Course Level: Washington College of Law

Externship seminars provide students with an opportunity to engage in critical reflection about the legal profession, their own future legal careers, and their priorities and values as lawyers in conjunction with their field placement experiences. Externship seminars are open to students in a wide variety of field placements and, rather than emphasizing a particular area of law, focus on the lawyering experience, the legal profession, and the workings of legal institutions. Instructors choose various general themes for their own seminars, but within each seminar some specific topics are likely to include the nature of law practice in different settings (including private firms, public interest organizations, and government agencies), the varieties of lawyer-client relationships in these settings, and the dynamics and politics of the workplace. Other topics that may be covered include images of lawyers in fiction and popular culture, theories of bureaucracy in relation to the lawyering process, legal ethics in theory and practice, issues of gender, race, and difference in the legal profession, and the profession's history. Finally, in all the seminars students have the opportunity to explore their own professional development through discussions of critique and self-evaluation, the transition from school to work, and career goals and career planning.