Public Service Externships

Public Service Externships

The Public Service Externship is an experiential course in which law students earn academic credit while working in the offices of state or federal judges, 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 government agency, or a non-profit organization. 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, as well as externships with agencies such as the Federal Public Defender, the ACLU of Arkansas, the Arkansas Department of Energy and Environment – Division of Environmental Quality, and Disability Rights Arkansas.

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; and
  • 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. Students are expected to spend a minimum of ten weeks working at their externship placements. Enrollment in the course is limited, and students are selected to participate through an application process conducted by the director of the Externship Program.

Students interested in applying for an externship should be aware of the following prerequisites and requirements.

Public Service Externship
3 credit hours
Associate Dean Kelly Terry, Director
Rule 15 Certification Required?Completed Credit Hours RequiredNumber of students per semesterPrerequisite Courses/Other Requirements
No, although it is helpful for some externships3025First-year curriculum
Some externships require completion of additional prerequisite courses. See externship descriptions.