In the fall of 2011, the Law School began a new externship initiative, allowing students to apply for a broad range of potential externship opportunities at government agencies and non-profit organizations and, if approved for enrollment in the Law Externship program by the Externship Director within the first two weeks of the semester, to receive appropriate academic credit for participation. The point of contact for this initiative is Externship Director Jane Heymann, Room 5103 (email@example.com).
In order to receive academic credit for an externship, a student must devote a minimum of 45 hours of work for each academic credit, and must submit periodic reports on the externship experience, including a final paper reflecting upon the value of the externship. Students enrolled in the Law Externship course for academic credit may not receive compensation for their work at the externship site, but can be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the field placement.
Since the fall of 2011, students have completed externships, or are currently working as externs, at:
- the Wisconsin Department of Revenue
- the IRS Office of Chief Counsel's Milwaukee regional office
- the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Wisconsin
- the Oneida Tribal Court
- the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
- the Office of the Governor of Wisconsin
- Gathering Waters Conservancy
- the Dane County Corporation Counsel
- Clean Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF)
- the Wisconsin Public Defender's Office
- the Federal Defender's Office
- University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics
- the Stockbridge-Munsee Community
- the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
- the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chicago, IL regional office
- the Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature/Legislative Counsel's Office
- the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging
- ABC for Health
- the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Chicago regional office
- the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
- the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- the Freedom From Religion Foundation
- the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
- the Waukesha County Corporation Counsel
- the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR)
- the Illinois Attorney General's Office
- the University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of Legal Affairs
- the Legal Aid Society of New York
Students interested in a field placement for credit are encouraged to meet with Ms. Heymann to discuss which organizations might be the best fit for the student's career goals and interests. For-credit externships can be arranged during the spring, summer and fall semesters. In addition, for students with some flexibility, school-year externships outside of Wisconsin can be arranged, and it is possible for a student to earn as many as 12 credits for an externship if the student works virtually full-time at, e.g., a federal agency in D.C. or at one of the agency's regional offices in some other city. An excellent resource for learning about which agencies operate externship programs for law students during the fall and spring semesters is the Government Honors and Internship Handbook, a password-protected online publication that the UW Law School Office of Career and Professional Development subscribes to -- students may obtain the username and password from the OCPD.
Set forth below is a list of just some of the many organizations that have established externship programs for law students. They are divided into a list of organizations within the State of Wisconsin where students might consider externships, followed by a list of organizations outside of Wisconsin that host law student externs. The possible externship placements, however, are by no means limited to the organizations on these lists -- students are encouraged to propose externships at organizations and agencies that offer the sort of experience and skills training that the students are most interested in obtaining. If a student is interested in arranging for an externship at an agency or organization that has not previously hosted UW Law School student externs, the agency or organization will be asked to complete and submit an application form. Whenever possible, externship opportunities that we become aware of will also be posted in the Job Bank on Symplicity.
A sampling of organizations hosting law student externs within Wisconsin:
The Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging, Madison, WI
The Wisconsin Institute for Health Aging, www.wihealthyaging.org, a non-profit organization based in Madison, dedicated to bringing evidence-based health promotion programs in healthy aging, is looking for two law students interested in elder law and/or health law to do research. WIHA is looking for a law student to research the Affordable Care Act to identify areas where the law provides incentives for health care organizations to sponsor and offer health promotion/prevention programs as well as opportunities for reimbursable services in prevention for older adults (e.g., falls prevention, managing chronic conditions, diabetes management, medication management, caregiving, etc.). They are also looking for someone (perhaps the same person) to research the process and design a business plan for seeking Medicare/Medicaid/private insurer reimbursement to health care providers and/or WIHA for offering some of the WIHA's evidence-based prevention programs, specifically in falls prevention, chronic disease self-management, and diabetes self-management.
The supervising attorney, Ms. Abramson, indicates that she will meet with the student in person, design a work plan and timetable, give the student some background and head them off in some of the right directions, and then expect regular outlines, updates and ultimately a completed legal memo on each topic. In exchange, the student would have a paper for a real organization that they could use in their "portfolio" to show their stuff and, hopefully, a well-deserved very positive letter of reference from Ms. Abramson.
This opportunity is available to 2Ls and 3Ls either as a volunteer opportunity, or as a for-credit externship opportunity. If you are offered this position and would like to obtain academic credit for your work, please contact Jane Heymann, the Law School's Externship Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants should provide a resume and a cover letter (two page maximum) to Ms. Abramson that explains why he/she is interested in the externship (substantive issues, skills or both) and how the individual believes this externship will be a valuable component of his or her legal education; the skills and experiences that the applicant would bring to the externship; the skills and experiences the individual hopes to gain from the experience; and an example of a situation where the applicant worked with modest or minimal supervision and kept him/herself on track to meet project/work goals. Also state whether you have a valid driver's license and access to an insured automobile; and state the number of credits you hope to gain in the semester.
