Program Structure

General Structure

At Seattle University School of Law our Learning in Context curriculum includes: Simulation courses, student representation of actual clients through the Law Clinic, and Externships. Externships refer to law-related placements outside of the law school, where students do legal work for an agency or court and earn academic credit. Externships are offered as an educational opportunity in which the student is closely mentored by an on-site supervising attorney or judge and also has an opportunity for reflection and discussion with a faculty supervisor in a seminar format.

There are two categories of Externship: Part Time and Full Time. Students are able to participate in any combination of full-time and part-time externships as long as the total credits does not exceed the 15 credit maximum for experiential learning. All externships include a required seminar that is included in your total credits. See details below for the specific eligibility criteria for each.

How many credits can I get for an Externship?

For a Part Time Externship you can receive between 2-6 credits, which include a 1 credit seminar. For a Full Time Externship you may take betwen 11-15 credits, which includes a 3 credit seminar (8 credits, including 2 for the seminar, if Summer semester).

How many Externships can I do?

  • Any combination of full-time and part-time externships as long as the total credits does not exceed the 15 credit maximum for experiential learning. Students may NOT do two [2] Externships at the same time or do a Clinic, with the exception of the CDEC; Arts Legal and Civil Rights Amicus Clinics, and an Externship at the same time.
  • Just as you cannot take the same class twice, you cannot do two Externships of similar substance. For example, if you have done one judicial Externship at a trial court and you’d like to do another judicial Externship, your second one must be with an appellate court. Similarly, if you do one Externship with the misdemeanor division of a county prosecutor’s office, you could not do a second Externship with the misdemeanor division of a different county prosecutor. These experiences are too similar in substance. If you have questions about whether your proposed Externships satisfy this requirement, please contact the Externship staff.

How many hours do I have to work each week?

  • During Fall and Spring semesters, four hours per credit per week (3 credits = 12 hrs/wk; 4 credits = 16 hrs/wk; 5 credits = 20 hrs/wk; 6 credits = 24 hrs/wk; 15 credits = 40hrs/wk).
  • During the shorter Summer semester, five hours per credit per week (3 credits = 15 hrs/wk; 4 credits = 20 hrs/wk; 5 credits = 25 hrs/wk; 6 credits = 30 hrs/wk). Please note that for Full-Time Externships during the Summer you must work 40 hrs/wk and will receive 8 credits.
  • You may count one hour of the time spent in your externship seminar towards your total hours of onsite work. For example, if you are enrolled in a 4 credit externship, you work onsite 16 hours per week. However, on weeks that you attend your externship seminar, you are only required to work 15 hours.
  • Note: During holiday weeks, externs do not have to make up the hours missed at their site. Please also remember that excusable holidays are determined by the sponsoring agency, not by Seattle University.
  • Note: You may not front-load your hours. For example, you may not work all of your required externship hours during the first six weeks of the semester and take the rest of the time off. Part-time externs must work through the last day of classes. Full-time externs must work through the last day of final exams for the semester.

Can I get paid for Externship work?

No. ABA accreditation rules do not allow compensation for Externship work.

Tony Reid, In-House Counsel & Administration Manager, One Reel and extern Lam Lo '09