Since 2006, the Field Placement Program has facilitated over1600 externships locally & around the globe.

Here are some of their stories:


Gaelyn Walche, JD, 2023

Civil Field Placement

California Medical Association, Kaiser, and California Primary Care Association

“My three part-time field placements helped me to understand organizational positioning within the health law and policy sphere and allowed me to hone my career goals, enhance my legal skills and substantive health law knowledge, and gain practical experience while working with incredible attorney-mentors. The Field Placement Office provided great support and opportunities for self-reflection on my path and goals throughout my placements.


Gaelyn Walche Headshot

Angela Zhao, JD, 2023

Angela Zhao Field Placement Student

Civil Field Placement

San Mateo County Counsel

“I truly learned so much through being able to do a unique variety of assignments – I drafted a complaint, helped advise a school district, researched caselaw, conducted a investigation on behalf of a client, responded to public records act requests, and generally expanded my understanding of what the work of a local government lawyer entailed. The experience solidified my interest in local government and litigation.It’s rewarding to be able to apply the legal knowledge you’ve gained throughout law school to real issues and cases, especially since sometimes law school and classes can seem so removed from the real world.”

Dante O'Connell, JD, 2022

Criminal Field Placement, Civil Field Placement 

Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender, and Neighborhood Defense Service of Harlem

“I chose to do field placements because I am committed to becoming a public defender, and I wanted to devote time in law school to assisting people targeted by the criminal legal system while learning to become an effective advocate. My placements furthered my commitment to this work, gave me valuable early experiences with developing client relationships and writing/arguing motions, and introduced me to lasting professional mentors and friends. To future students, I would highly recommend both maximizing the credits/time you can spend at your placement and watching/learning from attorneys litigating trials and hearings, in addition to completing your own work.”

Dante O'Connell Field Placement Student

Linda Blair, JD, 2021

Civil Field Placement

East Bay Children’s Law Offices

“My field placement experience was a challenging and rewarding roller coaster of emotional, legal, and social experiences. I came to EBCLO to work with and represent youth involved in the court system to give them an opportunity to be heard and express their wants and needs. This internship has influenced my long-term career goals and aspirations and helped evolve my understanding of the problems inherent in our justice system, and what is required to imagine and execute a new one.”

Lara Hakki, JD, 2020

Away Field Placement

Reprieve UK

“I encourage everyone I speak to at Berkeley (or considering Berkeley) to take advantage of the field placement program because it is one of the best ways for law students to get exposed to the actual work of being a lawyer in the field. It is incredible that I was able to receive credit for doing meaningful work that I was excited about. My two semesters doing field placements were the two best semesters of law school.”

Rianna Hidalgo, JD, 2021

Judicial Externship

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Judge Tigar

“I can honestly say this was my favorite experience in law school so far. I not only learned immense amounts about legal research, writing, the law, legal decision making, and the legal profession at large, but I enjoyed myself thoroughly and have connections that I know I will turn to during my legal career. I feel this experience was truly important for both my personal growth and my career.”

Karla Maradiaga, JD, 2021

Civil Field Placement

Kids In Need of Defense

“I had a great experience being part of the field placement program. It was an amazing opportunity to put the legal skills I had learned in my first two years of law school to work. It was also a great chance to try out a potential workplace, which is a unique experience that I will not get after graduating from law school. The Field Placement Program’s staff are incredible advocates for all students, and I can tell they truly care about each and every one of us. I would recommend the Field Placement Program to any student.”

Angela Moon, JD, 2021

INHR Program in Geneva

Permanent Mission of Fiji to the United Nations in Geneva

“My experience at the Fiji Mission was great overall. The UNHR Program is unique among other legal placements because it consists of a mix of policy, law, and diplomacy. During the placement, I was able to meet my goals, which were to understand how parties address multilateral human rights issues and to practice the skills that practitioners use in the UN arena. It was eye-opening to access what goes on behind the scenes.”

Gurpreet Sandhu, LL.M., 2020

Civil Field Placement

California Department of Justice

“I completed my spring externship at the California Department of Justice, at the Public Rights Division, Consumer Law Section. I honestly think this was one of the best experiences of my legal education. I got to do meaningful work for the department and not just “grunt work”, I sharpened my legal writing and fact-finding skills, and most importantly I made invaluable professional relationships with the attorneys I worked with. I believe this experience is extremely useful to both JD and L.L.M students since it allows you to develop legal skills that can be applied anywhere in the word, and helps you to familiarize yourself with the reality of being an American lawyer.”

Roberto Villa Olivas, JD, 2020

Criminal Field Placement 

Contra Costa Public Defenders

“My field placement experience helped me realize that I would like to work as a public defender. I learned so much about criminal law and now that I am finally graduating law school, I can confidently say that I am an experiential learner. Being able to work with real-life clients and motions allowed me to engage with my work in a way that I could not in a traditional classroom setting. I am truly grateful for the Field Placement Program.”