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Externship Course

See how the Externship Course provided these students with a summer to remember and learn how it can help you develop your legal skills.

Externship Course

See how the Externship Course provided these students with a summer to remember and learn how it can help you develop your legal skills.

Legal Apprenticeship for Professional Skills Development

An externship is a semester-long legal apprenticeship for students to develop practical, professional skills and obtain significant experience in a legal setting, such as a governmental agency, law firm, corporation, court or legal aid. An externship provides students with the opportunity to practice their craft, to observe highly respected attorneys and judges at work and to network with the legal community.

Under the direct supervision and mentorship of an experienced attorney or judge in an externship field office, students will analyze legal problems and find creative, competent, and legally sound solutions to those problems by applying the skills and knowledge that they have studied in law school. Students will have opportunities to develop versatile lawyering skills like client interaction, efficiency, fact investigation, interviewing, multitasking, negotiation, networking, oral communication, organization, problem-solving, critical reading, research, time management and writing. Students will also develop skills of critical reflection by analyzing their experience from a variety of perspectives.

Students are eligible to take the externship course in their final two semesters or in the summer immediately preceding their final two semesters. Residential J.D. students must take a 4 credit externship course. Hybrid J.D. students can take either a 4 credit course in one of their final semesters or two 2 credit hour courses in the Fall and Spring of their final year. All students are required to work a minimum of 48 hours in their field office per course credit hour for at least 10 weeks of the semester. This equates to a minimum of 192 hours for the 4 credit course and 96 hours for the two credit courses. All proposed externship positions must be approved in advance by the externship professor to ensure the position meets the academic needs of the externship course.

Students should register on the Externships TWEN site on Westlaw to find the most up-to-date information about externship deadlines, course requirements, and externship position postings.

Expectations of Your Field Supervisor

An experienced attorney or judge will assume principal responsibility for each student in an externship as a field supervisor and will serve as the contact person for the externship professor.  Field supervisors are expected to regularly meet with students to provide them with general supervision, evaluate their performance, discuss the activities of the field supervisor's organization, answer questions, and generally serve as a mentor to the student. Students are expected to work in their externship primarily at their  placement site. 

If you are interested in becoming a Field Supervisor, please click here.

Externship Course

Professor Denise Platfoot Lacey
Professor of Externships
Phone: 937-229-4634


School of Law

Keller Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 2760