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.
- Can I do an externship and take other clinics later?
Yes. These courses leave 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.
Atlanta Semester in Practice
- What courses are offered in Atlanta?
Each Fall and Spring additional law courses will be offered in Atlanta. There will also be at least one online course offered each semester. Courses in Atlanta and online will be published with the regular Law School calendar each Spring for the following school year. Past courses that have been offered in Atlanta include Constitutional Law II, State and Local Government, and Public Health Law. In 2019-2020, some of the courses that will be offered are Criminal Procedure, Employment Discrimination and Administrative Law.
- 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 for the Atlanta Semester in Practice and Civil Externship programs will run from mid-September to mid-October for Spring semester, and from mid-February to mid-March for Fall semester. The application link will be added here when applications are open, and the semester’s deadlines will be listed on the application and sent to student listservs, Please follow the instructions below.
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
STATEMENT OF INTEREST
Name of student: [first and last name]
Name of placement: [Judge or Justice] [last name], [name of court] OR [name of office/agency]
Statement: [1-2 paragraphs, no more than one page]
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 contact the Law School Registrar’s Office to do a graduation audit. 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.
Contact Paula McBride in the Registrar’s Office, firstname.lastname@example.org for your audit. She will notify you when she has completed it. 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.
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 accept proposals from students for placements not currently on our placement list. To do this, please email Civil Externships Director Elizabeth Grant at email@example.com to screen the placement before you fill out the application form. In your email, identify the name of the placement, the contact person with whom we should speak, and the contact information for that person, including phone and email. Attach your resume to the email. 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, but we can help you make contact with a new placement you are interested in.
After we receive your application, we will review it and, as necessary, contact your proposed placement. During that contact, we will make sure that prospective supervisors understand the requirements of the course. We will also assess whether the placement has sufficiently diverse and demanding work, adequate space, and supervisory resources needed to give you a quality educational experience.
We will sponsor work that qualifies for practice under Georgia or federal student practice rules. Please review Georgia Supreme Court Rules 91–96 for details about the practices that qualify for student practice under Georgia law.
We do not sponsor placements in the following categories:
- Paid Work: We will not give credit for work for which you are paid, including both compensation and work paid through a grant. Some placements may have funds available to reimburse you for out-of-pocket expenses related to the work. Within limits, this would not disqualify the placement.
- Private Firms: We do not place students in private firms or with for-profit organizations that employ attorneys. Some for-profit corporations offer externships through the Corporate Counsel Externship.
- 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. While we define law-related activities broadly, you should consult with the Civil Externship Director if you have any questions.
- Georgia Prosecutors and Public Defenders: Some criminal prosecution and public defender placements are available in the full-time Atlanta Semester in Practice course. We will not sponsor part-time placements in Georgia prosecutorial or public defender offices, but part-time criminal externships are available through the Prosecutorial Justice Program and the Criminal Defense Practicum.