Externships: Overview

UC Davis School of Law students regularly extern at the California Supreme Court.

The deadline for Spring 2024 written externship applications is 9 a.m. January 3, 2024. All students must have previously met with the externship director and any new placements must been previously approved by the director. Those meetings and placement approvals must be completed by December 20, 2023.

*Updated 12/07/2023

UC Davis Law students in the Externship Program expand on their legal education outside “the four walls” of the school by earning academic credit for field placements in a government, judicial, public interest, or corporate counsel law office. Field supervisors provide close supervision as students hone their competencies in legal research and writing, client communication, and other essential lawyering and professional skills. Professor Dena Bauman, the UC Davis Law externship director, teaches the educational component of the externship through meetings and written reflective assignments that help students maximize what they are learning at the placement and understand their own personal "professional identities."

All externship opportunities are available on a part-time basis; judicial, Capital Law Scholar and criminal justice placements may also be full-time. This site has a list of previously approved placements; any new placement must be approved. Through their work, students learn to make more informed and strategic decisions about their career path. At the most basic level, legal externships are a unique platform for students to learn how they will become competent and ethical legal professionals.

King Hall externship placements have included District Attorney and Public Defender Offices, Judicial Chambers (both state and federal), the California Legislature, and a wide range of government offices, public interest, and public policy organizations.

Why Extern?

Like clinics, externships allow you to build your portfolio with practical, guided experience, and employers recognize their value. The externship program provides students with meaningful opportunities for these learning outcomes:

  • An intentional, strategic and reflective approach to learning from experience;
  • The ability to explore career interests and paths and build professional networks;
  • Hone legal and professional management skills;
  • Explore “what it means to be a lawyer” – their professional identities;
  • Reflect and build on previous externships, clinics and work prior to law school; and
  • Become keen observers of the workplace with the ability to understand and critique the legal profession

King Hall Externship Programs

Currently, King Hall offers these classes:

  • Judicial Process (Law 425) (2 to 6 or 12 units)
  • Corporate Counsel (Law 423) (2 to 6 units)
  • Employment Relations (Law 455) (2 to 6 units)
  • Federal and State Taxation (Law 430) (2 to 6 units)
  • Public Interest (Law 460) (2 to 6 units)
  • Administration of Criminal Justice (Law 470) (2 to 6 or 12 units)
  • Intellectual Property (Law 465) (2 to 6 units)
  • Environmental Law (Law 450) (2 to 6 units)
  • Capital Law Scholars (Law 446) (2 to 6 or 12 units)
  • UCDC Law Program (10 unit externship + 3 unit seminar)

Note: There are no unit options between 6 and 12. Private law firms or for-profit businesses do not qualify as an externship site.  All placements must be approved by the Director of Externships, including any remote options. Students must meet with the externship director, Professor Bauman, as part of the application process.  All externs are required to complete educational assignments which (see "Enrollment" page for additional details). ABA Standard 304(d) governs externship classes .

Compensated Externships: Students may be compensated by an approved placement subject to the Externship Director's approval.

Application & Placement Information

If you have questions after reviewing these guidelines, you may contact Dena Bauman or Rena Contreras. Please submit completed externship applications to Rena Contreras in room 1380A, or via email to: externships@law.ucdavis.edu