Cars driving past ASU Los Angeles Campus at night

Externing in Los Angeles

The Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law offers a special program for second and third year law students who seek legal experience in governmental offices or non-profit organizations in the Los Angeles, California area. The Program offers externship credits and usually two 3-credit classes which are taught in Santa Monica, California. (Classes are usually offered in the fall semester only, but may be available in the spring.) The Los Angeles 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 must fill out an L.A. Application (available below) and submit it to Guadalupe Garcia in Career Services as soon as possible before the externship semester begins. The L.A. Application alerts the Externship Program to both student interest and externship options. Late applications may be accepted, but a timely application is highly recommended. Students do not need to have secured a postion in order to fill out the LA Application.

Students are responsible for securing their own placements in L.A. in government or non-profit organizations. A website that may assist students is Once accepted, students must provide the name and address of the agency or judge and supervisor contact information to the Externship Program.

Students will earn credit for both the externship and for academic courses taught by a law professor in Santa Monica. The courses may address subjects such as privacy, ethics, and law and economics, but they may change each semester.

Students may not earn more than 16 credits in L.A. during the semester. Most externship placements earn nine credit hours at 55 hours per credit. Students may take one or two courses while in L.A. Courses are generally three credits each.

ASU Los Angeles campus at night

Students accepted into the program will pay all standard tuition and fees required by their enrollment at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of 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.

Download application


Eligibility and requirements

Students must be a second or third year law student at the Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law in order to participate in this program. Students may not be on academic probation. In special circumstances, students from other law schools may be able to participate in the Externship Program as visiting students at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law.

The application procedures and deadlines for L.A. externships vary among different agencies and organizations. It is therefore advisable for students to examine the requirements of individual agencies and organizations many months before the externship semester begins. It is also strongly recommended that students submit the L.A. Application to Guadalupe Garcia in Career Services several months before the externship semester begins. The L.A. Application alerts the Externship Program to student interest and externship options. Late applications may be accepted, but a timely application is highly recommended.

Classes may not be offered in the spring semester and will not be offered in the summer.

Students are responsible for securing and paying for housing.

View of the corner of ASU Los Angeles campus

The Difference Engine fellowship in Civil Rights Law and Entrepreneurship

Justice is not a scarce resource.

Nor is it limited to the purview of civil rights lawyers and policymakers.

Join The Difference Engine (TDE) for a semester-long fellowship in-residence at ASU’s historic
campus in downtown Los Angeles to broaden your horizons and learn why titles like “counselor”
and “advocate” apply to our profession.

Southern California is a unique lab with a growing tech sector and some of the nation’s most
pressing civil rights challenges including pervasive income inequality. The successful applicant
will work with The Difference Engine’s Women’s Power and Influence Index team, join TDE staff
and students at events and programs, extern with the Los Angeles Office of the Equal


  • In 1-2 classes at ASU Law; one class will be a seminar taught by Professor Ehsan Zaffar in Los Angeles on Law and Inequality (planned currently for Fall 2024; students who accept an externship when the class is not offered may take another similar class in place of this one).


  • With the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for class credit.


  • Work substantively with the Difference Engine on The Women’s Power and Influence Index.
  • The successful applicant will be supported in creating relevant work product such as a law review or case note draft, for instance with ASU Law’s Law Journal for Social Justice.


Attend and help organize relevant conferences of interest, including TDE’s Annual Solutions for Inequality Gathering and at least one law-oriented Engineering Change speaker series.

  • Contingent on conference scheduling aligning with the externship schedule, TDE will support the fellow’s attendance at one regional conference during their fellowship period.
  • Should the fellow express a desire in gaining ancillary skills useful to the practice of law, such as public speaking, TDE will provide such opportunities at its annual gathering.
  • Attend occasional Thursday lunch meetings (at California Center, Broadway) with social justice and civil rights leaders that TDE works with on a regular basis, such as those from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
  • Attend meetings with stakeholder organizations and companies that support TDE’s work.

Application guidelines and model candidate

The model candidate will be a 2L or 3L law student with a demonstrated (albeit nascent) interest in civil rights and entrepreneurship. Academic performance is important but not a bar to admittance. However, the fellowship will prioritize candidates with a demonstrated interest in spending time in the Southern California legal market, as well as those with exemplary writing skills and those who are able to fund their own housing.

The statement and application will be reviewed by a panel of TDE and ASU personnel.

Applicant criteria:

  • 2L or 3L student at ASU Law
  • Willing to live and work in Southern California during Spring of 2025
  • Applicant will need to pass a background check conducted by the EEOC


  1. A written personal statement of interest (500 word max) that should:
    1. a) Share how a legal fellowship of this nature in Southern California will help your law student career. What about the region interests you and how does it tie into your journey as a law student?
    2. b) Discuss your interest in civil rights law and/or entrepreneurship generally. If you have a particular passion for labor and employment issues, please also share how you think a fellowship such as this could be helpful to you.
    3. c) How has your previous professional and/or academic experience prepared you for this opportunity?
  2. Latest copy of your resume/CV.
  3. Latest unofficial academic transcript.

EEOC requirements:

For more information or questions, please contact Emma Houston