Externship Offerings

The Externship offerings are graded on a Pass/Fail basis. They are limited to students who have completed 30 credits of the first-year curriculum, and who possess an overall law school GPA of at least 2.50 or better. Rising 2Ls must have a cumulative first semester GPA of 2.8 in ALTA and Torts. Students may, with the approval of the Director, find a placement at some other public sector or non-profit externship, in or out of the state of Michigan. The list of possible extern offerings below is not exhaustive.


American Civil Liberties Union
Attorney General's Office
Attorney Grievance Commission
Christian Legal Aid of Southeast Michigan
Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers
Federal Clerkship
Health Law
Human Rights Department - City of Detroit
Immigration Placement
Internal Revenue Service
Judicial Clerkship
Legal Aid Defender Association-(LADA)
Michigan Department of Civil Rights
Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC)
Michigan Supreme Court or Court of Appeals Clerkship
Misdemeanor Defender's Office
Municipal Law
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
Prosecutor's Office
Salvation Army Clinic- Detroit
Sugar Law Center
U.S. Attorney's Office
Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Service - Elder Law Center

Read our Student Testimonials about our externships.


American Civil Liberties Union
The ACLU litigates impact cases addressing a wide range of constitutional issues such as free speech, religious freedom, right to privacy, right to due process and equal protection, voting rights, and the rights of people of color, women, gay men and lesbians, and prisoners. Law students may be asked to work on many aspects of potential and ongoing cases such as: drafting memoranda addressing the merits of a case, meeting with and interviewing plaintiffs and witnesses, and drafting complaints and briefs. Students may also be asked to analyze the constitutionality of pending legislation or help with discovery.


Attorney General's Office
Students will work directly under the supervision of an Assistant Attorney General completing research and writing assignments including appellate briefs, assist in case preparation for trial, interview witnesses, and observe trials.  The Attorney General’s office is divided into divisions dealing with various specialties,  e.g. children and youth services, civil rights, health care professionals, transportation, labor, workers compensation, unemployment, alcohol and gambling, child support, criminal prosecutions, and revenue and collections.  Externships are available in a number of these divisions in Detroit and Lansing.   Selection will be made on the basis of writing samples, resumes and personal interviews.
Prerequisites:
Hours per week: 8-12 (15 week semester)
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)

