Externships

USF trains practice-ready graduates through hands-on legal work. Through our externship programs, you'll earn academic credit for fieldwork at government agencies, corporate legal departments, law firms, nonprofit organizations, and state and federal courts.

In addition to fieldwork, the programs include a faculty-taught course component. Through these classes, students examine legal and professional issues that arise in their fieldwork and receive an introduction to litigation preparation in anticipation of their postgraduate position. Faculty monitor the externships to ensure their quality as learning experiences. Students assume real-world responsibilities and develop professional relationships in contexts identical to those in which they may eventually practice.

Plain text icon Video Transcript: Externships in the Remote World

Civil and Criminal Law Externships

The Civil and Criminal Law Externship Program gives upper-division students the opportunity to put their education into practice by working at law firms, legal departments, and public interest organizations, and government agencies for academic credit.

The policies and requirements of the program are intended to ensure a high-quality experience for students working under the supervision of experienced practitioners.

Sarah EstephanMy externship with Mixpanel prepared me to effectively represent a corporate client and properly advocate and guide the corporation in legal compliance. I also gained practical experience in contract negotiation and commercial transactions that transformed the material I was exposed to in my contract law course."

- Sarah Estephan '20

Judicial Externships

The Judicial Externship Program offers eligible upper-division students the chance to receive academic credit for positions as law clerks under the direct supervision of judges and research attorneys in state, federal and international courts.

Freya IngallaThe skills I learned are really helping me today in my practice. Both judges I externed with really took their time to teach me and show me how every decision being made by the Court affects real people—both in and outside of the courtroom. They became real mentors and made me feel that I can always come to them for advice about anything.”

- Freya Ingalla '18

Recent Externships Across the Bay Area

Our students participated in more than 120 externships this year within San Francisco and the broader Bay Area. San Francisco is also home to numerous local courts, large law firms, and corporate headquarters that make the Bay Area a vibrant place to live and work.

Below are examples of recent externship placements:

Recent Civil Law Externship Placements

  • ACLU Immigrants Rights Project
  • Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  • PAC 12 Enterprises
  • Duane Morris LLP

Recent Criminal Law Externship Placements

  • US Attorney's Office Criminal Division
  • San Francisco Public Defender
  • San Francisco District Attorney's Office

Recent Judicial Externship Placements

  • Supreme Court of California
  • California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District
  • United States District Court, Northern District of California