Application and registration procedures


All students (including full-time and part-time JDMLS, 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.
  • For instructions on how to apply, consult the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) website.

Note: The Washington State Bar Association does not waive Rule 9 application fees for externships. Externs, not sponsoring agencies, are responsible for paying any Rule 9 fees.

Application procedure

Step 1 — Note application deadlines

  • Site Deadlines
    • We list deadlines for all sites that inform us.
    • A profile that states “SU deadlines” means the site starts accepting applications 4 to 5 months before the semester begins and will accept applications until filled.
    • Apply early since most sites receive applications from other law schools.
  • Externship Program deadlines — Posted in the newsletters and on the website for each upcoming semester.
    • Contact us to apply for the upcoming semester as soon as possible, but no later than the application deadline.
    • Submit completed applications as soon as possible, but no later than 5 weeks before the start of the semester.
    • Note: Externship seminars may fill before these deadlines; once a seminar is filled, students cannot extern at a site for that specific seminar.
    • It is never too early to start the application process for an externship.

Step 2 — Meet with Externship Program Office

  • All students are required to meet with an Externship Program Faculty Member at least once prior to enrolling in an externship.
  • Faculty members advise students on utilizing experiential learning credits, where to apply, and important program requirements.
  • Make appointments on Microsoft Bookings.
  • Note: if you are seeking opportunities in International Law, please make your appointment with Professor Dutton.

Step 3 — Apply for an externship

Apply in two ways:
(A) Apply through the Externship Program Office:
  1. Review information on the Externship Program website and browse Externship Site Database to give yourself an idea of what opportunities are available.
  2. Schedule an appointment on Microsoft Bookings if you have not met with the Externship Program Faculty members before. You may begin the application process before your faculty appointment.
  3. Complete the Externship Application Form (PDF) and submit it to by the application deadline.
  4. Review the "materials" portion of the site profile on the Externship Site Database and gather your materials.
  5. Have the Center for Professional Development (CPD) review your resume and cover letter and incorporate their feedback.
  6. Email your application materials to us. Externship Program faculty will proofread before submitting your application to externship sites.
  7. 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)

Spring Only

  • Legislative and Lobbying Organizations (Legislative Seminar)
  • Olympia Courts and Administrative Tribunals (Olympia Judicial Seminar)
(B) Apply for and accept an externship on your own:
  1. Review information on the Externship Program website.
  2. Schedule an appointment on Microsoft Bookings if you have not previously met with the Externship Program Faculty members.
  3. Email completed Externship Application Form (PDF) and include where you hope to extern. We will determine if the site can be approved for academic credit.

Background checks

  • 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.

Externship offers

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.

Contact Us

Externship Program

Make an appointment with Externship Program Faculty on Microsoft Bookings.

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.