Externships & Apprenticeships

Regent University School of Law offers students the opportunity to gain practical legal experience through its program of apprenticeships and externships.

Students in an externship/apprenticeship normally earn one academic credit hour for each 50 hours of field work (exception: ACLJ summer externship program, in which students earn one academic credit hour for each 60 hours of field work, and must do a minimum of 2 academic credit hours). Externships/apprenticeships are approved on a case-by-case basis.

Students who desire to participate in an externship/apprenticeship should first consult with the Faculty Supervisor (see course schedule). The student must then complete an Individual Study Form to be signed by the Faculty Supervisor, as well as a written Internship Proposal Form signed by the student. Both forms are then submitted to the Records Office (RH 240).

Law 595 - Apprenticeship
(Student must complete 60 hours of academic credit before seeking an apprenticeship opportunity.)

Honors students or students possessing at least a 2.800 cumulative law GPA (or other students by petition) are eligible to earn between 4 and 10 credit hours in an apprenticeship. Students will directly experience and participate in the practice of law by working under the supervision of a practicing attorney or judge in a government office, judicial chamber, nonprofit organization, or private firm, with oversight by a full-time faculty member. For the 2018-19 academic year, Regent Law will allow students to be compensated by their externship site and still get externship credit. Enrollment in apprenticeships is limited to the student's third year of law school and maybe done in the student's home state, Prior site approval is required. The Apprenticeship is graded as pass/low pass/no pass.

A student must complete fifty (50) hours of work for each credit hour of apprenticeship for which (s)he is registered.

Law 795 - Externships
(Student must complete 30 hours of academic credit before seeking an apprenticeship opportunity.)

Students may earn up to 5 credit hours for legal externships during their years of legal study, and may enroll for up to 5 hours in any one term. Through externships students will experience the practice of law and develop professional skills by working off campus under the direct supervision of one or more attorneys, in governmental offices, or in a judicial or other approved placement. The externship may include a classroom component. It may be repeated for academic credit, up to a total of five (5) credit hours. A student must perform fifty (50) hours of work for each credit hour for which (s)he registers. The Externship is graded pass/low pass/no pass.

The Law School offers the following opportunities:

  1. The American Center for Law and Justice
  2. Judicial and Governmental sites (including private law firms)
  3. Legal Aid Programs
  4. Non-profit organizations.

Questions

If you have additional questions, please contact Professor Kathleen McKee at kathmck@regent.edu.

Objectives

The primary educational objectives of the externship/apprenticeship programs are as follows:

  1. 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. The School of Law structures its externships and apprenticeships to provide students with this useful practice perspective.

  2. 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. Externships and apprenticeships 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.

  3. 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/apprenticeship 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.

New Site Approval Process

To check if your requested site is already on the Approved Site list, contact Law Career Services at lawcareerservices@regent.edu.

If your site is not on the list, you must submit a petition to the faculty supervisor of record to be considered for approval. Each petition for a proposed program shall supply the following information obtained from the potential site supervisor:

  1. The specific educational objectives of the program, consistent with the objectives set forth above. The educational objectives shall be stated in sufficient detail to provide direction in the activities of the program.
  2. A statement describing the time and effort expected from the student in pursuing the educational objectives during the program. A statement of the educational benefit expected to be acquired by the student.
  3. A statement of specific tasks expected to be involved in pursuit of the program.
  4. A description of work products expected to be produced by the student.
  5. The designation of a practicing attorney or current judicial officer who will supervise the activities of the student during the program, who shall be hereinafter referred to as the "site supervisor."
  6. A statement about whether any monetary compensation will be paid to the student for any work in the program for which he or she receives academic credit.

Course Requirements

The Faculty Supervisor conducts a periodic review of the externship, including:

  1. Time devoted by the student.
  2. Tasks assigned to the student.
  3. Selected work products of the student.
  4. The field supervisor's regular detailed evaluation of the student's field experience.

During the Apprenticeship or Externship, the student will be required to submit the following materials (all included in a materials packet available for download here).

  • a goal sheet;
  • a time log documenting hours worked;
  • two representative writing samples appropriately redacted for confidentiality or a description of two assigned research projects completed;
  • a reflection paper which describes how the Apprenticeship or Externship contributed to the student's professional skills and ethical formation; and
  • a site supervisor evaluation form.

Upon completion of the program, the Faculty Supervisor will assign a grade of "Pass," "Low Pass," or "No Pass" for the student's effort.

Students enrolled in an Externship for which there is no on campus component will be expected to check the syllabus once posted on Blackboard and comply with the instructions provided in the syllabus.