Georgia Law Atlanta Semester in Practice and Civil Externship
Full-time and Part-time Courses
Georgia Law’s two civil externship courses offer credit for work in selected governmental, judicial, or private nonprofit law offices in Athens and Metro Atlanta. Students work in outside law practices, while taking an externship seminar once a week. In the Atlanta Semester in Practice course, students work 32 hours per week and typically take other classes in Atlanta. In the Civil Externship course, students work between 10-20 hours per week in Athens or Atlanta, and typically take classes in Athens. Students in either course can take other classes in either Athens or Atlanta.
The Corporate Counsel Externship also offers full-time and part-time placements. Find out more on the Corporate Counsel Externship webpage.
The Atlanta Semester in Practice and Civil Externship courses have four main goals:
- working on real problems under the supervision of skilled attorneys;
- developing abilities as a lawyer;
- strengthening understanding of types of law practice;
- forming relationships with attorneys in a specific area of law, thus developing a network and career in that area.
The courses accomplish these goals through work at a placement site, a weekly seminar with readings, and regular reflection on experience at the placement.
Both courses offer placements suited to any student, regardless of class rank or practice interest. Only a few have academic prerequisites; the vast majority are open to students with an interest in their practice area. In fact, neither course fills the available placements. Each semester, students will find placements eager to accept them for a semester. We can also help to guide you toward appropriate placements.
Most of our Atlanta-based placements also accept students on either a full-time or a part-time basis. You do not need to work full-time to work at an Atlanta placement, although we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the unique immersive experience and many opportunities that full-time work provides.
Both courses connect you with important legal communities, especially in Atlanta. In the Atlanta Semester in Practice course, you can earn a full semester’s worth of credits while living in the Atlanta metro region and forging professional relationships in an important market for Georgia Law graduates. You do the same in the Civil Externship course, while remaining directly connected to the life of the law school in Athens.
If you have any questions about either of these courses, contact:
|Elizabeth Grant||Hillel Levin|
|Both courses||Atlanta Semester in Practice|
Atlanta Semester in Practice Course
The Atlanta Semester in Practice course is a full-time externship at governmental, judicial, or private nonprofit placements. Students take a weekly two-hour externship seminar, with readings, three reflective writing assignments, and a final class presentation. The course requirements include the following:
- Students must apply for and receive an offer from one of the placements that has agreed to take students for full-time work, or at a placement arranged by the student and approved by the externship professor.
- If accepted, students enroll in the 10 credit Atlanta Semester in Practice Course. Students also enroll in any of the Georgia Law in Atlanta courses for the upcoming semester and other courses that do not require a presence in Athens.
- Students begin work as early as the Monday of the first week of classes and work 32 hours per week for 14 weeks, ending on the last day of law school classes.
- Students take 2 or 3 classes each week, including the externship seminar and other non-clinical classes. The externship seminar occurs in the late afternoon on Thursdays.
Civil Externship Course
The Civil Externship course is part-time externship at a governmental, judicial, or private non-profit placement. Students take a weekly two-hour externship seminar, with readings and three reflective writing assignments. The course requirements include the following:
- Students must apply for and receive an offer from one of the placements that has agreed to take students for part-time work, or at a placement arranged by the student and approved by the externship professor
- If accepted, students enroll in the 4-6 credit Civil Externship course in Athens. Students enroll in other non-clinical classes in Athens or in Atlanta.
- Students begin work as early as the Monday of the first week of classes. Students work 10, 15, or 20 hours per week for 4, 5, or 6 credits respectively. Students work for 14 weeks, ending on the last day of law school classes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Full-time and Part-time Courses
- Are Atlanta placements full-time only?
No. Most placements take both full-time and part-time students and some are part-time only.
- How can I tell which placements take full-time or part-time students?
Click on the placements tab above. Review the placement descriptions or use the filters at the top of the page to select full-time or part-time placements.
- Can I do an externship and take other clinics later?
Yes. The Atlanta Semester in Practice uses 8 of your available 16 clinical hours and the Civil Externship Course uses 2-4 clinical credits, leaving you with enough credits to take clinics in other semesters.
