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Course Information

Externship - Full Semester

Students wishing to pursue an externship for an entire semester must submit a proposal, endorsed by a full-time faculty member, to the Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs six weeks prior to the end of the semester preceding the one in which the externship will take place. If a student participates in a semester long externship, no additional credits may be counted toward graduation requirements, and only in the instance of a semester-long externship can the 6-credit-hour limit for externship credits be exceeded. Students may not receive credit for work for which they are paid. Faculty approval required. The externship requirements are:

LAW 7910

a) 560 hours at the externship placement (or approximately 40 hours per week over a 14-week period) for a pass/fail grade, and b) completion of a significant research paper (35-40 pages) on a topic related to the externship which will be graded work. The paper does not satisfy the writing requirement for graduation. If a student participates in a semester-long externship, no additional externship credits may be counted toward graduation requirements, and only in the instance of a semester-long externship can the six-credit limit for externship credits be exceeded. Pass/Fail. [8]

LAW 7915

Completion of a significant research paper (35-40 pages) on a topic related to the externship which will be graded work. The paper does not satisfy the writing requirement for graduation. [2]

Note: Faculty approval required.

Statement of Educational Objectives

The primary educational objective of the externship program at Vanderbilt University Law School is to offer students experience-based instruction in professional skills and values. The specific skills and values taught will vary according to placement; however, each student will engage in at least some of the following lawyering skills: legal research and writing, interviewing, counseling, investigation, strategic planning, negotiation, pretrial and/or trial practice, appellate advocacy. A secondary educational objective is to expose students to various aspects of the lawyering process, and to encourage them to reflect on the roles of lawyers and other actors in the legal system. With certain placements, students will also have the opportunity to focus on specific areas of the law in a particular legal setting.

Course Goals

The goals of the course are that students: Develop an understanding of professional responsibility issues in live lawyering settings; identify and analyze the lawyering skills they observe and develop in their field placements; and engage in critical reflection about legal practice, the roles of attorneys in various practice settings, and their own future professional careers.