Externship Program

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Real World Practical Experience

Externship Program

Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Externship program offers great opportunities for hands-on legal experience and academic credit at the same time. In fact, our externship program is ranked 18th in the nation based on the ratio of externships the school has placed and the number of full-time students. For total enrollment based on full-time and part-time students, Thomas Jefferson is 5th in the nation. These rankings are based on data from the Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools, 2013 edition. In all, 441 Thomas Jefferson students, representing 61 percent of the student body, participated in externships in 2012.

Placement opportunities are plentiful and varied, ranging from traditional settings such as the United States Attorney’s Office to local biotech corporations to international settings like The Hague. We have externship placement opportunities in law firms of all sizes and practice areas and a number of opportunities at nonprofit, issue-focused organizations.

Students who have successfully completed the Evidence course, or are concurrently enrolled, can become certified law clerks and, thus, be able to make court appearances. Externships provide students an opportunity to develop and hone their research and writing skills. They also work closely with practicing attorneys, and have interactions with clients.

Externship areas of practice include civil litigation, corporate transactions, criminal prosecutions, criminal defense, tax, estate planning, immigration, family law, intellectual property and child welfare and custody.

Students also attend Externship classes and receive individual mentoring.

The Judicial Externship Program

Students participating in the Thomas Jefferson School of Law’s Judicial Externship Program have a unique opportunity to work in a judge’s chamber during their law school careers. Students can earn academic credit as they work for a Federal or California State Court Judge.

Students participate in judicial seminars, receive individual mentoring, have the opportunity to research, write and advise the court on a wide variety of legal issues, and observe courtroom proceedings. Students often have the chance to draft judicial opinions and to play a very special role within the judges’ chambers.

Thomas Jefferson students have been placed with federal judges, justices from the California Court of Appeal, the State Superior Court, the Probate Court, and the Family Court.

For more information on externships, students should contact the Externship and Pro Bono Programs Office.

Judybeth Tropp, Esq. jtropp@tjsl.edu, Director of Externships and Pro Bono Programs