Basic Course Requirements
For the General Externship Program:
- Credit - Students may earn one, two, three or four credit hours.
- Hours – Students must complete 50 hours of field work for each credit hour.
- The number of credits available for a particular placement will depend on the type of experiences available at the specific placement; what best meets the needs of the organization and the work assigned; and the student’s needs.
- The externship course is not complete until the end of the regular semester. It is expected that the fieldwork hours will be spread out over the duration of the entire semester, although the hours need not be equally distributed per week.
- For fall and spring semesters, students must work a minimum of ten weeks. For summer, the minimum is five weeks.
- Forms – Throughout the semester and according to the syllabus, students submit learning plans, timesheets and reflective journals.
- Classes – For first-time participants, there will be mandatory externship classes and online discussion sessions held during the semester.
- Compensation – Students may NOT receive compensation for work performed at their placement at any time during the semester the student is enrolled in the Extern Program. This includes stipends and fellowship funds. However, the student can be reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, which must be approved by the Extern Director.
- Duties – Students must engage in legal and law-related tasks. These tasks vary with supervisor and assignment, but usually include legal research, writing briefs and memoranda, drafting pleadings, investigating cases, interviewing clients/witnesses, planning or implementing case strategies with supervisor, observing court hearings and depositions.
- Third-Year Bar Card – Externship students who have completed 45 hours may apply for a Third-Year Bar Card (from the State Bar of Texas), which allows a student to practice law and appear in court under attorney supervision, with client consent. Each student must have a licensed attorney to sponsor the Bar Card.