Externships give students opportunities to pursue skills training outside of the classroom and regular law school curriculum. Externships pair experiential learning at a field placement, which is supervised by a field supervisor, with regular reflection and discussion in a course component, which is supervised by a faculty supervisor.
Organizations that are interested in working with Oregon Law externs must first become approved placements. Eligible students can then pursue externships in an area of particular interest such as: at approved placements. Students often pursue externships in popular areas of the law:
Bankruptcy. Students who want to pursue experience in bankruptcy can pursue opportunities working as judicial externs for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Oregon in either Portland or Eugene. As externs, students participate in all aspects of judicial decision-making, including researching and drafting bench memoranda and opinions, and observing oral arguments and chambers conferences.
Child Advocacy/Family Law. Externships in child advocacy allow students to work for Oregon juvenile court judges and practitioners. Child advocacy externships are coordinated by Professor Leslie Harris through the Oregon Child Advocacy Project.
Criminal Law. Criminal law externships provide students with the opportunity to work in prosecutor's and public defender's offices across the country. Students have pursued externships at the federal level at the U.S. Attorney's Office and at the state level nationwide, including Multnomah County, Oregon, prosecutor's office and Cook County, Illinois, public defender's office. While most criminal law externships are open to third-year law students who are court certified, the Lane County District Attorney's Office has begun a unique program to give second-year law students externship opportunities.
Domestic Violence. While students often have the opportunity to work on domestic violence issues in the context of criminal law, Oregon Law has developed a relationship with the Klamath Falls Legal Aid Services of Oregon. Students at this placement work on a range of issues related to domestic violence and often have the opportunity to appear in court.
Environmental Law. Students pursuing experience in environmental law can take advantage of opportunities with governmental and nonprofit agencies working on a variety of issues related to environmental regulations and compliance, energy policy, land use, and climate change. Among the many externships students have pursued are placements at Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW), the US Department of Justice, and the US Department of the Interior, Office of the Solicitor.
In-House Counsel. The law school's in-house counsel externships provide second- and third-year students the opportunity to gain practical experience working with in-house counsel at a variety of different placements, including Columbia Sportswear, Tri-Met, Oregon Public Broadcasting, and the Port of Portland. In-house counsel externships are run by adjunct professor Kimberly Pray.
Judicial. Judicial externships provide students with the opportunity to work closely with state and federal judges. Judicial externs benefit from the opportunity to research and write and observe court proceedings. Adjunct professors Mindy Wittkop and Jolie Russo teach the course component of all judicial externships.
Local Government. Students who are interested in gaining experience in the practice of law in a local government can pursue opportunities working with lawyers for the City of Eugene, Lane County, and League of Oregon Cities, among other government placements.
Other Opportunities. Students also have the opportunity to pursue more uniquely tailored externships that will allow them to develop skills and expertise in an area of the law that is of particular interest to them. For example, students have externed at ACLU of Oregon and Senator Ron Wyden's Office in Washington D.C. For more on how to create and pursue your own unique externship, click here.
For more information about participating in an externship, click here.