In the fall of 2011, the Law School began a new externship initiative, allowing students to apply for a broad range of potential externship opportunities at government agencies, non-profit organizations and corporate legal departments and, if approved for enrollment in the Law Externship program by the Externship Director within the first two weeks of the semester, to receive appropriate academic credit for participation.  The point of contact for this initiative is Associate Dean Emily Kite ( 

In order to receive academic credit for an externship, a student must devote a minimum of 45 hours of work for each academic credit, and must submit periodic reports on the externship experience, including a final paper reflecting upon the value of the externship. Students enrolled in the Law Externship course for academic credit may not receive compensation for their work at the externship site, but can be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the field placement.

Since the fall of 2011, students have completed externships, or are currently working as externs, at a wide variety of organizations, including, but not limited to, the list below.

List of Previous Externship Organizations

  • The Wisconsin Department of Revenue
  • The IRS Office of Chief Counsel's Milwaukee regional office
  • The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • The Oneida Tribal Court
  • The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
  • The Office of the Governor of Wisconsin
  • Gathering Waters Conservancy
  • The Dane County Corporation Counsel
  • Clean Wisconsin
  • The Wisconsin Public Defender's Office
  • The Federal Defender's Office
  • University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics
  • The Stockbridge-Munsee Community
  • The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Chicago, IL regional office
  • The Ho-Chunk Nation Legislature/Legislative Counsel's Office
  • The Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging
  • ABC for Health
  • The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Chicago regional office
  • The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia
  • The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  • The Freedom From Religion Foundation
  • The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
  • The Waukesha County Corporation Counsel
  • The Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR)
  • The Illinois Attorney General's Office
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison Office of Legal Affairs
  • The Legal Aid Society of New York

Students interested in a field placement for credit are encouraged to meet with Dean Kite to discuss which organizations might be the best fit for the student's career goals and interests. For-credit externships can be arranged during the spring, summer and fall semesters. In addition, for students with some flexibility, school-year externships outside of Wisconsin can be arranged, and it is possible for a student to earn as many as 12 credits for an externship if the student works virtually full-time at, e.g., a federal agency in D.C. or at one of the agency's regional offices in some other city. An excellent resource for learning about which agencies operate externship programs for law students during the fall and spring semesters is the Government Honors and Internship Handbook, a password-protected online publication that the UW Law School Office of Career and Professional Development subscribes to -- students may obtain the username and password from the OCPD.

A sampling of organizations hosting law student externs

Set forth below is a list of just some of the many organizations that have established externship programs for law students.  They are divided into a list of organizations within the State of Wisconsin where students might consider externships, followed by a list of organizations outside of Wisconsin that host law student externs. The possible externship placements, however, are by no means limited to the organizations on these lists -- students are encouraged to propose externships at organizations and agencies that offer the sort of experience and skills training that the students are most interested in obtaining.

If a student is interested in arranging for an externship at an agency or organization that has not previously hosted UW Law School student externs, the agency or organization will be asked to complete and submit an externship application form. (To fill in the form fields, you must be logged into your Wisconsin google drive). Whenever possible, externship opportunities that we become aware of will also be posted in the Job Bank on Symplicity.

Within Wisconsin:

Office of the Wisconsin Solicitor General

The Office of the Wisconsin Solicitor General is a new office in the State of Wisconsin, created in the Fall of 2015. The Office includes Solicitor General Misha Tseytlin, a former law clerk for Justice Kennedy; Chief Deputy Solicitor General Ryan Walsh, a former law clerk for Justice Scalia; and several other highly credentialed attorneys. The Office is looking for a talented law student who wants to work on high-stakes cases, including challenges to major rules and other federal actions by the EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of the Interior, among others. There will also be an opportunity to work on cases presently before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Seventh Circuit, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The selected student should be available to work at least 15 hours a week. To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and unofficial transcript to Amy Miller,  If you are offered, and accept, this externship, please contact Dean Kite to request permission to enroll in the Law Externship course. 

Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

The Wisconsin Dept. of Safety and Professional Services, which handles licensing, education and reporting requirements for many trades and professions, is seeking one or two law students to work six hours or more per week. Externs would conduct legal research and review case files, discuss their work with the attorney supervisor, sit in on meetings with prosecuting attorneys, and observe hearings and board meetings, allowing them to learn a great deal about the agency's workload and potentially be candidates for job openings at DSPS. Interested students should submit a letter of interest and a resume to Greg Gasper, Division Administrator, at

University of Wisconsin-Madison Health Sciences Institutional Review Boards

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Health Sciences Institutional Review Boards would like to have two law student externs, to work 9 to 10 hours per week conducting research on state laws relevant to human subjects research and providing a description of how the law(s) affect IRB review. Please see Job No. 16653 in the Symplicity Job Bank for a much more complete description of the project that externs would be working on. The application deadline is August 5, 2016. Instructions on how to apply are contained in job posting in Symplicity.

Midwest Environmental Advocates

Midwest Environmental Advocates offers a unique experience for University of Wisconsin law students to get an in-depth look at all aspects of environmental law practice and nonprofit legal work. MEA's externship provides the opportunity for students to gain a practical knowledge of the workings of environmental law and hone their skills on real issues and cases. Working as law clerks at Midwest Environmental Advocates, students are involved at all levels of environmental litigation from researching new topics in environmental protection to helping prepare briefs in ongoing litigation, and have the opportunity to see environmental law 'in action.'

Past activities have included delivering public comments at legislative hearings, meeting with community members to build grassroots coalitions, and documenting environmental violations ‘in the field.’

In the past, MEA has also been happy to offer seminars to provide students with a varied and in-depth look at all aspects of the practice of environmental law. Topics have included legal issues in citizen suits, using the Clean Water Act, the inner workings of the Department of Natural Resources, environmental justice, working effectively with citizens’ groups and lobbying. We hope to continue these seminars as interest and schedules allow.

Seminars are taught by a combination of Midwest Environmental Advocates staff and outside experts, including some non-lawyers, who provide unique perspectives on environmental law. Guest speakers have included local environmental attorneys in private practice, a former Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and a former Public Intervenor, among others.

Students are awarded up to seven credits on a pass-fail basis for the semester.  Students earn 1 credit per 3 hours worked per week.  The minimum number of credits allowed is 4 credits, or approximately 12 hours per week for 15 weeks.

To apply for a fall 2017 semester externship, send a cover letter, resume, and short (max five pages) writing sample by via email to Lauren Rudersdorf at Priority will be given to applications received prior to April 10, 2017.  Interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis.

