How can I learn to maximize my legal education while gaining meaningful experience?

Question
 
 

Externships

Since its inception, the Appalachian School of Law has distinguished itself from other law schools by providing our students with practical legal experience well before graduation. ASL’s externship program is a central part of the school’s commitment to equipping students with practical lawyering skills. The externship also gives our students a chance to network and make connections that may aid students in their future law careers. During their externships, students may:

• Assist with trial strategy
• Draft judicial opinions
• Draft pleadings and legal memoranda
• Interview clients
• Observe court proceedings
• Perform factual investigations
• Research legal issues
• Update law libraries
• Represent real clients
• Practice Client interviewing
• Mediate Disputes & Apply Alternative Dispute Resolution
• Hone courtroom presentation and evidentiary techniques

First Year Summer Externship Program

For six weeks between their first and second years of school, all ASL students earn three hours of academic credit by spending at least 200 hours working under the supervision of an experienced attorney. This allows our students to take what they have learned in the classroom and apply it to the real world in public interest or pro bono legal environments during the summer. This experience then informs and transforms their remaining studies at ASL. The externship placements have the added advantage of fulfilling bar admission requirements such as the State of New York’s prerequisite that those seeking admission to the bar complete 50 hours of pro bono work before the bar examination.

With more than 500 approved site partners, ASL has one of the country’s largest databases of externship opportunities for our students. Follow these links to review an alphabetical list of our site partners by category or state.

Second Year Summer Internship Program

Beginning in the summer of 2013, ASL expanded its traditional externship program to include competitive placements for our most distinguished students. Through this component of the externship program, students compete for placement at sites that focus their practices in the areas of (1) natural resources and environmental law, (2) the judiciary and (3) administrative law. Students who are selected for these internships may receive a stipend to offset travel and living expenses.

Third Year Live Client Clinics

ASL also created live client clinics for third year law students seeking to further enhance their experiential learning opportunities. Students enrolled in this track of the externship program must enroll in a corresponding seminar or practicum. The corresponding seminar or practicum is taught by ASL’s tenure-track faculty in partnership with an attorney at the clinic who instructs the student in the relevant area of the law.

Bridge to Practice Fellowship Program

The Bridge to Practice Fellowship Program provides students who will soon graduate from ASL, as well as recent graduates with career development and financial support while the students continue to build their professional experience and network. The goal is to leverage post-graduate work experience as part of a broad job search to secure full-time employment. The Program is effective because Fellows continue to develop subject matter expertise in a targeted field; develop professional relationships and references; and broaden networks for full-time employment. The Fellowship is particularly valuable for students who intend to launch full-time careers with employers that prefer or require bar passage and employers that otherwise hire only as positions become available.

For answers to FAQs click here.
If you would like a brochure, click here.
If you have additional questions, contact ASL’s Externship Director, Associate Prof. Derrick Howard.