FAQ

What externship opportunities does Villanova Law support?

Villanova Law supports externship opportunities in a wide range of judicial chambers, government offices, and non-profit and for-profit organizations.  Please click here for a list of approved externship placements.  If you do not see what you are interested in on our list of approved externships, you may propose your own externship.

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When may a student participate in an externship?

Students may participate in an externship during the Fall semester, the Spring semester, both semesters, or during the summer.

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How does one secure an externship?

The process for securing an externship varies by placement. Students  may register for some externships on Novasis without obtaining any prior approval.  Other externships, however, require that the student submit an application.  For the specific requirements of each externship placement, please see the course description available here.

Generally speaking, judicial externships are filled through a lottery matching process that takes place in February for summer judicial externships and in April for judicial externships in the following fall and spring. Some judicial externship placements, however, require that you apply directly to the judge’s chambers. Please click here for more information about judicial externships.

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After I secure an externship, how do I enroll for academic credit?

Once you have secured an externship, whether by applying directly to the externship placement or applying through Novasis, you must submit the Externship and Practicum Enrollment Application for approval to become academically enrolled. If approved, you should make any necessary adjustments to your course schedule and then contact the Registrar to be enrolled.

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How many externships may a student participate in?

Experiential credit limits that are consistent with ABA accreditation have been set by the school.  Please review these credit limits, as listed in the Student Handbook, carefully.  If you have any questions, please contact Casey Romero.

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When should a student begin planning for an externship?

The earlier you begin planning the better. Many externships have prerequisites. Therefore, to make sure that you are eligible for the externship you are interested, it is best to review the externship offerings when you register for your second year classes. If your externship has prerequisites, you can be sure to take the pre-requisites as early as possible. If you have any questions, please make an appointment to speak with Casey Romero.   

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What are the requirements a student must fulfill to receive academic credit for an externship?

To be eligible to receive academic credit, you must:

  • work the required minimum hours of experiential learning on-site (3 credits, 140 hours; 4 credits, 182 hours; 6 credits, 280 hours; 6 credits over two semesters, 280 hours; 12 credits, 560 hours);
  • keep an hours log and submit it at the end of your externship;
  • complete and submit an Experiential Learning  Objectives Worksheet;
  • keep a reflection journal based upon what you are learning in your externship;
  • meet with your faculty advisor on a bi-weekly basis or, in the case of a judicial externship, attend a bi-weekly class;
  • for judicial externships, you must complete at least one significant written assignment, such as a bench memorandum or a draft opinion;
  • complete an evaluation of your externship experience at the conclusion of the externship;
  • submit a Final Evaluation as completed by your Field Instructor;
  • any other assignment as given to you by your Advising Faculty Member.

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Does Villanova Law charge any additional tuition for summer externship experiences?

No.

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Who is responsible for ensuring that a student is registered for an externship?

It is the student's responsibility to ensure that the student is registered for the externship.

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May a student decline an externship?

It is not uncommon for students to apply to more than one externship placement in a given semester/summer.  Villanova Law asks that, should a student accept one externship, that he or she promptly notify any other externship placements of this decision.  In the case of the judicial externship lottery, it is expected that the student will accept the placement once matched. However, we also recognize that a student's circumstances may change since submission of the application. Therefore, after notification, students are given a brief period of time (i.e., a few days) to decline the matched judicial externship placement. Once a student accepts an externship placement, the student is expected to follow through and will be permitted to withdraw only in extraordinary circumstances.

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May a student withdraw from an externship?

Because externship placements, faculty, and fellow students rely upon commitments made by students, once a student affirmatively accepts an externship, the student is committed to participate in that externship and may not withdraw except under extraordinary circumstances and with the approval of the Academic Dean or the Director of Experiential Learning.  Additionally, once the student accepts an externship placement, the student commits that he/she will not transfer to another school, attend a different school as a visiting student, or study abroad during the summer or semester of the externship.  Poor class scheduling is not an “extraordinary circumstance” justifying a withdrawal from an externship because students who accept an externship are expected to schedule their course load to accommodate the externship.

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May a student participate in a clinic and an externship in the same semester?

No. Villanova Law’s externship policy prohibits a student from participating in a clinic and an externship in the same semester.

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May a student work and also participate in an externship during the same semester/ summer?

Villanova Law generally does not prohibit holding a job while enrolled in an externship, provided that it does not pose an ethical or time management conflict. It is important that you notify both your employer and your Field Instructor and Advising Faculty Member so that both may check for potential conflicts of interest. Please note that you may not hold a legal work position while participating in a judicial externship. In addition, the externship must be your first priority when it comes to time-commitments. Therefore, you should not commit to both a job and an externship until you have discussed this issue with Casey Romero.

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Do students receive a letter grade for externships?

No.  Externships are graded pass/fail.

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How many academic credits can one earn in an externship?

Students can earn between three (3) and twelve (12) academic credits at an externship placement. Please note that the criteria required to qualify for twelve (12) academic credits is high. If you wish to pursue twelve (12) academic credits at a placement, please discuss this issue with Casey Romero.

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May a student participate in two subsequent externships at the same externship placement?

Generally, students are limited to a single externship at each externship placement. In rare cases, Villanova Law may approve a second externship upon a showing that the experience in the second externship will be materially and substantively different from the experience in the first externship. 

Special rules apply to judicial externships. To receive academic credit for a second judicial externship, the second externship must be with a court of a different level than the court of your first externship. For example, if you have completed an externship with a trial court judge, you may be eligible for a second externship with an appellate judge.  

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Externship Information Form

to be filled out and turned in to the Office of Financial Aid

Questions About Externships?


Casey Romero

Email


Tel: 610-519-7812

Check our FAQs page

Summer Externships

Villanova Law's Summer Externship Program participants can earn three (3) academic credits through guided and close learning experiences with practitioners in judicial chambers, government offices, non-profit organizations, and private firms.  

    To gain academic credit, each participant attends an Orientation each May that is taught by practitioners experienced in mentoring and supporting law student learning. Additional details about Orientation will be posted as each summer approaches.