Oregon School District

The Oregon School District, a K-12 school district with over 4000 students and 650 employees, is looking for a second or third year law student interested in a career in public education and/or human resources. The extern would assist the Legal Counsel/Human Resources Director in all aspects of providing legal assistance to the school district that arise during the semester. The hours would be flexible with the opportunity for occasional evening work for Board meetings or expulsion hearings. Approximately 8 to 10 hours per week would be required. The ideal candidate would be passionate about public education, have strong interpersonal, communication, and conflict resolution skills, be comfortable using technology, be detail oriented, be skilled at legal research and be respectful of employee and student confidentiality protections. Interested students should send a letter of interest and resume to Ms. Jina L. Jonen, In-House Counsel/Human Resources Director,

Public Health Madison Dane County

Public Health Madison Dane County will consider law students for externships in any semester.  Send your resume and letter of interest to Jami Crespo at Information about this organization can be found on its website,

Disability Rights Wisconsin

Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW) is the state's protection and advocacy agency for people with all types of serious disabilities. It provides a wide variety of legal and advocacy services for people who have been traditionally underserved by the legal profession. Areas of DRW advocacy include unnecessary institutionalization, access to community-based support services, rights violations in institutions, abuse and neglect, special education, and employment and housing discrimination. DRW staff also engage in impact litigation, are active in the administrative and legislative processes, have written extensively on the legal rights of people with disabilities, and conduct statewide training for attorneys, advocates, providers of human services, educators, and people with disabilities and their families.

DRW provides legal advocacy throughout the state from offices in Madison, Milwaukee and Rice Lake. Both the Madison and Milwaukee offices are able to house law student externs. DRW's attorneys offer a clinical law experience for up to 3 students per semester and over the summer. The students are assigned, based to the extent possible on their preference, to specific attorneys to work on identified disability-related legal projects.

Student activities can include investigation of client complaints, filing grievances and requests for hearings, informal negotiations, and preparation for litigation and/or administrative hearings. In the legislative and administrative arenas, law student opportunities are numerous, including background research on legislation, analyzing bills and administrative rules, and doing legal analysis, working with consumer groups, meeting with legislators and appearing at public hearings.

If you are interested in an externship at DRW, please submit a letter giving some background on your interest in disability issues/social justice, and an indication of any specific areas you would like to concentrate on (special education, employment discrimination, mental health, etc.), to: Disability Rights Wisconsin, 131 W. Wilson St., Ste. 700, Madison, WI 53703. You will be contacted to meet with DRW lawyers to discuss the potential placement, and you should bring a resume and writing sample to that meeting. For further information, you may also e-mail Kit Kerschensteiner at or call 608-267-0214.  For more information about DRW, please see its web site:

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin

End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin's legal department examines the impact of the legal system and legal processes on domestic violence victims. The Director of the Legal Department, the Immigration and Poverty Law Attorney and legal interns conduct research, produce materials, provide technical assistance and conduct trainings to assist advocates and legal professionals. The legal department produces a legal manual, written for Wisconsin domestic violence programs.

On an annual basis, members of the legal department provide trainings on restraining orders, family law, economic advocacy and immigration law to member programs. In addition, statewide trainings are provided as requested or needed to members of the legal profession such as probation agents, judges, circuit court commissioners, attorneys, prosecutors, defense attorneys, clerks of court and victim/witness personnel.

Members of the legal department engage in systems advocacy on many topics, which vary from year-to-year. However, issues pertaining to restraining orders are an ongoing part of systems advocacy.  The legal department offers a law school externship opportunity to law students interested in providing assistance with research and the creation of materials for the legal manual. Students interested in an externship at End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin should email a resume and letter of interest to Tess Meuer at

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can host up to six law student externs each semester or over the summer, with a focus on environmental, natural resource, and government/administrative law. If you are interested in an externship (for credit, or non-credit) at the DNR, forward a resume and a letter of interest to Michael D. Scott at

U.S. Attorney's Office for the W.D. of Wisconsin

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Madison typically hosts several law student externs each semester.  Students are generally expected to work as externs for both fall and spring semesters. If you are interested in being considered for an externship at this agency, send a resume and letter of interest to Tony Trillo at Externship applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and must be submitted early to allow for a time-consuming background check.

University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics Office of General Counsel

Most semesters, the Office of General Counsel of the UW Hospital & Clinics is able to host one or two second or third-year law student externs. The Office of General Counsel is located in the main hospital building at 600 Highland Avenue in Madison. The position is unpaid; a student who does an externship at UW Health could register for academic credit through the Law Externship course; or the student could do the work on a volunteer basis. A law student interested in being considered for an externship there should submit a resume and letter of interest to Ms. Claire K. Finando at Interviews will be conducted via teleconference as necessary.

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, Securities Division, hosts a law student extern from time to time, for about 10 hours per week. An interest in, and ideally coursework or experience in, securities law would be very helpful. The extern may perform some or all of the following functions: work with the investigators on all aspects of securities fraud investigations, including preparing for and participating in witness interviews and assisting with discovery; working with the examiners on registration and compliance matters; and product registration activities, including reviewing securities registrations applications and participating in discussions about crowdfunding exemptions. Interested students should send a letter of interest and a resume to Leslie M. Van Buskirk, Attorney Supervisor, at

GWAAR Elder Law & Advocacy Center

The Greater WI Agency on Aging Resources (GWAAR) Elder Law & Advocacy Center provides legal services to individuals age 60+ through statewide Elder Benefit Specialist Programs focusing on public benefits and benefits counseling, consumer issues, housing, and health insurance coverage. The organization would like to host two to three law student externs each term. The organization is very flexible in terms of the number of hours per week the extern works, and the number of academic credits the extern registers for. The office is located at the corner of E. Washington Avenue and Stoughton Road, on a bus line, so a car is not necessary. Flexible hours between the hours of 8:30 and 5:00, M through F, are available.

Externs at this organization could expect to become highly familiar with interaction and overlap of public benefits programs and consumer law issues. The organization assists elder clients with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, landlord-tenant problems, collections issues, and small claims court matters. Externs will assist with drafting letters to landlords regarding required maintenance or improper deductions from security deposits; cease and desist letters to collection agents detailing potential client remedies for consumer violations; appealing overpayment decisions from the Social Security Administration; and drafting requests for an increase in spousal impoverishment income allocations in order for the community spouse not to lose their home to foreclosure.

If you would like to be considered for an externship with this organization, mail or email a resume and a cover letter describing your availability and interest in working with public benefits programs, health care, consumer issues, and/or elder individuals to Renae Flowers, Legal Services Program Director, GWAAR, 1414 MacArthur Rd., Suite 306, Madison, WI 53714, or via email at

United States Trustee’s Office for Region 11 (covering the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin and the Northern District of Illinois)

Placements are available in the Chicago, Madison or Milwaukee offices, during the summer, fall and spring terms. The U.S. Trustee Office is a component of the Department of Justice and is a statutory party in all bankruptcy cases. For an excellent overview of the mission and operations of the U.S. Trustee Program, review its internet site at

Externships typically cover a period averaging 12 weeks for approximately 18 to 20 hours a week. If an extern candidate is selected, that person must go through a background check, which may take 4 to 8 weeks.  For this reason, interested students should contact the office in which they would like to work, at least two months prior to the start of their desired term. Externs are selected on the basis of their sincere interest in bankruptcy and/or government law, their motivation to learn from experienced attorneys, and their willingness to commit to a fixed schedule.

