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Rules and Requirements

Graduate Externship Rules and Requirements

Required Hours

In the fall and spring semesters, LLM and MSL externs must perform and document a minimum of 130 hours of fieldwork during the semester; students may not work more than 13 hours in any given week. For externships performed during the summer term, LLM and MSL externs must perform and document a minimum of 20 hours of fieldwork per week for at least 8 weeks, which should (to the extent possible) roughly coincide with the dates of the law school's summer term (for exact dates, see the academic calendar).

Enrollment and Credits

LLM and MSL externs will be enrolled in the Graduate Externship Fieldwork course and will receive two academic credits for the fieldwork performed. So long as the externship is related to your program area of specialization, the credit earned in the Graduate Externship Fieldwork course can be counted toward the Specialization Distribution Course requirement for your program (if applicable).

A student may not enroll in more than one externship in a single semester. A student may, if he or she wishes, do a second (or more) externship in a subsequent semester; however, credits earned for subsequent externships will not count toward the 24 credit minimum required for graduation. Students who are completing a second (or more) externship enroll in the Graduate Externship Fieldwork course for that semester, but do not retake the related seminar course (discussed below).

Related Classroom Work

In addition to the Graduate Externship Fieldwork course, LLM and MSL externs are required to enroll in a one-credit seminar course. This course will explore various topics related to law practice and the legal profession, including goal-setting, supervision, legal research, ethical issues in practice, professionalism and, through student presentations, a variety of issues raised in individual fieldwork settings. Credits earned in the seminar will count toward the 24-credit minimum required for graduation, but will not count toward the Specialization Distribution Course requirement.

Externship Assignments

Students should be assigned a variety of meaningful lawyering tasks in their externships. Such tasks might include the following: legal research, drafting of legal documents, fact investigation, internal audits or investigations, due diligence, interviewing and counseling clients, and negotiating. Graduate externs should not, as a general rule, be asked to perform clerical duties such as photocopying, phone coverage, or other non-lawyering, non-compliance tasks.

Supervision at the Host Institution

The Host Institution is required to assign each graduate extern a Placement Supervisor. The Placement Supervisor should be the primary point of contact for students regarding orientation to the office, assignments, and any other issues that arise. The Placement Supervisor will also be the main point of contact for the Graduate Externship Program regarding the students’ placement.


Graduate externs may be paid for their work, although students on F1 visas should discuss this issue with the Office of International Services. Students cannot both receive payment and academic credit for an externship.

Pro Bono Requirement

If your work at the placement would meet the standards of New York State’s Pro Bono Requirement for Bar Admission (Rule 520.16), you may request that your Host Institution certify your work in compliance with Rule 520.16. The Graduate Externship Program will not be responsible for certifying such work.

All forms are available online at Forms may be submitted in person in Room 8-131 or via email to For documents that are submitted by the student but must be signed by the Placement Supervisor, email submissions can be done in one of two ways: (i) the student can print the form and have it signed then scan the document to a PDF and attach it to an email; or (ii) the student may attach the unsigned document to an email addressed to with the Placement Supervisor in cc and the Placement Supervisor can reply to all that he/she approves the form. In the case of (ii), the email confirmation by the Placement Supervisor will serve as the "signature." All email submissions should say "Externship Form Submission" in the subject line.

Guidelines for Host Institutions and Placement Supervisors: All graduate externs are expected to read and understand the Guidelines for Host Institutions and Placement Supervisors in order to have a good sense of what to expect in the externship setting, as well as the expectations the Host Institution and Placement Supervisor may have of you.

Questions/Contact: If you have any questions or concerns related to your placement, you should feel free to contact Assistant Dean Jaeger-Fine via email,