Legal externships give second- and third-year students the opportunity to earn up to five academic credits (a maximum of 3 credits in one semester) for work performed in a variety of practice settings.
One of a number of hands-on opportunities within Regent Law's Center for Advocacy Skills Training, legal externships offer students real-life experience working under the immediate supervision of seasoned attorneys.
The Externship Program has the following three primary educational objectives:
- To expose students to, and acquaint them with, the reality of law practice. Students who learn the law only in a classroom setting have limited exposure to the actual practice of law. Another vital element of learning the law is exposure to what real lawyers do on a day-to-day basis in the office, in the courtroom, and elsewhere. Learning criminal law and criminal procedure within the protected classroom environment, for example, does not yield the same benefit as a student’s conducting client interviews or observing how a prosecutor manages her caseload, how defense counsel prepares for court, and how an attorney tries his cases. We structure our externships to provide student externs with this useful practice perspective.
- To provide opportunities for students to engage in proper legal research and writing in the context of real-life legal problems. All law students can benefit from additional practice in proper legal research and writing. Our externships provide that opportunity in a setting where the student can receive close supervision and constructive feedback in a timely fashion. Actual legal research and writing is based on real people's problems, with real deadlines, and in contexts where the results make a significant difference in the lives of clients, attorneys, and externs. Thus students have ample opportunity, not only to hone their legal research and writing skills, but also to improve their time management skills.
- To allow students to pursue in-depth substantive learning in specific areas of the law. By necessity, professors must treat some subjects in the law school curriculum briefly. An externship gives students an opportunity to engage in deeper study of a particular legal field or topic. For example, a student interested in criminal law can gain a significant amount of substantive knowledge on that subject by working with a prosecutor or public defender.