For summer 2018 externships in the Madison office, apply by February 23, 2018.  For fall 2018 externships in the Madison office, apply by April 13, 2018.  Email PDFs of your cover letter, resume, law school transcript and a writing sample to Mary R. Jensen, Assistant U.S. Trustee for the Western District of Wisconsin, at  Students must have completed, or be contemporaneously enrolled in, a Bankruptcy Law course.  If you anticipate being employed by a law firm at the same time you are hoping to extern with the U.S. Trustee's Office, provide a statement identifying the firm and detailing the type of work you will be doing, so that a preliminary conflicts check can be conducted (please note that the mere possibility of a conflict does not automatically disqualify a candidate).

AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW)

AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW)'s Vice President of Compliance and General Counsel would like to host a law student extern for 9 to 14 hours per week (the hours requirement is flexible) during the spring 2017 term.  ARCW is a nonprofit health care organization focused on HIV/AIDS. The law student would take part in multiple areas of the General Counsel's practice depending on the needs of the organization: HIPAA, privacy laws, contracts, pharmacy regulations, Medicaid/Medicare, employment, mergers and acquisitions, etc. The student would get exposure to many activities such as contract drafting and review, research, internal audits and compliance, breach investigations, policy and procedure development, in-house counsel program development, and other key areas. Most of the attorney contact will be with the General Counsel, but some contact with other internal attorneys or outside counsel may be required. This externship will offer an array of health and business law experience in a growing health care nonprofit organization with burgeoning corporate legal needs. Interested students should send a resume and a cover letter expressing interest to Daniel Guinn, VP and General Counsel, ARCW, 600 Williamson Street, Suite H, Madison, WI 53703, or by email to

Clean Wisconsin

There are openings for two UW Law students in 3-4 credit externships each semester at the Madison-based environmental advocacy organization Clean Wisconsin. Clean Wisconsin is the state's oldest and largest environmental advocacy organization. Clean Wisconsin works for clean air, clean water, and clean energy.

This externship will provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to run a successful legal campaign within the broader context of advocacy. This externship focuses on administrative law practice, policy development, and legislative analysis. Clean Wisconsin does substantial amounts of work at the Public Service Commission and with the Department of Natural Resources. The externship covers broad areas of environmental law, including air and energy law, water law, and natural resources law. Students will have an opportunity to work on current issues in environmental law in Wisconsin, including mining, fighting coal, promoting clean energy, and addressing runoff pollution that threatens our waters.

Student externs work with the legal department and other program staff to provide legal research, analysis and litigation support for the organization’s core program areas of clean water, clean energy, and clean air. Students become familiar with administrative procedure (for example, petitioning the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), participating in the rulemaking process, contested case hearings, intervening in Public Service Commission (PSC) dockets, petitioning for judicial review of administrative agency decisions), as well as core concepts of environmental law (Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and Wisconsin environmental laws). For more information, please visit

Application requirements:  Clean Wisconsin requests that student applicants have had some exposure to environmental or administrative law -- through coursework, substantial undergraduate work on environmental policy, political science, or natural science, previous internships or externships or work experience. Send a resume, transcript, writing sample, and cover letter (1 page) explaining why the applicant is interested in environmental or administrative law to Elizabeth Wheeler, Staff Attorney, at

Application deadlines:  December 2 (for spring semester); February 1 (for summer); and August 1 (for fall semester).  If you are offered this externship opportunity, contact Dean Kite to learn about the requirements applicable to the Law Externship program and how to register for academic credit. You must devote 45 hours of work over the course of the semester for each credit you register for.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue can host one or two externs each semester. The Department is interested in students who have completed Taxation I or its equivalent and who are available to work at least ten hours a week. If you would like to be considered for an externship with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, send a resume, a letter explaining your interest, and a writing sample to the attention of Dana J. Erlandsen at

Internal Revenue Service, Office of Chief Counsel, Milwaukee office

Student externs assist attorneys assigned to the Milwaukee office in preparing cases for trial before the United States Tax Court, reviewing the merits of refund litigation, furnishing legal advice necessary to protect and collect tax claims of the United States (which may involve matters pertaining to bankruptcy, administrative summonses, liens, levies, decedents' estates, etc.), and perhaps evaluating potential criminal tax prosecutions.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation I. In addition, externs must be U.S. citizens. Please include a brief cover letter explaining whether you are interested in doing an externship during the summer, fall or spring semester. Externships require students to work at their field placement for 45 hours per academic credit awarded. This externship requires the extern to work in Milwaukee; travel expenses will not be reimbursed.  Early applications are encouraged because a background check must be completed before the extern can begin work. Email your letter of interest and resume to Frederic J. Fernandez, Senior Attorney, at

Dane County Corporation Counsel Office

The Dane County Corporation Counsel in Madison accepts applications from students who are interested in an externship-for-credit placement at that organization, for 11 to 12 hours a week for approximately 12 weeks (number of hours and weeks is negotiable). The office can host two or three externs each semester. Law students who work at the Dane County Corp Counsel's office assist in trial preparation of documents and witnesses, prepare legal documents including pleadings and written discovery, handle routine hearings under supervision, conduct research on a variety of issues, and observe meetings, hearings and depositions. Much of the Corp Counsel's work involves child protection, termination of parental rights, guardianship and mental commitment cases.

If you would like to apply for one of these externships, please submit a cover letter, unofficial transcript, and resume to Eve M. Dorman, Asst. Corp. Counsel at If you are contacted for an interview, you will need to bring a writing sample with you to the interview. If you are selected for an externship, please contact Erin McBride, the Law School's Externship Director, to discuss the requirements for obtaining academic credit for your work, and for permission to enroll in the Law Externship program.

Federal Defender Services of Wisconsin, Inc.

The Federal Defender's office in Madison accepts applications from students interested in an externship for approximately 20 hours a week in either the fall or spring semester. Externs attend weekly legal staff meetings at which they interact with all the lawyers and investigator as they discuss all pending cases and brainstorm issues. Externs accompany lawyers to client meetings and to court; review discovery and help spot legal issues; and draft pretrial motions, sentencing memos and appellate briefs.

Students interested in being considered for an externship with the Federal Defender's office should send a resume and a letter of interest to Kelly A. Welsh at Applications for fall externships should be submitted by the end of May; applications for spring externships may be submitted anytime after September 1, but no later than October 15.

