Real-world training provides valuable experience and builds résumés.
“The Criminal Law Externship program gives the law student the unique opportunity to get personally
involved in helping prosecute or defend a wide spectrum of real people who become involved in the
criminal justice system. The extern quickly learns to strive for excellence because of the potential
consequences for each defendant whose liberty may be at stake. The parties involved deserve the best
representation, and I believe that our program provides exactly that.”
– Assistant Professor Robert Molko, Director, Criminal Law Externship Program
“The Civil Law Externship and Judicial Externship programs provide students the invaluable opportunity
to work in real world legal settings. Judicial officers and attorneys in private law firms and
government agencies work directly with students on cases at various stages of development. The skill
sets developed in these placements range from client intake to drafting post trial motions in private
firms, screening newly filed cases, to drafting orders resolving motions in the superior courts.
The experience gained through any placement is invaluable, as it enhances the student’s resume and
demonstrates that the student is prepared to transition from academic to practicing attorney.”
– Assistant Professor Stephen Chavez, Director, Civil & Judicial Externships
Western State offers a variety of educational, real-world externship placements for eligible students.
Under the supervision of the faculty externship directors, students receive academic credit for the
legal work they perform in an appellate, judicial, civil or criminal law setting. The respective
program directors interview and screen interested students to determine which placement will best
fit their overall goals, experience, academic standing, and expectations.
In addition to the time spent in their placement, student externs also meet weekly for an on-campus
seminar. The externship seminar allows the students to explore their placement experiences in class
to gain a deeper understanding of the functions and responsibilities of attorneys, judges, and other
Students earn five units of credit for part-time placements and up to ten units for full-time appellate placements.
Externs gain a unique awareness of the practice realities, challenges, and attendant professional obligations that they will face in their future legal careers.
Externships are also viewed as a mark of distinction by many prospective employers.
Government Employment Link
Certified Law Clerk Program
Career Services encourages students to take the knowledge they have acquired in the classroom
and apply it in a legal setting. The State Bar of California's Practical Training of Law Students
(PTLS) program offers law students the opportunity to provide legal services while under the
supervision of an attorney.
For more information and to register for this program, please visit The State Bar of California website.
The categories of available externships are:
Judicial Appellate Externships
Eligible students, if selected by the court, are placed in the chambers of either a state or federal appellate judge. Students in these placements research and draft opinions for the jurist on either a full-time (400 hours) or part-time (150 hours) basis.
Judicial Trial Externships
Eligible students, if selected by the court, are placed in the chambers of a trial judge or commissioner in Orange County, Los Angeles or the Riverside County Courts, where they will assist the court with a variety of assigned tasks in civil or criminal cases.
Civil Practice Externships
Students are placed part-time in law firms, state or federal agencies, corporations or other practice settings in the civil law field. Under the supervision of an attorney, these student externs research cases, write memos, interview clients, participate in court proceedings, or perform other tasks relating to civil practice. Students in civil law externships may be eligible for State Bar Certification for limited practice while under the supervision of an attorney.
First Year Summer Honors Program
First year students who are invited to participate in the Summer Honors 1L Fellowship Program will be assigned to part-time appellate, judicial trial or civil practice externships for the eight-week summer session.
Criminal Law Externships
Students enrolled in a Criminal Law Externship work an average of 12-15 hours per week in the District Attorney, Public Defender or Alternate Defender Offices in Orange County and adjacent counties. The externs research and write briefs and trial memoranda, respond in writing to motions and argue those motions in court. Additionally, District Attorney externs may conduct felony preliminary hearings and prosecute misdemeanor court trials while the Public Defender externs may participate in interviews with in-custody clients, interview defense witnesses, and assist the attorneys in preparing for felony jury trials. Eligible students may obtain certification through the California State Bar Association's Rules for the Practical Training of Law Students and actually participate in hearings, oral argument and examination of witnesses under the supervision of an attorney.
RSVP required for all events!
Please send RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the name and date of the event in the subject line. More details will be
emailed to you once your RSVP is received!
BE A LAW STUDENT FOR A DAY
Sit in on a class, take a tour with our friendly advisers, and have lunch with current Western State students!
Wednesday, January 30
Tuesday, February 26
Thursday, March 28
Wednesday, April 17
PREPARING FOR THE PRACTICE OF LAW
Where your academic preparation meets practical experience!
Western State College of Law
Saturday, February 23
from 9:00am - 2:00pm
Law is an exciting and challenging field—do you have what it takes to
succeed in today’s legal market? Are you up to the rigorous academics
of law school and the demands of a career in law?
Join us for this dynamic workshop to:
- • Hear how our students acquire skills, hands-on experience, and make contacts to prepare for practice after law school
- • Learn about exciting externship opportunities in various fields of law
- • Hear from a panel of current law students and recent grads
- • Meet and network with faculty members, current students and alumni
Lunch will be provided! An optional school tour will be given after lunch.
RSVP requiredby February 15, 2013 for this event. Please RSVP to 714.459.1101 or email email@example.com.
The Admissions Process | Thursday, February 28
Financial Aid Planning & Scholarships | Wednesday, March 13
Career Development: Western’s Programs | Thursday, April 25
Getting Ready for Law School | Wednesday, May 22
*All webinars take place from 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM