Skip to main content

Get More Program Details

  • Admission Requirements
  • Enrollment Support
  • Engaged Learning
  • Program Features
  • Current Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3


The CSU College of Law currently has more than 40 externship placement locations, including government agencies at the federal, state and local level, judicial chambers, nonprofit and public interest organizations and corporations. 

Under the close supervision of an attorney or judge and with a faculty mentor, you will contribute to the ongoing work of the externship site, giving you the chance to learn the law by being an active participant in the legal process. You will set learning goals for your externship, attend seminars, submit timesheets and interact with faculty who will guide and assist you. Two key aspects of every externship are close supervision by and feedback from the externship site supervisor and guided reflection and discussion of how legal studies are applied in practice through the classroom component of the program. 

Some externships will allow (or may require) students to obtain the Ohio Legal Intern Certificate, which affords students the opportunity to appear and represent clients in court under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

Recent remote externships that CSU Law students have completed:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office of General Counsel

  • Los Angeles County Council

  • Ohio Supreme Court

  • Center for Art Law (Brooklyn, NY)

  • City of Warren (Ohio) Law Department

  • Seneca County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court 



An extern must be a student currently enrolled at the CSU College of Law. For any externship, you must have completed the 1L Required Core Curriculum (RCC), completed 29 credits, have a cumulative G.P.A. of 2.25 or better and obtain approval from the site supervisor. Some externships have additional prerequisites, such as course requirements, GPA requirements or background checks. Students should meet with Student and Career Services before applying to individual externship sites.

Externships are subject to certain restrictions:

  • You may not receive compensation for your work as an extern; under certain circumstances, you may be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses you incur in carrying out your duties at the placement sites.

  • You cannot participate in an externship and a clinic during the same semester. 

  • You may not enroll in the same externship more than once. This includes judicial externships.

  • You may not enroll in more than one externship per semester.

  • Placements at private law firms are not permitted.

  • You may only enroll in a total of 17 credits in externships and clinics throughout your law school career.

  • You may not apply for an externship that will result in a conflict of interest including, but not limited to: simultaneous work for a public defender's or prosecutor's office and a judicial externship in the same court system; a judicial externship in a court where the student is involved in a case pending before the court; or such other work or circumstances as the clinical faculty supervisors determine constitutes a conflict.

The Externship Class

Students are required to participate in an externship class in order to receive credit for the course.


CSU College of Law’s externship program offers externship placements with judicial, governmental, corporate counsel and other agencies and organizations that serve the public interest. Some externships require background clearances. When a background clearance is required, you will need to apply well in advance of the term in which you wish to extern. Most sites do not allow work to begin until the background clearance has been completed, which can sometimes take as long as six to eight weeks.

Students are not eligible to apply for an externship until they have submitted an Externship Pre-Application and met with Student and Career Services to discuss their externship preferences. It is also expected that every student will read and understand the Externship Program Handbook prior to applying for an externship.

For every externship, a student must commit to work a certain number of hours and participate in the Externship Seminar. The number of credits you may receive depends on the total number of hours you agree to work at the externship site.



Judicial externships are available at all levels of the judicial system. Judicial externs are integrated into the work of the chambers: writing bench memos, drafting opinions, researching issues during trials, and observing settlement conferences and mediations. Students also have the opportunity to observe proceedings in the courthouse, which may include trials, sentencing hearings or oral arguments.

Government, Public Interest and Corporate Counsel

These externships provide opportunities in numerous subject areas, including civil, criminal, education, health, immigration, labor/employment and tax. These externships allow a student to have the opportunity to delve into substantive areas of law, investigate claims, research and write motions or briefs, draft contracts and participate in hearings, trials, settlement conferences and/or negotiations. 


Students may also pursue opportunities outside of the pre-arranged externship placements. Once a student secures an offer from a qualifying organization, he/she must submit an application to receive academic credit for the placement through the College of Law's Independent Externship program. For complete information, please review the College of Law's Independent Externship Policy carefully.


Ohio Legal Intern Certificate

Students who have completed 60 credit hours may be eligible to obtain certification from the Ohio Supreme Court to represent (with certain restrictions and limitations) individuals in civil or criminal cases. The student must be “employed by or associated with a law school clinic, legal aid bureau, public defender's office or other legal services organization that provides legal assistance primarily to financially needy individuals, or is responsible for handling civil cases or prosecuting criminal misdemeanor cases for the state of Ohio or a municipal corporation.” Rule II, Section 1(3), Ohio Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio.


