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JD Externships

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.

Criminal Law Placements

Past Criminal Law Placements

  • California Attorney General's Office - Criminal Division
  • Los Angeles City Attorney's Office - Citywide Nuisance Abatement Program
  • Los Angeles City Attorney's Office
  • Los Angeles County Alternate Public Defender
  • Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
  • Los Angeles County Public Defender's Office
  • San Diego County District Attorney's Office
  • San Diego County Public Defender's Office
  • Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office
  • Santa Barbara County Public Defender's Office
  • United States Attorney's Office (Criminal)
  • United States Attorney's Office (Northern District of California)
  • Ventura County District Attorney's Office
  • Ventura County Public Defender's Office

Entertainment Law Placements

Past Entertainment Law Placements

  • BET Network
  • Catch Media
  • CBS, Inc.
  • Columbia Tristar Home Video
  • Comedy Central
  • Directors Guild of America, Inc.
  • DocStoc
  • Dreamworks
  • EMI North America/Capitol Records
  • EMI Recorded Music
  • Fox Broadcasting Company
  • Fox Channels Group
  • Fox Family Worldwide
  • Fox Television Stations
  • Fox, Inc.
  • Harvey Entertainment
  • Hearst Entertainment
  • Inferno Entertainment
  • Lifetime Television
  • Lionsgate Music and Publishing
  • Miramax Films
  • Motion Picture Association of America
  • MTV Networks
  • NBC/Universal
  • Newline Cinema
  • Nickelodeon
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Radar Pictures, Inc.
  • Rhino Entertainment
  • Screen Actors Guild
  • Sony Pictures
  • Warner Borthers (Corporate)
  • Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
  • Whatshotnow.com, Inc.
  • Writers and Artists Agency
  • Writers Guild of America, West, Inc.
  • Yari Film Group

Government Placements

Past Government Placements

  • California Attorney General's Office - Public Rights Division
  • California Attorney General's Office - Civil Division
  • California Department of Transportation
  • Department of Corporations
  • Department of Fair Housing and Employment
  • Dependency Court Legal Services
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Los Angeles County Counsel - Children and Family Services
  • Los Angeles County Counsel - Probate Division
  • Los Angeles County Counsel - Transportation Division
  • National Association of Securities Dealers
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • State Bar of California
  • United States Attorney's Office (Civil)
  • United States Attorney's Office (Tax Division)

Judicial Placements

Federal Court Placements

  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal
  • United States District Court
  • United States Immigration Court
  • United States Bankruptcy Court

California Court Placements

  • California Supreme Court
  • California Court of Appeal
  • Los Angeles County Superior Court
  • Orange County Superior Court
  • Ventura County Superior Court

Public Interest Placements

Past Public Interest Placements

  • ACLU Foundation of Southern California
  • Alliance for Children's Rights
  • Anti-Defamation League
  • Asian Pacific American Legal Center
  • Bet Tzedek Legal Services
  • Black Law Institute
  • Environmental Defense Center
  • Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law
  • HIV and AIDS Legal Services Alliance
  • Human Rights Project
  • Inner City Law Center
  • Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
  • NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Protection and Advocacy, Inc.
  • Public Counsel Law Center
  • Public Law Center
  • Rainbow Legal Services
  • Union Rescue Mission
  • Ventura County Family Law Clinic
  • Ventura County Self-Help Center