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Law & Judicial Externships

Learning the law in the heart of Delaware’s dynamic legal community gives our students significant advantages, including a rich array of externship opportunities in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and beyond.

About Delaware Law’s Externship Program

Delaware Law’s Juris Doctor (JD) program bridges in-class learning with out-of-classroom experiences. We encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to see how concepts apply in real-world settings, acquire crucial professional skills for your career as a lawyer, and grow your network to set your career in motion even before you graduate.

With an externship, you will earn academic credit, hone your research and writing skills, and experience the day-to-day life of practicing attorneys and judges. Second- and third-year externship participants work with judges, state and local prosecutors, public defenders, and attorneys in legal service and government agencies.

In general, our externships place you in government or public service law offices or courts, where you may spend up to a year assisting and learning alongside legal professionals who serve as mentors and can guide your career to the next phase.

During a law or judicial externship, you’ll not only observe what professionals do each day, but also play a key role in the legal process. In these placements, our JD candidates get to practice what they’ve learned in the classroom by revising briefs, trial records, and other documents; researching and analyzing case law; gathering evidence; and working with clients.

Delaware Law places our JD candidates in over 150 externship sites in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. Your choices include:

Public Interest Externship Program

You’ll work defending the public good at a nonprofit or government agency of your choice. This 140 hour–minimum program lasting a 14-week academic term sees you explore your role as a public interest attorney and put academic theories into practice as you advocate on behalf of clients.

Students progress through this externship program under the guidance of a prominent attorney and, along with working directly in a law or government office, produce reflection papers on their observations and assess their field experiences in three case journals.

Judicial Externship Program

Students interested in a career in the courtroom or elsewhere will have the opportunity to hone their legal skills and experience the legal field from behind the scenes in a court setting.

Judicial externships provide a holistic perspective of a trial or appellate court’s operations and heavily emphasize research and writing skills. You’ll assist with this process and hone your own abilities by conducting legal research, drafting documents as a court clerk, and observing judicial proceedings as you receive professional advice. Delaware Law places interested JD candidates in federal or state courts.

JD candidates in strong academic standing may be selected for the Josiah Oliver Wolcott Fellowship, which offers five students the chance to serve as a clerk for a justice of the Delaware Supreme Court or the Delaware Court of Chancery and includes a scholarship in addition to academic credit. Should you be selected, you’ll perform duties consistent with those of a law clerk for 20 hours per week during the academic year. Learn more about the Josiah Wolcott Fellowship.

Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP)

MLP understands the healthcare-related hardships low-income families face and seeks to increase the number of volunteer attorneys to assist with legal issues related to housing, income, and other basic needs.

Interested JD candidates work with medical providers to address the social factors vulnerable populations face when attempting to access healthcare, provide free legal services in a healthcare setting, and conduct surveys to understand patients’ legal needs.

Advance Your Legal Career with Delaware Law’s Externship Program

Delaware Law’s externship program prepares you to hit the ground running at your first legal job.

If you’re a current student thinking about your future, explore all programs, and submit an application before the deadline.

If you’re considering Delaware Law and would like to know more, contact our Director of Experiential Education, Director of Judicial Externship Program, and Associate Professor, Francis Catania.