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FAQs

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FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

  1. WHAT IS AN EXTERN?
  • AN EXTERNSHIP IS A CLASS THAT ALLOWS A STUDENT TO GAIN REAL WORLD LEGAL EXPERIENCE WHILE GAINING LEGAL CREDIT.

 

  1. CAN I RECEIVE A GRADE WHILE I AM EXTERNING?
  • LONG BEFORE THE CREATION OF THE NEW EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM, STUDENTS RECEIVED GRADES THROUGH EXTERNSHIP.  HOWEVER, THE NEW POLICY IMPLEMENTED WAS DESIGNED TO ADDRESS NON-TRADITIONAL EXTERNSHIPS, STUDENTS SEEKING MORE THAN 3 CREDIT HOURS, AND WHO WORKED OFF SITE. The externship policy already in place allowed for students to gain three credit hours while working directly under the supervision of a mentor and professor.

 

  1. REQUIREMENTS APLICATION, PROCEDURES, AND DOCUMENTS
    1. ALL STUDENTS WHO WISH TO RECEIVE ACADEMIC CREDIT FOR AN EXTERNSHIP MUST COMPLETE AN EXTERNSHIP APPLICATION, which is found online at the SULC website (sulc.edu).
    2. DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION, COMPLETE IT, AND SUBMIT IT TO THE DIRECTOR OF EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING.
    3. DECLARE YOUR EXPECTATION TO THE DIRECTOR OF PLACEMENT AND IDENTIFY HOW MANY CREDIT HOURS YOU ARE SEEKING. Approval of more than six credit hours requires the approval of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.
    4. THE APPLICATION MUST BE COMPLETE WITH: The perspective supervisor’s signature before you identify the legal site as your option.
    5. Attend all required extern classes as REQUIRED BY THE DIRECTOR.
    6. IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THE APPLICATION IS COMPLETE AND SIGNED.
    7. IF YOU ARE PARTICIPATING IN A SULC SPONSORED PROGRAM LIKE TLIP OR THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, THESE GUIDELINES ARE SUB JECT TO THE PROGRAM GOALS ALREADY IDENTIFIED BY THE CHANCELLOR.
    8. ALL SULC INITIATED EXTERNSHIP PLACEMENTS MUST BE ABLE TO SKYPE WEEKLY BY COMPUTER OR FACETIME VIA THE CELL PHONE
    9. ALL STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE A WEEKLY JOURNAL OF ALL WORK PERFORMED.
    10. CREDIT EARNED IS BY CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT WITH THE DIRECTOR OF EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING. SUBJECT TO THE APPROVAL OF THE VICE CHANCELLOR FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS.
    11. ALL JOURNALS ARE SUBMITTED BY E-MAIL, IF POSSIBLE.

 

  1. BEGINNERS TO THE EXTERNSHIP PROGRAM
    1. START BY SPEAKING WITH STUDENTS WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE PROGRAM
    2. VISIT THE EXTERNSHIP WEBSITE
    3. JOIN THEM ON THE JOBSITE IF POSSIBLE AND GET TO KNOW THE CRITICAL PLAYERS
    4. IDENTIFY THE SUPERVISOR
    5. LOOK FOR A DIRECT SUPERVISOR WHO IS A LAWYER
    6. WORK: THE WORK MUST BE LEGALLY SUBSTANTIVE IN NATURE. NOTE: PRIVATE LAW FIRMS DO NOT QUALIFY.
    7. MANDATORY ORIENTATION: ALL NEW STUDENTS MUST ATTEND A MANDATORY ORIENTATION FOR EXTERNS. THIS IS NORMALLY HELD DURING THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF CLASS.
    8. THIS IS NOT A WAY TO GAIN ACADEMIC CREDIT WITHOUT WORKING EXTREMELY HARD.
    9. TIME COMMITMENT: YOU MUST WORK AT LEAST 20 HOURS PER WEEK TO ACQUIRE 3HRS OF CREDIT. THE WORK MUST BE PERFORMED DURING THE WORK WEEK AND NOT ON THE WEEKENDS, UNLESS THERE ARE EMPLOYEE EXCEPTIONS.
    10. STUDENT SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT REGARDLESS OF AGE OR GENDER.
    11. STUDENTS MUST MAINTAIN AN EXTERNSHIP BINDER. IT SHOULD INCLUDE A TIMESHEET AND A WEEKLY LOG (THIS IS THE FOUNDATION FOR MAINTENANCE OF LEGAL FILES AND FORMS AS YOU BECOME A LAWYER).
    12. MUST SUBMIT AN END OF COURSE BINDER THAT HIGHLIGHTS SIGNIFICANT EVENTS.
    13. THE WEEKLY REPORT SHOULD DESCRIBE THE NATURE OF THE WORK, RESEARCH, PROJECTS, AND MEMORANDUM REDACTED TO MEET EXTERNSHIP PLACEMENT GUIDELINES.
    14. ALL EXTERNS MUST ATTEND A MANDATORY CLASS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE DIRECTOR OF EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING.
    15. EXTERNSHIP DEADLINES: EXTERSHIP APPLICATIONS AND SUPERVISION AGREEMENTS ARE DUE TWO WEEKS AFTER THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMESTER. IF NOT SUBMITTED, CLASS ENROLLMENT WILL BE CANCELED.

