Photograph: Eagle statue outside law school.

Externship Program

The Externship Program at Washburn Law provides a wide variety of active practice exposure opportunities for our students. Students interested in any specialized area or areas of law will find opportunities with a variety of entities, agencies and offices focused on all types of legal work. Students are encouraged to explore various legal careers by applying for externship opportunities to gain experience and determine what type of law they may wish to pursue as a career.

Students participating in the Washburn University School of Law Externship Program have the unique opportunity to enhance their legal education through off-campus legal work environment placements. Externships are all about learning through hands-on experience and assuming the role of a professional in training. You will handle real issues and work on real assignments while impacting the lives of the people involved.

As an extern you work side by side with practicing legal professionals and are able to try out that role. Students are expected to conduct themselves professionally, including being aware of professional responsibility and confidentiality issues. You can use your externship opportunity as a positive starting point for your legal career. Externships are a great opportunity to gain real-world work experience while developing skills, contacts, and references that will help you secure permanent employment at the end of your law school career.

Externship Director
Photograph: Shawn Leisinger, externship director
Shawn Leisinger
When Should I Consider an Externship?
Students are not eligible to actually complete an externship placement until they have completed two full semesters of coursework. Many summer placements may start considering applicants early in the spring semester; however, so students may schedule an appointment to talk with the Externship Director, Shawn Leisinger, at any time to evaluate options and talk about opportunities that fit with your particular interests. 
Photograph: Laura Poschen.

"I firmly believe that every law student should participate in the externship program. Externships allow law students to branch out from the theoretical to the practical. While law school prepares a law student for legal writing, no amount of education can replace actual experience working with legal professionals. The externship placement with Judge Marten is no exception. I went from seeing law solely in the theoretical sense to applying that theory to real life situations. The skills I’ve learned through this externship are invaluable. I am a better law student, and I also believe I will be a better lawyer because of this experience."

Laura Poschen, '13