General Course Description

An externship placement for academic year (fall and spring semesters) is a one semester SIX credit class offered for FOUR ungraded (pass/fail) credits and TWO graded credits. The pass/fail credits will be awarded based on the completion of the requisite hours per semester at the placement. These credits are considered in classroom credits. The graded credits will be awarded based on participation in a classroom component designed to accompany the legal area of the placement. The criteria for admission will depend on the particular program; hence students must meet the admission criteria for the specified placement. Each placement (excluding the Advanced Placement) will have a classroom component designed to provide substantive and procedural knowledge regarding the law. In addition to work at the placement, students must complete a weekly journal to reflect on completed assignments, to provide data for discussion about the demands and constraints of the roles of lawyers and judges, and to assist the professor in understanding the nature of the placement.

While established placements may be utilized, students may choose to locate and arrange externships on their own however, FINAL APPROVAL REQUIRED BY THE LAW SCHOOL. Students can secure externships at a governmental or non-profit agency. These externships are not only intended to expose our students to legal skills but also to legal practitioners. The placement agency must guarantee that the student will have frequent and close interaction with attorneys. Secondly, the placements are intended to expose students to the ethical issues raised in the actual practice of law. Consequently, the placement should offer an opportunity to confront and discuss real ethical problems. Finally, the requirement that the placements occur in a governmental or non-profit venue is the manifestation of the judgment that externship should reflect a conscious commitment to public service.

Course Prerequisites

Professional Responsibility is a prerequisite/co-requisite for all placements. Generally, Evidence and Criminal Procedure are strongly recommended for criminal placements and may be required by the placement. Additional prerequisites may be added by the placements.

Application Procedures

MANDATORY CONFERENCE: PRIOR to enrolling in the externship, EACH student must confer with the Director to assess the educational experience the student is seeking, and to identify placement which are most likely to be responsive to the student’s interests. Each student must bring to the meeting or attach to the email: a current resume and should prepare for the meeting by reviewing the Externship Placement Directory to identify those placements which may appear of interest.

  1. Complete the Externship Application with all the required documentation by the due date.
  2. Prepare a cover letter for ALL agencies or areas for which you hope to work. Your Statement of Interest will be sent to that agency for their decision along with your transcript and writing sample.
  3. If your placement requires certification by the Board of Bar Examiners, you must have completed 48 credit hours and have received your letter of clearance from the Board of Bar Examiners before the term begins.

Certified Legal Intern Requirements (CLI)

The Supreme Court of Florida's Rules Regulating the Florida Bar permit certified students to engage in the supervised practice of law as part of a law school law practice program. Under the supervision of a member of The Florida Bar approved by the School, certified students may represent indigent clients in civil or criminal matters. Students are certified by the Florida Supreme Court for practice through application and by meeting the requirements of Chapter 11, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar.

To be eligible to become a CLI, you must first register with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and receive a "clearance letter." This may take at least 3-6 months. A copy of this letter is required as part of your application to the Externship Program. There are two ways to register with the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.

  1. Students can choose "student registration," as part of the normal application for the Florida Bar.
  2. Students can choose "Certified Legal Intern (CLI) Registration" only. For more information, see the FAQ at Pay particular attention to the questions: "May I register as a first-year law student" and "How do I meet the clearance requirement for the Certified Legal Internship (CLI) program." All CLI certification expires in 18 months OR upon graduation.