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Externship FAQs

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  1. How many credits can I take, and how many hours / days are placements? 
    Part-time externships are offered for 2, 3, or 4 credits.  This translates to roughly 1, 1.5, and 2 days per week (or 100, 150, and 200 hours, respectively).  Full-time externships (Faculty Mentored Externships and Duke in DC) are 9 credits, translating to about 35 hours per week for 13 weeks.

  2. How can I register for an externship?   
    All prospective externs must make an appointment to talk with Professor Gordon before accepting an externship.  After this meeting, once you have a placement offer you will fill out a Registration Form – once Professor Gordon receives this form, she will register you for the placement and the class.  Until you are fully registered for the externship, you should register for a full class load as you normally would.

  3. Is there a class component to an externship? 
    Yes – first-time part-time placements require the one-credit Externship Seminar; full-time placements can take either the Federal Policymaking Seminar usually reserved for Duke in DC (Fall 2020 only), or pursue a separate substantive research project with a faculty mentor through a Faculty-Mentored Externship.

  4. Are remote placements allowed? 
    Usually, no. Think about whether a remote placement serves your goals, however, and talk this over with Professor Gordon.

  5. Can I extern outside of the Triangle area? 
    Usually, this requires you to purse a Faculty-Mentored Externship; however, in Fall 2020 you can extern anywhere that complies with the rest of the requirements of the externship program.

  6. Are placements at for-profit companies allowed? 
    Yes, provided your supervising attorney works in-house at a company.  Private law firm placements are not allowed, with limited exceptions – please discuss with Professor Gordon.

  7. Can first-semester 2Ls take an externship? 
    Yes, but consider whether you will get more out of the experience having taken more substantive classes first.  For example, we would not advise externing at a public defender’s or prosecutor’s office without having taken some combination of Evidence, Trial Practice, and/or Criminal Procedure.

  8. What is the deadline for arranging an externship? 
    There is no strict deadline; applying earlier is always better, however, because placements fill up with other law students.  Consider also whether you’ll need a background check – this can take months.