Policies And Procedures

I. Policy Statement

CSU College of Law has a long tradition of providing externship opportunities for its law students. For more than two decades, students have been placed with some of the leading government, judicial, corporate counsel and nonprofit legal offices in the region. These placements provide students with a unique opportunity to improve their writing, research and oral communication skills, to appreciate the significant ethical issues facing the profession and to integrate what they learn in the classroom with the actual practice of law. 

For the externs to fully achieve these goals, and in order for the program to meet ABA/AALS accreditation standards, significant supervision is required by an attorney at the placement site (referred to as the “supervising attorney”) and the faculty advisor responsible for the externship program during the relevant term. Externships are further distinguished from other employment situations in that a student cannot receive compensation for the student’s services.

CSU College of Law encourages students to pursue externships that relate closely to their professional goals. Frequently, this can be achieved through placement in an existing externship. From time to time, however, students seek a more particularized experience. CSU College of Law supports students in their exploration of alternative placements by permitting students to identify independent externship placements.

Independent externships are intended to provide flexibility regarding the placement opportunities available for students while simultaneously maintaining CSU College of Law’s high standards for our externship program. We expect students to have learning experiences that are similar to students at our established externship sites. With those objectives in mind, we have adopted the procedures stated below to govern the approval and implementation of Independent Externships.

II. Procedures

A. Prerequisites

  1. Completion of the required first-year curriculum

  2. A cumulative GPA of 2.25 or above

  3. Approval from clinical faculty

  4. The site executes a Memorandum of Understanding with CSU College of Law stating that it will comply with ABA Standard 304

B. Procedures for obtaining approval of an Independent Externship

  1. A student who has identified a particular area of law in which he/she would like to gain experience — for example, poverty law or civil liberties — should identify an organization that addresses that area of law.

  2. The student informs the Office of Student and Career Services of their intent to propose an Independent Externship for consideration by the clinical faculty.

  3. The student contacts the organization to determine whether an attorney is available to assign and mentor the student’s work and comply with the externship program’s policies and procedures.

  4. The student submits a written proposal to the clinical faculty at least 30 days before the first day of classes of the term in which the proposed externship, if approved, will commence. The written proposal shall include the following information:

    1. A description of the organization

    2. A description of the legal work the extern will do (e.g., client interviews, legal research, drafting documents or memos, court appearances, etc.)

    3. A description of the opportunities to observe attorneys in action that are available to the student such as attending meetings, observing court proceedings, listening to telephone calls between attorneys and clients, attending board meetings and attending witness interviews

    4. The tentative work schedule the extern has negotiated with the organization, including the days of the week and the hours on those days

    5. An explanation of the educational benefits that the extern believes will result from the placement

    6. The supervising attorney’s name, position within the organization, address, email address and phone number

    7. A statement that the student and supervising attorney have considered and discussed any anticipated conflicts of interest, impact on the attorney-client privilege between the organization and its clients and other ethical concerns that the placement might raise 

    8. Any other information the student deems relevant to the proposal or specifically requested by the clinical faculty 

  5. Upon receipt of the written proposal, a member of the clinical faculty will meet with the site supervisor to: 

    1. Explain how the Externship Program works. 

    2. Determine if the proposed experience meets our requirements. 

    3. Request that the site execute the Memorandum of Understanding.

  6. After a member of the clinical faculty meets with the site supervisor, the clinical faculty will approve or deny the proposal for an independent externship. The clinical faculty’s denial of a proposal is final and is not appealable to the dean of the law school, the associate deans, the faculty or any committee thereof.

C. Procedures following approval of an Independent Externship

After the independent externship is approved, the student must register for the independent externship course and comply with the externship program rules and requirements set forth in the Externship Program Handbook.


Dedicated Student Support

A CSU enrollment advisor can answer your questions and guide you through the application process. Click the button below to fill out a form and start the conversation.

  • Admission Requirements
  • Curriculum Details
  • Experiential learning
  • Enrollment Support
  • Financial Aid
  • Tuition Costs