William and Mary Law School

Externships

Externs work in a legal or law-related setting for academic credit under the supervision of a licensed attorney, judge, legislator, or certified mediator (the "field supervisor").  The Externship Field Supervisor Handbook covers the externship program’s educational objectives, summarizes academic requirements, and outlines field supervisors’ responsibilities.  Externs will inform their Field Supervisors about the due date for the Field Supervisor's Evaluation form.

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

Types of Externships
William & Mary offers the following externships. Each externship credit requires 40 hours of unpaid work. All externships are offered during summer, fall, and spring semesters and are eligible for 1, 2, or 3 credits per semester, except as noted below. Work for partisan political organizations, partisan political work, and lobbying are not eligible for externship credit. Work for a U.S. private, nonprofit organization with IRS status other than 501(c)(3) status is not eligible for externship credit.
 
Federal Government Externship
Eligible placements include federal agencies, Congressional committees, and members of Congress, excluding partisan political work mentioned above. Federal public defenders are covered by the Public Defender Externship. U.S. Attorney offices are covered by the U.S. Attorney Externship.
 
Judicial Externship
Eligible placements include judges (including administrative law judges), hearing officers, courts, and organizations that provide research, educational, and management services to judges and courts (e.g., the National Center for State Courts, the Federal Judicial Center, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts).
 
Nonprofit Organization Externship
Eligible placements include U.S. civil legal services/legal aid organizations and U.S. 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/In House Counsel Externship
Eligible placements include solo practitioners, law firms, and in-house law departments of corporations and trade associations.
 
Prosecutor Externship
Eligible placements include state and local prosecutors. Placements with U.S. Attorney offices are covered by the U.S. Attorney Externship.
 
Public Defender Externship
Eligible placements include federal, state, and local public defenders.
 
State/Local Government Externship
Eligible placements include state or local government agencies and offices, such as city/county attorneys, attorneys general, and state legislators. Placements with prosecutors and public defenders are covered by their respective externships described above.
 
U.S. Attorney Externship
Eligible placements include the civil or criminal divisions of U.S. Attorney offices.
 
Virginia Attorney General Externship
2-3 credits summer/fall/spring
Eligible placements include the divisions/sections of the Virginia Attorney General’s office. 
 
Washington, DC, Semester Externship
12 credits, fall only, 3Ls only
Eligible placements include the following organizations in the Washington, DC, area: federal, state, or local government agencies; courts; prosecutors; public defenders; legal aid offices; and 501(c)(3) organizations.

To arrange an externship

Please contact Robert E. Kaplan, Associate Dean, at rekapl@wm.edu or 757-221-3804, if your organization is interested in arranging an externship.