- Can any student qualify for a placement? Or only highly-ranked students?
Any student can qualify. Only a few placements have class rank requirements.
- Will working at a placement mean that I will get a job there after graduation?
Usually not, although it happens occasionally. Working at your placement allows you to network in that practice area, can give you a strong practice-oriented writing sample, and offers you mentors who will advise and help you on your career path.
- Are these externship courses graded? How?
Yes. Half of the credit you earn is graded, half pass-fail. Grading is based on your work at your placement and on your work in the seminar.
- Can I be paid by my externship site?
Yes, although most externship placements are unpaid, you may accept compensation from your externship placement if offered. You may also receive a stipend or reimbursement from the placement to cover expenses, such as mileage or housing expenses when externing out of Athens. Any compensation or reimbursement arrangements will be made between the student and the placement site, and you still must complete the law school’s externship application process whether the placement is paid or unpaid.
Atlanta Semester in Practice
- What other courses are offered for Atlanta Semester in Practice?
In addition to the weekly Atlanta Semester in Practice seminar in Atlanta, additional evening law courses will be offered for Atlanta students, typically online. There will also be at least one online course offered during the day on the regular law school schedule, or a student may arrange an independent study or research project with a professor.
- Can I live in Athens while participating in the Atlanta Semester in Practice?
Maybe. Some placements offer hybrid in-person/virtual work schedules that allow students to live in Athens and commute to Atlanta a few days a week. Contact the Civil Externship director to discuss which placements might offer hybrid arrangements in the coming semester.
- Where are the Atlanta courses offered?
At the Terry Executive Education Center in Buckhead, a five-minute walk from two MARTA stations.
- Can I work in Atlanta and participate in law journals, competitions, and on-campus interviews?
- Will I have to take more courses in other semesters to participate in the full-time course?
No. We offer other courses in Atlanta and online that allow you to take a full course load during your semester in practice.
- Will participating in the Atlanta course affect my financial aid?
No. You remain fully in residence during an Atlanta semester. You may also qualify for a cost-of-living adjustment.
How to Apply
Applications will run from mid-September to mid-October for Spring semester, and from mid-February to mid-March for Fall semester. Each semester there will be an earlier deadline for externship placements in Atlanta (full or part-time), and a regular deadline for civil externships in Athens and other cities outside Metro Atlanta.
Applications: You may apply for up to three full-time placements in the Atlanta Semester in Practice course and up to three part-time placements in the Civil Externship course. The application link will allow you to submit a single resume and a statement of interest for each placement, along with any supporting materials required by a given placement, including transcripts or writing samples. Please contact the Civil Externships Director or your Career Development counselor if you would like assistance in identifying placements that would be ideally suited to you.
Statements of Interest: Upload a separate statement of interest for each placement to which you are applying. The statement substitutes as a cover letter to the placement, and you should tailor each statement of interest to the particular placement. Do not use an address as you would in a cover letter, but instead use the format below. For judges, address your statement of interest using the judge’s title, name, and court, which can be found in the placement description. For non-judicial placements, address your statement of interest to the office or agency. In the statement, highlight any relevant experience, course work, demonstrated interest, or abilities that apply to that particular placement
Supporting Materials: Some placements require specific supporting materials, including transcripts and writing samples. Any required supporting materials will be listed in the placement description and the application form has directions for submitting these materials. Include all of the materials required by that placement or your application will not be forwarded to the placement and you may miss the deadline Do NOT attach supporting materials for placements that have not requested those materials.
Graduation Requirement (full-time only): Before you apply for the Atlanta Semester in Practice, you must complete a graduation audit on My Georgia Law. Then check the box on the application form indicating you have completed the audit and submit your application(s). If you do not complete this audit, we will not forward your application to your desired placements.
Participation in a semester-in-practice course uses up 8 of your available 16 credit hours for clinics, as well as 8 of the 24 credits for study outside of a regularly scheduled class session.
After You Apply: After the application deadline, we review all applications for eligibility and will inform you if we cannot forward your application to a particular placement or if you need to edit your application. Otherwise, we will forward all applications to the placements. The placements will review their applications and decide whom they wish to interview. In most cases, you will hear from the placement directly. You should respond promptly to any offer of an interview.
