Pitt Law’s Externship Program allows students to earn credit for legal work performed outside the law school during the fall, spring, or summer.

To qualify for academic credit, externships must be:

  1. with a government or nonprofit office,
  2. unpaid,
  3. supervised by an attorney,
  4. primarily involve legal work, and
  5. performed in person at the externship site

Students commonly engage in externships in judicial chambers, the offices of prosecutors and public defenders, other government agencies (local, state, and federal), and non-profit organizations (domestic and international).

The Law School awards one externship credit for forty-two (42) hours of work satisfactorily completed by a student extern at an approved externship site, up to a maximum of four externship credits that may be earned during the student’s tenure at the Law School.

In addition to satisfactorily completing the externship work at the externship site, a student must also complete the additional requirements indicated on the externship course syllabus, including:

  • following the special enrollment procedures,
  • completing all required classwork on time,
  • logging your externship work hours on PittLawWorks, and
  • submitting the required evaluations.

The Fall and Spring Externship Program dates follow the Law School calendar, and the Summer Externship Program dates follow the University calendar. The Externship requirements for your term will be explained during the mandatory orientation session described below, as well as in the course syllabus.

Special Enrollment and Registration Procedures

(1) Enroll in the Externship Program by logging on to PittLawWorks,  https://law-pitt.12twenty.com, selecting “Experiential Learning” from the menu on the left hand side, clicking “+ New Opportunity”, and completing the online form in advance of the Orientation Session. The Externship Program Co-Directors will approve your externship and assign you a Faculty Advisor. Important: You must enroll in the Externship Program by the date of the orientation session. Late enrollment will not be permitted unless you acquire your externship on or after the orientation session date.

(2)  Once your externship is approved, the Co-Directors will notify the Registrar's Office so that you may be enrolled in the course and in the mandatory Blackboard/Courseweb online class. You can choose to register for 1-4 credits. Please check your course schedule to confirm that the registration has been finalized. You should see the registration in your course schedule by the last week of finals if you enrolled on PittLawWorks in advance.

(3) After registering, you must attend a mandatory orientation session before you can begin to earn credit for your externship work and the accompanying required online classwork. The 2019-20 orientation session dates are:

  • Fall 2019: Thursday, August 29, at 12:30 pm
  • Spring 2020: Thursday, January 9, at 12:30 pm
  • Summer 2020: Wednesday, May 6, at 10:00 am

Details about the orientation sessions, including the room numbers and the date of the Summer 2019 orientation session, will be posted in the Beginning of Semester announcements (Fall and Spring terms), the E-Docket and the Events Section of PittLawWorks. If you have an unavoidable conflict with the orientation session time, you must contact the Co-Directors immediately.

FAQs and Contacting the Co-Directors

To access the Externship FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions), syllabus and related externship forms and documents, students may visit the PittLawWorks Resource Library at, https://law-pitt.admin.12twenty.com/ResourceLibrary#/resource-library-items.

If you want to discuss externship possibilities or have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the Externship Program Co-Directors, Rochelle R. McCain, Director of Externships, Public Interest & Government Relations and law Professor Stephanie Dangel at pittlawexternships@pitt.edu.

Employers: Interest in Serving as an Externship Site? 

Thank you for your interest in participating in our Externship Program. In structuring the Externship Program, the Law School is committed to ensuring, through the careful selection of supervising attorneys by the Externship placement site and continuing faculty involvement in each Externship, that the quality of the learning experience for externs is comparable to that which is offered by the Law School in courses taught by full-time faculty.

Each extern is expected to perform his or her work with the dedication, quality of judgment and analytical skill, and attention to professional ethics that can reasonably be expected of a future member of the Bar.  To receive credit for the Externship experience, the student extern must complete his/her/their Externship work in a manner that is deemed satisfactory by the Supervising Attorney and the Faculty Advisor for that Externship, as well as completing the required classwork and other program requirements.

If you are interested in serving as an externship site or you have further questions regarding the program, please feel free to reach out to the Co-Directors, Rochelle R. McCain, Director of Externships, Public Interest & Government Relations and law Professor Stephanie Dangel at pittlawexternships@pitt.edu.

Semester in D.C. Program

Spend the semester in Washington, D.C., working for a nonprofit or government agency and earn up to 15 credits. These credits are in addition to the four credits you can earn through the Externship Program. The Semester in D.C. Program offers the opportunity to make contacts and gain intensive, hands-on experience in your field of interest. It is especially useful for students who have an interest in working in D.C. or for a government, non-profit, or public policy organization after graduation. See the Semester in D.C. Program page for more information.