Field Placement (Externship) Course

Course Description
The Field Placement Course is the classroom component for Nebraska Law students in externships for course credit six credits and under. The course is designed to complement your fieldwork, offering opportunities for thoughtful reflection about your experience and to enhance and improve your skills. 

The course includes discussions, small group exercises, case rounds, and oral presentations, designed to build professional and lawyering skills that will assist you as you perform and observe externship fieldwork. We will engage in interactive dialogue relating to:  

  • The work you are doing and the skills you are building in your field placements
  • Your impressions of the field placement, your supervising attorney and other attorneys with whom you interact, and the justice system as a whole
  • Issues relating to diversity and inclusion, ethics, and professionalism in your field placement  
  • Issues relating to your Professional Identity and the values and standards you hold yourself to

We will use reflective writing assignments as a means of promoting self-directed learning and professional formation.

42.5 hours are required per credit hour. The course will meet for a total of 6.25 hours per semester and the total course work is estimated at 8 hours for the whole semester (1 to 1.5 hours per week). All other hours must be completed in your placement. Time spent preparing for class or in class count towards your working hours, but must never be submitted for payment if you're in a paid position. Any externship between 1-6 hours is required to be enrolled in this course. 

Registration and Participation
Students may register for the appropriate number of Field Placement Credit Hours after the Director of Externship has received and confirmed approval of Forms A and B (student proposals and the supervisor agreement). All students registered for externship credit must participate in the class. The classes meet in-person for placements that are within 75 miles of the law college (thus including those working in Omaha). For students at placements outside of that 75 mile range we’ll work together to identify a time for an “online section.”

Learning Objectives
The overarching goal of field placements is to provide you with experience in legal practice. You will work with your On-Site Supervisor to develop more individualized goals that fit within the larger goals articulated in the policy and report those back to the instructor and your classmates.

The goals of the Field Placement Course are:

  • To provide students with an opportunity to reflect on their placement experiences and develop self-evaluative skills, i.e., the ability to learn from and build on their experiences
  • To cultivate effective communication and problem-solving skills
  • To introduce students to, and encourage students to delve into, professional responsibility topics particularly as they relate to their externships
  • To encourage students to learn from each other how to deal with challenges at their placements and how to deepen their experiences
  • To provide students with opportunities to develop and practice their professional skills, particularly the skills of legal research/analysis/reasoning, problem-solving, and written/oral communication in the legal context of their placement
  • To allow students to examine the settings where they work and the types of lawyering they are observing with the goal of helping them make more informed choices about their legal careers

Course Materials  

  • Learning from Practice: A Text for Experiential Legal Education (LFP), Third Edition—available to purchase in the bookstore, purchase/rent online at Amazon, and purchase digitally (entire book or individual chapters): Textbook Link
  • Nebraska Rules of Professional Responsibility website (or alternative set of rules that govern the jurisdiction where student is working)
  • Additional materials may be assigned and posted in Canvas   

The full syllabus and all other materials will be available in Canvas.