply to any summer placement that would qualify for our General program (small firms qualify on a case-by-case basis). Students then petition for the externship via Symplicity, and the director vets the placement. Upon approval, the student is automatically registered for the program.
The Summer Externship program offers students the opportunity to learn from experience anywhere in the world, and to build professional relationships where they hope to practice.
regarding policies applicable to all externships.
Additional policies specific to individual programs may apply. See "About Our Externship Programs" and "Process."
A. There is no limit on the number of externships as opposed to other nontraditional credits. However, you can count no more than 18 credits of nontraditional (outside-the-classroom) credits toward your degree. Nontraditional credits include journal, moot court, mock trial, externships, workshops, and directed research/study. It does not include clinics, which count as regular classroom hours.
A. You must still choose one externship, workshop, or clinic in a given semester, due to concerns over conflicts of interest as well as potential difficulty in juggling responsibilities to more than one set of clients. This might be waived for lower-credit clinics or workshops, on a case-by-case basis. Requests for waiver must be emailed both to Prof. Shalf and the clinic director.
A. The minimum default for a single semester is 3 credits, pass/fail, which corresponds to a total commitment of 150 hours, including both fieldwork and course-related time (everything except commuting time). For certain trial placements in the General program, and for the Summer program, you may elect up to 6 credit hours, with each credit hour corresponding to an additional 50 hours of work. Students take the same companion course regardless of the number of credits elected.
A. Generally speaking, no. The premise of granting academic credit for an externship is that you are learning new skills, and additionally, the Fair Labor Standards Act would require that you be paid at least minimum wage once you have learned enough that the placement starts to receive a net benefit from your work. Moreover, we have more students wanting placements than there are placements available, so we want to ensure everyone has as many opportunities as possible.
A. There are two exceptions. First, certain General placements (mostly trial practice, plus Fulton Landlord/Tenant) are designated as year-long because the learning curve is so steep that it would be hard for the student to get much out of it in one semester. Second, students who will be working in a different department or acting in a different capacity such that they will be learning new skills may petition Prof. Shalf for a waiver. The request must be sent via email, copying the supervising attorney, with a description of the previous semester's work, and an explanation of how the proposed semester's work will differ such that additional academic credit is justified. In order to avoid closing out opportunities for new applicants, the request will not be considered until after the placement has submitted its offers for new applicants for the following semester.
A. No. The limit only applies to courses that have a graded option.
This program is designed to allow rising 3Ls to have externship experience that they cannot have in our school-year program. Absent unusual circumstances, students will not be approved to do a summer externship that is or could be a part of our school-year program.
Unlike the General and Small Firm Programs, the Summer program allows students to apply to the placement, obtain an offer, and then apply for externship credit.
There are no externship-specific postings in Symplicity for this program; any type of placement that would generally qualify for our General program (even if not previously approved) is eligible (small firms on a case-by-case basis).
Per ABA rules, students may not receive compensation from any source -- including EPIC or EJW grants -- for any externship.
Students must pay tuition at the per-credit rate. Financial aid is currently available for 5-6 credit hours. The university is considering whether to allow financial aid for 3-4 credit hours.
Students must apply first to the placement and then petition for approval of the externship prior to May 1 prior to the externship beginning.
Students must secure at least a conditional offer before petitioning for the summer externship.
Students must discuss their learning objectives with their proposed supervising attorney, and provide the final objectives to their supervisor, along with a link to the supervisor agreement.
When the supervisor completes the agreement, a copy will be sent to the student to complete the process.
The student submits the required materials to the posting on Symplicity. The student must make the case why this externship could not be done during the school year. The paradigmatic case is an externship not in Atlanta, but other reasons will be considered.
Prof. Shalf will vet the placement, including a phone call or video conference with the supervising attorney, in order to determine whether to approve.
Every effort will be made to approve by the date the student indicates a decision is needed, but at least a week is needed for vetting.
Each preapproved placement has an externship (non-OCR) job posting in Symplicity.
Students may apply to up to 5 postings within the General program, but the limit does not apply outside this program.
Read the posting carefully for eligibility information and preferences; note the externship course(s) designated for the placement and the course schedule, in order to avoid conflicts with essential courses.
Be sure to write a tailored cover letter to highlight your qualifications for each externship.
Proposals for externships at new placements are welcome, but the placement must qualify to be a regular part of our program, and the placement must be approved before a student can be enrolled. Direct inquiring placements to our extenships website for information.
Postings are open for application for one week, starting about 6 weeks into the semester.

