Externship Program

Step outside the classroom and learn to practice law from experienced attorneys. 

Atlanta is headquarters for 11 Fortune 500 companies, including the Coca-Cola Co., Home Depot, UPS, CNN, Southern Co. and Delta Air Lines.

What is an Externship (Field Placement)?

The Externship (formerly Field Placement) Program is a legal externship program that places up to 150 students with over 80 government agencies, public interest organizations, judges and corporations in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Students receive 3 credit hours for externing under the supervision of practicing attorneys, in offices that are pre-approved by the law school.

Participating organizations interview and select students from the pool of applicants who have expressed interest in that organization. All second- and third-year JD students, as well as LLM students, are eligible to apply. The applicant pool includes students participating in Emory Law’s TI:GER and Transactional Law Certificate programs, as well as students eligible to represent clients in court under Georgia’s Third-Year Practice rules. 

Currently, students who are selected and accept the externship receive 3 credit hours for at least 120 hours of fieldwork at the placement during a semester, in addition to submitting written assignments and fulfilling other requirements at the direction of Sarah Shalf, the administrative professor and director of the Program. Starting in Fall 2013, students will attend a weekly class focusing on one of eight practice areas, in which students will be able to discuss the ethical issues, substantive and procedural law, professional skills and career paths relevant to their placement. The overall time commitment, including the class and all related assignments, as well as the fieldwork, will be 150 hours (for 3 credit hours).

What Our Students Have to Say

Some student comments about their experiences in the field placement program.

"It's great! It let me see life outside the theory of the classroom. It's an early glimpse of the real world." - Atlanta Legal Aid

"Get the word out to students what an incredible experience this is!" - Atlanta Legal Aid, Health Law Unit

"This placement gave me the confidence that I will be an effective attorney—on top of that I have an appreciation for pro bono work, and I know I will continue to be active as a volunteer lawyer throughout my career." - Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation

"I think it's a great program—get hands on experience, build your resume and get a head start in learning from seasoned attorneys." - Dekalb County Public Defender

"I learned and improved numerous skills that cannot be adequately conveyed in class. The field placement program is a great asset." -Federal Aviation Administration

"I am thankful for the opportunity to have participated in the program. Interning at Coke was a wonderful experience!" - The Coca Cola Company

"It would be really wonderful if everyone could get to do a judicial field placement. I think the perspective it gives you on the legal system and society in general is invaluable whether a student plans to do litigation or transactional work." - State Trial Court

"This is the best program—doing legal work makes me want to be a lawyer." - Southern Center for Human Rights