Legal Externship Program

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The goal of the Florida International College of Law Externship Program is to expose law students to the legal profession through a practical educational experience within a variety of contexts.  Externships serve as a framework for a more concrete understanding and management of the professional, ethical, and personal challenges that are an inherent part of legal profession.  The various externship sites offer hands-on opportunities to observe the legal and judicial systems at work.  In most cases, students will interact with and provide advocacy on behalf of “real clients,” and engage in relevant legal work under the supervision of practicing attorneys or judges.  Moreover, externships provide students with an understanding of the practice of law “in the trenches.”  Students are given an opportunity to concretely conceptualize what it means to be an attorney or judge. Students step out of the classroom, into the field, and are afforded the chance to learn by doing and observing under the guidance of a supervising attorney.  The faculty-led seminar accompanying the field placement, serves as a venue for review of substantive issues, self-assessment, and reflection upon the skills, values, and professional obligations that prevail in the practice setting.


Phyllis Williams Kotey
Clinical Professor of Law
Director of Externship and Pro Bono Program

Zoraya Ledesma
Senior Administrative Assistant

Externship Courses

Civil45Professional Responsibility
Criminal48 and letter of clearance from the Florida BarProfessional Responsibility, Evidence and Criminal Procedure – Investigation
JudicialCompletion of Foundation Curriculum (includes all 1L courses).None
Advanced ExternshipHaving completed the initial externship

General Information

During the academic year (fall and spring semesters), the Criminal and Civil Externship courses are one semester for FOUR ungraded (pass/fail) credits.  The credit will be awarded based on the completion of the requisite hours per semester at the placement.   These credits are considered in classroom credits and do NOT count as credit for non classroom work.  Credit will also be awarded based on participation in a classroom component designed to encourage students to think critically, ethically and reflectively about the practice of law.  The criteria for admission will depend on the particular program; hence students must meet the admission criteria for the specified placement.   During the summer, all placements (excluding the Advanced Placement) will be comprised of two separate courses for TWO graded and FOUR pass/fail credits.

The courses offered through the Judge Aaron B. Cohen Judicial Externship program vary from four (4) pass/fail credit for most placements to six (6) for those selected for placements at Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee.  Each Judicial Externship entails similar general duties, with some variation from court to court. Duties will be defined by the Faculty Supervisor and the individual Judge. Duties for judicial externships may include, but are not limited to:  performing legal research, preparing legal memoranda, and observing court proceedings.

The Advanced Externship Placement is an externship placement for variable (2 – 4) credit hours for those who have taken a previous externship and wish to continue at the same placement or switch to a different placement for additional experiential opportunities.