An externship is an opportunity for students to earn academic credit by working onsite in an approved placement under the supervision of a lawyer (Field Instructor) and with the guidance of an Advising Faculty Member. As it is an academic program, Villanova has adopted a policy designed to foster and ensure the educational integrity of the externship experience.
According to the policy, the externship host agrees to:
- commit to supervising for a minimum number of hours onsite during the semester or summer;
- designate one attorney as the Field Instructor; however, the extern may also work with other attorneys actively involved in the work of the field placement;
- involve the student in the substantive aspects of the legal practice. The extern's time should not be spent on non-legal or clerical work, except to the extent it is incidental to the work performed by attorneys in the host agency. The experience can include, but need not be limited to, several of the following:
- developing and investigating facts;
- conducting legal research;
- participating in preparing for a legal hearing;
- drafting legal documents, such as letters, pleadings, orders, and briefs;
- participating in or attending sessions in which lawyers counsel clients, witnesses, or others associated with the work of the externship placement; and
- participating in or attending negotiation sessions, conferences, or other meetings.
- complete an evaluation of the extern’s performance at the conclusion of the externship.
- the externship host must comply with the law school’s Non-Discrimination Policy.
In accord with Law School accreditation standards, Villanova uses a memorandum of understanding that defines the roles of the student, supervising attorney, faculty advisor, and program director. If you are interested in hosting an extern from Villanova University School of Law, please contact Matthew McGovern, Director of Experiential Learning, for more information