Some placements conduct interviews immediately, some wait until the end of the application cycle, and some make decisions solely based on the written materials. We will contact you if we learn that a placement declined your application, and you should not assume you did not receive an offer simply because you are not immediately contacted for an interview.
Offers and Acceptances: We ask all placements to extend offers by a date that is uniform for all externships and clinics. That allows you to have the benefit of all offers before you make a decision about which offer to accept. Once you submit an application or applications, we will notify you of the deadline for you to accept or decline any offers that you receive..This deadline will be before you have to allocate points for other classes.
Mandatory Acceptance: Students who apply to the Georgia Supreme Court, the Georgia Court of Appeals, the Federal District Courts, or the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals must accept an offer if received. If you receive offers from several of these placements, we will expect you to accept one of these offers. Do not apply for one of these placements unless you intend to accept an offer from that placement, even if you apply to other placements or clinics.
Confirming Participation: Once you accept an offer, you cannot withdraw without permission of the course professor and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Enrollment and Points: If you accept an offer, you will enroll in the appropriate externship course without having to allocate points.
We will accept proposals from you for new placements that are not on our list of available placements. To do this, use the application process described under the “student arrangement placements” tab above.
We will consider proposals from students for judicial, government, and non-profit placements not on our current placement list. To propose a student-arranged placement, please email Civil Externships Director Elizabeth Grant at email@example.com before you fill out the application form. In your email, please:
- identify the name and location of the placement;
- identify the name and title of the proposed externship supervisor, as well as the phone number and email address for that person; and
- attach your resume.
In general, you should only propose a placement with a practice that has already extended you an offer to work full-time or part-time for a semester; however, we can help you make contact with a new placement with advanced notice.
After we receive your application, we will screen the placement. We will contact your proposed placement to ensure that prospective supervisors understand their responsibilities regarding the course. We will also assess whether the placement will be able to offer you appropriate and challenging work, to provide adequate work space, and to supervise you such that you receive a quality educational experience.
Please review Georgia Supreme Court Rules 91–96 for details about the legal work that qualifies for student practice certification under Georgia law.
We do not sponsor placements in the following categories:
- Private Firms: We do not place students in private firms or with for-profit organizations except in narrow circumstances described in the student handbook. Some for-profit corporations offer externships through the Corporate Counsel Externship.
- Georgia Prosecutors and Public Defenders: Some criminal prosecution and public defender placements are available in the full-time Atlanta Semester in Practice course. Part-time prosecution and public defender externships are available through the Prosecutorial Justice Program and the Criminal Defense Practicum.
- Work Unrelated to Lawyering or Law Practice: We only offer credit for work that gives you opportunities to develop your abilities as a lawyer, to develop relationships within a practice area, and to learn from active supervision by those with relevant skills and abilities. We define law-related activities broadly, but you should consult with the Civil Externship Director if you have any questions.
Remote & Virtual Externships
Remote & Virtual Externships
We prefer students undertake externships that primarily involve in-person work, but we will consider proposals to work virtually with organizations beyond commuting distance from the law school. Before approving a virtual externship, we will consider the placement’s plan for virtual supervision, whether the placement has prior experience supervising virtual student work, and whether a similar in-person experience is available at one of our existing externship placements.
We will also consider proposals for remote semesters in practice, in which the student lives and works away from the law school for a semester while taking online classes. Proposals for remote semesters in practice should explain how the remote placement serves the student’s personal or professional needs, and whether the placement offers an opportunity unavailable in the law school’s other semester in practice programs. Before submitting your semester in practice proposal, please complete a graduation audit on My Georgia Law and attach the audit to your proposal. Remote semesters in practice require special vetting and planning, therefore students should initiate their proposal as early as practical in the semester prior to the proposed remote semester in practice.
Please use the process described in the “student-arranged placements” tab to propose a student-arranged virtual or remote externship. Students interested in externships in Washington D.C., whether in-person or virtual, should apply to the DC Semester in Practice.