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Valuable Practical Experience

The goal of Penn Carey Law’s Externship Program is to supplement traditional classroom study and experiential study obtained through clinical courses by providing external opportunities for students to observe and participate meaningfully in lawyering at government agencies, non-profit organizations, and with federal and state judges. The program hopes to enhance the development of a broad range of lawyering skills, advance personal career goals, encourage self-directed learning through critical reflection of the legal profession and legal institutions, and promote core competencies and professional values that produce skilled and ethical lawyers and professionals in our society.

Close Supervision

Within Penn Carey Law, students participate in biweekly Externship Seminar classes where they have an opportunity to discuss and reflect upon broader lawyering issues involving professional responsibility, delivery of services, legal institutions, lawyering competence, client relations, and other related issues that arise in each setting. Students will also develop their professional identity; engage in difficult conversations related to the role of racism, bias, discrimination, power, and privilege in personal, professional, and societal settings; problem-solve; set career goals; and more.

Outside Penn Carey Law, students meet regularly with their externship supervisors to receive feedback on the important legal work they perform at their placement site.

Credits and Grading

All Externships are considered Co-Curricular and subject to the Law School’s Co-Curricular credit maximums. Externships are one semester in length, graded as Credit/No-Credit, and generally are offered for either four academic credits (approximately 12 hours/week), five academic credits (approximately 15 hours/week), or seven academic credits (approximately 21 hours/week). All students must have successfully completed at least one year of law school before they can enroll in an externship. All externships continue through the end of the examination period of each semester and benefit from flexibility in student schedules.

Externship Handbooks are distributed to all students at the beginning of each semester who are enrolled in an externship placement. The handbook offers a more comprehensive program overview, discusses academic standards and requirements, and many other details. Students who are not enrolled in an externship, but who would like to receive a copy of the handbook can e-mail

LLM Students

LLM students may not receive academic credit for externships. However, besides gaining experience through the Toll Public Interest Center pro bono opportunities, LLM students are eligible to participate and receive credit for a range of valuable experiential offerings. Students can enroll for academic credit in one of the seats that are reserved for LLM students in the Detkin Intellectual Property & Technology Legal Clinic, the Transnational Legal Clinic or the Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic. In addition, our experiential courses and seminars, many of which are open to LLM students, also provide valuable skills training.

Wide Array of Placements

Penn Carey Law’s unique geographic location in the nation’s most historic legal center is within easy reach of New York City and Washington DC and offers students unparalleled externship opportunities to be at the forefront of legal practice in the nation’s most prominent government offices and non-profit organizations. In order to match program offerings with student interest, Penn Carey Law offers two different types of externships: Gittis Externships and Ad Hoc Externships.