Outside of Wisconsin:

As mentioned above, for students with some flexibility, school-year externships outside of Wisconsin can be arranged, and it is possible for a student to earn as many as 12 credits for an externship if the student works virtually full-time at, e.g., a federal agency in D.C. or at one of the agency's regional offices in some other city. Set forth below are descriptions of externship opportunities that have been brought to our attention by particular agencies:

U.S. Department of State, Office of Private International Law

The Office of Private International Law in the Legal Adviser’s Office of the State Department is looking to fill our extern positions for fall 2017 and spring 2018 semesters. We generally have one or two unpaid positions (part-time or full-time) available each semester. Externs work directly with attorneys in conducting research, analyzing issues, preparing memoranda and other documents, developing negotiating positions, and otherwise assisting in the day-to-day work of the office. Applicants must receive academic credit for the externship.

Background: The Office of Private International Law (L/PIL), Office of the Legal Adviser, Department of State is responsible for the negotiation, interpretation, and monitoring of conventions, model laws and rules, legislative guidelines, and other international instruments governing private transactions that cross international borders. Private international law topics include areas such as the enforcement of judgments and arbitral awards, conflicts of laws, alternative dispute resolution, family law, investment securities, insolvency, electronic commerce, transportation, commercial finance, and international judicial assistance (service, discovery, legalization), as well as laws governing wills, trusts, and estates.

L/PIL’s work arises primarily in connection with international organizations such as the U.N. Commission on International Trade Law, the Hague Conference on Private International Law, the International Institute for Unification of Private International Law (UNIDROIT), and the Organization of American States. The office also works closely with experts and domestic organizations involved in private international law matters, including the American Bar Association and the Uniform Law Commission. Further information is available on our office website:

Qualifications: Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and externs will be required to obtain a security clearance prior to commencing work. Applicants must possess strong writing and analytical skills. Students who will be in their third year of law school at the time of the externship are preferred.

To Apply: Send a cover letter, resume, transcript (including in-progress coursework), and a legal writing sample to by January 16, 2017. Recommendation letters are welcome but not required. Applicants should indicate in their cover letters which semester(s) they would be available (fall 2017 and/or spring 2018). Please note that applications sent to the Office of the Legal Adviser regarding any other openings are not forwarded to L/PIL.

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) is a not-for-profit hospital based in Chicago, IL that provides physical rehabilitation to patients around the world with stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, cancer, and other conditions. For more information, visit and

Externships for Credit/Volunteer Internships: RIC is seeking motivated, bright and interested volunteers who want experience in a busy and dynamic legal and regulatory environment in the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Corporate Compliance.

Office of General Counsel: Students should have an interest in health care law, patent law, contracts and/or risk management. Students with an interest in health law and patent law are particularly encouraged to apply. Assignments may relate to health law (mental health, consents, advance directives, guardianships, legal aspects of patient care, not for profit issues, Medicare and Medicaid, fraud and abuse, Stark, joint ventures and affiliations, etc.), corporate (contract review, drafting and negotiation), employment and labor, medical staff issues, intellectual property, risk management, bylaws, policy and procedures, real estate estates and gifts, and, various phases of litigation and may include researching and drafting legal memoranda, attending depositions and interacting with staff and outside counsel.

Office of Corporate Compliance: Students should have an interest in health care regulatory issues, such as ensuring compliance with federal and state mandates such as Medicare/Medicaid programs, HIPAA, and IRB requirements, researching and drafting regulatory memoranda, reviewing and revising policies and procedures, conducting audits to determine operational compliance with the laws, creating educational programs for staff regarding regulatory requirements, and identifying and mitigating risks.

Time Commitment: Two days per week (with minimum of four hours per day) preferred. Flexible scheduling can be arranged, but participants must commit to an agreed schedule. Participants also must attend new hire orientation (held every other Monday from 8am-4pm).

Application Process: Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and law transcript to Tom Ferrone, Assistant General Counsel, at Please submit your application before the following dates: Fall: August 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: April 1. Applications may be considered on rolling basis based on availability.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission Division of Enforcement, Chicago, IL

The Chicago office of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Division of Enforcement offers externships for law students.  The Commission is an independent, non-partisan federal agency that protects market users and the public from fraud, manipulation, abusive practices, and systemic risk and fosters open, competitive, and financially sound markets. The Division of Enforcement investigates potential violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and Commission Regulations and, at the direction of the Commission, prosecutes alleged violations in U.S. District Courts across the country.  The Division of Enforcement also provides expert and technical assistance with case development and trials to U.S. Attorneys, federal and state regulators, and international authorities.

Externs with the Division of Enforcement typically complete substantial legal research and writing projects, participate in civil case preparations and filings, assist attorneys and investigators with witness interviews, analyze investigative and discovery materials, attend depositions or hearings, and participate in educational training programs.

Prior to beginning the fall externship, applicants must have completed at least two semesters of law school, but not yet have graduated from their degree program.  Offers are also contingent on an applicant's ability to demonstrate U.S. citizenship or permanent residency and successfully complete a background check. Finally, applicants must be able to receive course credit for participation in the fall externship, which can be a full or part-time position (minimum two days a week).

To apply, interested law students should email a cover letter and resume to Susan B. Padove, Senior Trial Attorney, Division of Enforcement, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Applications for the spring term should be submitted by the end of October.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of Chief Counsel, Chicago, IL

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Office of the Chief Counsel in Chicago, Illinois, is responsible for providing legal advice, training and services in cases related to the ICE mission in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Wisconsin. The office represents the United States in immigration removal proceedings, and provides legal support to ICE components focusing on customs, work site enforcement, employment law, and administrative law.  Legal externs assist in the representation of the United States government in immigration removal proceedings.

Legal externs can expect to research and write appellate briefs to the Board of Immigration Appeals; research and draft motions in pending cases; assemble exhibits for trial; research foreign country conditions; and observe hearings of cases on which they are working or in which they are interested.

To be considered for an externship (volunteer, without compensation), submit a resume, transcript, writing sample, and cover letter indicating dates when available, to All electronically submitted documents must be in MSWord or Adobe Acrobat format.  Externs must commit to work for a minimum of 10 weeks, for 25 to 40 hours per week.  Applicants must be second- semester, first year law students, or second year law students, at the time of application.  Previous or concurrent course work in immigration law helpful, but not necessary.  Excellent time management and legal writing experience preferred. Must be a U.S. citizen.  Will be subject to a background investigation due to the sensitive nature of the work performed.  For fall externships, apply between April 15 and May 30. For spring externships, apply between August 15 and October 15. For summer externships, apply between January 15 and February 28.

