Externship Program

The University of Miami School of Law Externship Program ("Externship Program") is a J.D. academic class that provides second-year (2L) and third-year (3L) students, in good academic standing, an opportunity to gain practical legal experience for academic credit by working with:

  • Local, national, and international corporations (in-house legal department or general counsel's office)
  • Government agencies
  • Public interest organizations, or
  • The judiciary

Students gain legal experience by working under the supervision of lawyers, which is supplemented and enhanced by a series of skills lectures.

Read: "Externship Programs Lead to Careers"

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  • Please note, law firms do not qualify.

    Please note that law firms, of any size, including solo practitioners, do not qualify as an externship field placement for the Externship Program.

    Miami Law LL.M. programs often include an independent externship/practicum component; to learn more about an externship/practicum as it relates to a LL.M. program, please contact the respective LL.M. director.

General Overview

The Externship Program has two components: (1) the required work hours at the approved externship field placement and (2) classroom-based practical skills lectures. The Externship Program is an elective course that is graded pass/fail and meets a skills graduation requirement.  To receive a pass, students must successfully complete both the required field work hours at an approved externship field placement and the classroom component. 

Please note that the Externship Program hosts non-CLI externship field placements; all CLI-externships field placements must be pursued through the Litigation Skills Program.

The Externship Program Director is Jessi Tamayo who can be reached at jtamayo@law.miami.edu.

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  • Employer/Placement Requirements


    • A substantive legal experience;
    • An on-site supervising attorney, licensed in the United States, who directly supervises the student and provides feedback about the student's work.

    Please note because students receive academic credit in part for their work/real-world education at the externship field placement, students are not eligible to receive financial compensation from externship employers or other sources including stipends or fellowships.

     See requirements to qualify as an externship field placement

  • Student Requirements

    In order for a student to participate in and receive academic credit for his/her participation in the Externship Program:

    • The student must be an enrolled student at Miami Law, in good academic standing;
    • The student must submit a fully executed Student-Agency Agreement with an approved externship field placement by the established deadline date;
    • The student must successfully complete the required work hours;
    • The student must attend all assigned skills lectures and complete all assignments;
    • The student must submit a Weekly Timesheet and submit a complete Time Certification Form at the end of the externship term, verifying that he/she completed the required field work hours;
    • A student cannot repeat a prior externship field placement for additional academic credit;
    • There is a 9-credit cap as to the number of academic credits that a student may earn through the Externship Program that may be applied towards a student's graduation requirements in accordance with the Miami Law Registrar Office's J.D. Degree Requirements; please see Self-Audit Form.

  • Spring 2024 Externship Program - Pertinent Information

    Spring 2024 Strict Deadlines

    After securing an approved externship field placement, to formally enroll in the Spring 2024 Externship Program, a student must first submit a Student-Agency Agreement  (signed by the student and supervising attorney).

    The Student-Agency Agreement memorializes the externship relationship between the student, externship field placement and the law school and outlines each party's responsibilities to this course. It is the submission of a complete Student-Agency Agreement that triggers the enrollment process for this course.

    Please note that the Spring 2024 Externship Program's course requirements have been adjusted to account for COVID-19's impact, which is reflected in the Spring 2024 Student-Agency Agreement.

    Credit/Hours for Spring 2024

    The Externship Program is a 3 credit course for which at least 135-hours of work at an approved externship field placement is required.

    The classroom component for the Spring 2024 Externship Program will continue to be conducted in a distance learning format; this includes the required skills lectures, research modules and the submission of assignments. The class will meet every week via Zoom. The first class meeting for this course is the Mandatory Orientation.

    Externs must make all necessary arrangements to attend their assigned lectures including adjusting their externship field work schedule.  Real-time virtual attendance at assigned skills lectures will be strictly enforced.

    In addition to completing the required field work hours, remote skill lectures and remote research modules, the extern will be asked to complete documents that will allow the law school to monitor his/her externship experience including Weekly Timesheets, Learning Plans & Goals Memoranda, Mid-Semester Evaluation, Final Student Evaluation and Time Certification Form as part of his/her academic responsibilities for this course.

    Policies attached to the Externship Program

    • A student must be in good academic standing to participate in the Externship Program.
    • A student cannot repeat a prior externship field placement for additional academic credit.
    • There is a 9-credit cap on the number of academic credits that a student may earn through the Externship Program that may be used towards his/her graduation requirements in accordance with the UM Law Registrar Office's J.D. Degree Requirements; please see the Self-Audit Form.

    Spring 2023 Externship Program Information Session

    Watch the information session.

