BYU Law School has one of the strongest externship programs in the country. In addition to having one of the largest student participation rates (81%), BYU Law School also has one of the largest international externship programs available. During the summer of 2019, 25 1L law students traveled to 19 different countries to complete externships. Due to Covid, no students traveled during the 2020 summer.
The BYU Law Externship Program is designed to provide an in-office practical experience for students who have completed one year of study at BYU Law School. Students have the opportunity to put theory into practice during their externship experience.
In 2020, BYU Law students completed 170 externship and clinical alliance placements in the following areas:
- Public Interest
- Private Law Firm
- In-house Corporate Counsel
In each placement, students earned one unit of law school credit, in lieu of pay, for each 42.5 hours of work. Fall and winter experiences are called Clinical Alliances. A very limited number of externships will continue to be available in the fall or winter semesters based on a very specific set of criteria. Most externships will be completed over the summer.
Students may earn up to six units of law school credit during both their 1L and 2L summers. A maximum of three credits (127.5 hours) can be earned at a for-profit law firm during either an externship or a clinical alliance. Students can earn up to six credits, with approval, (255 hours) at a government, judicial or public interest office. The number of hours and dates of work for each externship placement are mutually arranged between the externship provider and the student.
There is no expectation that externship providers will hire student externs after the requirements for the externship have been completed.
Students may not receive compensation for their work as an extern, but they may receive reimbursement of reasonable out-of-pocket expenses related to the placement.
As part of the program, students are required to:
- Submit a learning plan – a list of experiences they hope to have during the externship;
- Perform work assignments;
- Participate in the full range of activities available through the provider’s office; and
- Complete academic requirements such as learning plans, journals, on-line classes and self-evaluations.
Supervising attorneys are asked to:
- Provide meaningful work assignments, or put the student in the normal assignment channels for the office;
- Review and sign off on the student’s learning plan;
- Evaluate the student’s performance in online midterm and final student evaluations; and
- Respond to the student’s self-evaluation.
Student Application, Petition, and Approval Process
There are several ways to find and secure an externship placement. Different options are listed below with relevant information. Please click below on the type of externship you are interested in pursuing.
Once a placement is secured, you must complete a petition in LINX. Please see the directions below.
Spend four weeks in a foreign country working for credit at a law firm in which you have been placed. Students must list, in order of preference, at least three countries where the student would be willing to travel.
We make every effort to find a placement in one of the preferred countries listed on the students application.
It is recommended that the student have language skills related to the countries requested. There are a few exceptions. Applicants may not request Spanish-speaking or Portuguese-speaking countries unless the applicant speaks Spanish or Portuguese, respectively.
Generally, students will not be allowed to travel to any countries on the BYU Travel Restrictions List, though there are occasional exceptions to this. Applicants may not request a specific firm or a specific practice area.
Submit a cover letter, resume, and application form in LINX. The deadline for applying to this program will be in January. Once you have received confirmation of your placement, please complete the online petition for your externship in LINX.
Spend eight weeks of the summer at one of two law firms in either London (Devonshires Solicitors), or Seoul (Kim & Chang). These are large, international firms that provide a living stipend of reasonable expenses incurred as a result of the placement. These two firms also provide round-trip airfare. This is a full eight-week commitment and cannot be cut short. For the two placements in Korea, fluency in Korean is helpful, though not required.
Submit a cover letter and resume in LINX. The deadline for application is in January. Once you have been offered and accepted your placement, please complete an externship petition in LINX.
This placement is with Professor Stefan Talmon, Chair in Public Law, Public International Law, and Director of the Institute of Public International Law at the University of Bonn. Read Dr. Talmon’s bio.
Please contact Karen Andrews for details about how to apply for this placement. Once you have received confirmation of your placement, please complete a petition for this externship. Interviews for this placement generally take place in January/February.
Students may initiate and secure their own international placement. The requirements are that the student work with an attorney who is either a licensed U.S. attorney working with a corporation or a practicing attorney who is licensed and in good standing in the country where the attorney is practicing. The supervising attorney must have a minimum of three years of experience.
Once you have arranged for the placement, please complete the online petition in LINX. A travel stipend is available that will help cover a majority of your airline ticket.