A UW Law School alum, Anastasie Senat, is an Assistant Chief Counsel at ICE. Ms. Senat's contact information is available from Jane Heymann (

If you have any questions about the program, please feel free to email

American Health Lawyers Association, Washington, DC

The American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) is the nation’s largest, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) educational organization devoted to legal issues in the health care field with over 13,000 members. AHLA’s mission is to provide a collegial forum for interaction and information exchange to 1) enable its members to serve their clients more effectively; 2) produce the highest quality non-partisan educational programs, products, and services concerning health law issues; and 3) serve as a public resource on selected health care legal issues. AHLA provides resources to address the issues facing its members who practice in law firms, government, in-house settings, and academia, as well as those who represent the entire spectrum of the health industry: physicians, hospitals and health systems, health maintenance organizations, health insurers, life sciences, managed care companies, nursing facilities, home care providers, and consumers. AHLA is looking for an energetic, hardworking, and disciplined third-year law student for an externship at its offices in Washington DC.


Must be in his/her third year (3L) at an ABA-accredited law school when the externship begins
Excellent writing, editing, research and analytical skills
Applicant’s academic, extracurricular, and/or community accomplishments must clearly demonstrate a long-standing and compelling interest in pursuing a career in health care law
Some formal education or experience in health law is preferred

Supervised by Vice President of Professional Resources and staff attorneys at AHLA. Primary responsibilities include legal research, writing, and editing to support AHLA publications and other activities.
As schedule permits, extern will have the opportunity to network with AHLA members and attend AHLA conferences in the local Washington DC area.

To apply for this externship, please address your formal cover letter and resume to Cynthia Conner, Vice President of Professional Resources, and email both documents to Katherine Wone at Only candidates chosen for an interview will be notified. No phone calls, please.

The Office of Counsel to the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

The Office of Counsel to the Inspector General (OCIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeks second and third year law students with a demonstrated interest in government and health care law and health care fraud and abuse for fall 2017 legal extern positions. The positions are unpaid and applicants must be participating in a school-sponsored, for-credit externship program. Program dates are flexible, but selected applicants must commit to working a minimum of 15 hours per week for 10 to 12 weeks.

OCIG promotes the mission of the Office of Inspector General through timely, accurate, and persuasive legal advocacy and counsel. Legal externs will investigate cases, perform legal research, draft briefs, and write legal memoranda. OCIG will strive to give each legal extern an opportunity to work with all three branches of OCIG: the Administrative the Civil Remedies Branch, the Industry Guidance Branch, and the Advice Branch.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis through April 28, 2017. Applications should be submitted by email to Interested students should submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and five-page writing sample as a single PDF file. A committee of attorneys reviews the applications and selects candidates for telephone interviews if necessary.  More information is available at

U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor

The Civil Rights and Labor-Management Division of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of the Solicitor seeks externship applications from law students who have excellent research and writing skills; a demonstrated interest in civil rights, labor, and employment issues; and a strong academic record. The Division is accepting applications for spring 2017 externships until October 14, 2016 (for summer 2017 externships, apply by February 10, 2017; for fall 2017 externships, apply by April 7, 2017).  The Civil Rights and Labor-Management Division (CRLM) provides a broad range of legal services, including advice, litigation and assistance in rulemaking, to agencies in the Department of Labor that enforce a variety of civil rights, equal employment opportunity, and labor laws. For more information about CRLM, please visit

Interested candidates must submit a cover letter; resume; law school transcript; and recent writing sample by email to Jo Ann Baptiste, Management and Program Analyst, at Students who can commit to a full-time schedule (40 hours/week) are preferred. Duties will include significant legal research and writing in connection with advice, litigation and/or rulemaking projects for client agencies, such as drafting memoranda, analyses, and briefs, and may include attending meetings with client agencies and other SOL divisions as appropriate.

A University of Wisconsin Law School student who is offered and accepts this externship opportunity in Washington, D.C. for the fall 2017 semester can earn at least 12 credits through the Law Externship course.  Contact Externship Director Erin McBride at for more information.

Department of Homeland Security Office of the General Counsel

The Legal Externship (Volunteer) Program at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the General Counsel (OGC) is a volunteer program during the fall or spring semesters offering law students the opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and to earn academic credit while working in the headquarters Office of the General Counsel, located in Washington, D.C. The General Counsel is the chief legal officer for DHS and oversees more than 1,800 attorneys throughout the Department. OGC is responsible for ensuring that departmental activities comply with applicable legal requirements, and that the Department's efforts to secure the Nation are lawful and consistent with the civil rights and civil liberties of our citizens and residents.<.p>

Participants in the OGC Legal Externship Program will work in one or more Legal Divisions in OGC headquarters, which include: General Law Division; Immigration Law Division; Legal Counsel Division; National Protection and Programs Law Division; Operations and Enforcement Law Division; Regulatory Affairs Law Division; and Technology Programs Law Division. The anticipated length of the fall program is from August or September to December; and the anticipated length of the spring program is January to April/May. Volunteers are expected to work at least 16-20 hours per work-week. Applications for full-time volunteers are also accepted, and may be given preference over part-time volunteers.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens; must be rising 2Ls, rising 3Ls or LLM students at the time of application; must have demonstrated high academic achievement; must possess exceptional research, writing and analytical skills; must undergo a suitability determination by the DHS Office of the Chief Security Officer; and must demonstrate an interest in homeland or national security law, which may be demonstrated through coursework that directly relates to the DHS mission or extracurricular activities.

Interested students must submit a cover email, resume, and transcript to Cover letters should be addressed to: Legal Externship Program Manager, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of the General Counsel. There are specific requirements regarding the email and other application documents, so be sure to carefully review the additional information about the DHS OGC Legal Externship Program at Applications for the Fall Externship Program will be accepted from March 1 through April 15. Applications for the Spring Externship Program will be accepted from August 1 through September 15.

U.S. Department of Justice-Tax Division

Students are encouraged to apply for an externship with the DOJ Tax Division in Washington, D.C.  The Tax Division's attorneys are litigators, pure and simple. Although tax forms the background of its cases, they represent the U.S. in cases involving a wide spectrum of cutting-edge and interesting issues in federal district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts, as well as state courts, across the country.  Their attorneys investigate and prosecute individuals and entities engaged in a wide variety of domestic and international tax fraud schemes and evasion; file suits to enjoin fraudulent tax return preparers and promoters of tax scams, or other fraudulent activity; and defend the United States when suits are brought against the IRS with respect to refund claims disclosure actions, and claims arising under the Freedom of Information Act. For a would-be prosecutor, the Tax Division is one of the few places where you can begin prosecuting federal white-collar cases immediately after being admitted to practice law. Aspiring civil litigators are assigned a docket of their own cases from the very first day. These are experiences that are simply unmatched in the private sector. More information about the Tax Division is also available at

The Tax Division is currently accepting applications from law students who wish to volunteer during the fall 2017 semester, and the deadline is May 1, 2017.  The Division has openings for approximately 15 volunteers in Washington, DC and two in Dallas, TX.  Information about the Department's Volunteer Internship Opportunities, including how to apply, can be found at Questions can be emailed to Dara Oliphant.

