Securing an Externship

The law school has over 50 approved externship placements, covering a broad range of practice areas.  If you cannot find the type of experience you are looking for among our approved placements, you may secure your own independent externship placement.  Feel free to contact Matt McGovern with questions.

How to Apply

Symplicity:  For some externships, submit an application to the externship host much like you would submit an application to a prospective employer.  We regularly post these externship opportunities – check often.   

Novasis:  Some semester externships are gained by registering via Novasis.  Like classes, participants will be selected for these externships based on the order in which they registered.  The externships for which you are permitted to apply in this manner are:

  • DA Philadelphia
  • Defender Association of Philadelphia
  • Montgomery County Public Defender
  • Villanova Capital Defense Practicum

Judicial Externship Lottery:  Each year, more than thirty esteemed members of the Bench in the greater Philadelphia region actively participate in Villanova Law's long-standing Judicial Externship Lottery.   In this program, interested students are matched, via a lottery, with participating judges.  To participate in the lottery, students must submit an application via Symplicity.  The application deadlines are generally as follows:

  • Summer: End of February
  • Fall: End of April
  • Spring: End of September

Specific application deadlines will appear in a Symplicity posting.   

Students not participating in the lottery, or who participate but are not matched with a Judge, are encouraged to seek a judicial externship independently, and apply for academic credit.  For more information regarding judicial externships, see here.


How to Enroll

Once you have secured an externship, whether by applying to the externship host, applying through Novasis, or by participating in the judicial externship lottery, you must submit the Externship and Practicum Enrollment Application for approval to be enrolled in the externship. If approved, you should make any necessary adjustments to your course schedule and then contact the Registrar to be enrolled.  If you have any questions regarding whether a placement site is appropriate for the award of academic credit, please contact Matthew McGovern, Director of Experiential Learning.



Externship Information Form

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

Questions About Externships?

Contact Matthew McGovern
Director of Experiential Learning

Tel: 610-519-3893
Office: Room 158

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.