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How to Extern

The deadline to apply for academic credit for a full-time externship, whether as part of UVA Law in DC or an individualized externship, is generally in March. It is easy to apply, and you need not have your externship fully lined up at the time of application.  See the program requirements and more information here.  If you have questions or would like help finding an externship, make an appointment with Professor Sprightley Ryan via Symplicity.

Why Extern?

Earn academic credit while gaining practical experience working thirty-five hours per week at a government or nonprofit organization in your area of interest, while also writing a research paper (that could fulfill the upper-level writing requirement) on a topic of your choice.  This is an opportunity to learn about the law in a non-academic setting, and make invaluable connections in your field.

Why UVA Law in DC?

Work full-time in the city that is the center of law-making, and participate in a weekly evening seminar (dinner included) where you will hear fascinating guest speakers who are prominent government or nonprofit lawyers; expand your personal and professional network; meet with the other UVA Law externs to share experiences and ideas; and explore what it means to be a lawyer in D.C. UVA Law in DC is only offered in the Fall semester.


Federal government offices and nonprofit organizations in the DC area would love to have UVA Law students as externs.  The variety of possible externship placements is boundless, ranging from the many components of the U.S. Department of Justice, to Legal Aid, to lobbying organizations, to the IRS, Senate Committees, Securities and Exchange Commission, ACLU, Children’s Law Center . . . For a listing of a sampling of these options, you can find a list on the externship website here.

Individualized, Full-Time Externship

You can do an individualized, full-time externship at a governmental or nonprofit organization virtually anywhere in the U.S. or the world, so long as you are doing legal or law-related work under the supervision of an attorney.  You will hone your legal skills and your knowledge of a particular area of law or type of practice while working under the close supervision of experienced attorneys.  You will also work with a UVA Law professor on an in-depth research paper that you may submit to be published.  You can work in the city where you plan to practice after graduation, and start developing your professional network; or you can explore a new area that you’re considering.

More Information

The externship webpage contains useful information, including a list of where UVA Law students have externed previously, as well as a list of students who externed in the previous Fall semester who would be happy to talk to you about their experiences.

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