U.S. Department of Justice-Environment and Natural Resources Division

The U.S. Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) handles environmental and natural resources litigation on behalf of the United States.  The work of the Division arises under approximately 150 federal civil and criminal statutes, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA (Superfund), Safe Drinking Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and Tucket Act. The ENRD is looking for Spring and Summer 2017 law clerks to work in its Washington, D.C. Office.  Information on applying may be found here: Applications for spring semester 2017 are accepted from 2Ls from August 1 to September 25, 2016.  Questions can be emailed to Jake Castellaw, Program Coordinator.

Center for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA

The CDC Externship in Public Health Law: Interested in learning how law can be used as a tool to protect and promote the public’s health? Law has been critical in achieving public health goals and serves as the foundation for governmental public health practice in the United States. Many of public health's greatest successes, including high childhood immunization rates, improved motor vehicle safety, safer workplaces, and reduced tooth decay, are the result of legal interventions. Today, law plays an increasingly important role in addressing emerging public health threats such as childhood obesity, healthcare-associated infections, motor vehicle injuries, and prescription drug overdoses.

The CDC Externship in Public Health Law consists of 9–14 weeks of professional work experience, for academic credit, with CDC’s Public Health Law Program (PHLP) in Atlanta, Georgia. With rolling start and completion dates during the academic year, the unpaid externship exposes law students to the public health field, allows them to explore the critical role law plays in advancing public health goals, and must be for academic credit as authorized by law schools or schools of public health. We do not offer volunteer internships or other volunteer opportunities.

The externship creates a formalized entry-level experience for 2nd and 3rd year law students who are interested in exploring careers in public health law. This opportunity might be particularly appealing to individuals who have conducted public health or other scientific research, worked with data sets and coding processes, and have a proven ability to work independently and follow projects through to completion.
PHLP is a dynamic group of public health lawyers and analysts who work to advance the use of law as a public health tool. PHLP provides services and resources such as technical assistance, publications, and workforce development to CDC programs and state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments.

The program features:

  • Work experience on one or more core projects with mentorship from a CDC PHLP staff attorney
  • Exposure to a complex, government work environment and a team of public health lawyers with diverse expertise
  • Involvement in work projects that impact the mission of PHLP and CDC
  • Opportunities to co-author published articles and other materials
  • Communication and mentorship with a dedicated preceptor throughout the externship experience
  • Active participation in weekly PHLP staff meetings
  • Opportunities to showcase experiences in an end-of-externship presentation

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to  Deadlines:  Summer:  February 28. Fall:  May 31.  Spring:  November 1.

U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of the General Counsel

Summer Externships:  Each year, the Department of Commerce offers Summer Legal Internships to a significant number of first and second year law students. Because of the breadth of issues dealt with by the Commerce Department’s eight bureaus, the Commerce Summer Legal Intern Program offers a law student legal experience that cannot be duplicated. The Summer Law Intern Program is highly competitive. Summer Legal Interns may expect to be assigned to positions that offer both valuable experience and substantial individual responsibility. Students are selected on the basis of merit. Selection will be based on many factors including: academic achievement, law courses, law review or other publication experience; moot court, legal aid or legal clinic participation; extracurricular activities; and previous summer and/or part-time employment.

Offices which usually participate in the Summer Legal Intern program are: Chief Counsel for International Commerce; Chief Counsel for Import Administration; Chief Counsel for the Bureau of Industry & Security; Assistant General Counsel for Administration (labor and employment law, government ethics and administrative law); Assistant General Counsel for Legislation and Regulation; Assistant General Counsel for Finance and Litigation (tort and commercial litigation, contract law and grant review); Chief Counsel for Commercial Law Development; Chief Counsel for Technology Administration which provides legal services to the National Institute of Standards and Technology; and Chief Counsel for Economic Affairs which provides legal services to the Census Bureau. The General Counsel for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; General Counsel for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; Chief Counsel for the National Telecommunication and Information Administration; and Chief Counsel for the Economic Development Administration may also offer summer internships.

The Commerce Department offers a variety of different types of summer internships – voluntary internships, internships for academic credit or, depending on funding availability, paid internships. Paid summer internships may be offered at the GS-7 level or at the GS-9 level depending on experience and completion of academic courses. In addition to valuable legal experience, the Department of Commerce summer interns participate in many planned activities, such as a welcoming reception, lunch with experts on such topics as international trade, environmental and technology law (particularly on the legal frontier of e-commerce) and social activities.

Applications, Deadlines and Interviews: First or second-year law students should submit a resume, an official or unofficial law school transcript, and a short legal writing sample of less than 10 pages to: Office of the General Counsel, Executive Office, 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room 5875, Washington, D.C. 20230 ATTN: Summer Legal Intern Program

Alternatively, you may apply electronically at and you must have the subject line read “Summer Intern.” Only send one application packet whether electronically or via mail. Recruitment for the Summer Intern Program is during the winter/spring which precedes the summer internships. For the summer program, applications must be submitted to the Executive Office no earlier than January 3 and no later than March 15 (apply early for best consideration). The application, interview and offer process for this Program is structured and conducted within a specific time frame. Applications will be shared with all of the Department of Commerce legal offices. If applicants only wish to be considered by specific offices, please note your preferences in the application package. The majority of the offices participating in the Summer Law Intern Program normally require candidates to interview in person. Interviewing for the Summer Intern Program is done at a number of locations, in addition to Washington, D.C. Travel expenses for initial interviews are the responsibility of the applicant.

Fall and Spring Semester Externships: The Department of Commerce’s the Office of General Counsel (OGC) is seeking second or third year law students to work part-time during the fall and/or spring semester. Candidates should have completed, or be enrolled in, law school classes related to the Department’s practice areas, such as international trade, employment and labor law, contract and federal assistance law, administrative law, marine/environmental law, import relief laws, and export control laws.

Eligibility and General Information

Offices participating in the Fall and Spring Legal Intern program include the Department of Commerce headquarters located in Washington, D.C., the Bureau of Census located in Suitland, MD, and at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) located in Silver Spring, MD. OGC Fall and Spring Legal Internships are highly competitive. Legal Interns will work in positions that offer both valuable experience and substantial individual responsibility. Students are selected on the basis of merit. Selection is based on many factors including academic achievement, law school courses, law review or other publication experience; moot court, legal aid or legal clinic participation; demonstrated commitment to public service; extracurricular activities; and previous summer and/or part-time legal intern employment.

