Berkeley Law’s Field Placement Program offers an exciting opportunities for students to supplement classroom study with real-world work experience in areas of particular interest to them for academic credit. Field Placements must offer students substantial professional experience in a variety of legal tasks similar to those that a practicing attorney would perform with the agency or office. Organizations are expected assign an identified practicing attorney or group of attorneys supervise that work and provide regular feedback to the student.
Supervising Berkeley Law Students
Field Placements typically track the Berkeley Law academic calendar in the fall and spring terms and students may work either part or full-time. Students work their supervisor to determine their work schedule.
Once student have identified the organization they wish to work with, they must have the placement approved by the Field Placement Director, Sue Schechter, and submit a formal program application. Full-time placements (40 hours/week or more) must also receive approval from the Dean of Students or the Director of Student Services. In the first week of the placement the student and the supervising attorney must sign a extern agreement outlining Berkeley Law’s expectations of the host organization in ensuring an appropriate educational experience for the student. Host organizations and supervisors are encouraged to review the BACE Supervising Attorney Handbook each semester.
The student’s supervising attorney must also review a midterm student self-evaluation and submit a formal written of the student at the conclusion of the term and make time to review it with the student. Evaluations should detail the work the extern has done and the supervisor’s evaluation of the student’s performance during the time period covered. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure these evaluations are submitted but supervisors may also submit final evaluations by email to email@example.com.
Throughout the year, faculty will conduct periodic site-visits in compliance with ABA standards and communicate with supervisors to ensure that the student is acquiring an appropriate amount and quality of skills in a professional working environment.
Through conversations with the attorney supervisor(s) and the student, the faculty member will determine:
- The nature and level of work done by the office.
- Assignments given to the student.
- Adequacy of supervision.
- The student’s performance during the course of the externship.
- Whether that particular externship is of value sufficient to warrant repeating in subsequent terms.
Contact us about becoming a host organization
Berkeley Law’s Career development office posts externship, internship and job opportunities on B-LINE.