Field Placements (Externships)

Connect Your Education to the Real World

Students argues at podium in court room
The Field Placement (Externship) program supports experiential learning opportunities via student placements outside the college. Placements vary from non-profits, to government and military, to law firms, and companies. The experience allows students to apply their learning in a real life setting while still benefiting from classroom and peer support.

Students often have a lot of questions about what externships are, how they work, and how many hours are required. Please check out the Student Frequently Asked Questions page for details.

Student Frequently Asked Questions

Considering an Externship:
Finding a Placement

Students are responsible for finding and securing their own placements, but the Director of Externships, the Career Development Office, and the whole faculty are here to help! In addition to positions posted as externships, unpaid internship positions are often a wonderful way to find a placement and make it tenable to take an unpaid position with the government or a nonprofit.

If you're an employer seeking a student, we'd love to help you post a position and identify a great fit for your office.

Career Development Office

Considering an Externship: 
The Class

The Field Placement (Externship) Courses are the classroom components for Nebraska Law students completing field work. The general course is designed to complement fieldwork, is offered every fall, spring, and summer, and offers opportunities for thoughtful reflection about student experiences and enhances and improves student practice skills. 

The college also offers a two-semester, two-credit Board Service Externship Program Course and a Semester in D.C. Externship Program in collaboration with the University of Iowa.

Externship Course

Semester in D.C. Program

Board Service Program

Before You Start:
Student Forms to Create an Externship

The Student Proposal form is required to register for your externship. This form should be completed once a student has a secured placement and has confirmation from their onsite supervisor. Need help figuring out how many hours to work? Check out the credit hours chart on the Student Frequently Asked Questions page. 

Student Proposal

Before You Start: 
Onsite Supervisor Forms and Manual

A student's onsite supervisor must submit the Supervisor Agreement form before a student may register for credit. The supervisor manual must be reviewed and agreed-to when submitting the agreement. 

Supervisor Agreement

Supervisor Manual

During Your Placement:
Educational Planning and Time Logs

The Educational Planning form is to assist the student and the onsite externship supervisor in the discussion and formulation on of mutual educational goals for the semester and to think about mechanisms for achieving those goals. This should be completed while together, virtually or in person, prior to or very near the beginning of the placement.

Educational Planning

Students are responsible for managing their own time logs and turning in that information to their onsite supervisors and the college. Once registered, students can access the time log template in Canvas. Different offices and businesses may also require the student to fill in other logs for their administrative purposes. 

During and After Your Placement:

The purpose of the mid-semester and final evaluations is to provide the student and the Director of Externships feedback on the student's performance. Students will contact supervisors with timelines for these forms, but generally they are done at the halfway point and at the conclusion of the placement.

Preferably, the supervisor and the student will schedule time to discuss it. Supervisor feedback is most valuable when the student has the opportunity to ask questions - and practice the difficult skill of receiving feedback.

Performance evaluations are required for academic credit.

Mid-Semester Student Evaluation

Final Student Evaluation

The Placement Evaluation form should be completed by the student at the end of the field placement experience. This must be completed before the end of the summer session or semester.

Placement Evaluation

Portrait of Elsbeth

Professor Elsbeth Magilton
Director of Externships

Honors Externship in the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel (International Affairs)

In addition to the 'Semester in DC Program' Nebraska Law is also home to the 'Honors Externship in the Department of Defense Office of General Counsel (International Affairs)' supervised by Professor Jack Beard.

This honors externship in Washington, D.C. is a prestigious international law/national security externship for law students in the United States Government and meets the requirements of a full semester (12 credits) at the University of Nebraska College of Law. Students serving in this externship are involved in significant work and every effort is made to integrate them into the professional life of the office. Duties include legal research, drafting memoranda and assisting in the drafting of international agreements, attending departmental and inter-agency meetings, and dealing with senior national security officials of the U.S. Government. The externship offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe and participate in international legal practice in the United States government, hands-on experience in national security legal matters, and a unique and valuable insight into career opportunities in this field. A security clearance is necessary. 

This program is facilitated directly by Professor Beard, separately from the other externship programming, and interested students should contact him directly.