Internships may be paid or unpaid. For unpaid positions, interns may receive academic credit through their law schools. An applicant for an unpaid position should inquire directly to his/her law school about requirements and programs for academic credit or funding. Applications, Deadlines and Interviews:  Second or third year law students should submit a cover letter, resume, a law school transcript (official or unofficial), and a short legal writing sample of ten pages or less to:  Office of the General Counsel, Executive Office, 14th and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Room 5875, Washington, D.C. 20230, Reference:  Fall/Spring Legal Internship Program.  Alternatively, application may be made via email by sending the information to To ensure that your application is sent to the correct hiring office, please reference "Fall/Spring Internship" in the subject line of your email.

The application, interview and offer process for the Internship Program is structured and conducted within a specific time frame. Late applications will not be considered. Recruitment for the Fall Internships begins in July, while recruitment for Spring Internships begins in November. Applications for Fall Internships must be submitted to the Executive Office no earlier than July 1 and no later than September 15. Applications for Spring Internships must be submitted to the Executive Office no earlier than November 1 and no later than January 15. Applications will be sent only to those legal offices interested in having interns during the academic year. U.S. citizenship is required. The Commerce Department does not condone or tolerate discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.

U. S. Department of Commerce Office of Chief Counsel for International Commerce

The Office of the Chief Counsel for International Commerce (OCC-IC), U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC, seeks two full-time volunteer law interns for Summer 2017.  OCC-IC provides legal advice and support to the International Trade Administration (ITA) on international trade, investment, export promotion and antitrust matters. International Commerce attorneys work closely with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the State Department, other government agencies, and the private sector. Our ten attorneys primarily focus on:  Multilateral and Bilateral Trade and Investment Agreements; Bringing Down Trade Barriers; Promoting U.S. Exports. OCC-IC works to ensure that interns have meaningful and interesting assignments that include client contact and participating in interagency meetings. Each intern will be assigned a supervisor, who will meet with the intern on a regular basis to discuss progress. Summer interns must commit to working full-time for at least 8 weeks. 

Candidates who are interested in a unique international law experience, and who have a background or demonstrated interest in international trade and investment law, are encouraged to apply. Candidates must have completed at least one year of law school before commencing the internship. Since this is an unpaid position, candidates should inquire of their law school as to whether funding or financial aid would be available to them while working as an intern in OCC-IC.

An applicant must be a U.S. citizen to be considered. If interested, please fax or e-mail (do not send by regular mail) your cover letter, resume, a five-to-ten page writing sample (preferably on an international law subject), and law school transcript to:; fax (202) 482-2111. To expedite the handling of your application, please indicate “Summer 2017 Internship” in the subject matter area of your correspondence. Please do not include your date of birth or social security information in your submission. Application deadline for the Summer 2017 Internship: March 9, 2017.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  For further information about OCC-IC, please visit:

Executive Office of the President of the United States

The Office of the General Counsel (OGC), Office of Administration, Executive Office of the President, seeks one or two law students to assist in providing legal counsel to offices that serve the President of the United States. Interns are expected to work at least 20 hours per week. All intern positions are unpaid. Students selected for this program will have a unique opportunity to gain insight into the practice of law at a high level of the United States government.  Previous interns have worked on a wide range of challenging, substantive matters, including appropriations and fiscal law, employment law, government ethics, information and records management law (including the Presidential Records Act), litigation, and procurement law. Additionally, OGC's "small firm" environment provides law student interns with the opportunity to work closely with senior attorneys, gain practical legal experience, and network with other up-and-coming members of the legal profession. A University of Wisconsin Law School student who is offered this opportunity can obtain up to 12 academic credits through the Law School's Law Externship Program.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals, must be in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0, and must be willing to be subjected to pre-employment and random drug testing.  Submit your application materials via the USAJOBS website only; a Job Announcement will be posted for each hiring season. Typical application deadlines are October 15 for the following spring semester, and July 10 for the fall semester.

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois - Fall, Spring and Summer

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, in Chicago, conducts an externship program for second and third year law students every semester. Externs must work 16 hours a week for 12 weeks, or the equivalent of two days a week, if their externship occurs during the fall or spring semester. Students participating in a summer externship are required to work for 40 hours a week for 10 weeks.  Students may participate either on a strictly volunteer basis, or they may register in the Law Externship program and obtain academic credit for their work.

The work of law student externs includes assisting in all aspects of trial preparation, legal research, writing memoranda of law, drafting pleadings and appellate briefs, assisting in preparation and taking of depositions, assisting in pre-trial conferences and the trials of civil and criminal cases.

If you are interested in applying, send by U.S. mail a resume, a personal statement reflecting your background and your interest in participating in this program, a legal writing sample, three letters of recommendation (preferably legal), and an unofficial law school transcript to Monica LeKostaj, Administrative Assistant for the Law Student Intern Program, U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Dirksen Federal Building, 219 South Dearborn Street, 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60604. Recommendation letters, whether or not submitted in sealed envelopes, may be included by the student with the application materials. Please make every effort to include them with the application to avoid delay.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Application packages are due in mid-September for spring semester externships; in late December for summer semester externships; and by mid-April for fall semester externships. Additional information about these externships, including specific application deadlines, is available at

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

The SEC protects investors, maintains fair, orderly, and efficient securities markets, and facilitates capital formation.  It employs approximately 3,500 attorneys nationwide.  The SEC is seeking bright, innovative, results-oriented individuals for its Honors Program in the Washington, D.C. home office and its 11 regional offices (in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, and Salt Lake City).  The SEC offers law students robust responsibilities and experiences that enhance their legal careers. Over the course of the ten-week program, students work with Commission staff on projects particular to the specific Division or Office to which they are assigned.  Students also have the opportunity to participate in seminars/workshops, roundtable discussions, a mentoring program, and tours that provide detailed information and guidance on securities laws.

In most regional offices, externs work either for litigators or investigative attorneys in the Enforcement Division.  In Washington, D.C., interns work for a range of offices and divisions. For the spring and fall programs, students must work a minimum of 15 hours per week; the SEC's preference in fall and spring is for students who can work full-time for academic credit. Law students must be enrolled at least half-time in an accredited law school to participate. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, and a GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred. To apply for spring externships, apply by October 15; for summer, apply between August 17 and October 26; and for fall, apply between February 8 and June 5. Submit (in single PDF) a resume with contact information, a one-page cover letter in which you indicate three preferred offices and divisions, a transcript, a list of current courses, and a 5-10 page writing sample. Submit online only at

Finalists will be notified approximately one month after the application deadline, and interviews are conducted telephonically or in regional offices (at candidate's expense).

City of Chicago Department of Law

This program is designed to provide students with a challenging externship that reflects the demands and rewards of public service. Participants in the Extern Program are not compensated; however, course credit is available. Work schedules will be determined in accordance with your school’s externship requirements and your Department of Law supervisor. The participant will be assigned to one of the practice divisions within the law department. More information about the various departments is available on the Externship Program's website. The student will be assigned a supervisor who will coordinate assignments. Together, the chosen participant and the supervisor will determine the start date, the hours to be worked and the date on which the program will end for the individual. Please note that residency is not required for these unpaid positions. Application Process: In order to begin the application process, a hard copy of your materials must be mailed or hand delivered to the address below. E-mail applications will not be accepted.