Social Security Administration, Madison Hearing Office
The Madison Hearing Office of the Social Security Administration is offering to serve as an externship site for up to two students. The hearing office staff includes six U.S. Administrative Law Judges, two senior attorneys, and eight attorney-writers along with paralegals and support personnel. The externship would entail working between 10 and 15 hours per week, and would include working directly with the ALJs and attorneys, writing decision drafts, researching legal issues, attending disability hearings, helping judges prepare for hearings, etc.
Qualified applicants would have excellent legal writing skills, and an interest in administrative and social security law. If you would like to be considered, please submit a letter of interest and resume to the Law School's Externship Director, Jane Heymann, by email, email@example.com. Only U.S. citizens may be externs at the Social Security Administration.
University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Office of Compliance and Privacy
The University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Office of Compliance
and Privacy typically hosts one law student extern to work 15 hours per
week during the spring, summer or fall semesters.
Under the supervision of Director of Compliance/Associate General Counsel Daniel Weissburg, externs participate in the range of activities undertaken by the Compliance Dept. These include assisting with and/or conducting research/audits/investigations to ensure compliance with state and federal laws in a wide range of areas such as revenue cycle (coding and billing), conflicts of interest, privacy/data security and medical research; developing information, training and other educational resources for use with a full range of staff; and responding to individual requests or concerns from a wide range of sources throughout the organization. Externs are exposed to significant aspects of healthcare compliance law through investigation, legal research and writing, and written and oral communication to a wide variety of audiences. Externs will also be expected to maintain and project a highly attuned sense of professional ethics and manage confidentiality needs.
Because the Compliance Department operates separately from the UWHC Legal Department, externs will not work closely with other attorneys. Externs will, however, have the opportunity to occasionally attend meetings with other attorneys including the Chief and Deputy Chief General Counsels of UWHC. Please note that the UWHC Compliance Department is located at 8501 Excelsior Drive, on the far west side of Madison, not at the main hospital location at 600 Highland Avenue.
Law students should submit a resume and a cover letter describing
their experience and interest in the field of healthcare, health law and
compliance to Diane Reed, Compliance Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Candidates of interest will then be interviewed in person or by phone
prior to being accepted as externs. Qualified applicants will have a
demonstrated interest in and ability with healthcare, legal and
compliance issues; familiarity with health systems and medical
terminology; effective and efficient legal and regulatory research
skills; and the ability to interact and communicate with individuals at
all levels of the organization in a team-based environment.
A student who is offered, and accepts, this externship opportunity and works for 15 hours a week for 12 weeks during a semester can earn 4 credits through the Law School's Law Externship Program (you must devote 45 hours of work over the course of the semester for each credit earned). If you are offered, and accept, this externship opportunity, contact Jane Heymann, the Law School's Externship Director, who will explain the requirements of the Law Externship program and give you permission to register for the appropriate number of credits.
University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics Office of General Counsel
From time to time, the Office of General Counsel of the UW Hospital & Clinics is able to host a third-year law student extern. The Office of General Counsel is located in the main hospital building at 600 Highland Avenue in Madison. A rising 3L student interested in being considered for an externship there should submit a resume and letter of interest to Ms. Tiffany Roepsch at email@example.com.
Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division, hosts a law student extern from time to time, for about 10 hours per week. An interest in, and ideally coursework or experience in, securities law would be very helpful. The extern may perform some or all of the following functions: work with the investigators on all aspects of securities fraud investigations, including preparing for and participating in witness interviews and assisting with discovery; working with the examiners on registration and compliance matters; and product registration activities, including reviewing securities registrations applications and participating in discussions about crowdfunding exemptions. Interested students should send a letter of interest and a resume to Leslie M. Van Buskirk, Attorney Supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org
GWAAR Elder Law & Advocacy Center
The Greater WI Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR) Elder Law & Advocacy Center provides legal services to individuals age 60+ through statewide Elder Benefit Specialist Programs focusing on public benefits and benefits counseling, consumer issues, housing, and health insurance coverage. The organization would like to host two to three law student externs each term. The organization is very flexible in terms of the number of hours per week the extern works, and the number of academic credits the extern registers for. The office is located at the corner of E. Washington Avenue and Stoughton Road, on a bus line, so a car is not necessary. Flexible hours between the hours of 8:30 and 5:00, M through F, are available.
