College of Law

Public Service Externship Clinic

The Public Service Externship Clinic enhances students' ability to learn from their experiences, trains students in lawyering skills, gives students greater insight into the workings of the legal system, and fosters in students a sense of professional responsibility.

Under the guidance of a supervising attorney or judge, student externs perform a variety of challenging tasks. Feedback from supervisors concerning these tasks creates the ideal environment for developing self-directed learning skills. Externship faculty members regularly meet or correspond with externs, reviewing their work and what they are learning.

The law school can arrange a wide variety of placements. At numerous governmental offices, courts, and non-profit agencies, law students gain practical legal experience in the areas of researching, preparing legal documents, interviewing, counseling, negotiating, and litigating.

Consistently, students find their clinical courses - including externships - to be one of the highlights of their legal education. Some are excited by representing real clients in court and at administrative hearings. Others gain stimulating insights into the legal process from working with trial or appellate judges. Regardless of their placement, all externs find that their experiences enable them to revitalize their formal education and to learn valuable legal skills.

Placements

Various externship placements have been established to meet student interest. The scope of externship opportunities allows students to explore many areas of interest. Most students extern within Lucas County at courts, government agencies, and public service organizations. Some out-of-town externships are available in the summer semester. Students are encouraged to propose out-of-town externship placements. Explore the links below for available externships in each area. The list is also available as a printable PDF.

Qualifications

One externship per student is the norm. To qualify for an externship, students must have completed their first year of law school (two years if part-time student) and must be in good academic standing.

Student-Initiated Externship

If you wish to extern with a government agency or program not listed as an established placement, you may contact the agency/office and initiate an externship. After you obtain the preliminary information regarding the placement, externship faculty will review the information, meet with the proposed supervising attorney, and approve or deny the proposed placement.

Length of Placement

In the fall and spring semesters, you work a minimum of four hours per week per unit of credit for 14 weeks. You must also attend the PSEC classroom component (see course schedule).

In the summer term, you work a minimum of 48 hours per unit of credit during the summer semester. You may earn up to six units of credit toward graduation. For example, a student who elected six credit hours would work a total of 288 hours in the field placement over the summer.

Role of the Supervising Attorney/Judge

The supervising attorneys or judges serve as teachers, role models, mentors, and friends. The externship faculty works as a team with each supervising attorney/judge to design and implement a valuable learning program for externs. Each new supervising attorney/judge meets with the externship faculty to discuss in detail their role and how it fits into the program's purposes. Finally, the supervising attorney/judge completes a mid-semester and final evaluation of the extern. These assist the externship faculty in determining grades and providing necessary feedback to the extern.

Contact

Professor Maara Fink
LC 1035
Phone: 419.530.4236
Fax: 419.530.2605
maara.fink@utoledo.edu

Last Updated: 10/4/19