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.
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 2018, BYU Law students completed 265 externship and clinical alliance placements in the following areas:
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 break.
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 either a for-profit legal office or corporate counsel office. Students can earn up to six credits (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 placement 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:
1. Submit a learning plan – a list of experiences they hope to have during the externship;
2. Perform work assignments;
3. Participate in the full range of activities available through the provider’s office; and
4. Complete academic requirements such as learning plans, journals, and self-evaluations.
Supervising attorneys are asked to:
1. Provide meaningful work assignments, or put the student in the normal assignment channels for the office;
2. Review and sign off on the student’s learning plan;
3. Evaluate the student’s performance in online midterm and final student evaluations; and
4. Respond to the student’s self-evaluation.
You can learn more about the BYU University Internship Policy here: https://intern.byu.edu/content/internship-policy
For further information on the BYU Law Externship Program, please contact Karen Andrews at: firstname.lastname@example.org or
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 on how to do so below.
Any questions can be directed to Karen Andrews at: email@example.com
International by Request
Available only during the summer following the 1L year.
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 like to be placed.
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.
Once a student applies for this type of externship, the student is committed and may not back out. If you are considering an international by request placement, please make your decision about applying with that in mind. A travel stipend is available that will help cover a majority of your airline ticket.
Submit a cover letter, resume, and application form to Karen Andrews in JRCB 375A. The deadline for applying to this program will take place in late fall. For more details, please contact Karen Andrews. Once you have received confirmation of your placement, please complete the online petition for your externship In Linx. Karen will provide you with more details later.
Eight-Week Paid International Internship
Available only in summer following the 1L year
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 to Karen Andrews in JRCB 375A. The deadline for application varies from year to year, but is generally in January. For more details, please contact Karen Andrews. Once you have been offered and accepted your placement, please complete an externship petition in Linx.
Bonn University Externship
Available only during the summer following the 1L year
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.
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.
International Self-Initiated Externship
Available only during summer
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 to any 1L student who has successfully completed the 1L year that will help cover a majority of your airline ticket.
Research Fellow, International Center for Law and Religion Studies
Available only during the summer following the 1L year
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 150 hours, and will earn three (3) total credits. Fellows spend the rest of the summer in Provo researching and writing for the ICLRS. Time spent researching will be paid.
Submit a cover letter and resume in hard copy form directly to Professor Elizabeth Clark in JRCB 452. The deadline for application varies from year to year, but is generally in January. For more details, please contact Karen Andrews. Once you have received confirmation and the other details of your placement, please complete a petition for this externship experience.
Domestic Matched Externship
Available only during the summer following the 1L year
In the Matched Externship program, providers with whom we enjoy a strong relationship, agree to accept a student in their offices for several weeks in 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 may not be 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.
Career Services will then match students with a placement.
Once matched, the student is committed to working 127.5 hours in the placement, earning three credits. Each student may have only one matched placement.
You cannot apply for both the Matched Externship Program and the International Request Program. You’ll have to pick one or the other.
Once matched, you are committed to the provider for the time indicated in the listing.
Details on how to apply for Matched Externship program are forthcoming. The deadline for applications is in February. For more information, please contact Karen Andrews. Once you have been matched and have the details of your placement, please complete the online petition in Linx for this externship experience.
Domestic Self-Initiated Externship
Available during the summer following 1L and 2L year, also available in a fall or winter term if you have previously completed a clinical alliance in the same placement category
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. For ideas about what kind of externships students have had in the past, you may search old placements in the BYU Law externship database.
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 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 Kuchar) 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. If you request a placement in an office where another student has already been approved, your petition will not be approved.
- 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.
If you have any questions about these guidelines, please contact Karen Andrews before confirming any details with your potential placement provider.
Once you have a tentative agreement in place with the provider, please complete the online petition for the desired externship.
Completing Your Petition for an Externship or Clinical Alliance
For every placement, domestic or international, you will need to complete a petition. 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/winter clinical alliance – the petition confirms your position and starts the process of getting a faculty member assigned to you.
IF YOU DO NOT COMPLETE A PETITION YOU WILL NOT EARN ANY CREDIT FOR THE WORK YOU COMPLETE IN YOUR PLACEMENT–WHETHER DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL.
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 MOA 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.
BYU Law Field Placement MOA IA The Master Internship Agreement is required to be on file with the main campus internship office. TheMaster Internship Agreement has to be current within the last 10 years. To find out whether there is a current Master Internship Agreement on file, click on the following link: https://intern.byu.edu/, click on the Students tab and scroll down to the Internship Master Agreement Database. You should be able to query your office or supervisor here. Also – Karen Andrews should be able to tell you quickly if there is a current Master Agreement on file.
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 Services and Professional Development Office for the current passwords – or email Karen Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To continue, click here
A clinical alliance 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 more credits). Some clinical alliances have pre-arranged placements and you will not need to worry about obtaining your own placement – these include the Criminal Prosecution and Defense Clinical Alliance (Utah County Attorney/Utah County Public Defender) and the USAID Clinical Alliance. The other Clinical Alliance classes: Corporate Counsel/Law Firm, Government Practice, and Judicial – require you to identify a placement in which to work to fulfill the placement-related work requirement.
Clinics allow you to directly advise or represent an actual client. There are multiple clinics to choose from over the fall/winter terms:
- BYU Community Legal Clinic (immigration, consumer, housing, public benefits)
- Criminal & Civil Rights Appeals Clinic (provides immersive, hands-on experience with the the appellate process and advocacy)
- Domestic Violence Intervention Clinic (learn about the dynamics within abusive families and how they play out in court)
- Environmental Policy Clinic (live client interactions with various government agencies)
- Family Law Clinic (live client interactions working on actual family law cases)
- Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic (start-up business transactions)
- Legal Design (project based course where students learn to use design thinking to analyze/address legal issues)
- Legislative Clinic (participation in the Utah Legislative General Session)
- Mediation Clinic (mediate in small claims courts)
- Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Clinic (advanced dispute resolution)
- Refugee and Immigration Initiative (one-week immigration detention work in Dilley, TX)
- Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic I and II (development of professional skills and knowledge for effective practice before the Supreme Court – or any court)
- Supreme Court Advocacy Clinic (briefing U.S. Supreme Court cases)
Some clinics have prerequisites. Detailed descriptions of each of these clinics can be found here. You only to need to register for the course in order to participate.
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:
- Corporate Counsel/Law Firm
- 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.
For further information on the BYU Law Clinical Alliance Program, please contact Professor Carl Hernandez at email@example.com or phone 801.422.4934.
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 but are not available for the summer term. If you are interested in a summer placement, please look at the information on externships.
In general, no more than 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
For further information, please contact Karen Andrews at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 801.422.5479
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: email@example.com
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, click on the following link: https://intern.byu.edu/, click on the Students tab and scroll down to the Internship Master Agreement Database. You should be able to query your office or supervisor here. Also – Karen Andrews should be able to tell you quickly if there is a current Master Agreement on file.