What do Emory Law’s externs do at their placements?
The Externship (formerly Field Placement) Program is designed to facilitate a learning experience in which students would be unlikely to find either in traditional law school courses or through their summer jobs. For example, third-year students in the litigation externships have the opportunity to appear in court and to be involved in all facets of a case from investigation, through pre-trial discovery, trial preparation and the trial itself.
Students in all externships should be involved in strategy sessions, office meetings, hearings, investigations and other “nonresearch” activities to the greatest extent possible. At the same time, students are asked to reflect on what the externship experience has taught them, taking the experience beyond a typical internship and allowing for the greatest possible professional development.
What would I have to do?
Students typically work on site 9-11 hours a week during the 14-week semester under the direction of an attorney field supervisor. Students do more than just research and write memos; they may participate in regular meetings and training sessions, work directly with clients, observe and assist in court or depositions, or function as part of a team in a transaction. In some placements, third-year students can have an on-their-feet experience in court.
In addition to the fieldwork, students attend a weekly one-hour class in one of eight practice areas, taught by Prof. Sarah Shalf or an adjunct professor who is a practicing attorney or judge in that area. In conjunction with the class, students develop learning objectives for their work experiences, and work through ethical issues, professional skills, substantive or procedural law, and career paths relevant to their practice area. Students will engage in problem solving sessions, have Q&As with guest speakers, make presentations to each other, engage in role-playing and mock exercises, and otherwise work with each other and the instructor in a dynamic, interactive environment designed to help students reflect on what they are learning at work, improve, and reincorporate their lessons back into their work.
The total time commitment, including the fieldwork, the class time, and all assignments related to the class, is 150 hours.