All students (including full-time and part-time JD, MLS, and LLM students) are guaranteed the opportunity to participate in at least one externship.
1L students: part-time externships starting in the summer after your first year.
2L students: part-time externships in fall or spring.
3L/4L students: part-and full time externships.
Beginning the summer after your 2L year, you may enroll in full-time externships if you have earned 60 credits by the time the externship begins AND are in the top half of the class.
If not in the top half of the class, you may still be enrolled in a full-time externship if you have a Bar Success Plan with the Academic Resource Center and approval by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
Evening students: part-time externships starting the summer after your 1L year.
LLM/MLS students: part-time externships
Must attend intensive orientation scheduled at the beginning of the semester but not the weekly seminar.
Must complete skills and values assessments, evaluations, time sheets and written reflections.
Note: Some full-time externships may be available on a part-time basis.
Rule 9 Information
Some externship sponsors require (or prefer) that student externs are Rule 9 qualified.
This qualification allows a student to practice law under the supervision of an attorney.
The site supervisor must sign your application, not the Director of the Externship Program.
Email your application materials to us. Externship Program faculty will proofread before submitting your application to externship sites.
The site will contact you for an interview, if interested. To ensure that sites are available to interested and eligible students without delay, the Externship Program requires you to accept the first offer. Please keep this in mind when scheduling interviews. We will send out your top choice application first if there is time.
To secure a place in a given seminar, you must submit the Externship Application Form and begin the process of applying to at least THREE sites within that area/seminar before the class fills.
Indicate which site is your first choice; we will send that one first only if there is time before the next semester, if not we will send out all three together.
For each semester, you should begin by submitting applications for sites that fall within ONE seminar category.
Site seminar designations are determined by our program director after a thorough process. We generally cannot make exceptions to seminar designations. Please plan accordingly.
Fall, Summer, and Spring
Legal Services Organizations and other Non-profits (Civil Seminar)
Prosecuting Attorney's Offices and Public Defenders (Criminal Seminar)
Government Agencies and In-house Counsel's Offices (In-House/Government Seminar)
Courts and Administrative Tribunals (Judicial Seminar)
International Organizations and Tribunals (International Seminar)
Legislative and Lobbying Organizations (Legislative Seminar)
Olympia Courts and Administrative Tribunals (Olympia Judicial Seminar)
(B) Apply for and accept an externship on your own:
Review information on the Externship Program website.
Schedule an appointment on Microsoft Bookings if you have not previously met with the Externship Program Faculty members.
Many federal and state government sites conduct applicant background checks, which include reviews of criminal records, immigration status, credit history and possibly questions about drug use.
Students cannot work at the site until this is complete; apply early as the process can take as long as 3-4 months.
Contact us with any questions or concerns.
Accepting an offer
You must accept the first offer you receive
Site supervisors spend a considerable amount of time reviewing application materials and expect that you are serious about working with them when applying.
Once an offer is accepted they may also conduct background checks and turn down other students.
Withdrawing from an externship can impact future applicants.
Tip – Apply to your top choice first and wait a few weeks for a response before applying to other sites.
Inform the Externship Program office when you receive an offer from an externship site.
We will register you for the seminar that applies to your site automatically; you cannot register yourself.
All externs are required to attend the mandatory semester intensive each semester
ABA Standard 304(a)(5) requires all experiential learning courses to provide a means of ongoing, contemporaneous, faculty-guided reflection. Seattle University School of Law externs satisfy this requirement through attending the externship seminar, including the mandatory intensive.
When should I start applying to externships? Is there a deadline?
It is best to apply for externships about 3 to 5 months before the start of the semester. Here are a few things to be aware of.
To apply you must email a completed Externship Application Form (PDF) to the Externship Program Office and send cover letters for your three top sites.
Most sites do not have a deadline but fill their positions on a rolling basis. Some have lengthy background checks that can take 4 to 5 months.
A few sites have deadlines and won't accept applications after that point. If the sites have told us about these deadlines, we will include them in our Externship Clinic Newsletter.
Each seminar has a cap and seminars often fill up well before the start of the semester. Once the seminar is filled, you won't be able to earn credit, even if you found the site on your own,
It generally takes 2-4 weeks to get through the whole process — this includes sending a resume and cover letter, scheduling an interview, receiving an offer, and asking the externship program to register you for the seminar. Because of this time frame, we don't usually take applications in the last month before the semester starts.
There are always more externships looking for students than students looking for externships, so if you start early and keep applying to sites, you are guaranteed to find a position!