Students selected as research fellows spend four weeks during the summer in an international location with an Area Legal Counsel (ALC) office for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Fellows are expected to work with their respective ALC for a minimum of 128 hours, and will earn three or four (3-4) credits. Fellows spend the rest of the summer in Provo researching and writing for the ICLRS. Time spent researching will be paid. This is a full summer commitment between the work with the ALC and the ICLRS. Students should not seek other summer opportunities.
Submit a cover letter and resume in LINX. Professor Elizabeth Clark will interview and make offers to those students interested in the Fellowship positions. The deadline to apply is in January. Once you have received and accepted the Fellowship position, please complete a petition for this externship experience in LINX.
In the Matched Externship program, providers with whom we enjoy a strong relationship, agree to accept a student in their offices for four weeks during the summer. Matched providers guarantee a placement for a student that we match with them.
Students may apply to up to ten matched externship placement providers. When applying, students are asked to rank their placement preferences. Grades or class rank are not included on your resume for this program.
Placement providers will have a chance to review the applicants’ resumes and will also rank the students they would like to have placed in their office.
The Career Development Office will then match students with a placement.
Once matched, the student is committed to working 127.5 hours in the placement, earning three credits.
A student cannot apply for both the Matched Externship Program and the International Match Program. You’ll have to pick one or the other.
Details on how to apply for Matched Externship program are forthcoming. The deadline for applications is in February. Once you have been matched and have the details of your placement, please complete the online petition in LINX for this externship experience. For more information, please contact Karen Andrews.
This is a placement that you arrange on your own with a practitioner you either already know, or find through any number of resources. A large number of our externships fall into this category. The Externship Database is an excellent source of information on where students have externed in the past and also legal opportunities that are currently available. You can access the database here: BYU Law Externship Program. The database is password protected. Please contact the Career Development office for the password – or email Karen Andrews at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are several policies and guidelines you must keep in mind as you arrange these placements.
- The placement is tentative until you complete your externship petition in LINX and myBYU (summer term) and receive approval from the Experiential Learning Director, Professor Carl Hernandez, have all the required paperwork turned in to Karen Andrews and receive confirmation from the law school Registrar (GaeLynn Smith) that you are registered and ready to start submitting assignments to your supervising faculty member.
- Private law firms may generally only have one extern per term. Before starting the conversation with a provider, you may contact Karen Andrews to determine whether there is another student slated for a placement in that office.
- Supervising attorneys should generally have at least three (3) years of experience in the practice of law.
- Supervising attorneys must be licensed attorneys in good standing. If the requested supervising attorney works in-house with a corporation, they must have a JD and must be actively involved in the practice of law on behalf of the corporation. If the attorney is licensed in any state, the license must be in good standing.
Once you have a tentative agreement in place with the provider, please complete the online petition in LINX to start the approval process.
If you have any questions about these guidelines, please contact Karen Andrews before confirming any details with your potential placement provider.
Completing Your Petition for an Externship or Clinical Alliance
For every placement, domestic or international, you will need to complete a petition in LINX. If you are working on a self-initiated placement, the petition is how you ask for law school approval of the placement. If you are accepting a placement through the Matched Externship Program, are setting up a self-initiated externship, have any type of international externship or are participating in a fall and/or winter clinical alliance – the petition confirms your position and starts the process of getting a faculty member assigned to you.
You will need to fill out the petition in LINX to get the ball rolling on the approval process.
Externship/Clinical Alliance Paperwork
BYU Law Field Placement MOU There is required paperwork in relation to your externship or clinical alliance placement. The signed paperwork needs to be submitted to Karen Andrews’ office before your externship or clinical alliance can be approved.
The BYU Law Field Placement Memorandum of Understanding should be signed by your supervising attorney. You can download the paperwork from the link below and ask your supervising attorney to sign and scan it back to either yourself or Karen Andrews.
The Master Internship Agreement is required to be on file with the main campus internship office. The Master Internship Agreement has to be current within the last 10 years. You can find out if there is a current Master Internship Agreement on file here.
This database is very basic in nature – but is current – and has great historical information on externships where BYU Law students have externed in the past – including the time frame that the student was there and also student comments on their experience. It will also show any current opportunities that are available to BYU Law students.
This database is password protected. Please contact the Career Development Office for the current password – or email Karen Andrews at email@example.com.
