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ASU Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law students can pursue externships in Arizona and across the nation, including popular destinations such as Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. The ASU Law Externship Program is a valuable way to obtain practical legal experience in a real-world setting and to network with prominent judges and lawyers. The Externship Program is designed to enhance the educational experience of second and third year law students by providing an opportunity to do advanced legal work that is generally not available through the College of Law curriculum. Externships are typically with judicial, government, and nonprofit organizations, and are done under the supervision of a U.S. attorney.
Students earn one (1) credit for every 55 hours of legal work completed through an externship, up to a total of 12 credits of externship work while in law school. Students undertaking externships in DC or LA can also take courses from ASU Law professors. You must have a minimum of 28 credits in order to participate in any externship. All externships earn pass/fail credits, and a total of 19 pass/fail credits may be applied towards graduation.
Through externships, our students engage in substantial legal work with Judges from across the country, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. District Court of Arizona, U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Arizona, Arizona Court of Appeals, and Maricopa County Superior Court; agencies such as the Office of the Attorney General, Maricopa County Attorney's Office, Maricopa County Office of the Public Defender, and federal and state regulatory agencies; Cities, including Phoenix, Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale and Peoria; or in non-profit settings such as Community Legal Services, The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Children's Project, Phoenix Children's Hospital, and national and international NGOs and think tanks. Simultaneously, the work students perform often provides greatly needed legal assistance to non-profit and governmental agencies and their clients.
ASU Law offers a special program for law students who seek legal experience with a federal agency or nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. The ASU Law DC programs help students acquire expertise in important legal and policy areas, develop an informed perspective on policy developments on Capitol Hill and in federal agencies, and foster relationships and gain experiences that are invaluable assets to attorneys anywhere in the world. D.C. is also home to the International Rule of Law and Security Program, which includes an externship component that immerses students in issues of global rule of law, governance, and national security at organizations such as the Department of State, Department of Justice, Congressional offices and committees, and international NGOs and think tanks.
The new Barrett & O’Connor Washington Center serves as the home base for students, faculty, and staff in Washington. Students interested in externships in Washington, D.C. may stay for a single semester, or up to a full year, providing additional opportunities to explore different areas of law and grow their professional networks. Generally, students earn six to nine externship credits and take two to three courses on-site per semester, but the program can be customized based on students’ work opportunities and individual interests.
ASU Law students who choose to spend a semester or year in Washington, D.C. pay standard tuition and fees and remain eligible for financial aid through the law school. If you are petitioning for Arizona residency, please note that leaving Arizona for this program may negatively impact your petition for residency. Once you have obtained residency, participating in this program will not result in a review of your residency status.
For more information about ASU Law’s programs in Washington, D.C., please contact Lauren Burkhart, Director of Washington D.C. Affairs.
ASU Law also offers a special program for second- and third-year law students who seek legal experience in the Los Angeles, California area. The program, operating out of ASU's California Center, offers externship and classes which are taught in Santa Monica (classes are usually offered in the fall, but may be available in the spring). The LA Externship Program helps students acquire expertise in important legal areas, obtain real-world experience, and develop relationships that are invaluable assets to new attorneys as they enter legal practice.
Students accepted into the program will pay all standard tuition and fees required by their enrollment at ASU Law and are eligible for financial aid through the law school. If you are petitioning for Arizona residency, please note that leaving Arizona for this program may negatively impact your petition for residency. Once you have obtained residency, participating in this program will not result in a review of your residency status.