  • Cover letter (In addition to identifying your Division preference, please indicate that your application is for the Externship Program)
  • Resume
  • Law School Transcript
  • One writing sample that must be between 5 and 20 pages in length. (For information, refer to the City of Chicago Department of Law's Writing Sample Policy (PDF))

Forward Application Materials to: Legal Recruiter, City of Chicago Department of Law, 30 N. La Salle – 1640, Chicago, IL 60602. For the summer program, the application period is from January 15 to March 1.  For academic year externships, there is no particular application deadline.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 (Chicago)

The Chicago regional office of the EPA hosts externs during the summer and also in each of the spring and fall semesters. Positions begin after MLK Day (spring), Memorial Day (summer), and Labor Day (fall). The Agency prefers students who have completed a course in environmental law before the externship commences. A background in administrative law and corporations is also helpful. The agency requires fall and spring semester interns to work 16 hours a week for 12 weeks, or the equivalent of two days a week, and summer externs typically work 40 hours a week. A student accepted to this program could earn 4 hours of academic credit for an externship during the academic year. Externs must be United States citizens.

Region 5, headquartered in Chicago, is responsible for EPA matters in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohoi and Wisconsin.

Application deadlines are rolling; but the recommendation is that applications for the fall semester should be submitted by July, at the latest; for spring semester externships, apply by December 1 at the latest; and no later than December 15 for summer. All summer positions are usually filled by February, so apply as early in the fall as possible for summer externships.

Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript and writing sample (ten page maximum) to begin the application process. Applicants must submit these materials to the extern coordinator at (preferred). Submissions by mail (not preferred) may be sent to: Mr. Leverett Nelson, Associate Deputy Regional Counsel, Mail Code C-14J, Office of Regional Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 77 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL 60604-3590

Stockbridge-Munsee Community (Bowler, WI)

The Stockbridge-Munsee Community, a federally recognized Indian tribe, offers an externship experience for the summer, fall or spring semester. This externship will provide practical experience in in-house government and business issues in a tribal setting, such as employment law, contracts, governmental programs, prosecutorial research, legislative research, and drafting of tribal laws. To be successful in this externship, you must be a self-starter and be able to work independently. Much of the work may be done remotely (i.e., in Madison) but the extern will need to travel to Bowler, WI, at least twice, once at the beginning of the externship and once near the end. Externs will be reimbursed for their travel expenses. Bowler is about 45 miles east of Wausau, WI. Students interested in this externship opportunity should email a resume, and a letter of interest identifying why they desire to extern for an Indian Tribe and what they hope to gain as a result of working for an Indian Tribe, to the attention of Starlyn Tourtillott, Tribal Staff Attorney, P.O. Box 70, Bowler, WI 54416.

United States Department of Justice, Washington, D.C. and other locations

Many divisions and agencies of the United States Department of Justice, in many locations including Washington DC, host law student externs during the academic year as well as during the summer. These are almost always volunteer positions, without compensation, but many of the positions are ones for which the extern could receive academic credit. University of Wisconsin Law School students can earn up to 12 credits by working full-time for an entire semester as an extern at the U.S. DOJ, through the Law Externship program. A list of the participating DOJ agencies, their locations, and the deadlines by which they select externs, can be found at

Application materials and deadlines vary by agency, so please refer to specific agency descriptions for details: see Early applications are very strongly encouraged.

U.S. Department of State, Office of the Legal Adviser

The Office of Legal Adviser seeks 12 2Ls for its Summer Intern Program (minimum 6 weeks) and 5-10 2Ls for each of its volunteer, 20-40 hours/week Fall and Spring externship programs. Externs are assigned to a single section, but may receive projects from other practice areas. Students are given the same level of work as junior attorney-advisers. The work is varied and, in addition to topics directly related to the civil functions of the State Department, includes contracts, employment, labor, and procurement law.

The Office furnishes advice on domestic and international legal issues arising in the course of the Department's work.  This includes assisting in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy, and promoting the development of international law and its institutions as a fundamental element of those policies.  It is comprised of approximately 175 permanent attorneys who rotate assignments from 23 regional and functional bureaus.

U.S. citizenship is required; candidates must pass an extensive background check and be granted security clearance.  The program is highly competitive.  Outstanding academic achievement (top 15%-20%), relevant international experience and undergraduate degrees are important factors in the selection process.

Submit cover letter, resume, law school transcript and a list of three professional references (summer) or two letters of recommendation from academic faculty (spring/fall) to by September 1 for summer (but earlier for best consideration); by March 31 for Fall externships, or by June 30 for Spring externships. Candidates will be invited to interview at headquarters at their own expense.

Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia

This organization seeks approximately 20 to 30 2Ls and 3Ls for part-time and full-time Fall and Spring internships.  Law students respond to inmate letters requesting legal assistance; interview incarcerated and institutionalized clients; perform field investigations; conduct legal research and writing; attend discovery conferences; perform case preparation duties; represent juveniles in disciplinary hearings; and attend trials, parole hearings, and appellate arguments.  They usually work with a group of attorneys in the Trial, Appellate, Mental Health, Special Litigation, Civil Legal Services, Community Defender or Parole Divisions.

Demonstrated interest in indigent defense and/or poverty law is required.  Public interest background helpful, as are Spanish fluency and sign language proficiency.

Submit application only through the organizations's website:  Applications are accepted on a rolling basis; interviews are conducted in person or telephonically.

U.S. Department of Education Office of General Counsel

The OGC in Washington, D.C. anticipates hiring six 2Ls and 3Ls for each of its unpaid, full-time and part-time Spring and Fall Legal Internship Programs. Interns assist with research and writing related to providing legal advice, counseling, and filing briefs or motions in litigation. Interns may also attend attorney preparation and client meetings; Congressional hearings, particularly on topics related to education; and speeches and events in which the Secretary of Education and other senior leaders are participating. The OGC provides legal services to the Secretary of Education and other officials who support the Department's mission to promote student achievement and prepare for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and equal access. It provides legal advice and counsel regarding Department programs and operations; drafts and reviews legislative proposals, regulations, and other public documents; represents the Department in court and administrative litigation; and manages ethics and regulations programs.

OGC seeks candidates with very strong academic achievement, excellent legal research, analysis and writing skills, and an interest in education policy or law, or in government regulatory, ethics, administrative, employment, or contracts law.  A background in education is helpful, but not essential.

To apply, submit by email only, to, a cover letter, resume, writing sample (max. 10 pg), and unofficial law school transcript by Nov. 30 for Spring internships; or by July 31 for Fall internships. Telephone interviews are conducted.

Lock Icon