 

  1. WHY DOES IT SEEM TO SUGGEST THAT SOME EXTERNS DO NOT GET CREDIT?
  • A PORTION OF THE FACULTY ATTEMPTED TO LOWER EXPECTATIONS REGARDING GRADES BECAUSE SOME EXTERNSHIP ARE OFF SITE, OUT OF STATE, AND ALLOW LITTLE OR NO SUPERVISION. THE IDEA WAS TO LOWER THE POSSIBILITY THAT STUDENTS COULD RECEIVE CREDIT IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THERE WAS NO ACADEMIC RIGOR. WHEN GRADES ARE INVOLVED, THE FACULTY FELT AS THOUGH FACULTY SUPERVISION SHOULD BE PARAMOUNT. THE IDEA TO LIMIT GRADE ACCESS IS KEEPING WITH THE PROMISE MADE TO THE ABA.

 

  1. WHAT I SHOULD DO FIRST IF I HAVE AN INTERST IN AN EXTERNSHIP?
  • FIRST, MAKE SURE THAT YOUR STUDY SKILLS ARE STRONG ENOUGH FOR YOU TO WORK AND ATTEND LAW SCHOOL. DECIDE IF YOU HAVE AN INTERST IN A TRADITIONAL EXTERNSHP OR A NON-TRADITIONAL EXTERNSHIP. YOU MUST DECLARE YOUR INTEREST BY WRITTEN LETTER.  IF YOU SELECT A NON-TRADITIONAL EXTERNSHIP, YOU IMPLICITILY MAINTAIN THAT YOU ARE ABLE TO MEET WHATEVER REQUIREMENTS ARE SET BY THE EMPLOYER THE POSITION AND FINANCIALLY.

 

  1. A TRADITIONAL EXTERNSHIP INCLUDES POSITIONS AT:
  2. The US Attorney’s Office
  3. Various federal Judges in the Middle District, Eastern District.
  4. Bankruptcy Court, JUDGE DODD
  5. LOUISIANA SUPREME COURT
  6. JUDGE BEN WILLIARD, NEW ORLEANS DISTRICT JUDGE
  7. The District Attorney’s office
  8. The Public Defender’s office
  9. The City Prosecutor’s office
  10. Baton Rouge City Court Judges office
  11. The Attorney General’s office
  12. The Legislative Black Caucus
  13. The Court of Appeals
  14. The New Orleans Public Defenders Office
  15. The Human Rights Department
  16. The Lake Charles’ District Attorneys’ Offices
  17. The Department of Environmental Quality
  18. The Governor’s office on Human rights
  19. S. INCOME TAX COURT
  20. LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
  21. The Center for Social Research
  22. The Southern University Board of Supervisors Legal Office
  23. Southeast legal Services
  24. The Louisiana department of Insurance
  25. The Louisiana department of insurance
  26. The Louisiana School for the Deaf
  27. The Louisiana department of Veteran Affairs
  28. Southern University office of Disability Affairs
  29. WOUNDED WAR HEROES OF AMERICA
  30. VOLUNTEER OF AMERICA
  31. US DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING

 

  1. A NON-TRADITIONAL EXTERNSHIP
  2. The Texas Legislature Intern Program
  3. The Virgin Islands Externship Program
  4. The Workers compensation Agency
  5. The Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs
  6. The Governs Executive Staff
  7. The White House
  8. The American Bar Association
  9. US Council On Aging
  10. The New Orleans Police Officer Association
  11. The Environmental Legal Defense Fund
  12. The Federal Trade Commission
  13. Kaiser Family Foundation
  14. Robert Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights
  15. The SU Office of Research and Grants

 

  1. What should I do if I have an interest in a Traditional externship?
  • First, it is a student’s responsibility to contact the agency and see if they are interested in being a mentor. In many cases, other students have already worked for the agency and they are quite familiar with the program.  In many situations, we may have the names of points of contact that may make your search quite easy.  In some instances, you may have to convince an agency that a renewed relationship is in their best interest.  Some agencies have had bad relationships with prior students that have caused them to be quite cautious.  Others have had political turmoil involving the Law Center that needs mending.  There are some agencies that have had a changing of the guard and their focus may be to assist law students from their own institutions only.  In any event, you are the change agent who must make sure that they understand that your value exceeds any past discrepancies.

 

  1. What should I do first if I have an interest in an externship?
    1. Contact the agency and identify a Point of Contact (POC) for the employment relationship.
    2. Meet with them, if possible. Many will be elusive, so be determined.
    3. When and if you meet with them, carry a resume that is professional and reflects your area of interest. Remember: This is the beginning of your relationship and you may someday be back for employment or a reference.
    4. Identify your interest to the prospective extern employee.
    5. Determine if your interest and their interest, as well as your needs and expectations are consistent.
    6. Remember: Once you start absent extraordinary circumstances you must complete your journey.
    7. Talk to them about the externship program and their obligations. Many will already be familiar with the program.
    8. Ensure them that the expectations for the program are not out of line with their traditional Attorney responsibilities. The difference is that they will have a young lawyer seeking their leadership.
    9. Have them contact the Law Center as a last result. This is your contractual relationship.
    10. Set up a meeting between them and Professor North if they really need guidance.
    11. Tell them that the most important thing is to be willing to make the legal profession a better place for the future.
    12. They must be able to provide sufficient work for the students.
    13. A student should be able to work a minimum of 20 hours per week.
    14. Be able to supervise students
    15. Complete a mentor agreement
    16. Mentor Students about their legal journey
    17. Provide supervision and direction
    18. Provide feedback to the student
    19. Meet with students to help them further define their legal ambitions
    20. Complete a mentor Agreement

 

  1. Externships in a nutshell
    1. Primarily designed to reinforce the doctrinal learning in the classroom.
    2. Best performed by mature students who can go into a professional environment and compete.
    3. Students who want to be externs primarily must have completed at least 60 hours of credit.
    4. Participating in an externship before this time should only be completed if the students have a seriousness of purpose and can manage both the rigors of academic life and the tremendous expectations of legal work.
    5. A student must be classified as a 2L in order to participate in the program. No exceptions allowed.
    6. Evening students must meet the same criteria.
    7. Students with less than the required hours can still participate in a SULC sponsored program, such as the Texas legislative externship or the Virgin Islands Initiative.
    8. Programs designed especially for 2Ls include the summer Public Service Program, run by the career Placement Office.
    9. Public Service stipends are granted to help students meet their financial expectations while helping those in financial need.

 

  1. Where should a Student Begin:
    1. Start by making sure you have a 2.0 GPA
    2. Make sure your study skills are strong enough for you to manage work and maintain your academic performance.
    3. Visit the Placement Office and meet with the Director to further discuss the goal.
    4. Get him to help you focus on a career that meets your expectations and interest.
    5. Explore various legal trends and ask the Counselor to set opportunities for you to visit real onsite legal offices so that reality meets doctrine.
    6. Develop an interest that lays out your goals for future comparison as your interests and goals change.
    7. Externship work should be legal in nature. You may also work at a not for profit agency.