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Program Requirements

All students considering an externship should review the law school's externship policy. This policy governs the approval of externship placements, and sets the requirements a student must satisfy to earn academic credit through an externship.  The law school has also developed administrative procedures to give effect to the provisions of the Externship Policy.  This page provides an overview of the curricular rules and administrative procedures that apply to externships.

Gaining Approval for Your Independent Externship

  • The proposed externship must be with a government office, judicial chambers, nonprofit organization, in-house legal department or private law firms.
  • The experience must be of the type of work that lawyers do. Please see the externship policy,  paragraph 7, for examples of the type of work that qualifies.
  • You must be supervised by an attorney as the Field Instructor at the externship placement.
  • A faculty member must agree to serve as your Advising Faculty Member.
  • Once you accept an offer from the externship host, submit the online form to obtain permission to enroll in the externship.  If you have any questions regarding whether a placement will qualify before you pursue an offer, please contact Matthew McGovern, Director of Experiential Learning.  You must submit this form by 5:00 p.m. on the day before the drop/add period ends.
  • Please note that many pre-approved placements are available on Novasis and Symplicity.  See the course descriptions on the Approved Placements page for more information.

Completing Your Externship

  • You must complete the minimum required hours for the placement.
  • You must complete the Experiential Learning Objectives Worksheet.
  • You must maintain a journal reflecting on your experience. Your Advising Faculty Member will provide you with instructions on submitting your journal.
  • Judicial externs must attend classroom meetings with their faculty advisor for a minimum of one hour approximately every other week during the externship.
  • Non-Judicial externs must meet with their Advising Faculty Member for a minimum of one hour four times during the externship and must attend four classroom meetings organized by the Director of Experiential Learning during the externship.
  • You must submit an hours log, Field Instructor Final Report, and Course Evaluation at the conclusion of the externship. These forms are available on the Forms & Documents page. Both forms are due on or before the last day of classes.
  • Your Advising Faculty Member may have additional requirements.

Questions About Externships?

Contact Matthew McGovern
Director of Experiential Learning

Tel: 610-519-3893
Office: Room 158

Check our FAQs page

Director of Experiential Learning, Matt McGovern

Director of Experiential Learning, Matt McGovern

Matt manages the Law School’s Externship Program and teaches the classroom component of the judicial and non-judicial externship courses. Matt joined the Law School in 2007 as a librarian and legal research instructor.  He was appointed Director of Experiential Learning in 2015. Before pursuing a career at Villanova, Matt was a staff pharmacist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. He also practiced law with the Maryland Attorney General’s Office where he represented the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Matt holds a J.D. from the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Drexel University.