For Current Organizations

Q. When will we receive applications from students for the next semester?

A. Students will submit their applications to Symplicity about a month into each semester for the following semesterís externships. You may review the applications online as they come in, or you can wait until the application period has ended, at which time, you will receive an email with all student applications. You can find out more about the Symplicity application process here.

Q. I need to get in touch with a student who will be working for us in the coming semester. Where can I find his or her contact information?

A. The best place to start is the studentís resume that he or she submitted during the application period. If you cannot locate that information or the student has not responded, contact us. We will try to locate the student for you.

Q. We have an unexpected opening for another student in the coming semester, but the application season has passed. Can we offer the placement to students?

A. Yes. Contact us to request that it be offered. We will offer it to students and coordinate receipt of applications. We sometimes offer open placements to transfer students or other students who did not get into other classes for which they had signed up. However, we try to do so once a semester to ensure students are offered equal opportunities.

Q. We need to change the structure of our placement or suspend it because of changes at our organization. How do we accomplish this?

A. As an initial matter, contact Professor Sarah Shalf to discuss your concerns and determine an appropriate solution. Then, you can change the placement information through Symplicity, or we can assist you with that process if you prefer.

Q. What do we have to provide to Emory about the studentsí work and when?

A. Midterm evaluations are due about a month into the semester, and final evaluations are due about three weeks before the end of the semester. See the Academic Calendar for more information.

You can submit evaluations of students online through Symplicity. When you log in, click on ďExp. Learning.Ē You should see students in your placement listed. Click ďEditĒ next to each studentís name to fill out his or her respective evaluations. For more information about using Symplicity, review the Symplicity User Guide for Supervisors.


For Prospective Organizations

Q. What is an externship?

A. In our externship program, organizations in the Atlanta area agree to partner with Emory Law in providing students a real-world work experience as part of their legal education, for which students receive 3 credit hours of pass/fail credit. Students are given assignments and supervised by an attorney employed by the placement organization. Students also are supervised academically by a faculty member, who assists students reflecting on their experiences to intensify the educational experience. Starting in Fall 2013, students will be taking a weekly class in their practice area taught by Prof. Shalf or an adjunct experienced in that practice area. Learn more about externships.

Q. What does field supervision of externs entail?

A. Field supervisors consult with externs to develop a set of learning goals for the placement, develop appropriate work assignments for students based on those goals, and provide guidance and feedback to students regarding those assignments. Supervisors are encouraged to take students to meetings, hearings, depositions and similar events to broaden their experience. Supervisors also provide online evaluations of a studentís performance about a month into the semester and at the end of the semester, which provides a partial basis for the studentís final grade. 

The externship director supports the supervisorsí role by providing resources on experiential learning and consulting with the supervisors about their program or individual students.

Q. How many hours a week can we have a student working with us?

A. Through Spring 2013, our program requires students to work 120 hours for a minimum of 12 weeks during the 14-week semester, so students average 8 to 10 hours a week. Starting in Fall 2013, students will attend a weekly class, for which they may have assignments in addition to their fieldwork. Their total commitment will be 150 hours, so students will work about 10-11 hours per week.

Q. Do we have to pay the students?

A. No. In fact, ABA rules prohibit students from receiving compensation for field placements. However, they can be reimbursed for incidental expenses such as parking (and we encourage placements to consider providing such reimbursement).

Q. What can externs do?

A. Externs should be performing work similar to what an entry-level attorney would be asked to do, albeit with more supervisory direction than one might expect of an attorney. However, students cannot sign pleadings or appear in court unless they are third-year students certified under Georgia Supreme Court Rules, and even then, the studentsí work must be cosigned and supervised directly by an attorney. (Emory will provide the Deanís Certificate to students who require third-year practice certification)

Students should not be asked to do clerical work or other nonlegal work, unless it is commonly part of what an attorney in the practice would normally do.

Q. Are we guaranteed to have an extern every semester?

A. No. Like in a job market, demand for certain types of placements, or for placements with certain organizations, fluctuates over time. You may not receive many applications, or you may not have many students accept your offers. If this is a concern, we can work with you to only offer your placement on a less frequent basis, change the description or structure of the placement or otherwise attempt to make the placement more attractive to students given market conditions.

Q. What do we need to do to get started?

A. An organization must be pre-approved by the Director to be offered to students. We ask that you review information about our program, and complete a short fillable form and email to us. Additionally, we ask that you make an appointment with Professor Sarah Shalf to meet you on site.