Externship FAQs

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  • How does a student secure an externship field placement?

    A student may secure an externship field placement in two ways:

    1. The student may apply to and secure a position with a pre-approved externship field placement via Symplicity or
    2. The student may secure his/her own legal internship and request that it is converted into an externship field placement.  To make this request, the student will be asked to provide Professor Tamayo with detailed information about the proposed field placement. Professor Tamayo will vet the placement and make a determination.

    Please note that there is no guarantee that a student will receive an offer from a pre-approved externship field placement or that a student's self-secured internship will be approved for conversion into an externship field placement; the goal is to provide students with as many opportunities as possible.

  • How does a student participate in the Externship Program?

    To participate in the Externship Program, a student must complete the bidding process through the Symplicity Job Database System. "Bidding" entails submitting a resume and other requested application materials via Symplicity or by e-mail (directly to the employer) pursuant to the employer's preference as specified within the job posting. Instructions on how to bid on the Symplicity system are provided in the Student Guide to Symplicity. All students have a Symplicity account. If a student cannot locate his/her Symplicity login information, the student should e-mail OCPD@law.miami.edu and provide his/her full name, class year and e-mail address (this e-mail address will become the student's username for the Symplicity system). The student will then receive his/her login information via e-mail. Please allow up to two business days for a response. 

    Externship Opportunities are available on Symplicity. Opportunities that are identified as externship-eligible are approved, non-paid legal internship opportunities that qualify for academic credit through the Externship Program. Externship-eligible positions are externship field placements that a student may pursue for academic credit or as a strict volunteer. Opportunities that are identified as externship-required are approved, non-paid legal internship opportunities that require students earn academic credit through the Externship Program to secure and pursue the position. 

    Students will be notified about any new pre-approved externship field placements added to the Job Posting Board via e-mail (the e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address associated with the student's Symplicity account).

  • How does a student submit a self-secured placement to the Externship Program Committee for consideration and approval to be converted into an externship field placement?

    All externship placements are subject to Professor Tamayo's approval. If a student has secured his/her own legal internship and would like to submit it for approval, the student will be required to follow the steps outlined on the Externship Program Fact Sheet.

    Would an Internship Secured for Myself Qualify as an Externship Field Placement?

    A student will be required to submit his/her contact information along with the proposed placement's contact information including his/her potential supervising attorney's direct contact information. The student's potential supervising attorney may be contacted directly for more information. Professor Tamayo will inform the student of its decision as soon as it is made via e-mail. 

  • If a student has been offered an externship position at an approved externship field placement, does he or she have to accept the position?

    No;  just as a student is not guaranteed he/she will be offered an externship position, an employer is not guaranteed that a student-applicant will accept a position when it is offered.

    If a student-applicant chooses to not accept an offer, the student must decline the offer in a professional manner, including calling the externship employer to decline the offer. After a student has made a commitment to an externship field placement, he/she should not rescind his/her acceptance. Additionally, a student must decline an offer in a timely manner to give the externship employer and other students an opportunity to fill the position.

    Please notify Professor Tamayo at jtamayo@law.miami.edu, when declining an offer from an externship field placement.

  • Once a student has accepted an externship position at an approved field placement, what are the next steps to be formally enrolled for the Externship Program?

    To be registered for the Externship Program, a student must first submit a complete Student-Agency Agreement (for the appropriate semester) to Professor Tamayo. Professor Tamayo verifies a student's placement with the receipt of a fully executed Student-Agency Agreement. A Student-Agency Agreement is an agreement between the student, externship field placement, and the law school that states the terms of the externship relationship and each party's responsibilities.

  • If the Student-Agency Agreement was timely submitted, how is a student registered for the Externship Program?

    Upon receiving and processing a complete Student-Agency Agreement for an approved externship field placement, Professor Tamayo will provide the student with a unique permission code, assigned by the Registrar's Office, by e-mail along with detailed enrollment instructions.

    The student will then be able to enroll him/herself to the Externship Program by entering the permission code, when prompted, by CaneLink after adding the Externship Program Course Number to his/her schedule.

  • How does a student receive a "pass" for the Externship Program Course?

    A student must successfully complete the required field work hours and the classroom component including submitting all required assignments by the specified deadline date.

    Since an essential component of the Externship Program is the work that a student completes at his/her externship field placement, the feedback from an extern's supervising attorney about the student's performance and progress (i.e., professionalism, attitude, work product, attire etc.) will play a major role in a student's ability to pass this course.

More Information

If you have any additional questions about the Externship Program, please contact Jessi Tamayo at jtamayo@law.miami.edu.