Family Law: Become Practice Ready

Child Advocacy Externship

Summer Only
3 or 6 Credits
Instructors: Leslie Harris and Field Instructors
Click here for details.

This externship allows students to work with a juvenile and family court judge or a senior juvenile law attorney for eight weeks during the summer. Currently, students may work half-time for judges in Multnomah, Linn and Astoria County or full time at Youth Rights and Justice in Portland. The judges are all well-respected judges who are quite active in statewide juvenile law reform work and who have a demonstrated interest in working with students. Youth Rights and Justice is the only law firm in Oregon that represents primarily children; in addition to representing children in juvenile court dependency and delinquency cases, attorneys also do substantial law reform work. 

About the externship

Each student placed with a judge acts as the judge’s clerk, doing research, preparing for hearings, contacting counsel as needed, and observing initial hearings, trials, settlement conferences, and review hearings. He or she also does a major law reform project at the direction of the judge.

The student at Juvenile Rights Project works with a senior attorney who is involved in a significant law reform project. The student helps prepare cases, observes court proceedings, and, if a third-year student, appears in court. He or she also works on the law reform project, which may involve legal and factual investigation, as well as analysis and writing.

Each extern keeps a journal of his or her experiences and submits that journal, along with written work products, to the faculty supervisor each week.

All externs meet with the faculty supervisor before the externship begins to review juvenile court practice in Oregon. Thereafter, they meet every two weeks as a group with the faculty supervisor to discuss their experiences and issues that have arisen during their field placements.

Eligibility, prerequisites, and application process

Applicants must have completed 30 hours of law school credits with a cumulative average of 2.0 or better. At least half the externs in any year have just finished their first year of law school.

Each spring in February or March Professor Harris will send out a request for applications on the law school listserv.

Externs will be chosen based on their demonstrated interest in child advocacy work, including past experiences and future plans, as well as academic performance. Preference will be given to students who have completed Children and the Law.


Domestic Violence Externship

Summer, Fall and Spring

In 2007, the University of Oregon School of Law partnered with Legal Aid Services of Oregon and the Klamath Medical Services Bureau Foundation to provide a unique externship for students interested in family law and rural law practice.

The Domestic Violence Externship provides a student a unique opportunity to train one-one-one under an attorney experienced in representing victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. The externship occurs off-site, at the Klamath Falls office of Legal Aid Services of Oregon. The student works 8 weeks full time in the summer or 14 weeks full time during either the fall or spring semester. Given its location, the externship focuses on rural law practice and particularly the challenges faced by low-income survivors and their attorneys.

For more information, click here.