Externships

Externships

USC Externship Program

Externships offer USC law students the opportunity to earn academic credit while gaining professional experience. Students may participate in externships in the Columbia region during the school year or during the summer. During the summer, students may also participate in externships anywhere in the United States or even abroad. The Externship Program director works with students to identify the right placement for them.

Administrative Law Externship

Students participating in the Administrative Law Externship work with federal and state agencies, ranging from local state agencies like the Attorney General's Office, DHEC, and local Sheriffs Offices to federal agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Typically, the students will work in a general counsel's office or an office with substantially similar duties and will assist the attorneys in research and drafting documents such as research memoranda and briefs. Depending on the placement, they may also have the opportunity to observe court proceedings as well as depositions and the interviewing of witnesses. In addition to their work at their placements, students attend a course that teaches the fundamentals of Administrative Law and they will have the opportunity to reflect upon their fieldwork experiences.

During the spring students typically work eight hours per week. The course is two credit hours and it is letter graded.

During the summer students work approximately 35 hours per week. The course runs eight weeks and it is four credit hours and letter graded.

Children's Law Externship

The Children's Law Externship is only offered during the spring semester. Students participating in the Children's Law Externship work approximately eight hours per week at government agencies, non-profit organizations or law firms which handle matters involving children in the court system. Typically, they assist lawyers in research and drafting, and they will have the opportunity to observe lawyering skills such as interviewing, counseling, and negotiation. Students are required to attend a course that discusses among other things, the issues of professional responsibility in the representation of parties in child welfare and juvenile matters before the Family Court. Students may earn two credits and it is a Pass/Fail course.

Legislation Externship

The Legislation Externship is only offered during the spring semester. Since that is when the Legislature is in session, students have the opportunity to see first-hand how proposed legislation comes about as well as evaluating the proposed legislation for constitutionality, unintended ambiguities or conflicts.

Students will be assigned actual bills to evaluate, will research any potential legal issues raised by the legislation, and prepare a written report on each bill assigned, setting forth the results of the research. The student's work-product will be submitted to the supervising lawyer-legislator. In addition to work supervised by a lawyer-legislator at the State House, students will meet as a class regularly through the semester with their professor for directed reflection upon their field experiences. Students may earn two credits and it is a Pass/Fail course.

Judicial Externship

Students participating in the Judicial Externship work with either federal or state judges. They will be exposed to the work of the federal or state judiciary by working with the judge and the law clerk. Typically, the student will have the opportunity to observe court proceedings and conferences in chambers with the guidance of the supervising judge. The student may also assist the judges and the law clerks in research and drafting documents such as bench memoranda, jury instructions, and opinions. In addition to their work at the court, students attend a course to learn more about the judiciary, and to reflect upon their fieldwork experiences.

During the spring students typically work eight hours per week. The course is two credit hours and it is letter graded.

During the summer students work approximately 35 hours per week. The course runs eight weeks and it is letter graded.