Eager for real-world experience? The externship program at the Quinnipiac University School of Law provides more than 300 potential placements with lawyers, judges and mediators.
Our dynamic externship model emphasizes close, collaborative relationships among students, faculty supervisors and your real-world field supervisors. You'll analyze and reflect on your field experiences throughout the semester in on-campus seminar classes and tutorials.
We offer 16 separate externship courses, and organize them into two groups: either by type of placement (where the subject matter may be varied) or by the subject matter of the fieldwork (in one of several practice settings). This permits students to individualize how they choose to highlight their field work on their transcripts and resumes.
Below are the 16 externship courses that we offer, organized into the two groupings of programs:
Externships by Type
The Corporate Counsel externship places you at area corporations and membership organizations where you'll work in substantive areas ranging from:
- Intellectual property and licensing to products liability law
- Employment and disabilities to public utilities law
- Tax and securities to environmental law
- Franchising and leasing to zoning law
Your duties could be to:
- Review and/or negotiate contracts and work with outside counsel to prepare corporate witnesses for deposition and trial
- Attend judicial and/or administrative hearings and participate in alternate dispute resolution proceedings
- Prepare materials for submission to regulators and help to design regulatory compliance programs
- Work with human resources personnel to develop employee handbooks and conduct sexual harassment awareness and prevention programs
- Attend board or shareholder meetings and assist their supervisors with other internal and public presentations
Field Placement II
This is a second or subsequent semester externship sequel for students who have completed one or more externship semesters and wish to continue their field experience. Students may be placed in an entirely different placement, or may stay on at a placement with a heightened responsibility or different types of projects.
Understand the responsibility judges assume when they take their oaths of office by observing the judicial system from the court's perspective. In this externship, you'll work with state and federal judges at the trial and appellate levels and may have the option to choose civil or criminal assignments, or focus on areas such as family, juvenile or housing law.
You'll become familiar with procedural and evidentiary rules and hone your research, writing and oral communication skills by preparing bench memoranda and drafting opinions for judges. Read court files, discuss pending matters with judges and clerks and see what approaches are and are not appropriate in written and oral advocacy. The professionalism lessons are plentiful.
Whether you use this as a prelude to a judicial clerkship after graduation or simply to get an insider's view of the court and the bench, you'll come to realize how the best lawyers advocate, and the process by which judges must decide.
This inspiring externship will show you how your work affects whether a client has a home, a job, or enough to eat, or whether a child has an appropriate educational program.
The Legal Services externship places you in legal services offices paired with lawyers who represent low-income people in housing, benefits-access, employment discrimination, disability, family, special education and unemployment matters.
Casework includes significant client contact and advocacy at judicial and/or administrative hearings, representing both individuals and community groups, and often participating in "impact," or law reform, litigation.
Learn first-hand about the legislative decision-making process by: gathering facts, conducting legal research, drafting proposed litigation, responding to constituent requests, and attending committee hearings and legislative sessions. As a legislative extern through the Quinnipiac University School of Law's externship program, you'll spend the spring semester working with legislative and executive branch lawyers in the State Capitol. You may be assigned to one of the following offices: judiciary committee co-chairs and counsel to the majority and minority caucuses, as well as to the governor's counsel and the attorney general.
Help resolve landlord-tenant, child custody, victim-offender, consumer disputes or other community-based disputes by mediating with both lawyer and non-lawyer mediators in court-based and community mediation settings.
The Mediation externship permits students to develop mediation skills, and learn how mediation can help parties in conflict to reach their own decisions and resolve their own disagreements. At the same time, you'll learn lawyering skills by observing and evaluating the performance of advocates through the neutral lens of the mediator.
The Public Interest externship is packed with possibilities. Interested in elder law, disabilities or housing law? How about labor or constitutional law, consumer or health law, tax, family or employment law? It's all here.
You'll work with lawyers in government agencies at the municipal, state or federal level, nonprofit advocacy organizations, private firms that make significant pro bono commitments, and other public interest organizations.
