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ASL’s Expanded Summer Externship Program

07/11/13

Developing Opportunities Through the
Appalachian School of Law's Expanded Summer Externship Program


The Appalachian School of Law remains a leader in innovating experiential learning opportunities for law school students.  Ninety-nine percent of our first-year law students have secured site placements around the country and abroad.  ASL's site partners can be found not only in 40 states, but also in other countries such as in Medellin, Columbia.  Twenty one new sites have been added to the roster of placements for the first-year program, including externships with federal and state legislative offices in the surrounding states and in Washington, D.C.; federal and state judges across the country; legal aid and non-governmental offices; district and commonwealth attorney offices; pro bono opportunities at for profit firms; and with significant federal agencies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Patent and Trade Office.  This brings the total of site placements arranged by the school for its first-year students to 549 and counting.

As a result of the expansion of the Summer Externship Program, ASL has also arranged 11 "premier" internships for rising second-year students with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Washington, D.C.;  The Honorable David Faber, U.S. District Court, Southern District of WV; Bristol Virginia Utilities - Bristol, Virginia;  The Honorable Deanis L. Simmons, 28th District Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court - Marion, VA; Joanne Nolte, The Nolte Law Firm, P.C. (Natural Resources Task Force Member and Co-Chair of ASL's and the Governor's First Biennial Natural Resources and Energy Law Symposium) - Richmond, VA; Josh Baker, Administrative Attorney for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development - Workers' Compensation Division - Nashville, TN; Senator Mark Warner - Abingdon, VA; Stephen W. Mullins, Stephen W. Mullins, P.C. - Dickenson County attorney for four local water authorities and two non-profit corporations.  Dean Lucy McGough approved more than $20,000 as stipends to assist with living expenses incurred by second-year law students who competed for and were awarded these valuable internship positions.  ASL has more than doubled the number of natural resources and environmental law site placements through implementation of this internship component.  ASL has also assisted with securing third-year practice certificates for 34 students in 9 states and, for the first time, provided a summer course to assist students from Kentucky with obtaining their third-year practice certificates. 

The third-year Live Client Clinic component of the Externship Program has also garnered robust interest from ASL's students.  Thirty-two students have requested placements in the fall at diverse sites, ranging from Estates & Trusts or Coal Law offices, to placements that will expand the student's trial advocacy and counseling skills. 

Next on the horizon is ASL's Bridge to Practice Program.  The school's Externship, Practica & Career Development Committee has already begun designing a Bridge to Practice Program that will provide third-year students and recent graduates with practical, full-time work experiences that will serve as a springboard to long-term positions in the student's desired practice area.