Externs at this organization could expect to become highly familiar with interaction and overlap of public benefits programs and consumer law issues. The organization assists elder clients with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, landlord-tenant problems, collections issues, and small claims court matters. Externs will assist with drafting letters to landlords regarding required maintenance or improper deductions from security deposits; cease and desist letters to collection agents detailing potential client remedies for consumer violations; appealing overpayment decisions from the Social Security Administration; and drafting requests for an increase in spousal impoverishment income allocations in order for the community spouse not to lose their home to foreclosure. Additional information about this externship is available from Jane Heymann, the Law School's Externship Director, in Room 5103.
If you would like to be considered for an externship with this
organization, mail or email a resume and a cover letter describing your
availability and interest in working with public benefits programs,
health care, consumer issues, and/or elder individuals to Kate
Schilling, Legal Services Program Director, GWAAR, 1414 MacArthur Rd.,
Suite 306, Madison, WI 53714, or via email at email@example.com.
United States Trustee’s Office for Region 11 (covering the Eastern
and Western Districts of Wisconsin and the Northern District of
Placements are available in the Chicago, Madison or Milwaukee offices, during the summer, fall and spring terms. The U.S. Trustee Office is a component of the Department of Justice and is a statutory party in all bankruptcy cases. For an excellent overview of the mission and operations of the U.S. Trustee Program, review its internet site at http://www.justice.gov/ust/
Externships typically cover a period averaging 12 weeks for approximately 18 to 20 hours a week. If an extern candidate is selected, that person must go through a background check, which may take 4 to 8 weeks. For this reason, interested students should contact the office in which they would like to work, at least two months prior to the start of their desired term. Externs are selected on the basis of their sincere interest in bankruptcy and/or government law, their motivation to learn from experienced attorneys, and their willingness to commit to a fixed schedule. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume (a brief writing sample is optional) by email or US. mail to the following person:
Chicago: Assistant U.S. Trustee Dean Harvalis, 219 S. Dearborn St., Suite 873, Chicago, IL 60604; Constantine.Harvalis@usdoj.gov
Milwaukee: Assistant U.S. Trustee David Asbach, 517 E. Wisconsin, Room 430, Milwaukee, WI 53202, Dave.W.Asbach@usdoj.gov
Madison: Trial Attorney Mary Jensen, Office of the United States Trustee, 780 Regent Street, Suite 304, Madison, WI 53715; firstname.lastname@example.org
For spring 2015 externships in the Madison office, apply by noon on Tuesday, October 14, 2014. Email PDFs of your cover letter, resume, law school transcript and a writing sample to Mary Jensen at email@example.com. Students must have completed, or be contemporaneously enrolled in, a Bankruptcy Law course.
Additional information about this externship is included in the Symplicity Job Bank job posting, number 8779.
There are openings for two UW Law students in 3-4
credit externships each semester at the Madison-based environmental
advocacy organization Clean Wisconsin. Clean Wisconsin is the state's
oldest and largest environmental advocacy organization. Clean Wisconsin
works for clean air, clean water, and clean energy.
This externship will provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to run a successful legal campaign within the broader context of advocacy. This externship focuses on administrative law practice, policy development, and legislative analysis. Clean Wisconsin does substantial amounts of work at the Public Service Commission and with the Department of Natural Resources. The externship covers broad areas of environmental law, including air and energy law, water law, and natural resources law. Students will have an opportunity to work on current issues in environmental law in Wisconsin, including mining, fighting coal, promoting clean energy, and addressing runoff pollution that threatens our waters.
Student externs work with the legal department and
other program staff to provide legal research, analysis and litigation
support for the organization’s core program areas of clean water, clean
energy, and clean air. Students become familiar with administrative
procedure (for example, petitioning the Department of Natural Resources
(DNR) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), participating in the
rulemaking process, contested case hearings, intervening in
Public Service Commission (PSC) dockets, petitioning for judicial
review of administrative agency decisions), as well as core concepts of
environmental law (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Wisconsin environmental laws). For more information, please visit http://www.cleanwisconsin.org/clinical-program-for-law-students
Application requirements: Clean
Wisconsin requests that student applicants have had some exposure to
environmental or administrative law -- through coursework, substantial
undergraduate work on environmental policy, political science, or
natural science, previous internships or externships or work experience. Send
a resume, transcript, writing sample, and cover letter (1 page)
explaining why the applicant is interested in environmental or
administrative law to Elizabeth Wheeler, Staff Attorney, at
Application deadlines: December 2 (for spring semester); February 1 (for summer); and August 1 (for fall semester). If you are offered this externship opportunity, contact Jane Heymann, the Law School's Externship Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 262-6413, to learn about the requirements applicable to the Law Externship program and how to register for academic credit. You must devote 45 hours of work over the course of the semester for each credit you register for.
