Externships are field placements where students earn academic credit for qualifying legal work under supervision of experienced lawyers. Externships enable students to integrate theoretical knowledge of the law with the development of professional skills through practical experience under the supervision of the faculty, the bench and the bar. These experiences offer students unique and invaluable perspectives on the practice of law and the role of lawyers in society.
Participating law students develop and practice essential lawyering skills with real clients and cases, and under the direction of experienced supervising attorneys. Externships increase students' opportunities to build relationships with lawyers in practice while applying their legal education to practical service for clients.
Pepperdine students work in externship in Southern California, Washington D.C., and London during the Fall and Spring semesters. Students also work throughout the nation and the world during the summers through Pepperdine's diverse global programs.
Students may earn credit for legal work in courts, government agencies, public interest practices, corporate counsel offices, and law firms. Students earn credit based on their hours of supervised work on-site in these law offices. To promote critical reflection and to accelerate students' preparation from practice, students participate in faculty-guided workshops, critical journals, and assessment exercises. These ensure that the field placements offer excellent, high-quality experiences with effective mentorship from supervising attorneys. They also promote formative learning and wisdom for students entering the legal marketplace.
At Pepperdine, students can take up to 22 units of out-of-classroom units, which include externships and other field placement courses. Students can earn up to 10 units per semester, and students can repeat externships at valuable field placements.
Pepperdine permits students to earn externship credit at unpaid and paid placements. Placements at private law firms are eligible for externship credit only if students are being paid or if they are working exclusively on pro bono matters.