The Public Service Externship is a clinical course in which law students earn academic credit while working in the offices of state or federal judges, legislators, government agencies, or non-profit agencies. Through the externship course, students receive exposure to a wide range of public service practice settings, gain practical work experience, and get the opportunity to see first-hand the workings of a judge’s chambers, a legislative office, or a government or non-profit agency. Examples of recent placement opportunities include externships with judges on the Arkansas Supreme Court, the United States District Court, and the United States Bankruptcy Court; externships with the Arkansas General Assembly; and externships with agencies such as the Federal Public Defender, the ACLU of Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, and Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families.
The Public Service Externship has two primary components:
- the placement setting in which the student extern performs legal work on-site under the direction of a field supervisor
- a related seminar class taught by the Director of the Externship Program that meets weekly during the semester to discuss assigned readings, the students’ work experiences, and other topics pertaining to their externships
Students participating in a first externship are required to complete at least 100 hours of service at their placement site and attend the weekly seminar class. Students participating in a second externship are required to complete 115 hours of service at their placement site, but they do not have to attend the seminar class. Enrollment in the course is limited, and students are selected to participate through an application process conducted by the Director of the Externship Program.
For more specific information about the academic requirements of the Externship Program, please see the Public Service Externship Overview. For more specific information about the rules of the Externship Program, please see the Public Service Externship Rules.
Externship Program Contact
Kelly Terry, Associate Professor of Law, Director of Public Service Externship Program and Pro Bono Opportunities