A clinical alliance (fall/winter terms) combines a 1-credit weekly class (50 min.) on campus, with an on-site placement (usually 2 credit hours, although sometimes a judge may request you for 3 credits). Some clinical alliances have pre-arranged placements and you will not need to worry about obtaining your own placement. The Criminal Prosecution and Defense Clinical Alliance has the student work with either the Utah County Attorney’s Office (prosecution) or the Utah County Public Defender’s Office (defense). The other Clinical Alliance classes: Law Firm & Corporate Counsel, Government Practice, and Judicial – require you to identify a placement in which to work to fulfill the placement-related work requirement. A student must work 42.5 hours to earn 1 unit of law school credit. The student must fill out the petition in LINX, to receive approval for the placement. You cannot earn any credit for a clinical alliance if you don’t fill out the LINX petition.
The BYU Law Clinical Alliance Program is designed to provide a wide range of practical skills experiences for students who are in their second and third years of study at BYU Law.
BYU Law offers the following clinical alliance classes:
- Law Firm & Corporate Counsel
- Criminal Defense/Criminal Prosecution
- Government Practice
Clinical alliances combine the practical experience students gain in a practitioner’s office with the academic support of a carefully guided classroom experience.
In each placement, students earn one unit of law school credit for the classroom portion of their experience and an additional unit of law school credit for each 42.5 hours of work in their placement. Generally, students participating in clinical alliances will earn three credits total – one in class, and two in their placement. There are exceptions to that general practice specifically for judicial placements.
The dates and times for each clinical alliance class are listed in the BYU Law Class Schedule (found on the Course Information page) each semester. The dates and times that the student will work with the placement provider are mutually arranged between those two parties. Regular reporting of days and hours worked is required.
There is no expectation that Clinical Alliance placement providers will hire students after the requirements for the placement have been completed. Clinical Alliances are pass/fail graded courses and are subject to the grading policies and procedures of the law school.
Pursuant to ABA rules, each student participating in a clinical alliance must have completed at least 28 credit hours of law school instruction before participating in the program. Thus, the program is available to only 2L and 3L students. Clinical alliances are available in the fall and winter semesters.
In general, three credit hours can be earned during during a clinical alliance. Two credits (or 85 hours) will be spent with the placement provider and the additional credit is earned through participation in the required classroom component. Historically, there have been exceptions to this limit on credits earned for certain judicial placements. If you are interested in an exception, please contact Professor Carl Hernandez.
Placement Provider Requirements
Clinical alliance placement providers must have one attorney who is designated as the supervising attorney for the student. The supervising attorney will be asked to evaluate the student in the placement and will be asked to complete two formal evaluations – one at the mid-term of the placement and the second at the conclusion of the experience. The supervising attorney should feel free to contact the supervising faculty member with questions about the program, or with feedback about the student.
Supervising attorneys should have at least three years of experience practicing law and must be a member in good standing of their respective state bar.
Placement providers are required to have a signed and current Master Agreement on file with Brigham Young University. You may check with the main campus Internship Office to find out if a current Master Agreement is already on file – or check with Karen Andrews.
Supervising attorneys will be asked to sign a BYU Law Field Placement Memorandum of Understanding
Student Application, Petition, and Approval Process
A student who is interested in a Clinical Alliance experience will need to register for the appropriate Clinical Alliance class listed in the course information list. To petition for – and to receive approval for your proposed clinical alliance, you will need to fill out the term related petition located in LINX.
Once you receive approval for your Clinical Alliance petition, you will need to make sure that the required paperwork is signed by your supervising attorney. This signed paperwork needs to be submitted to Karen Andrews’ office before your externship or clinical alliance can be approved.
The BYU Law Field Placement Memorandum of Understanding should be signed by your supervising attorney. You can download the paperwork from the link below and ask your supervising attorney to sign and scan it back to either yourself or Karen Andrews at: firstname.lastname@example.org
BYU Law Field Placement Memorandum of Understanding
A current Master Internship Agreement is required by the BYU Internship Office. The Internship Agreement has to be current within the last 10 years. To find out whether there is a current Master Internship Agreement on file for the office that you are interested in, click on the link below. Karen Andrews should be able to tell you quickly if there is a current Master Agreement on file.