Attorney Grievance Commission
Students will work under the direct supervision of attorneys responsible for investigation and prosecution of Michigan lawyers alleged to have committed professional misconduct.  Students will assist attorneys with research and writing assignments for investigation and in preparation for trial.  Selection will be made on the basis of writing samples, resumes, and personal interview with the Attorney Grievance Commission.
Prerequisites: Evidence, Professional Responsibility suggested.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Christian Legal Aid of Southeast Michigan Students with an interest in real estate law will work with staff attorneys on issues dealing with real property donations.  Meetings and interviews will be conducted at the St. Vincent DePaul Center on Gratiot in Detroit.
Prerequisites:
Hours per week: 8-12 (15 week semester)
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Corps of Engineers - Department of the Army
This agency is responsible for Federal Water resources projects throughout the major portion of the Great Lakes.  It is responsible for flood control and environmental enhancement of the area.  Must have completed two years law school classes.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Federal Clerkship
Clerkships are available to students with an outstanding academic record.  Students will be required to research and prepare memoranda and opinions for a United States District Judge or Magistrate thereby gaining exceptional experience in the workings of the Federal Court System.  Selection will be made on the basis of writing samples, resumes and personal interviews to be conducted by the District Court Judge. In the summer, students may make arrangements to work for judges in their home state.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Health Law
Students will work on a wide range of legal issues relating to contract, property, health care, labor and employment, and civil rights law at Blue Cross-Blue Shield or Trinity Health Legal Department.  Selection will be made on the bases of writing samples, resumes, academic credentials and personal interviews with the House Counsel.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Human Rights Department - City of Detroit
Students will work under the supervision of an attorney for the City of Detroit Human Rights Department.  Students will take complaints, interview witnesses, correspond with respondent department, corporation and/or respondent counsel, prepare interrogatories, write briefs and research memoranda, conduct conciliation conferences, interact with other civil rights agencies, participate in city-wide and community civil rights training.
Prerequisites:
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Immigration Placements
Students have opportunities to work with governmental agencies such as US Citizenship and Immigration Services, US Customs and Border Protection and the US Immigration Court. Students may also work under the supervision of the attorney for the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit representing clients in immigration matters before the Immigration and Naturalization Service.  In addition to researching specific problems and preparing clients for hearings, they will be required to observe and participate as counsel in deportation hearings as well as assist and advise clients in matter of employment, change of status, and naturalization.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Internal Revenue Service
This agency provides students with the opportunity to work in the Office of Chief Counsel, the “largest tax law firm in the world.”  Externs will perform a variety of research assignments for the various law specialists throughout the office.  Responsibilities of the staff which the students will participate in include the trial of tax cases, the drafting of regulations and the review of criminal prosecution recommendations.  Students must be enrolled in at least the second semester of their second year.  Students must contact the Office of District Counsel 8-10 weeks prior to registration.
Prerequisites: Basic Fed. Tax (A)
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Judicial Clerkship
Judicial Clerkship positions in Michigan Circuit and District Courts in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties are available for students with substantial academic credentials.  Research and writing memoranda and opinions are the primary responsibilities. Individual placements are available with judges specializing in juvenile, criminal, civil or family law. Students will also be able to observe motions, trials and pre-trial negotiations. Selection will be made on the basis of writing samples, resumes and personal interviews conducted by the Judge. In the summer, students may make arrangements to work for judges in their home state.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Legal Aid and Defender Association (LADA)
Positions are available through the Landlord Tenant Division of LADA.  Students will represent indigent tenants in landlord-tenant cases under the supervision of a LADA staff attorney.  Students will gain practical experience in interviewing and counseling, fact investigation, negotiations, and court- room advocacy.  Students will also make appearances pursuant to MCR 8.120 in 36th District Court.
The Legal Aid and Defender Association (LADA) also operates a Criminal Division where experienced LADA attorneys supervise students in felony cases at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice. Responsibilities may include client interviewing, legal research and document and pleading preparation. Students interested in observing and conducting preliminary examinations, plea bargaining, motion practice, trials and sentencings are urged to apply.
Positions are also available in the juvenile division and in Washtenaw County.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Michigan Department of Civil Rights
Duties include legal research, drafting of memoranda of law, pleadings, motions, briefs, orders, and other legal documents. May also include interviewing witnesses and assisting attorneys to prepare for and conduct administrative hearings on disputed civil rights cases.
Prerequisites:
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC)
This State agency, which is a part of the Michigan Department of Consumer & Industry Services, has primary jurisdiction over public employer-employee labor relations under state law.  Students will assist with the drafting of unfair labor practice and representation decisions and will work closely with the Commissioners and Administrative Law Judges.  Students will also assist with the conducting of representation elections and other labor relations matters.
