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Externship Program Proves Popular With Students, Employers

by Mary Wood

Externships Prove Popular

Third-year law students (seated) Amy Herrera, Natasha Reed and Yan Gao are participating in the UVA Law in DC program this semester. Program participants meet for a seminar with Director of Externships Sprightley Ryan (standing) on Monday nights.

Just a year after it launched, the University of Virginia School of Law’s externships program is thriving and seeking more participants.

“I am inundated with requests from potential externship hosts eager to have UVA Law students,” Director of Externships A. Sprightley Ryan said.

The program offers three paths for students to receive academic credit for working full- or part-time in government and nonprofit positions. This fall, 13 third-year law students are working full-time in Washington, D.C., and taking an evening seminar as part of the UVA Law in DC program. Twelve students are working full-time in other locations around the world (with one in D.C.), and seven have part-time externships and work 10 hours a week locally.

“There are externship possibilities almost everywhere,” Ryan said. “I’m happy to help students find the perfect externship for them.”

Host organizations include federal government agencies both large—the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice—and small, such as the U.S. Copyright Office and the Administrative Conference of the U.S.

Externship Students
Third-year law student Ashley Williams is one of 13 students in the UVA Law in DC program.

Direct legal services nonprofits (Legal Aid DC, Catholic Charities, the Child Advocacy Clinic) and advocacy groups (the ACLU, the Pacific Legal Foundation) spanning a political spectrum also seek externs, Ryan said. Part-time placement options are available in Richmond at the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, in Blacksburg at Virginia Tech and in Charlottesville at UVA, including at the General Counsel’s Office, the School of Medicine and the Office of Immigration Services. The Rutherford Institute and the Albemarle County Attorney’s Office are also in town and have hosted externs.

Fall 2014 Externship Placements
Full-Time, Individualized Externships
Alameda County Public Defender, Alameda, California
City of Chicago Law Department, Chicago
County of Santa Barbara District Attorney’s Office, Santa Barbara, California
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, The Hague, The Netherlands
National Labor Relations Board, San Francisco, California
Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, Special Prosecutions Unit, Boston
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Houston
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, New York City (2 students)

International Bar Association, London
National Public Radio, Washington, D.C.
Rutherford Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia

Part-Time Externships
Albemarle County Attorney’s Office, Charlottesville, Virginia
Federal Public Defender’s Office, Appellate Section, Charlottesville, Virginia
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Appellate Section, W.D. Va., Charlottesville, Virginia
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia Office of General Counsel School of Medicine, Office of Grants and Contracts

Rutherford Institute, Charlottesville, Virginia
Southern Environmental Law Center, Charlottesville, Virginia
Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Project, Washington, D.C., and Charlottesville, Virginia

UVA Law in DC
Federal Communications Commission, Office of Commissioner Clyburn
Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Competition
Government Accountability Office General Counsel’s Office
Internal Revenue Service, Office of Chief Counsel
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Republican Office
U.S. Agency for International Development Office of General Counsel
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the Principal
Legal Advisor, Arlington Office of the Chief Counsel
U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division, Organized Crime and Gangs Section Environment and Natural Resources Division, Environmental Enforcement Section
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Economic and Risk Analysis

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Student Press Law Center
Tahirih Justice Center