William and Mary Law School

Externships: Information for Students

(If you are a potential field supervisor interested in supervising an extern, please click here.)

Students may earn academic credit by externing in a legal or law-related setting.  Externships combine the benefits of complimenting traditional classroom education, enhancing practical skills, and exposure to a broad range of substantive and procedural law. 

The externship program is governed by both the American Bar Association’s Standards and Executive Committee Regulations of the Association of American Law Schools.

Externship Opportunities

Students may extern with dozens of pre-approved externship organizations. Students also may arrange an externship through their own contacts or through a referral provided by the Associate Dean for Externships.

Types of Externships

We offer the following types of externships:

  • Federal Government Externships with executive or legislative agencies of the U.S. government, Congressional committees, and members of Congress excluding lobbying or partisan political activities
  • Judicial Externships with judges, courts, and organizations that provide research, educational, and management services to judges and courts
  • Nonprofit Organization Externships with civil legal services/legal aid organizations and private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organizations. Organizations outside the U.S. qualify if they are nonprofit organizations that would qualify for 501(c)(3) status if they were U.S. organizations.
  • Private Practice and In-house Counsel Externships with solo practitioners, law firms, in-house law departments of corporations, and trade associations
  • Prosecutor Externships with state and local prosecutors
  • Public Defender Externships with federal, state, and local public defenders
  • State and Local Government Externships with city or county attorneys; attorneys general; executive or legislative agencies; and legislators (excluding lobbying or partisan political activities
  • U.S. Attorney Externships with civil or criminal divisions of U.S. Attorney offices
  • Virginia Attorney General Externships with divisions and sections of that office
  • Washington, DC, Fall Semester Externship with federal state, and local government agencies, courts/judge, prosecutors, public defenders, legal aid offices, or 501(c)(3) organizations in Washington, DC, or the Northern Virginia or Maryland suburbs of DC.