You may perform such duties as:
- Interview clients and/or witnesses
- Appear in administrative or judicial proceedings
- Perform legal research and analysis
- Draft position papers, motions, memoranda, briefs, correspondence, even administrative decisions
- Assist with depositions
- Attend public hearings and board meetings
- Assist in arbitrations
And perhaps most importantly, you'll learn why public service is among the core values of the legal profession.
Externships by Subject Matter
This externship is designed to permit students the opportunity to apply their studies in business and commercial law in the real world. This course permits you to be placed in a private law firm, where you might work on either transactional or litigation matters for business clients, in a variety of types of law.
This exciting externship pairs you with prosecutors or public defenders in the state and federal criminal justice systems. You might work on court cases involving any type of criminal matters. Depending on whether you are in a prosecution or defense placement, your duties might include:
- Interview clients
- Negotiate with self-represented defendants
- Conduct fact investigations
- Perform legal research
- Draft pleadings and memoranda
- Conduct plea negotiations
- Participate in trial strategy sessions
- Prepare witnesses for trial
- Make bond arrangements
- Argue evidentiary motions
- Work on plea agreements
- Second-chair or conduct trials
- Examine and cross-examine witnesses
Employment and Labor Law
If employment or labor law interests you, you can focus your externship in this broad-based subject area. Employment and labor law is practiced in private firms, in-house corporate offices, nonprofit entities, and in government agencies at every level. There are judges and administrative agencies that specialize in this area, as well. The work may be on behalf of either employees or employers, and may involve state and federal law - from claims of discrimination, to wage and hour cases, to unemployment matters, to contract law, or even labor contract negotiations and arbitrations.
Environmental and Energy Law
This exciting externship permits you to explore this subject matter in a wide variety of placements: government agencies, private law firms, nonprofit agencies, and in-house corporate law departments. Whether you are in a watch-dog position or advising your corporate client how to operate responsibly, you will garner satisfaction by learning the law in this field at the same time that you see how lawyers use it in real life.
Family and Juvenile Law
Divorce, custody, domestic violence, child support, guardianship, and abuse and neglect matters comprise the substantive caseload in this externship. You'll learn to meet the needs of clients dealing with some of the most personal and painful crises they may ever experience.
You'll work in legal services and private law offices, paired with attorneys who represent low-income people in agencies, under contract with the state or through significant pro bono/low bono work in private practice.
You might be called on to:
- Represent both adults and children
- Interview and counsel clients
- Conduct fact investigations
- Negotiate settlements
- Advocate clients' interests in family, probate and/or juvenile court and in alternate dispute resolution proceedings
The range of possible perspectives in this externship is very broad. This course gives you an opportunity to experience health law from any one of several angles, from medical malpractice to disability law to corporate law. You might choose to be placed in a private law firm, a legal aid agency, an in-house corporate entity such as a pharmaceutical company, a hospital legal counsel office, or a government agency that regulates health care and health care professionals.
Intellectual Property Law
Trademark? Copyrights? Patents? Licensing? Whatever your interest, you can explore intellectual property law in a private law firm that represents many private IP clients, or in an in-house corporate law department that handles the IP matters for its one corporate client. You might be performing traditional legal research one day, searching the internet for evidence of infringement the next, and learning how clients can and must act to protect their intellectual property rights.
Sports and Entertainment Law
This exciting externship permits you to perform legal work in the sports, entertainment, and arts areas. You may choose a placement in Connecticut, New York, or even LA. Placements range from private firms to entertainment agencies, or university sports compliance offices. The legal departments at music, TV, or film industry, museums and sports team placements are all possible as well.
If tax law is your preferred subject area, we offer you opportunities beyond our Tax Clinic. Whether you want to experience corporate tax law in an in-house legal department, a nonprofit, or see how tax lawyers in private practice operate, all are possible. Placements are also available in state and federal government tax agencies, such as the IRS and the state Department of Revenue Services.