Practical Training: Externships, Fellowships, Practica


The University of Miami School of Law has externship options for skill building and practical, hands-on opportunities outside of the scope of the regular law school classroom.

D.C. Semester in Practice Program
This opportunity allows law students to live, work full time in government agencies, nonprofits and advocacy organization while taking a full law school semester in the United States Capital and remaining tied to Miami Law. Along with the externship placement, there is a course taught by Professor Charlton Copeland that provides: comprehension of the institutional, political, and legal contexts in which policymaking and implementation take place; greater insight into the mechanisms through which administrative agencies operate at the federal level;and engagement with government, relevant legal authorities and prominent attorneys.

Litigation Skills Externship Program
In addition, the unique Litigation Skills Externship Program provides students with the opportunity to apply the trial and pre-trial skills learned during the Lit Skills I course in a live client setting. In these externship placements, students may represent clients in criminal and civil matters as Certified Legal Interns (CLI) and argue cases in Circuit, County and Federal courts under the supervision of practicing attorneys.

Miami Law Externship Program
The expanded Miami Law Externship Program allows students to obtain academic credit while working in a real world legal setting. The Externship Program offers national and international externships with corporations, government agencies, public interest organizations and the judiciary. The program is designed to enhance the educational experience of students by giving them an opportunity to do advanced legal work that generally is not available through the law school's curriculum.

 See List of Select Past Externship Placements

Bacardi USA, Inc.
Department of Justice Antitrust Division
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Everglades Law Center
Humane Society of the U.S.
MasTec Inc.
Miami Dolphins
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
NextEra Energy Resources
Recording Industry Association of America
Smithsonian Institution
Ultra Music Festival
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Treasury
U.S. Securities & Exchange commission
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

Practicum Classes

In practicum classes law students get hands-on learning working under the supervision of attorneys and professors in a non-lawyering role as they work on cases​ and practica give students insight into a specific area of legal interest and a window into what it is like to practice in that area. Miami Law practica include:

Affordable Housing Practicum: This provides a deep overview into issues to consider in affordable housing development.  Students work on a variety of documents which are part of an actual affordable housing transaction and have the opportunity to meet clients, attend public hearings, and nurture a further understanding of the affordable housing area. Students complete 40-50 hours of client-related work most of which takes place at the offices of Legal Services of Greater Miami. This practicum builds on the course "Introduction to Affordable Housing." 

Civil Rights Practicum: This provides an opportunity for students to work directly with prominent civil rights attorneys on important civil rights issues. Students are generally assigned to work on an actual cases or projects with civil rights organizations, lawyers, government agencies, or legislators, and students have opportunities to do interviewing, drafting documents, research and/or participating in hearings or in trial. 

Criminal Justice Policy Reform Practicum: Students examine criminal justice reform from two trajectories: the harms to individuals, families, and neighborhoods of mass incarceration and punitive criminal justice responses; the failures of governmental policies to provide security for communities and support for victims of crime, with a focus on violent crime. Students work with community or national organizations that are addressing one two aspects of criminal justice reform: meeting victims’ needs and creating fair processes for those accused or convicted of having committed a crime.

Cyber Civil Rights Initiative PracticumStudents work for CCRI in one or more of three teams: Legislative and Tech Policy, Communications, and Fundraising. The projects potentially include: legislative drafting at both the state and federal level; legal research, amicus briefs and testimony on relevant legislation and significant cases; collaboration with tech industry leaders on anti-harassment policies; community outreach, victim support, and training programs for law enforcement and educational institutions; and fundraising efforts. 

Death Penalty Practicum: Students work with the Office of the Public Defender or with other highly qualified death penalty attorneys who are litigating capital cases.Students work on different aspects of the case preparation such as client and witness interviews, depositions, development of mitigation, motions practice, and plea negotiations. 

Startup Practicum: This practicum connects University of Miami School of Law students with new ventures in need of legal assistance. Students help clients with organizing, financing, talent, intellectual property, risk, regulation and other legal issues that arise for entrepreneurs as they launch their new businesses and organizations. 

Law School Fellowships

HOPE Fellows Program
The HOPE Fellows Program allows public interest-minded students to create summer dream jobs and work across the globe to effectuate change.

Summer Public Interest Fellowships
The Summer Public Interest Fellowship Program is designed for students who have a genuine interest in public interest work. This highly competitive program includes a nine week, full-time internship at a public interest organization, a public Interest law seminar, and a legal research and writing project. Students receive a stipend and academic credit.

Post-Graduate Fellowships

Fellowships and grant programs provide support and professional recognition to innovators within the field of law, and especially to new attorneys whose work and ideas will have longer-term impact on society and scholarship. There are many different organizations and agencies that offer many types of fellowships dealing with specialized areas of the law. Most applications are due early in the fall semester of the third year of law school.

The Career Development Office works very closely with fellowship applicants, assisting them in writing their proposals and preparing for interviews. If a student is interested in applying for a post graduate fellowship, please contact the CDO.

Click here for a list of the many public interest fellowships opportunities available. Continue to check with the fellowship corner of PSLawNet, and the CDO office as new fellowships are posted all the time.

Interested in a Judicial Clerkship? See Information on Judicial Clerkships for Distinguished Law Students