Clinical externships at the School of Law 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. The experience offers students a unique and invaluable perspective on the practice of law and the role of lawyers in society.
While "the practice of law" is broadly defined for clinical purposes, an externship must afford a significant opportunity for the participating student to accomplish one or more of the following program learning outcomes:
- students will demonstrate proficiency in legal research and in written and oral communication
- students will demonstrate professional lawyering skills
- students will demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a lawyer's moral, ethical, and professional responsibilities
- students will demonstrate awareness of their responsibility to society, including providing pro bono services
The School of Law offers five types of externships, all consisting of work in the field and faculty supervision. They are organized into the following courses of study:
LAW 315.01 Clinical Education - Judicial Externship (maximum 10 units)
Through externship placements in judicial chambers at all levels of the federal and state judiciary system, students will develop skills in legal analysis, research, and writing under the supervision of a judge. Many offer an overview of litigation practice and observation of court proceedings.
Clinical Education - Judicial Workshop
Students explore the role of the judiciary in regard to ethical dilemmas presented by questions of competent representation, justice, fairness and morality. Strategies for problem-solving and reflective learning skills are discussed, as well as students' externship experiences.
LAW 335.01 Clinical Education - Criminal Externship (maximum 10 units)
Students assist prosecutors or criminal defense attorneys. Under the California State Bar Practical Training of Law Students program, students may be certified to appear in court on behalf of clients under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney. Field placements help develop skills of analysis, investigation, planning, negotiation, client interviewing and counseling and professional responsibility. The criminal workshop is required for those enrolled in a criminal externship.
Clinical Education - Criminal Workshop
This workshop is required for those enrolled in a criminal externship. It involves discussion of student externship experiences, practical skills in handling preliminary hearings as well as various aspects of criminal procedure.
LAW 345.01 Clinical Education - Public Interest Externship (maximum 10 units)
Through externship placements with the various public interest entities in both the public and private sectors, students will explore the role of the lawyer in society, as well as ethics and morality as it applies to law. Students develop their skills in analysis, negotiation, writing and counseling. The public interest workshop is required for those enrolled in a public interest externship.
Clinical Education - Public Interest Workshop
To be taken in conjunction with a public interest externship, this class will explore how the law may impact legal services to the poor, practical lawyering skills for working with low-income clients, how social issues affect the poor, interviewing skills and discussion of students' externship experiences.
LAW 355.01 Clinical Education - Entertainment Externship (maximum 4 units)
Students are placed in a variety of entertainment companies in the television, film and music business, as well as the guilds and agencies. Additional placements are with emerging internet companies and other businesses with in-house legal departments. The entertainment workshop is required for those enrolled in an entertainment externship.
Clinical Education - Entertainment Workshop
The Entertainment Workshop explores the current legal and business affairs issues facing media entities. It discusses the role of the lawyer in addressing these issues, as well as the ethical and moral issues facing lawyers in this context. Students actively participate in class discussions.
LAW 365.01 Clinical Education - Government Externship (maximum 10 units)
Through field placements in the government sector, students develop their skills in legal analysis and reasoning, negotiation, interviewing, research and writing. The government workshop is required for those enrolled in a government externship.
Clinical Education - Government Workshop
The Government Workshop accompanies an externship with a government or public law office such as the Office of the Attorney General, the Los Angeles City Attorney's office, the Securities and Exchange Commission or the Los Angeles County Counsel. This is an active participation class in which the students discuss topics such as ethics for government attorneys, the role of public and government attorneys in society, practical issues arising from government externships, diverse law practice environments skill development, problem solving, student externhship experiences, and career planning.