Wisconsin Department of Revenue
The Wisconsin Department of Revenue can host one or two externs each semester. The Department is interested in students who have completed Taxation I or its equivalent and who are available to work at least ten hours a week. If you would like to be considered for an externship with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, send a resume, a letter explaining your interest, and a writing sample to the attention of Dana J. Erlandsen at email@example.com
Internal Revenue Service, Office of Chief Counsel, Milwaukee office
Student externs assist attorneys assigned to the Milwaukee office in preparing cases for trial before the United States Tax Court, reviewing the merits of refund litigation, furnishing legal advice necessary to protect and collect tax claims of the United States (which may involve matters pertaining to bankruptcy, administrative summonses, liens, levies, decedents' estates, etc.), and perhaps evaluating potential criminal tax prosecutions.
Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation I. In addition, externs must be U.S. citizens. Please include a brief cover letter explaining whether you are interested in doing an externship during the summer, fall or spring semester. Externships require students to work at their field placement for 45 hours per academic credit awarded. This externship requires the extern to work in Milwaukee; travel expenses will not be reimbursed. Early applications are encouraged because a background check must be completed before the extern can begin work. Email your letter of interest and resume to Frederic J. Fernandez, Senior Attorney, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group
WISPIRG (the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group) is interested in hosting University of Wisconsin Law School students in externship-for-credit arrangements. WISPIRG is a public interest advocacy and organizing group located in Madison. Externs will learn the nuts and bolts of public interest advocacy -- researching developing policy ideas; strategizing how to gain political support through coalition-building, grassroots organizing, media publicity, endorsements and message development; lobbying decision-makers; researching and writing reports and white papers to inform policy debates; and conducting media outreach and serving as a spokesperson for campaigns.
Students interested in public policy and advocacy will receive extensive training and experience that would prepare them for a career in this field. They will interact with attorneys on the WISPIRG staff, but interaction with attorneys will be limited since many of WISPIRG's staff are professional advocates without a law degree. Interested students should submit a cover letter explaining why they are interested in a public policy and advocacy externship, a resume and a writing sample to Bruce Speight at email@example.com.
Dane County Corporation Counsel Office
The Dane County Corporation Counsel in Madison accepts applications from students who are interested in an externship-for-credit placement at that organization, for 11 to 12 hours a week for approximately 12 weeks (number of hours and weeks is negotiable). The office can host two or three externs each semester. Law students who work at the Dane County Corp Counsel's office assist in trial preparation of documents and witnesses, prepare legal documents including pleadings and written discovery, handle routine hearings under supervision, conduct research on a variety of issues, and observe meetings, hearings and depositions. Much of the Corp Counsel's work involves child protection, termination of parental rights, guardianship and mental commitment cases.
If you would like to apply for one of these externships, please submit a cover letter, unofficial transcript, and resume to Eve M. Dorman, Asst. Corp. Counsel at Dorman@countyofdane.com. If you are contacted for an interview, you will need to bring a writing sample with you to the interview. If you are selected for an externship, please contact Jane Heymann, the Law School's Externship Director, to discuss the requirements for obtaining academic credit for your work, and for permission to enroll in the Law Externship program.
Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin, Inc.
The Federal Defender's office in Madison accepts applications from students interested in an externship for approximately 20 hours a week in either the fall or spring semester. Externs attend weekly legal staff meetings at which they interact with all the lawyers and investigator as they discuss all pending cases and brainstorm issues. Externs accompany lawyers to client meetings and to court; review discovery and help spot legal issues; and draft pretrial motions, sentencing memos and appellate briefs.
Students interested in being considered for an externship with the Federal Defender's office should send a resume and a letter of interest to Kelly A. Welsh at Kelly_Welsh@fd.org. Applications for fall externships should be submitted by the end of May; applications for spring externships may be submitted anytime after September 1, but no later than October 15.
A sampling of organizations that host externs outside of Wisconsin:
The Office of Counsel to the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The Office of Counsel to the Inspector General (OCIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeks second and third year law students with a demonstrated interest in government and health care law for spring legal extern positions lasting approximately ten to twelve weeks during the spring of 2015. The positions are unpaid and applicants must be participating in a school-sponsored, for-credit externship program. Selected applicants must commit to working a minimum of 32 hours per week.
OCIG promotes the mission of the Office of Inspector General through timely, accurate, and persuasive legal advocacy and counsel. Legal externs will investigate cases, perform legal research, draft briefs, and write legal memoranda. Each legal extern will have an opportunity to work with all three branches of OCIG: the Administrative the Civil Remedies Branch, the Industry Guidance Branch, and the Advice Branch.
