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Enrollment Procedures for Externships

A limited number of seven- or four-credit externship opportunities are offered for external study at leading governmental entities or non-profit organizations through the Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies.  All externship placements have a limited enrollment, and third year students will be given enrollment priority through Advance Registration.  The externship placement agency and the clinical faculty reserve the right to screen and reject pre-registered students whose prior academic record, class schedule, concerns raised during an externship the student was enrolled in previously, or lack of responsiveness suggests difficulties with successful participation in an externship.

Seven-credit externships will require a minimum of twenty-one (21) hours a week of supervised work at the externship site. Four-credit externships will require a minimum of twelve (12) hours a week of work time at the site.  All externship students are encouraged to maintain maximum time flexibility to be able to participate in the full range of placement activities. Students are required to meet for a bi-weekly tutorial with a member of the clinical faculty. Externships will be graded on a Credit/Fail basis.

  • If you have not made contact with your externship site by the end of the first week of the semester you may be dropped from the externship.
  • For those externships that involve court appearances, please note that the Pennsylvania and Federal Student Practice Rules only permit students to appear in court after they have completed three (3) semesters of law school. Please e-mail if your placement site tells you that you need to be certified to appear in court - the Clinical programs office will complete the paperwork for you.
  • All externships continue through the end of the examination period, and students should commence working at the placement site the first week classes begin. 
  • Externships are open to second and third-year students; third-year students will be given enrollment priority for all externships. The placement office may require you to successfully complete a background check (note: there may be costs the student must incur to process these background checks).
  • You may enroll in only one externship or clinic per semester.
  • If you tried to enroll in an externship and were placed on the waitlist, you must come to the Registrar’s Office to confirm your interest in enrolling by 4:30 PM on the 2nd day of classes.  After this time, offers for enrollment will be made via e-mail by the Registrar’s office to only those students who confirmed their interest.
  • The ADD/DROP period for all externships ends the first Friday of classes at 4:30 PM – this is one week earlier than other law school courses to accommodate the scheduling of time sensitive client work at the placement site.  Students should not bid during Advance Registration on an externship if they are not completely certain that they want to enroll if selected by the lottery process.  Externship placement offices put forth a great deal of time and effort in running background checks, scheduling work, securing supervisors, creating office space, assigning computers for externs to use, security clearances, etc.  Thus, it is not preferable for a student who is enrolled in an externship to drop the course during the one week add/drop period for clinics and externships which ends the first Friday of the semester.
  • Students who elect to use their enrollment in an externship toward their Public Service requirement will receive one less credit for the externship in exchange for 35 hours of pro bono credit.  Students should visit the Toll Public Interest Center Office to complete the necessary paperwork.
  • You may not enroll in an externship if you are responsible for one or more incomplete grades at the beginning of the semester (unless permission is explicitly granted by the Clinic Director).
  • Students are expected to pay for all travel expenses related to participation in the ad hoc externship. However, there may be limited travel reimbursement assistance available to externs at government placements outside of Philadelphia, and at placements located at the United Nations. Eligible externship students will be notified prior to the start of the semester if funds are available.
  • No student can receive compensation for their field placement. However, a student may receive reimbursement for reasonable out of pocket expenses related to the field placement. 


In addition to the externships that have been pre-arranged by the Gittis Center for Clinical Legal Studies, students may, under limited circumstances, seek faculty approval to create an individualized ad hoc externship for academic credit.

An ad hoc externship is intended to provide an experiential learning opportunity for a student who has a demonstrated strong interest in a specific subject area which does not have an experiential offering in the current curriculum.  The ad hoc externship involves a structured academic course for four (4) or seven (7) credits requiring appropriate placement site supervision and faculty supervision, journaling requirements, and bi-weekly meetings with a faculty supervisor, in addition to all placement site responsibilities.

There are very strict deadlines for receipt of ad hoc externship proposals. If you are looking to participate in an ad hoc externship please consult the Externships website:, for detailed information regarding application forms and deadlines.