London Program: Fall 2014

The International Externship Program

Pepperdine's London Program offers an International Externship Program in the Fall Program. Students who have participated in the international externship have found the experience to be an invaluable part of their law school career. In addition to enhancing their resume, students have profited from gaining first hand experience in law firms and benefited from the mentoring that the extersnhip sponsors provide.

What is an Externship?

 An externship is an unpaid work placement with a barrister, solicitor, U.S. law firm or international organization. Work must be supervised by a lawyer. In order to receive the appropriate credits you will need to:  

  • Complete 52.5 hours of unpaid work for one unit, or 105 hours of unpaid work for two units and so forth.
  • Submit 3 guided, reflective journals
  • Attend bi-weekly workshops which will assist you in your externship by developing professional skills, increasing your knowledge of the United Kingdom legal and political system in order to better engage in the workplace, and improving your networking and career development strategy.  Students will need to register for this zero unit non-graded workshop as a component of this course.
  • Receive a positive evaluation from your externship sponsor
  • Return all required evaluation forms to the office

 Why should I do an Externship in London?

  •  Externships give students an opportunity to gain valuable legal experience
  • It will help you decide the sort of legal career you wish to pursue – or perhaps do not wish to pursue – once you graduate
  • An ever-increasing number of American law firms are opening offices around the world and having international experience will enhance your resume – particularly if you decide you are interested in an international legal career
  • You will be able to visit important institutions that have played a significant historical role in the development of the law in the United States. Past visits include the British Parliament, the Royal Courts of Justice, a Magistrates’ Court, the new UK Supreme Court, and the Old Bailey

How are Students matched with Externship Sponsors?

We try to match a student’s interests to an externship position – for example, whether you prefer a small firm or a large organisation, or you wish to gain more experience in a particular area of law such as immigration or entertainment law. Working with a barrister would be of particular interest for those students interested in advocacy and observing court work. Please give us as much information as possible about your skills (including language skills and any other relevant experience) so we can search for a suitable externship placement for you. Obviously, to some extent, the opportunities vary and may also be limited by the law firms that offer externships from year to year.

Am I guaranteed an Externship placement?

The answer is, unfortunately, no. This is because it is up to the externship sponsor who they hire. However, we begin the interviewing process during the Spring term with the goal of having you placed before you arrive in London. This is why it is essential that you submit your cover letter and resume as soon as possible.

On occasion, even though we have an externship placement arranged for you, the  sponsor has had to cancel at the last minute. In that case we will do everything possible to find a replacement position for you. Historically, all students who have wanted an externship have been able to obtain one however, we cannot guarantee either interviews or placements.

Applying for an Externship:

Interested students should apply as instructed below as soon as possible but latest by April 1, 2014.

Students must submit the following materials:
  • An up-to-date resume. We recommend that you go over your resume with the Career Development Office before you send it to us.
  • A formal cover letter addressed to the Assistant Director of the London Semester, Karen Haygreen, incorporating the following:
    • Are you interested in a one or two unit externship or more?
    • Are you flexible as to the number of units you take?
    • What areas of law are you interested in?
    • What areas of law are you not interested in?
    • Do you have any previous experience or have you taken any courses in your area of interest? If you are unsure about the area of law, you are welcome to indicate that you are just looking for legal experience.
    • Do you have any language skills of which we should be aware? Are you specifically wanting to try and make use of your language skills if possible?
    • Where (geographically) do you hope to work after graduating?
    • What do you hope to do work-wise after you graduate?

 Feel free to add any other information that you believe will be helpful in identifying a good externship match for your skills and interests.

Please send all of your materials to Karen Haygreen on

Past Externship Placements have included: 

  • Center for Effective Dispute Resolution
  • Hogan Lovells
  • U.S. Dept of Justice at the U.S. Embassy
  • WilmerHale
  • Withers

A Note About Externships and UK Immigration Laws:

Students who wish to obtain a clinical placement are required to comply with UK immigration rules. Pursuant to the UK immigration rules currently in force, this will entail additional costs to obtain a short-term Tier 4 student visa. More information about visas can be found under the UK Immigration Requirements tab.

What do I need to do before I leave the US in order to prepare for the Externship?

  • Bring your passport to Patty Hayes in the Dean’s Suite to be scanned and sent to Karen Haygreen, Program Co-ordinator.
  • Karen Haygreen will generate a “CAS” number which will be sent to you
  • Apply online for the visa and include your CAS number in the application
  • Attend a biometric data appointment as directed when you make the application.
  • Mail all relevant visa application supporting documents including your passport, an official transcript, letter of acceptance (obtained from Patty Hayes) and Financial Aid letter (if applicable), or bank statements to the UK Visa processing office address you are given when you make your visa application.
  • Ensure that you have registered for the International Externship with the Registrars Office. If you have not registered your placement will be given to someone else.
  • Pack business dress – you will need to wear professional clothes to interviews with potential sponsors, for work, and for our court visits