September 10, 2009
"The recession makes externships a sweeter deal for students"
The title of this post is the headline of this interesting recent article from the National Law Journal. Here is how it starts:
Without summer associate programs to rely on, law students are turning to alternate ways of gaining practical experience and making connections that could lead to full-time employment.
Many students are doing externships to fill that need. They work, unpaid, for credit under the supervision of faculty and an on-site attorney at a government agency, nonprofit organization or sometimes a corporation. (By contrast, internships can be for credit or for pay.) American Bar Association rules prohibit law firm externships.
Once thought valuable but not essential, externships are gaining a new stature as students do everything they can to land a job. Demand for, and participation in, externships have increased significantly, according to law school administrators.
As the economy batters law students' hopes for employment and law firms cut back or eliminate summer-associate programs, law schools are answering the criticism that they have done a poor job preparing law students for real legal work. Schools are revamping their programs, enlarging their focus to include many more opportunities for practical training. Externships are part of that picture.
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