See current year application schedule in the "Process" frame.
Applications are emailed to placements automatically at the end of the application period. They can be modified/withdrawn any time prior to then.
Most General placements interview students, mostly off-campus.
Most will contact you directly to schedule an interview.
Placements interviewing a large number of students may schedule interviews using Symplicity's OCR module (in which case you'll receive a Symplicity email notification).
Offers and waitlist rankings are provided to Emory and held until the release date, when they are released via Symplicity with email notifications.
Students are not required to accept any offer, and we inform placements of this policy.
If a placement makes an offer before the release date, politely let them know that Emory policy forbids you from accepting until offers are officially released. (We also inform them of this policy.)
When a student declines an offer, Symplicity automatically sends an offer to the next student on the waitlist.
So, as soon as you have made a decision, please decline all other offers promptly so that waitlisted students can be notified.

The structure and goals of this program don't allow us to accept students who have already accepted an offer to intern with a specific firm.
About 20-25 highly regarded small firms in Atlanta have been asked to be a part of this program, and have contributed to developing the course syllabus, materials and structure.
Firms are committed to teaching about small firm practice to any qualified student, and students must be committed to learning about it at any suitable firm. This is not a job placement program.
Students apply to the Small Firm Externship job posting in Symplicity.
Applications are accepted beginning about 6 weeks into the semester, through the end of the General externship interview period (to allow students to gauge their potential success in the General program first).
As part of the application, students submit a writing sample and grades. However, not all firms will necessarily request all of those materials.
Students also submit a ranking of the available firms using this form: https://emorylaw.wufoo.com/forms/small-firm-externship-applicant-law-firm-ranking. The form also contains information about firm requirements/preferences, and links to their websites.
Students are selected by the Director (Prof. Shalf) and notified at the same time and in the same way as General externship offers.
Selection is based primarily on desire to learn about small firm practice, so your cover letter is important!
A factor in selection is the likelihood that the student can be placed at one of his/her top 3-4 firms, so review the ranking form carefully and be sure to rank only firms for which you believe you are a good match.
Students are not matched to firms until after they have accepted their offers. Every effort is made to place everyone at one of their top 3-4 firms, but students must be willing to accept the firm to which they are matched if they accept the offer.
After students have accepted, and firms have ranked the students, students are matched to firms.
Firms are provided only the materials they need to evaluate the students who have ranked them.
Some firms may interview students but some do not.
Matchings are based on firm and student rankings, once all rankings are in.
Students apply for externships during the semester prior to the work term.
(For both Summer and Fall, students apply during the Spring semester.) The application process begins about six weeks into the semester (watch for info session announcements) and concludes approximately when registration for the following semester begins; deadlines for each individual program may vary.
The placements for the General and Small Firm programs are all pre-approved before being offered to students.
The Summer program is the only program in which the student locates the placement. (Suggestions of additions to the General program are welcome.)
All externship applications are submitted online via Symplicity
. (In the case of the Summer program, students may apply to a placement by any means, but must apply for externship credit through Symplicity.) Students who are abroad may apply online, but should notify us so we can help arrange phone/video interviews.
Offers and notifications of waitlist status for externships/programs are released via email and Symplicity about a week to 10 days before registration
. Students typically have two days to accept or decline first-round offers, and 24 hours from the time of the offer to accept or decline subsequent offers, with the goal of having all externship information known to students before they begin preselection processes for seminars, Ti:ger and Transactional Program courses.
Students will be automatically registered for the appropriate externship/course during registration.
All externship students are required to sign an Externship Agreement in Symplicity before the last day of the semester in order to maintain their enrollment.
Application Process Dates for 2016-17
General and Small Firm application periods open: Sept. 26 | Feb. 27
General application period closes*: Oct. 2 | Mar. 5
[Spring break: Mar. 6-14]
General interview period: Oct. 10-17 | Mar. 14-21
Small Firm application period closes: Oct. 14 | Mar. 18
Offers, waitlist status released: Oct. 19 | Mar. 28
Deadline to accept/decline first-round offers: Oct. 21 | Mar. 29
Deadline to accept/decline all remaining offers: Oct. 24 | Mar. 31
Preregistration begins: Oct. 24 | April 4
Summer petition deadline: May 1
General Program
Small Firm
Send us an
Director of Externships
Externship Program Coordinator
Find externship info on
To find placements open for application:

Click on Jobs | Externships
Filter by criteria to narrow choices
To find contact information for your upcoming externship:

Click on Jobs
Click on Applications
Click on "Extern" for your placement
To find externship basic information, timekeeping app link, evaluations:

Click on Externship Info & Agreement shortcut
Click on "Edit" under your placement
is an externship?
Externships are not just "work for credit." An externship is experience + learning and support.
Externships are different from internships because they:
are approved by a faculty director; placement supervisors must meet minimum standards, comply with program requirements, and provide evaluations of student performance to the director.
are required (by the ABA) to be unpaid.
include a regular academic component designed to support students in working through problems, being effective externs, and reflecting about what they are learning in the placement.
are term-length courses that carry 3-6 hours of pass/fail academic credit.
Externships are different from clinics and workshops because:
externship supervisors are not employed by Emory; externship faculty do not supervise or evaluate substantive legal work
externships are pass/fail because the legal work is not evaluated internally; most clinics and workshops are graded.
externships (and workshops) are placements in pre-existing external organizations who employ attorneys; clinics are internal entities whose purpose is primarily to teach students.