Interested students should submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and five-page writing sample by Monday, October 20, 2014. Please submit all materials as a single .pdf file. A committee of attorneys reviews the applications and selects candidates for telephone interviews if necessary. Email applications to OCIG.Lawclerks@oig.hhs.gov.
Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA: The CDC Externship in Public Health Law
Interested in learning how law can be used as a tool to protect and promote the public’s health? Law has been critical in achieving public health goals and serves as the foundation for governmental public health practice in the United States. Many of public health's greatest successes, including high childhood immunization rates, improved motor vehicle safety, safer workplaces, and reduced tooth decay, are the result of legal interventions. Today, law plays an increasingly important role in addressing emerging public health threats such as childhood obesity, healthcare-associated infections, motor vehicle injuries, and prescription drug overdoses.
The CDC Externship in Public Health Law consists of 9–14 weeks of professional work experience, for academic credit, with CDC’s Public Health Law Program (PHLP) in Atlanta, Georgia. With rolling start and completion dates during the academic year, the unpaid externship exposes law students to the public health field, allows them to explore the critical role law plays in advancing public health goals, and must be for academic credit as authorized by law schools or schools of public health. We do not offer volunteer internships or other volunteer opportunities.
The externship creates a formalized entry-level experience for 2nd and 3rd year law students who are interested in exploring careers in public health law. This opportunity might be particularly appealing to individuals who have conducted public health or other scientific research, worked with data sets and coding processes, and have a proven ability to work independently and follow projects through to completion.
PHLP is a dynamic group of public health lawyers and analysts who work to advance the use of law as a public health tool. PHLP provides services and resources such as technical assistance, publications, and workforce development to CDC programs and state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments.
The program features
- Work experience on one or more core projects with mentorship from a CDC PHLP staff attorney
- Exposure to a complex, government work environment and a team of public health lawyers with diverse expertise
- Involvement in work projects that impact the mission of PHLP and CDC
- Opportunities to co-author published articles and other materials
- Communication and mentorship with a dedicated preceptor throughout the externship experience
- Active participation in weekly PHLP staff meetings
- Opportunities to showcase
experiences in an end-of-externship presentation
To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadlines: Summer: February 28. Fall: May 31. Spring: November 1.
U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the General Counsel
Summer Externships: Each year, the Department of Commerce offers Summer Legal Internships to a significant number of first and second year law students. Because of the breadth of issues dealt with by the Commerce Department’s eight bureaus, the Commerce Summer Legal Intern Program offers a law student legal experience that cannot be duplicated.
The Summer Law Intern Program is highly competitive. Summer Legal Interns may expect to be assigned to positions that offer both valuable experience and substantial individual responsibility. Students are selected on the basis of merit. Selection will be based on many factors including: academic achievement, law courses, law review or other publication experience; moot court, legal aid or legal clinic participation; extracurricular activities; and previous summer and/or part-time employment.
Offices which usually participate in the Summer Legal Intern program are: Chief Counsel for International Commerce; Chief Counsel for Import Administration; Chief Counsel for the Bureau of Industry & Security; Assistant General Counsel for Administration (labor and employment law, government ethics and administrative law); Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and Regulation; Assistant General Counsel for Finance and Litigation (tort and commercial litigation, contract law and grant review); Chief Counsel for Commercial Law Development; Chief Counsel for Technology Administration which provides legal services to the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Chief Counsel for Economic Affairs which provides legal services to the Census Bureau. The General Counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; General Counsel for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Chief Counsel for the National Telecommunication and Information Administration; and Chief Counsel for the Economic Development Administration may also offer summer internships.
The Commerce Department offers a variety of different types of summer internships – voluntary internships, internships for academic credit or, depending on funding availability, paid internships. Paid summer internships may be offered at the GS-7 level or at the GS-9 level depending on experience and completion of academic courses. In addition to valuable legal experience, the Department of Commerce summer interns participate in many planned activities, such as a welcoming reception, lunch with experts on such topics as international trade, environmental and technology law (particularly on the legal frontier of e-commerce) and social activities.
Applications, Deadlines and Interviews: First or second-year law students should submit a resume, an official or unofficial law school transcript, and a short legal writing sample of less than 10 pages to:
Office of the General Counsel, Executive Office, 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room 5875, Washington, D.C. 20230 ATTN: Summer Legal Intern Program
Alternatively, you may apply electronically at email@example.com and you must have the subject line read “Summer Intern”. Only send one application packet whether electronically or via mail. Recruitment for the Summer Intern Program is during the winter/spring which precedes the summer internships. For the summer program, applications must be submitted to the Executive Office no earlier than January 3 and no later than March 15 (apply early for best consideration). The application, interview and offer process for this Program is structured and conducted within a specific time frame. Applications will be shared with all of the Department of Commerce legal offices. If applicants only wish to be considered by specific offices, please note your preferences in the application package. The majority of the offices participating in the Summer Law Intern Program normally require candidates to interview in person. Interviewing for the Summer Intern Program is done at a number of locations, in addition to Washington, D.C. Travel expenses for initial interviews are the responsibility of the applicant.
