Externships and Judicial Externships : Guidelines for Seeking Academic Credit

Externships and Judicial Externships: Guidelines for Seeking Academic Credit

1. Students can earn academic credit for work with a nonprofit organization, government agency, or member of the judiciary.

2. Students may receive a three or four clinical credit hours for a single placement during the fall or spring semester, or if working at a single placement for an entire summer (for at least 10 weeks).  Students choosing to work at a placement during an abbreviated summer session, (i.e., one-half of the summer), may receive either two or three clinical credits for that externship.

3. To receive academic credit, a student must have completed his/her first year law courses and have a minimum 2.33 GPA (i.e., be in good academic standing).

4.  A student is not permitted to receive academic credit for working for a field placement for which the student has worked previously, whether that work was for credit, for pay, or on a volunteer basis.

5. Students cannot receive credit for participation in a placement for which they receive compensation, including fellowships; therefore, if a student receives a fellowship, stipends (in most cases), scholarship money, etc., he/she cannot receive academic credit as well.

6. Students must be engaged in substantive legal work (as opposed to administrative work or work that’s non-legal in nature) at their placement, and must be supervised by an attorney who’s been licensed for at least three years who works on the placement’s premises. (Judicial Externs: law clerks and other attorneys with less experience may supervise you so long as you have the opportunity to receive final approval and feedback on your work from the judge. Court coordinators and other non-lawyers should not be supervising a student’s work.)

7. If a student is interested in a placement that’s not listed on the clinic website (at http://www.law.uh.edu/clinic), he/she should see Prof. Bonadero to determine whether the placement meets the criteria for credit. (Most judge’s chambers higher than the Justice of the Peace office and most government agencies generally meet the criteria; however, all placements are subject to Prof. Bonadero’s approval. It’s especially important to check with Prof. Bonadero concerning nonprofits.)

8. The Externship and Judicial Externship clinical courses fall within the non-substantive-hour cap, which is 12 hours.

9. If a student does not seek/receive an externship for the summer, he/she should consider doing one in the fall and/or spring semesters. Many judges and other placements take externs year-round, and the fall and spring positions are less competitive than they are in the summer.

10. Students must pay tuition to receive credit for participation in Externship Clinics/Courses. If you'll need financial aid, note that you must take at least SIX credit hours over the summer to be eligible for it. If your externship won't get you to six credits, then you'll need to take an additional course.  There are a number of two- and three-credit evening courses available during each of the two abbreviated summer sessions.

QUESTIONS? Email Prof. Bonadero at ecbonade@central.uh.edu