Keep up with your externship class on
You should check your class's Canvas site on a weekly basis!
Getting Ready for
Your Externship
connected with the Bar
the local bars as a student member (it's free!)
Participate in bar events with your supervising attorneys:
It counts toward your hours!
can students in externships get experience?
125+ placements in the general program, plus small firms
All sectors except law firms >10
Litigation and transactional
Most open to 2Ls and 3Ls
Learn more at http://law.emory.edu/academics/academic-programs/externships/externship-search.html
How Many
Number of Class of 2016 who took at least one externship:
194 (67%)

Number of Class of 2016 who took two externships: 96

Number of students in externships in Spring 2016:
(65 2Ls, 90 3Ls, 2 LLMs)

Number of 2Ls who had already taken at least one externship by Spring 2016:
students participate?
Course Instructors
Fall 2016 Course Schedule
Q. How many credits are externships?
Q. How many externships/workshops/clinics can I take in a single semester?
Q. How many externships can I take during law school?
Q. Now that I've worked at my placement a semester and learned the ropes, they've asked me to stay another semester. Can I do that?
Q. Are there any exceptions to the one-semester rule?
Advanced: Wed 6:30-7:30, NDB 109
Civil Litigation: We 8:30-9:30a, Gamb 1F
Corporate Counsel: Thurs 6:15-7:15p, Gamb 5B
Criminal Defense: Mon 5-6p, NDB 111
Government Counsel: Wed 5:15-6:15p, NDB 109
Judicial: Mon 8:30-9:30a, Gamb 1F
Prosecution: Wed 5:15-6:15p, NDB 112
Public Interest: Tues 5-6p, NDB 109
Small Firm: Thurs 8:30-9:30am, Gamb 5B
Sarah Shalf
Civil Litigation
Small Firm
Lynn Kleinrock
Criminal Defense
Adam Hames
Linda Amidon Perry
Government Counsel
Janice Barrocas
Legislative/Policy (Spring only)
Corey Hirokawa
Shiriki Cavitt
Corporate Counsel
Debbie Segal and Randy Cadenhead
Public Interest
Sarah Shalf
Email: sarah.shalf@emory.edu
Phone: 404.712.4652
Office: G558
Administrative Professor of Law
Becky Jackson
Email: rrjacks@emory.edu
Phone: 404.712.5072
Office: G568
Q. Do externship credits count against the pass/fail limit?
Q. What if I want to do an externship with a placement not on the approved list?
A. For the General program, you can obtain an unpaid position outside of the Externship program and then ask the placement to submit an application (see our website for details). If the externship is approved, the placement would then send Prof. Shalf an email indicating that they want you to be your first extern. This must all be completed prior to classes starting for the semester in which you want to extern.
For the Small Firm program, we do not allow students and firms to pick each other. However, we are open to receiving suggestions of firms we should consider adding to the program.
For the Summer program, this would be fine, because placements are not normally preapproved.
Immediately after accepting your offer,
reach out to the externship contact
to inquire about onboarding procedures and when you should be in touch to establish your work schedule.

Log into Symplicity, go to Jobs | Applications, click on the job posting "Extern" for your placement.
Make Contact
Update Info
Once you have made contact and inquired about onboarding procedures,
complete your Onboarding Agreement.
This must be completed by the last day of classes of the semester in which you apply in order to remain enrolled.

Log into Symplicity, go to Externship Info & Agreement, click on "Onboarding Agreement" under your externship title.
Get Forms Signed
Get all
required forms, documentation and background checks submitted
as soon as possible. All forms will be signed electronically by Prof. Shalf. Student Practice Certification can be requested at https://emorylaw.wufoo.com/forms/student-practice-certification-request/

Scan and email paper forms to Prof. Shalf for signature.
Schedule First Workday
A month to two weeks before the semester starts, reach out again to the externship contact to ask about setting up the first day of work.

Log into Symplicity, go to Jobs | Applications, click on the job posting "Extern" for your placement.
Check Canvas for course information, including preparatory assignments. You should expect to review a set of lessons about externship expectations and requirements, and to take a short online quiz. You should expect to check Canvas on a weekly basis.