Fall and Spring Semester Externships: The Department of Commerce’s the Office of General Counsel (OGC) is seeking second or third year law students to work part-time during the fall and/or spring semester. Candidates should have completed, or be enrolled in, law school classes related to the Department’s practice areas, such as international trade, employment and labor law, contract and federal assistance law, administrative law, marine/environmental law, import relief laws, and export control laws.
Eligibility and General Information
Offices participating in the Fall and Spring Legal Intern program include the Department of Commerce headquarters located in Washington, D.C. , the Bureau of Census located in Suitland, MD, and at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) located in Silver Spring, MD. OGC Fall and Spring Legal Internships are highly competitive. Legal Interns will work in positions that offer both valuable experience and substantial individual responsibility. Students are selected on the basis of merit. Selection is based on many factors including academic achievement, law school courses, law review or other publication experience; moot court, legal aid or legal clinic participation; demonstrated commitment to public service; extracurricular activities; and previous summer and/or part-time legal intern employment.
Internships may be paid or unpaid. For unpaid positions, interns may receive academic credit through their law schools. An applicant for an unpaid position should inquire directly to his/her law school about requirements and programs for academic credit or funding.
Applications, Deadlines and Interviews: Second or third year law students should submit a resume, a law school transcript (official or unofficial), and a short legal writing sample of ten pages or less to: Office of the General Counsel, Executive Office, 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room 5875, Washington, D.C. 20230, Reference: Fall/Spring Legal Internship Program. Alternatively, application may be made via email by sending the information to firstname.lastname@example.org To ensure that your application is sent to the correct hiring office, please reference "Fall/Spring Internship" in the subject line of your email.
The application, interview and offer process for the Internship Program is structured and conducted within a specific time frame. Late applications will not be considered. Recruitment for the Fall Internships begins in July, while recruitment for Spring Internships begins in November. Applications for Fall Internships must be submitted to the Executive Office no earlier than July 1 and no later than September 15. Applications for Spring Internships must be submitted to the Executive Office no earlier than November 1 and no later than January 15. Applications will be sent only to those legal offices interested in having interns during the academic year.
U.S. citizenship is required. The Commerce Department does not condone or tolerate discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.
If you are offered an externship with the Department of Commerce, contact Externship Director Jane Heymann at email@example.com to discuss the steps necessary to obtain academic credit for the externship work.
Executive Office of the President of the United States
The Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Office of Administration, Executive Office of the President, seeks one or two law students to assist in providing legal counsel to offices that serve the President of the United States. Interns are expected to work at least 20 hours per week. All intern positions are unpaid.
Students selected for this program will have a unique opportunity to garner insight into the practice of law at a high level of the United States government. Previous interns have worked on a wide range of challenging, substantive matters, including appropriations and fiscal law, employment law, government ethics, information and records management law (including the Presidential Records Act), litigation, and procurement law.
Additionally, OGC's "small firm" environment provides law student interns with the opportunity to work closely with senior attorneys, gain practical legal experience, and network with other up-and-coming members of the legal profession.
A University of Wisconsin Law School student who is offered this opportunity can obtain up to 12 academic credits through the Law School's Law Externship Program. If you are offered this externship, please contact the Law School's Externship Director, Jane Heymann, at firstname.lastname@example.org , to obtain additional information regarding how to get academic credit for your work.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals, must be in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0, and must be willing to be subjected to pre-employment and random drug testing. Submit your application materials via the USAJOBS website only; a Job Announcement will be posted for each hiring season.
Typical application deadlines are October 15 for the following spring semester, and July 10 for the fall semester.
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois - Fall, Spring and Summer
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, in Chicago, conducts an externship program for second and third year law students every semester. Externs must work 16 hours a week for 12 weeks, or the equivalent of two days a week, if their externship occurs during the fall or spring semester. Students participating in a summer externship are required to work for 40 hours a week for 10 weeks. Students may participate either on a strictly volunteer basis, or they may register in the Law Externship program and obtain academic credit for their work.
The work of law student externs includes assisting in all aspects of trial preparation, legal research, writing memoranda of law, drafting pleadings and appellate briefs, assisting in preparation and taking of depositions, assisting in pre-trial conferences and the trials of civil and criminal cases.
If you are offered this externship opportunity and want to obtain academic credit, contact the Law School's Externship Director, Jane Heymann, at email@example.com, for additional information about the requirements you must meet in order to get academic credit for your work.
