header image of students and potential employers at the externship expo



Contact Us

Ashley U. Menendez
Director of Academic Excellence
Director of Externships
Student Services Suite Room 189
Phone (479) 575-4581

The University of Arkansas School of Law (School) Externship program provides an opportunity for students to actively participate in a field of interest to them while earning academic credit. Elective externships are available to second and third year law students who have successfully completed two semesters of law school, are in good standing, and (preferably) have completed or are concurrently enrolled in Professional Responsibility. Some externships demand more specific requirements intended to enhance the externship experience.

Externships are available in the areas of Capstone, Corporate Counsel, Criminal Defense, Criminal Prosecution, Government, International, Judicial, and Public Interest.

Applying for Externships

The following materials must be prepared and returned to the Director of Externships, Professor Angie Doss, by the deadline each semester:

  1. Completed Externship Application with Signed Agreement;
  2. Two references (at least one of which is a law school professor who has taught the student and is acquainted with the student and his/her work ethic);
  3. Resume;
  4. Cover letter, addressed to Professor Angie Doss, for each externship program (not each placement), detailing why you want to participate in the specific externship program. Make sure your resume and cover letter have NO misspellings or grammatical errors.

Should a student have a particular interest in or connection with an entity or judge not listed, the student should contact Professor Doss before making any contact with an entity not listed as a current participant. All externships must be reviewed and approved for participation in the Program.

Goals of the Externship Program

The following goals set the foundation for the Externship Program:

  1. To expose students to the practice of law and compliance;
  2. To familiarize students with the structures, procedures, and professional environments of traditional and on-traditional legal settings;
  3. To provide opportunities for students to learn how issues discussed in the classroom manifest in practice, and how they are addressed by practicing attorneys and sitting judges;
  4. To provide opportunities for students to observe sophisticated aspects of litigation, criminal and civil process, public interest advocacy, and corporate counsel; and
  5. To practice and improve legal research, analysis, and writing skills.

In order to achieve these goals, students must be able to observe and participate in the practice and procedure of various professional legal settings outside the law school, under the supervision and mentorship of licensed attorneys.

Components of the Externship Program

The Externship Program has two components, namely academic and experiential. A Faculty Advisor directs and oversees the academic component, while the placement site judge/attorney serves as the Field Supervisor. The extern has responsibilities to both.

The Field Supervisor is asked to serve as supervisor and mentor to the extern, assigning and overseeing tasks at the externship placement site. At the end of the term, the Field Supervisor completes an Evaluation of the extern.

The Faculty Advisor meets with externs at least three times during the semester. In addition, the Faculty Advisor monitors and provides feedback on regular assignments the externs submit, subject to ethical considerations and the protection of confidences. The types of regular assignments include, activity time and travel logs, reflective journals, and a final reflection paper.

In order to achieve these goals, students must be able to observe and participate in the practice and procedure of various professional legal settings outside the law school, under the supervision and mentorship of licensed attorneys.

Serving as a Field Supervisor

To serve as a Field Supervisor, a judge/attorney must be licensed in the jurisdiction where the extern is placed, and must have a minimum of five years’ experience in the practice of law or other use of the JD degree following graduation from law school. In addition, the judge/attorney must have the requisite time and attention to ensure that the extern has opportunities to use research and writing skills appropriate to the nature of business conducted at the placement. The judge/attorney should be sufficiently available to mentor the extern and to complete written evaluations assessing the performance and professionalism of the extern.

To apply to serve as a Field Supervisor and to host an extern from the University of Arkansas School of Law, contact Ashley Menendez at menendez@uark.edu or (479) 575-4581.