SATISFYING THE 3-CREDIT EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING REQUIREMENT FAQ
University of La Verne College of Law students graduating in 2016 and beyond have a 3-credit experiential learning requirement for graduation.
How do I satisfy the experiential learning requirement?
The experiential learning requirement may be satisfied by externships, clinics (Justice and Immigration Clinic (JIC) and the Disability Rights Legal Center DRLC)), or practicum courses (in development).
What is experiential learning?
Experiential learning is learning that takes place through practical experiences, integrating doctrine and theory, as well as ethics. It requires students to learn through practice and performance of professional skills under the supervision of an attorney. In those courses, you also evaluate your own performance, as self-reflection is an extremely important skill and practice to continue learning beyond law school.
When should I try to satisfy this requirement?
As soon as possible. You may satisfy the requirement through a series of smaller externships (e.g. a 1-credit externship and later a 2-credit externship with a different organization). You may also wish to satisfy the requirement all at once with a 3-credit summer externship or enrolling in either the JIC or the DRLC, or later through a practicum.
How do I arrange for an externship?
Applying for an externship is like applying for a job, but is limited primarily to public interest organizations and government offices. The job has to be for legal work, not merely administrative work. You seek those opportunities through Symplicity and www.probono.net/ca/socal. For additional information, read the Externship Directive available on the TWEN page, Externship Information 2014-15.
When is it the right time to apply for an externship?
NOW! Public interest and government offices are already interviewing candidates. Some have already given offers for positions. Don’t fret though, it’s not too late. Find offices with positions available, have Career Services review your cover letter and resume, have your legal writing professor review your writing sample, and apply. If you schedule interviews, please schedule an appointment with Career Services to have a mock interview before you interview for the externship. Their feedback is valuable.
If you receive an offer and you accept the position, submit an Externship Application to Professor Diane Uchimiya, Director of Experiential Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org with EXTERNSHIP APPLICATION in the subject heading. The application is available on the Externship Information TWEN page. You need to indicate how many credits, and each credit requires 52 hours of work to be done throughout the semester/summer. There is a class component to the externship. Students submit weekly time sheets and journal entries describing the work, ethical issues, and reflections. In addition, there are self-reflection exercises.
Do I need to get certified by the State Bar?
Some externships require certification by the State Bar of California. Students in their first year summer will not need the certification, as the course requirements will not yet have been met. The certification allows students to make court appearances under the supervision of a licensed attorney. Not all students will make court appearances. Check with the Supervising Attorney when you receive an offer about whether you will need to apply for the certification. The requirements for the certification and instructions for the application process are available on the State Bar of California website at:
Read the instructions carefully and start well in advance of your start date, as the instructions state that the processing time is at least three weeks.
If you have any further questions, please contact Professor Uchimiya at email@example.com.