If you are interested in applying, send by U.S. mail a resume, a personal statement reflecting your background and your interest in participating in this program, a legal writing sample, three letters of recommendation (preferably legal), and an unofficial law school transcript to Monica LeKostaj, Administrative Assistant for the Law Student Intern Program, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Dirksen Federal Building, 219 South Dearborn Street, 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604. Recommendation letters, whether or not submitted in sealed envelopes, may be included by the student with the application materials. Please make every effort to include them with the application to avoid delay. Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
For summer 2015 semester externships, application packages are due in late December 2014. For fall 2015 externships, apply by mid-April.
Additional information about these externships, including application deadlines, is available at http://www.justice.gov/usao/iln/interns.html
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
The SEC is seeking bright, innovative, results-oriented individuals for its 2015 Spring Honors Program in the Washington, D.C. home office and its 11 regional offices. The SEC offers law students robust responsibilities and experiences that enhance their legal careers. Over the course of the ten-week program, students work with Commission staff on projects particular to the specific Division or Office to which they are assigned. Students also have the opportunity to participate in seminars/workshops, roundtable discussions, a mentoring program, and tours that provide detailed information and guidance on securities laws.
In most regional offices, externs work either for litigators or investigative attorneys in the Enforcement Division. In Washington, D.C., interns work for a range of offices and divisions.
Law students must be enrolled at least half-time in an accredited law school to participate. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and a GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred. Applications must be submitted online through the USAJOBS website at http://applicationmanager.gov/ -- look for Job Announcement Number 15-SP-SHPL-LMN, Control Number 378072000. The application deadline is October 21, 2014, for spring 2015 externships.
City of Chicago Department of Law
This program is designed to provide students with a challenging externship that reflects the demands and rewards of public service. Participants in the Extern Program are not compensated; however, course credit is available. Work schedules will be determined in accordance with your school’s externship requirements and your Department of Law supervisor. Please consult with Jane Heymann, Externship Director at University of Wisconsin Law School (Room 5103; firstname.lastname@example.org), if you are accepted to this externship program so that she can advise you of the requirements for obtaining academic credit for the externship.
The participant will be assigned to one of the practice divisions within the law department. More information about the various departments is available on the Externship Program's website. The student will be assigned a supervisor who will coordinate assignments. Together, the chosen participant and the supervisor will determine the start date, the hours to be worked and the date on which the program will end for the individual. Please note that residency is not required for these unpaid positions.
Application Process: In order to begin the application process, a hard copy of your materials must be mailed or hand delivered to the address below. E-mail applications will not be accepted.
- Cover letter (In addition to identifying your Division preference, please indicate that your application is for the Externship Program)
- Law School Transcript
- One writing sample that must be between 5 and 20 pages in length. You can find the City of Chicago Dept. of Law's Writing Sample Policy on line at http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/dol/Forms/DOLWritingSamplePolicy.pdf
Forward Application Materials to: Legal Recruiter, City of Chicago Department of Law, 30 N. La Salle – 1640, Chicago, IL 60602. For the summer program, the application period is from January 15 to March 1. For academic year externships, there is no particular application deadline.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 (Chicago)
The Chicago regional office of the EPA hosts externs who are second or third year law students, and prefers students who have completed a course in environmental law before the externship commences. A background in administrative law and corporations is also helpful. The agency requires fall and spring semester interns to work 16 hours a week for 12 weeks, or the equivalent of two days a week, and summer externs typically work 40 hours a week. A student accepted to this program could earn 4 hours of academic credit for an externship during the academic year. Externs must be United States citizens. Additional information about the work of the Chicago regional office, and tips on the application process, may be obtained from Externship Director Jane Heymann, email@example.com
Application deadlines are rolling; applications for the fall semester should be submitted by early July, at the latest. For spring semester externships, apply by mid-November. All summer positions are usually filled by February, so apply as early in the fall as possible for summer externships.
Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript and writing sample (ten page maximum) to begin the application process. Applicants must submit these materials to the extern coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred). Submissions by mail (not preferred) may be sent to: Mr. Leverett Nelson, Associate Deputy Regional Counsel, Mail Code C-14J, Office of Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3590
Stockbridge-Munsee Community (Bowler, WI)
The Stockbridge-Munsee Community, a federally recognized Indian tribe, offers an externship experience for the summer, fall or spring semester. This externship will provide practical experience in in-house government and business issues in a tribal setting, such as employment law, contracts, governmental programs, prosecutorial research, legislative research, and drafting of tribal laws. To be successful in this externship, you must be a self-starter and be able to work independently. Much of the work may be done remotely (i.e., in Madison) but the extern will need to travel to Bowler, WI, at least twice, once at the beginning of the externship and once near the end. Externs will be reimbursed for their travel expenses. Bowler is about 45 miles east of Wausau, WI.
