Sept. 8, 2014 | Volume XXII, Issue 4

UF Law students travel country, world for externships

Published: September 20th, 2010

Category: Feature, News, Students

Leah Edelman stands in front of the United Nations in New York City, where she externed this summer. During her externship, she saw the Queen of England. (Photo courtesy of Leah Adelman)

Leah Edelman stands in front of the United Nations in New York City, where she externed this summer. During her externship, she saw the Queen of England. (Photo courtesy of Leah Adelman)

During the summer of 2010, Levin students worked in more externships than ever. At least 203 rising 2L and 3L students worked in externships, where they earned course credit in lieu of pay.

Externships, regulated by American Bar Association Standard 305, provide the opportunity for students to assist attorneys and judges with real legal issues and cases. Externs perform legal research, draft memoranda, motions and contracts, and attend client meetings, hearings and trials. Each student is mentored by a field supervisor (an attorney or judge at the externship site) and a Levin faculty member. The externship experience enables the student to apply first-hand principles learned in law school, and enhances the learning experience upon return to the classroom. Students meet new attorneys as well as work side-by-side with experienced attorneys and judges. In some cases, externships may lead to employment offers after graduation.

Of the more than 200 externship placements this past summer, 75 students worked for judges, including 35 in federal courts, nine in state district courts of appeal, and two at the Florida Supreme Court. (In addition, one student is working this fall as an extern for the Honorable Gerald B. Tjoflat at the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.)

Some of the externship sites included the EEOC, FCC, NOAA, World Intellectual Property Organization, Department of Homeland Security, ACLU, and the Florida Solicitor General. Seventeen students worked as externs for private corporations, including entities such as the Discovery Network, Elizabeth Arden, Office Depot and Sony Corporation.

Ten students worked in externships outside of Florida, including New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Irvine, Alexandria, Charlotte, Scranton, Atlanta, and Detroit. Two students worked in international externships in Cape Town, South Africa and in London, England.

Externships can provide exciting and high profile experiences. This summer, students worked on issues such as the Gulf oil spill and drywall litigation, and one student attended a meeting at which the Queen of England was present.

“I learned so much from my externship. Every day was a rush,” said 3L Natalie Shorrock about her externship in the Office of the State Attorney in Broward County. “I sat at counsel’s table during a first-degree murder trial, and the attorney read the arguments I made while taking notes during the trial word-for-word in her closing argument. It is an experience I strongly believe every student interested in criminal law should consider.”

Levin students perform externships in the fall and spring semesters as well as summers. Information regarding applications for spring 2011 will be provided to all students during the fall 2010 semester.

For more information regarding externships, visit www.law.ufl.edu/programs/externships or contact Prof. Leslie Knight, director of externship programs, knight@law.ufl.edu, or Julie Barnes, externship program coordinator, barnes@law.ufl.edu.

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