"Learning to work and working to learn"
The Berkeley Law Field Placement Program allows students to receive academic credit for part-time or full-time judicial externships and legal work with non-profits and government agencies under the supervision of an attorney.
KIMBERLY JACKANICH ‘13
While Assisting the California Asylum Representation Clinic and International Law Journal as a first-year law student, Kimberly Jackanich developed a strong interest in “war crimes issues and living overseas.” Enter Berkeley Law’s Field Placement Program. During a memorable semester in The Hague at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Jackanich conducted appellate research, drafted judgments and coordinated policy proposals. “The Field Placement Program is carefully designed to maximize your experience,” she says.
There are five field placement programs/courses:
- Civil Field Placements – Students receive academic credit for part-time legal work for non-profits and government agencies under the supervision of an attorney. Students are required to do field placements for 16 hours per week over 14 weeks for 4 units of credit. There is a required accompanying 2-unit seminar that meets the law school’s Professional Responsibility requirement. There are presently 75 Bay Area field placements on the law school’s Approved Placement List. These field placements offer work in many different areas, including civil rights, consumer protection, employment, environmental, health, housing, poverty, regulatory, and women’s rights. Students should start by reviewing the Approved List (click here) but they may bring new ideas for placements as well.
Judicial Externships – Students work part-time or full-time for local, federal or state judges and chambers in the San Francisco/Bay Area. Students externing for a judge usually work 16 to 40 hours per week over 14 weeks for 4 to10 units of credit. There is a required accompanying 1-unit seminar that meets for a full-day at the beginning of the semester and then several times during the semester. Students apply directly to the judges or judicial chambers for an extern position. Click here for Judicial Placement contact and application information.
- Criminal Field Placements – Students receive academic credit for part-time criminal legal work for non-profits and government agencies under the supervision of an attorney. Students are required to do field placements for 16 hours per week over 14 weeks for 4 units of credit. There is a required accompanying 2-unit seminar that meets the law school’s Professional Responsibility requirement. Students should see the Bay Area criminal field placements on the law school’s Approved Placement List here. Students should start by reviewing the approved list on the website but they may bring new ideas for placements as well.
Away Field Placements – Students receive up to 10 units of academic credit for legal work with an approved non-profit or government agency outside the San Francisco/Bay Area. Generally, students working at away placements complete 40 hours per week over 14 weeks or 560 hours for 10 units of credit. Students doing Away Field Placements are required to conduct contemporaneous guided reflection in the form of timesheets, journals, and reports throughout the semester. Students must receive academic program approval from Assistant Dean Hirshen and approval from Field Placement Director Sue Schechter. Students must attend an orientation and complete an application and checklist to participate in this program. For a list of past approved Away Placements, click here.
UCDC Law Program – Students receive up to 10 units for field placements and additional units for participation in the accompanying required seminar. Students interested in UCDC Law are encouraged to visit www.law.berkeley.edu/index.htmlacademics/field-placement-program/ucdc-law-program/ or contact Nicole Lehtman, Director, UCDC Law Program, Nicole.Lehtman@ucdc.edu , (202) 974-6392.
Field Placement Program contacts:
Sue Schechter, Field Placement Director and Lecturer-in-Residence
firstname.lastname@example.org, (510) 643-7387
Emily Best, Program Administrator
The Field Placement Program is governed by ABA Standard 305: Study Outside the Classroom and Berkeley Law Academic Rule 1.03.