Externships, also known as external studies opportunities or experiential programs, offer an exciting opportunity to augment law school classroom study with real-world work experience. Externship interest meetings are held during each semester. Students interested in pursuing an externship are advised to attend one of these sessions. It is recommended that students investigate externship opportunities well before the informational meetings, in order to familiarize themselves with available placement opportunities and to pursue new placement options.
The Law Center offers several opportunities for students who are interested in receiving academic credit for externship placements. Fall and Spring semester programs are available to all second and third year law students, while Summer Externships are available to any student who has completed their first year of law school. Please contact Professor Jeffrey Brooks if you are interested in any of these Externship opportunities.
CURRENT EXTERNSHIP OFFERINGS
Judicial Externship (3 hours, Fall or Spring only)
Students are placed as law clerk externs in the chambers of judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit (New Orleans or Lafayette), the United States District Courts for the Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana (Baton Rouge or New Orleans), the Louisiana Supreme Court (New Orleans), or the Louisiana Courts of Appeals (Baton Rouge). Students are required to work in the chambers of their assigned judge during the semester as well as attend a class meeting at the Law Center. In order to receive credit, students must complete a minimum of 150 hours of work which includes the work assigned by the judge, the class, and class preparation. It is strongly recommended that students either commit one full day per week to work for their judge or, at minimum, two half-days per week. Participation requires consent of the instructor. This course is graded Pass/Fail (E, HP, P, F). Contact Professor Jeffrey Brooks if interested in this opportunity.
Governmental Externship (3 hours, Fall or Spring only)
Through placement with local, state or federal governmental divisions, offices or agencies students learn about the practice of law within the government setting. Students meet weekly for classroom discussion and work closely with government attorneys in the executive and legislative branches of federal and state government as well as local parish and municipal governments. The class meetings explore topics such as ethical considerations for the public lawyer, rulemaking and the administrative process, federalism and state sovereignty, state supported speech, and state budgeting issues. Students must perform a minimum of 150 of hours total work in the course, including the classroom, class preparation, and field work for their placement during the semester. Participation requires the consent of the instructor. This course is graded Pass/Fail (E, HP, P, F). Contact Professor Jeffrey Brooks if interested in this opportunity.
Public Interest / Not-for-Profit Externship (3 hours, Fall or Spring only)
Lawyers play a special role in advocating for and defending the interests of poor and marginalized populations who have traditionally had more limited access to the justice system. This externship places students with local public interest and non-profit organizations that serve the legal needs of the poor. Brief descriptions of the current placement organizations can be found here. Students will gain hands-on experience and develop a wide variety of practical lawyering skills in both litigation and non-litigation practice settings. Students must perform a minimum of 150 hours total work in the course, including the class, class preparation, and field work for the receiving organization during the semester. Participation requires consent of the instructor. This course is graded Pass/Fail (E, HP, P, F). Contact Professor Jeffrey Brooks if interested in this opportunity.
Summer Externship (2 to 3 hours, Summer only)
Summer Externships are available to any Law Center student who has completed their first year of academic study at the Law Center. The Summer Externship places students full-time during the summer session with local, state, and federal government agencies, not-for-profit advocacy organizations, and judges’ chambers, both within Louisiana and in major out-of-state legal markets. This program allows for advanced development of practical skills while providing students with summer employment opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable to them through a traditional job search. Participating students will be enrolled in a weekly video conference seminar and will be required to submit weekly reflective journals and writing assignments. Participation requires consent of the instructor. This course is graded Pass/Fail (E, HP, P, F). Contact Professor Jeffrey Brooks if interested in this opportunity.
Individual Supervised Externship (1 to 2 hours, Fall or Spring only)
Almost all Law Center externships are covered by the Judicial, Governmental, Not-for-Profit/Public Interest, or Summer Externship Programs. However, Individual Supervised Externships are available for certain specialized placements that do not fit within the organized externship program.
An Individual Supervised Externship must be done in connection with a substantive course covering the subject matter to which the externship will relate. The experience can occur during the semester in which the course was taught or, with the express permission of the Director of Externships, during another semester beginning no later than the semester following the one in which the student took the substantive course. A student may earn a maximum of two credits for an Individual Supervised Externship. Past Individual Supervised Externships have included placements with the East Baton Rouge District Attorney in conjunction with the Administration of Criminal Justice II course and placements with the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center in conjunction with patent and intellectual property coursework. Students are required to attend three course meetings during the semester with the Director of Externships and complete a series of reflective journals and short essays. Participation requires consent of the instructor. This course is graded Pass/Fail (E, HP, P, F). Contact Professor Jeffrey Brooks if interested in this opportunity.