Students interested in this externship opportunity should email a resume, and a letter of interest identifying why they desire to extern for an Indian Tribe and what they hope to gain as a result of working for an Indian Tribe, to the attention of Starlyn Tourtillott, Tribal Staff Attorney, P.O. Box 70, Bowler, WI 54416.
United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. and other locations
Many divisions and agencies of the United States Department of Justice, in many locations including Washington DC, host law student externs during the academic year as well as during the summer. These are almost always volunteer positions, without compensation, but many of the positions are ones for which the extern could receive academic credit. University of Wisconsin Law School students can earn up to 12 credits by working full-time for an entire semester as an extern at the U.S. DOJ, through the Law Externship program. A list of the participating DOJ agencies, their locations, and the deadlines by which they select externs, can be found at www.justice.gov/careers/legal/volunteer-opp.html
Application materials and deadlines vary by agency, so please refer to specific agency descriptions for details: see www.justice.gov/careers/legal/volunteer-opp.html Early applications are very strongly encouraged.
If you are interested in pursuing an externship at the U.S. DOJ, or have been offered an externship and would like to receive academic credit for your work, please contact Externship Director Jane Heymann at email@example.com.
Several of our alumni who are lawyers at the U.S. DOJ have expressed a willingness to talk to students about externship opportunities at their particular offices. Contact Externship Director Jane Heymann if you would like information about them.
U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser
The Office of Legal Adviser seeks 2Ls for its volunteer, 20-40 hours/week Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 externship programs. Externs are assigned to a single section, but may receive projects from other practice areas. Students are given the same level of work as junior attorney-advisers. The work is varied and, in addition to topics directly related to the civil functions of the State Department, includes contracts, employment, labor, and procurement law.
The Office furnishes advice on domestic and international legal issues arising in the course of the Department's work. This includes assisting in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy, and promoting the development of international law and its institutions as a fundamental element of those policies. It is comprised of approximately 175 permanent attorneys who rotate assignments from 23 regional and functional bureaus.
U.S. citizenship is required; candidates must pass an extensive background check and be granted security clearance. The program is highly competitive. Outstanding academic achievement (top 15%-20%), relevant international experience and undergraduate degrees are important factors in the selection process.
Submit cover letter, resume, law school transcript and two letters of recommendation from academic faculty to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, March 31, 2015, for Fall 2015 externships, or by Monday, June 30, 2015, for Spring 2016 externships. Candidates will be invited to interview at headquarters at their own expense.
Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
This organization seeks approximately 20 to 30 2Ls and 3Ls for part-time and full-time Fall and Spring internships. Law students respond to inmate letters requesting legal assistance; interview incarcerated and institutionalized clients; perform field investigations; conduct legal research adn writing; attend discovery conferences; perform case preparation duties; represent juveniles in disciplinary hearings; and attend trials, parole hearings, and appellate arguments. They usually work with a group of attorneys in the Trial, Appellate, Mental Health, Special Litigation, Civil Legal Services, Community Defender or Parole Divisions.
Demonstrated interest in indigent defense and/or poverty law is required. Public interest background helpful, as are Spanish fluency and sign language proficiency.
Submit application only through the organizations's website: www.pdsdc.org/InternshipsAndClerkships/Clerkships.aspx -- applications are accepted on a rolling basis; interviews are conducted in person or telephonically.
U.S. Department of Education Office of General Counsel
The OGC in Washington, D.C. anticipates hiring six 2Ls and 3Ls for each of its unpaid, full-time and part-time Spring 2015 and Fall 2015 legal Internship Programs. Interns assist with research and writing related to providing legal advice, counseling, and filing briefs or motions in litigation. Interns may also attend attorney preparation and client meetings; Congressional hearings, particularly on topics related to education; and speeches and events in which the Secretary of Education and other senior leaders are participating. The OGC provides legal services to the Secretary of Education and other officials who support the Department's mission to promote student achievement and prepare for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and equal access. It provides legal advice and counsel regarding Department programs and operations; drafts and reviews legislative proposals, regulations, and other public documents; represents the Department in court and administrative litigation; and manages ethics and regulations programs.
OGC seeks candidates with very strong academic achievement, excellent legal research, analysis and writing skills, and an interest in education policy or law, or in government regulatory, ethics, administrative, employment, or contracts law. A background in education is helpful, but not essential.
To apply, submit by email only, to Ogcinterns@ed.gov, a cover letter, resume, writing sample (max. 10 pg), and unofficial law school transcript by Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, for Spring 2015 internships; or by Friday, July 31, 2015, for Fall 2015 internships. Telephone interviews are conducted.