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Maximize Your Experience

  1. Plan your schedule far ahead to accommodate prerequisite requirements and avoid schedule conflicts with your desired courses. It can be helpful to map out your ideas and prospective timing for an externship or clinic as you complete your first year at King Hall.
  2. Externships are an educational experience. You will write a professional development plan at the beginning of the semester to create your own "road map" for the placement, above and beyond your actual assignments there. 
  3. Find and review information about prospective placements -- attend OCS events and student organization panels with attorneys, talk to the Director of Externships, and seek out students who have previously externed at the office or agency of interest to you. Use social media, such as Linked In, to seek out connections.
  4. If possible, observe in advance the working conditions of the placement. For example, most courtrooms are open to the public, and you can sit and watch courtroom proceedings conducted by a judge for whom you are interested in interning.
  5. Certain placements - most frequently Criminal Justice placements - will not permit students to work until a background check has been completed. This process can take several weeks, and you should plan ahead to factor this into your application process and prospective working dates. Security checks are also required for federal agencies and some, such as the State Department, can take months to process. 
  6. Schedule your time in at least four-hour blocks at the placement.
  7. Keep a calendar of appointments, deadlines, court appearances, etc. Time management is an essential skill for professional success.
  8. Make sure you understand and comply with the organization's rules about confidentiality.
  9. Make a good impression from the very beginning. Complete and submit assignments in a timely manner, and don't committ to assignments that you cannot finish.
  10. Make sure you understand the assignment and ask clarifying questions. 
  11. If problems begin to develop, seek out the Externship Director for advice on how to procede.
  12. Maintain an open-minded and critical learning state of mind throughout. Get outside of your comfort zone, to take on new challenges.