Program Overview

Seattle University School of Law recognizes that experiential learning is an important component of a law student’s legal training. Experiential learning at the law school takes two primary forms: either the traditional clinic or the Externship Program, which places students with judges or practitioners.

The Law School guarantees that each student will have the opportunity to participate in at least one clinical or externship experience. We enable and encourage students to participate in more than one such experience, as this will enhance both their readiness for practice and their awareness of the range of opportunities available to them as lawyers.

A traditional clinic can offer a student the opportunity to represent a client in a live case, and a well-supervised externship program can help a student learn to manage a heavier case-load or to complete a variety of attorney work products in judicial chambers or practice settings. The externship experience helps the student move from law school to practice more easily. Both the faculty supervisor and the site supervisor guide the extern in reflecting on experiences in practice. This reflection enhances the practice experience by providing context for an extern’s reactions to situations and observations.

The Externship Program’s goal is to provide externs with a rewarding, well-supervised experience that will ease their transition into practicing law, will instill professionalism, and will increase awareness of social justice concepts.

The Externship Program operates within the Law School’s mission, which focuses on social justice, especially access to justice, concepts.

Externships refer to law-related placements outside of the law school, where students do legal work for an agency or court and earn academic credit. Externships are offered as an educational opportunity in which the student is closely mentored by an on-site supervising attorney or judge and also has an opportunity for reflection and discussion with a faculty supervisor in a seminar format.

There are two categories of Externship: Part Time and Full Time. All students have a total of 15 Experiential Credits and are able to do part-time externships. Students in the top half of the class have 6 additional Experiential Learning Credits for a total of 21 credits, and are eligible to extern for full-time credit. If you are not in the top half of the class and would like to use 21 credits or do a full-time externship, you can meet with faculty/staff at the Academic Resources Center to establish a bar success plan that may enable you to earn additional credits. All externships include a required seminar that is included in your total credits.