Should You Apply for Externships?
|Published in the September 6, 2011, Advisor
Yes! Whatever kind of work you intend to pursue, and whatever area of the country — or world — you hope to live in, an externship can help you achieve your professional goals.
An externship represents an opportunity to put your knowledge into practice and to build on your existing skills. Employers are increasingly limiting their hiring of new lawyers to candidates with practical experience; an externship is an excellent way to get that experience.
In addition, an externship will help you build your network. During an externship, you’ll be working alongside professionals. While discussing projects and legal issues, you can also ask your new contacts about how they secured their positions; what you can do to break into their field; and whether they can introduce you to other colleagues. An externship supervisor can become a reference or even a mentor.
Finally, you can use an externship to place yourself in a strategic location. There’s a lot to love about living in Eugene, but other cities have larger legal markets with more bar events, professional conferences, and UO Law alumni. Being in Portland, for example, for a semester can meaningfully facilitate your professional development; imagine how many informational interviews you could complete in the hours it takes to drive between Eugene and Portland.
Look for externship opportunities online, including on Symplicity. You still have time to apply for Spring 2012 positions. The counselors in the Career Center can help you prepare your application materials. We look forward to working with you as you pursue these exciting professional development opportunities.