Externships Provide Learning Experience on a Statewide Scale


At the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law, our students don’t just learn how to think like lawyers, they learn how to work like them too. Our school’s skills courses, internships and externships provide opportunities for students to gain the invaluable real-world experience that will set them apart upon graduation. Through our Program on Law and State Government (PLSG), McKinney Law offers externships in nearly 60 government offices. McKinney students can be found in the Office of the Governor, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Department of Homeland Security, just to name a few. Under the direction of Professor Cynthia Baker, the program also sponsors a fellowship symposium during the fall semester that is coordinated by two PLSG Student Fellows who select the topic, invite all speakers, present papers, and handle logistics for the event.

Luke Bielawski, J.D. Candidate, December 2013, had already completed a Program on Law and State Government externship in the Indiana Senate during the 2011 budget session and applied for an externship in the Indiana Governor’s office because “I wanted to gain some experience from another branch,” Bielawski said.

Governor Mike Pence, ’86 said “These two dynamic young men made important contributions to the early days of the administration.” Bielawski and Keaton Miller began their externship in the governor’s office two weeks after Pence’s inauguration.

In addition to being a 2L, Miller also is earning a master’s of business administration degree on the IUPUI campus. “I knew I wanted to participate in an externship because I place a high value on experiential learning – there are some things that just can’t be learned from a casebook or the Socratic method,” Miller said. “In addition to legal research and writing, I also helped the new administration implement a variety of processes for several gubernatorial duties, such as judicial appointments, bill signings, rule promulgations, and pardon considerations.”

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