Externships combine legal placements with a classroom component to help students get the most from their experience.
Our Externship programs help students develop those qualities and skills they will need to become successful practitioners by combining theory and practice, while also providing opportunities to reflect upon and instill the moral and ethical values that underlie a rational and just application of law. Our flagship Semester-in-Practice Programs (SIP) give our students the chance to spend up to 37 hours a week working in the field, while retaining the crucial seminar component for reflection on their experiences and for faculty guidance. In the past three years, 86 students have participated in SIP. Work locally or around the world in diverse settings and practice areas and learn on the job from experienced lawyers--many of them BC Law alumni--who are committed to helping our students succeed.
Our unique Tethered Externships pair a traditional podium course with an experiential seminar and part-time placement, all taught and guided by full-time faculty members. We are one of the only schools in the country with this model. We also offer many other exciting specialized externship programs, from our much admired Attorney General Program to our remarkable Innocence Program externship, where students fight for the rights of the wrongly imprisoned.
This is how you build your network, learn what kind of law you want to practice, and figure out what kind of lawyer you want to become. Whatever you choose, our faculty will be with you every step of the way.
BC Law's unique Tethered Externship programs encourage the integration of the theory and practice of law. Students take a doctrinal course, extern at a subject related placement, and are enrolled in a reflective seminar taught by the doctrinal faculty.
We are one of the only law schools in the nation that pairs doctrinal courses and faculty with externship placements and reflective seminars. By bridging the doctrinal course and the externship with the reflective seminar, students and faculty have the opportunity to more deeply explore the intersection of theory and practice.
Students take Business Law and Health Care Enterprises and the externship seminar. Placements include:
Students take Corporations and the Corporate Counsel Externship Seminar. Placements include general counsel offices such as:
Students enroll in Intellectual Property, and the Intellectual Property Externship Seminar. Placements include IP departments in local companies.
Students take Mediation, the Mediation Externship Seminar, and receive their mediation certification. Placements include:
Students take a seminar on emerging technologies. Placements include:
Students take Sports Law and the Sports Law Externship Seminar. Students spend the semester gaining experience at local sports teams and college NCAA offices, including:
Our Semester in Practice Program offers students an immersive, full-time work experience. But sometimes students looking for practice skills need more flexible options. Both our tethered externships and our specialized externship programs provide students with the opportunity to gain professional experience part-time over the course of an entire semester at a state or local government agency or a court. For example, approximately 50 students work closely with judges through our judicial externship programs each year.
Unlike many other law schools, our specialized externships provide strong on-site support through an attorney employed at the placement, or through an adjunct faculty member who has a close relationship with the placement. Students take an accompanying course that is taught by the placement attorney or adjunct professor, which allows a more holistic approach to learning on the job.
Massachusetts Attorney General
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
Middlesex District Attorney
Federal & MA Appeals and Trial Courts (approx 35 students/year)
Local District and Subject Matter Courts (approx 15 students/year)
Federal, state, and local government placements
Students practice for a full year at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, working on litigation, drafting legal documents, and researching and writing trial and appellate briefs. Students argue matters in superior court on behalf of state agencies.
Students placed at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue work directly with Legal Division attorneys handling cases involving state taxation of individuals, corporations, and other entities.
Students placed at the New England Innocence Project or the Committee for Public Counsel Services study the problem of wrongful convictions and provide pro bono legal assistance to prisoners who maintain their innocence.
Students work with judges in the Massachusetts Appeals Court, assisting in drafting judicial decisions and observing oral arguments.
Students work with Massachusetts Superior Court judges in both civil and criminal proceedings.
Students have clerkship-like placements with justices of the district court, Boston Municipal Court, juvenile court, and housing court departments.
Students are paired with one or more prosecutors and assist with trial preparation, legal research and writing, motions, and interviews of police officers and civilian witnesses.
Our Semester in Practice (SIP) Program, unique in the breadth and flexibility of its offerings, places students in immersive externships with firms, judges, nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses in Boston, across the US, and around the world. Nearly 90 students have participated in SIP during the past three years.
Students work approximately 35 hours a week and attend weekly seminars, examining their experiences through readings, discussion, and presentations. The program director monitors every placement to ensure supervising attorneys provide a significant educational experience.
In addition to the existing SIP diverse placement opportunities, there are focused SIP offerings, SIP: Europe and SIP: BC in DC. Students can also customize their experience and design their own SIP, subject to approval.
Access to Justice Commission/Mintz Levin
Boston Medical Center
Intellectual Property Practice at MIT Tech Transfer Office
CBS Television Studios
Corporate Counsel Practice at Massachusetts General Hospital
US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
Conservation Law Foundation
Partners HealthCare System
US Securities & Exchange Commission
US Department of Justice
Disability Law Center
This full-time, immersive externship in the nation’s capital places students in labor, civil rights, environmental, and business law opportunities. Students work in diverse settings, including government agencies, law firms, public interest groups, in-house corporate counsel, and judicial clerkships.
Weekly seminars focus on attorneys’ roles in DC, and site visits and guest speakers help students gain practical skills, develop professional relationships, and learn about career opportunities.
The administrative center of the program, which celebrated its 25th year in 2014, is based at the Boston College satellite campus in Ireland. The program has served hundreds of students working in private businesses, law firms, and public organizations in London and throughout Europe. It is an immersive experience which offers students a comparative law opportunity to work and collaborate with international attorneys.
Students spend 35-40 hours per week at their externship placement and maintain journals relating to their research, writing and observations. These are discussed at weekly seminars led by a member of the BC Law faculty. For externship placements throughout Europe, students use videoconferencing to participate in the seminar.