The deadline to apply for academic credit for a full-time externship* —whether as part of UVA Law in DC, or an individualized externship — is generally in March. It’s easy to apply — and you don’t need to have your externship fully lined up yet. See the program requirements and more information here. If you have any questions or would like any help finding an externship, make an appointment with Professor Sprightley Ryan via Symplicity.
Why should you do an externship?
Earn academic credit while gaining practical experience working 35 hours a week at a government or nonprofit organization in your area of interest, while also writing a research paper — one that could fulfill the upper-level writing requirement — on a topic of your choice. You will learn about the law in a non-academic setting, and make invaluable connections in your field.
Why UVA Law in DC?
Work full-time in the city that is the center of law-making, and participate in a weekly evening seminar (dinner included) where you will hear fascinating guest speakers who are prominent government or nonprofit lawyers; expand your personal and professional network; meet with the other UVA Law externs to share experiences and ideas; and explore what it means to be a lawyer in D.C. (UVA Law in DC is only offered in the fall semester.)
Federal government offices and nonprofit organizations in the DC area would love to have UVA Law in DC externs. The variety of possible externship placements is boundless, ranging from the many components of the U.S. Department of Justice, to Legal Aid, to lobbying organizations, to the IRS, Senate Committees, Securities and Exchange Commission, ACLU, Children’s Law Center . . . For a listing of some — just some — of these options, be sure to check out the externship website list here.
Why do an individualized, full-time externship?
You can do an individualized, full-time externship at a governmental or nonprofit organization virtually anywhere in the U.S. or the world, so long as you’re doing law or law-related work under the supervision of an attorney. You’ll hone your legal skills and your knowledge of a particular area of law or type of practice while working under the close supervision of experienced attorneys. You’ll also work with a UVA law professor on an in-depth research paper that you might even publish. You can work in the city where you plan to practice after graduation, and start developing your professional network; or you can explore a new area that you’re considering.
Where is there more information on the externship program?
The externship webpage has lots of useful information, including a list of where UVA Law students have externed so far, as well as a list of students who externed in the fall who’d be happy to talk to you about their experiences.
* Part-time externships are also available; the deadline to apply for academic credit for part-time externships is April 15. You’ll get another email reminding you of those opportunities in about a month.