Prerequisites: Labor Law
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Michigan Supreme Court or Court of Appeals Clerkship
Judicial Clerkships available to a limited number of outstanding students with excellent writing skills and comparable academic credentials.  Selection is made on the basis of writing samples, grades and personal interviews conducted by the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Misdemeanor Defender's Office
This program provides students with the opportunity to represent indigent criminal defendants charged with Misdemeanor offenses in 36th District Court under MCR 8.120. Students will get the opportunity to interview clients, review police files, negotiate with city attorneys and take cases to trial.
Prerequisites: Criminal Law, Evidence and Criminal Procedure are recommended
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Municipal Law
This program provides students with the opportunity to work with the Law Departments of different municipalities. dealing with various specialties and types of litigation, e.g., including cable and telecommunications law, electric deregulation, contracts, tax, labor and employment law, condemnation, negligence, police misconduct, property, and environmental.  Students research and draft memoranda, write ordinances, attend meetings and City Council hearings, and conduct special projects.
A number of other cities in the metropolitan Detroit area offer students externship opportunities in Municipal Law including Hazel Park, Highland Park, Richmond, Troy and Warren.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
This Agency administers the National Labor Relations Act.  It has two basic functions: 1) to investigate and remedy unfair labor practices, and 2) to establish, usually by secret ballot elections, whether or not certain employees wish to be represented by labor organizations.  Must have completed two years law school.  Student must contact the National Labor Relations Board at least 8-10 weeks prior to registration to allow time for a security clearance.  No outside employment.
Prerequisites: Private Sector Labor Law, Constitutional Law I
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Prosecutor's Office
Positions are available for Interns with the Wayne, Macomb, Jackson, Livingston and Oakland County Prosecutor’s Offices.  Student will work under the direct supervision of attorneys from that office who are responsible for case assignment and plea negotiation in felony cases.  Students will assist prosecutors with daily responsibilities of conducting preliminary examinations, motion and trial preparation including computer research, verifying subpoenas, confirming witness availability, reviewing transcripts, and research.  Selection will be made on the basis of writing samples, resumes, academic credentials and personal interview with Prosecutor’s Office. 
In addition, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has a Child and Family Abuse Bureau (CFAB).  Students work there under the direct supervision of attorneys for the bureau and are responsible for research and matters concerning Personal Protection Orders, including conducting arraignments, pleas and sentences.  They also assist prosecutors with motion practice and trial preparation in domestic violence and child abuse cases. Wayne County also has a Forfeiture Division where students will attempt to forfeit property seized in drug arrests. Students will go to court, file civil pleadings, interrogatories and respond to motions.
Prerequisites: Criminal Procedure and Evidence recommended
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Salvation Army Clinic
William Booth Legal Aid Clinic - This Salvation Army program is available to second and third year law students who will provide legal services to people recovering from alcoholism and substance abuse.  Students will work under the supervision of a practicing attorney at the Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in Detroit.  Students will carry their own caseload, prepare pleadings, advocate on behalf of clients and participate in actual courtroom settings.
Prerequisites: Criminal Procedure suggested
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Sugar Law Center
The Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic & Social Justice (Sugar Law) is a national nonprofit organization based in Detroit, affiliated with the National Lawyers Guild. Since 1991, Sugar Law has used litigation, policy development, advocacy and public education to enforce the rights of working people and their communities. Interns obtain practical experience in several areas of the law including federal and state employment law, discrimination, wage and hour claims, unemployment insurance, workers' compensation, and retaliation against workers identifying violations. Interns' responsibilities may include interviewing workers, analyzing the legal merits of the issues they face, communicating with legislative staff regarding pending bills, preparing technical assistance materials for attorneys bringing related claims, conducting research on innovative legal strategies, and drafting briefs for appellate litigation.
Prerequisites:
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


U. S. Attorney's Office
Students will work directly under the supervision of an Assistant United States Attorney completing research and writing assignments related to current civil and criminal litigation in the United States District Courts.  Selection will be made on the basis of writing samples, resumes and personal interviews with the contact person at the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  Students must contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office 8-10 weeks prior to registration to allow time for a security clearance.  Students must have completed two years of law school.  A GPA of 3.2 or higher is preferred.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)


Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services - Elder Law Center
Students work with an attorney from Wayne County Neighborhood Legal Services Elder Law Center in Redford, Michigan.  Student will assist in community education programs on elder abuse, caregiver, and other legal issues, in collaboration with several other human services agencies.  They will also interview clients, provide research, advice, counseling, brief services and assistance on general, civil matters with a primary focus on probate, public benefits, and consumer matters.
Students working with the Detroit Neighborhood Legal Services office can work primarily on bankruptcy matters.
Hours per week: 8-12
15-23 (Summer semester - 8 weeks)