Log into http://emory.instructure.com and look for the title of your externship class.
Check Canvas
Because the externship class meets only once a week, and depends heavily on rapport with classmates,
we require that everyone attend the first class
, and miss no more than two classes unexcused.

Log into OPUS and make sure you know when and where your class meets.
Attend Class
Q. How do I register for the externship?
A. Once you have accepted an offer via the externship application process, you will automatically be registered for the course during preregistration. You must complete the externship agreement to maintain enrollment. If you believe you should be enrolled but do not see the course in OPUS (or see the wrong course), contact Sherry McPeeks, smcpeek@emory.edu, right away.
click on an FAQ to view
Q. I just got a part-time job. Can I drop my externship?
A clean drop is not permitted. As part of the externship agreement that students sign to maintain enrollment in their externship, they acknowledge that this is a serious commitment, and that ordinarily, students will only be permitted to withdraw (W), provided they satisfy any conditions set by the Externship Director, which typically involve a personal meeting with the placement to explain, and an offer to assist in finding a replacement. (If these conditions are not satisfied, the student will be given a WF.)
*Application periods close at 11:59pm
During application periods, watch Symplicity for time-sensitive announcements.
Review evaluations and numbers of applications, which are posted as announcements on Symplicity. Once you have narrowed your list to 6-8 placements, make an appointment with Prof. Shalf to discuss application strategy: http://meetme.so/sarahshalf.
How do I decide which
placements I should apply to?
Review evaluations and numbers of applications, which are posted as announcements on Symplicity. Once you have narrowed your list to 6-8 placements, make an appointment with Prof. Shalf to discuss application strategy: http://calendly.com/sshalf
How do I decide which
placements I should apply to?
Externship Program Goals
How Emory Helps You Accomplish the Program's Goals
reflective practice
to teach you reflective practice, and to engage in professional problem-solving, continuous learning and ongoing professional development
professional development
to give you an opportunity to explore potential career options and develop a professional identity, and, having found your path, to learn how to network and build your reputation within the relevant community
work experience
to help you gain confidence in a professional setting, and to give potential employers confidence in the your professional skills (resume building)
skills development
ethical lawyering
integrating law and practice
to help you build transferable skills in the relevant practice area
to support and guide you in recognizing, understanding, and solving ethical problems that may arise in practice
to give you a chance to take what you have learned in the classroom and apply it in practice, and to bring insights from practice back into the classroom
150-300 hours of work experience over 12-14 weeks (6+ in summer), with midterm and final evaluations
a course taught by faculty experienced in the area to help you be the most effective extern possible
development of learning objectives to help you tailor and focus your experience
a grounding in basic ethics and professional skills, and classroom discussion of ethics and professional development issues
writing exercises designed to help you reflect on your work experience
one-on-one mentoring by your instructor
Student Practice
Emory Student Practice Certification Policy
The Georgia Supreme Court passed a new student practice rule effective August 15, 2015, which potentially permits both 2L and 3L students to represent clients (under supervision) as if admitted to practice in a broader range of settings than was previously allowed -- including in private firms representing clients pro bono, and nonprofits who assist low or moderate income individuals -- with certification being independent of the court or supervisor. It also placed on the law schools the burden of determining which of its students are "prepared" to engage in such practice. http://www.gasupreme.us/rules/#XV8-15-15

Emory has decided to continue to certify its 3Ls and rising 3Ls (provided they have taken Evidence and Trial Techniques), once they complete our ethics and professionalism self-study module.

However, we are concerned that students who have just completed the standard first-year curriculum are not yet prepared to represent clients without initially having additional training and closer supervision than the Rule requires. Accordingly, we will only certify 2Ls when they are starting in a clinic, or in a specially-approved externship or workshop that provides the sort of training we'd expect in a clinic setting, so that they will learn good habits and judgment that they can take with them to other settings.

Placements that are approved for 2L student practice will be clearly designated in the externship/workshop posting, as they may have additional prerequisites or experience requirements for 2Ls compared to 3Ls.

Additionally, to facilitate processing of certification requests by the Registrar's office, they will process the requests in batches. For summer, the deadline to submit certification requests will be the Monday of graduation and the third Wednesday after graduation; for each semester the deadline will be the Monday that classes start, and the third Wednesday after classes start. The batches will be processed and submitted to the Bar shortly after each deadline, and the Bar typically processes requests within 5-7 business days of the law school's submission.

Students will be asked to find out from their externship supervisors whether student practice certification is appropriate when they accept their externship offers, so they can be prepared to submit the request to the Registrar's office in time for the deadline.
Full transcript