Students will not be able to register for the Program on Law and State Government Externship Course or any particular externship placement available through that course on the first day of registration. Due to limited class size and the necessary process of matching individual students to their placements, registration is possible
- Educational Objectives
- Course Format
- Selection Process
- Participant Responsibilities
- Evaluation of extern
- Placement Descriptions
The educational objectives of the Program on Law and State Government externship course include offering students the opportunity to:
- Learn about the practice of law within the state government setting;
- Use and test skills of legal research, legal writing, case analysis, and statutory construction in the context of a state government legal office;
- Participate in hearings, work on administrative appeals, and assist in rule and statute drafting under the supervision of an attorney;
- Communicate legal conclusions and recommendations of legal work to supervising attorneys and state policymakers;
- Observe how various state agencies carry out statutory mandates, create regulations, defend agency actions in administrative hearings, and comment to drafted legislation;
- Experience how the ethical, policy, and legal issues of the governmental process entwine to affect Indiana's government and the practice of law within that government; and,
- Develop their ability to learn from experience and to manage their own education.
To reach the educational objectives, the three credit externship course has four components:
- required number of hours at the extern placement or doing externship activities and related work (60 hours per credit hour sought; therefore, 120 hours for 2 credits of externship placement and 60 hours for the class component of the externship course);
- six mandatory class meetings coordinated by the faculty advisor;
- at least two individual meetings between the extern and the faculty advisor during the course of the semester;
- reflective learning assignments due during the course of the semester.
The externs will be selected by the faculty advisor who, in consultation with the field supervising attorneys, will make the specific externship assignments. externs will be selected through an application process, and preference will be given to students based on academic merit, prior law related experience, interest in state government, and interest in public service. Applications from students who have completed one full year of law school and who have earned an overall grade point average of 3.0 or more on a 4.0 scale will be given priority in the selection process.
The three main participants in the externship course are: the student extern, the faculty advisor, and the supervising attorney. Success in reaching the educational objectives of the course depends on the main participants and the interrelationship between them. Outlined below are the course responsibilities of the participants.
a. Student extern is responsible for:
- Spending one hundred and eighty (180) hours, sixty (60) hours per credit sought, during the semester in externship activities and related work. externship activities and related work includes, e.g., being present at their assigned field placement, addressing the legal assignments from their supervising attorney, preparing for and attending the class meetings or individual meetings with the faculty supervisor, and completing their reflective learning assignments. Two-thirds of the required 180 hours must be spent at the legal office of the assigned externship placement. For example, for the three credit externship course, the student would be responsible to spend twelve (12) hours a week in externship activities; eight (8) of these must be spent in the field office, the other four (4) hours could be spent in the field office or at another location (e.g., law school library, law school computer center, class, or home) as long as the time is spent doing externship course work.
- Completing the experiential and reflective learning assignments as assigned by the faculty supervisor;
- Submitting completed conflict of interest, non-compensation and confidentiality statements;
- Preparing for and participating in six (6) class meeting sessions scheduled at the law school;
- Preparing for and attending two (2) individual meetings with the faculty advisor during the course of the semester;
- Submitting accurate time logs accounting for their time at the externship placement and working on externship activities and related work to the faculty advisor at the extern's individual meetings with the faculty advisor.
b. Supervising Attorney is responsible for:
- Orienting the extern to the office during the first week of the externship;
- Assisting in the skills training of the student extern by assigning legal projects to the extern;
- Providing to the extern a variety of challenging tasks that draw on the extern's legal skills throughout the course of the externship;
- Meeting regularly with the extern to discuss matters pertinent to an understanding of the legal process;
- Giving specific feedback to the extern during the course of the externship;
- Allowing extern, when feasible, to participate in, and not merely observe, the strategic decision-making process;
- Conducting a brief evaluation of the extern's performance at mid-semester and communicating that evaluation to the faculty advisor; and,
- Evaluating the extern's performance and work product in writing at the end of the externship.
c. Faculty Advisor is responsible for:
- Overall coordination and administration of the externship course, including the development, monitoring, and maintenance of the agreement between the law school and the field placement agency;
- Coordinating the class component of the course;
- Maintaining communication between the law school, the law student, and the supervising attorney;
- Reviewing externs' time logs;
- Meeting with the externs on an individual basis at least twice during the course of the semester;
- Assigning, reviewing, and grading the reflective learning; and,
- Assessing a grade for one credit of the externship course (based on the quality of the assigned reflective learning projects, the extern's participation in the class and individual meetings) and assessing whether the extern earned a passing or failing grade on the remaining credits (based on doing satisfactory work at the externship placement and meeting or failing to meet minimum the number of hours required to be spent at the field office and doing externship course related work).
- Pass/Fail portion of grade -- 2 credits. A grade of S (satisfactory) or F (failing) will be given by the faculty advisor based on whether the extern satisfied all of the requirements of the externship course, including whether the extern met or failed to meet the number of hours required to be spent at the field office (120) and doing externship activities and related work (60).
- Letter grade portion of grade -- 1 credit. externs will receive a letter grade for one credit of the externship course. This letter grade will be based on the quality of the reflective learning essays, the quality of the student's participation during the mandatory class meetings, and the quality of the student's discussion in individual meetings with the faculty advisor.
For information about individual externships, see the placement descriptions.