Externships

The University of Louisville School of Law requires students to complete six credit hours in experiential courses, at least two of which must be earned in Live Client Courses.

Under ABA accreditation standards, an experiential course that counts towards the six credits must be a simulation course, an externship course or a clinic course.

A Live Client Course is an externship course or a clinic course. Live Client Courses sometimes are referred to as "Experiential Live Client" Courses (ELC Courses).

All live client courses require 56 hours of course work per credit hour earned. (E.g., to earn 2, 3 or 4 credits requires a total of 112, 168 or 224 work hours a 14-week semester.) Student schedules and commitments should allow devoting large blocks of time to clinic or field work.

Applications for these courses must be completed through ELC Connect, the law school's online platform for Live Client Courses, prior to registration through ULink, unless otherwise noted.

For help in applying, please refer to the detailed application instructions in the ELC Document Library or use these instructions.

All courses are pass/fail unless otherwise noted.

Please with any questions.


Click each heading for details about that category.

Law School Clinics

Ackerson Domestic Violence Clinic

Structured educational experience in which students represent real clients who are survivors of domestic violence, have eviction cases, or have other legal needs as determined by the Clinic Director. Students will gain and apply practical lawyering skills.

Mediation Clinic

The mediation clinic is a one-year program that accepts six students who are willing to go through the 40-hour state certified training program. The training program is usually during spring break, but this year will be the first week of August at the law school. The training, which costs $1,200 per student, is paid for by the Ed Perry Fellowship as long as the student agrees to continue in the spring semester with the mediation clinic.

The mediation clinic is open to 2Ls and 3Ls. A classroom component will be held every Friday from 9a - noon. Mediations are scheduled each week according to the individual student’s schedule. Students co-mediate with a supervisor. The cases are referred directly from the Jefferson County courts and involve low-income, pro se litigants with family law problems.

Entrepreneurship Clinic

Structured educational experience in which law students represent university students enrolled in various academic programs through the University of Louisville, including the Entrepreneurship MBA program at the U of L College of Business, with various legal needs as determined by the Clinic Director. Students develop and apply practical lawyering skills in the field of business law.


Public Interest Externships and Clinics

Indiana Department of Child Services

This course allows students to work with the Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS), an agency that focuses on protecting children from abuse and neglect, and strengthening families through family support and preservation services. Students generally will be placed in offices in Clark and Floyd Counties, but other counties also are available. Field work will include participating in case management, developing case theory, drafting pleadings, and preparing cases for litigation in Child in Need of Services (CHINS) and Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) cases. With a limited practice license, students may also participate in court hearings, under supervision of a DCS attorney.

Fort Knox Office of the Staff Judge Advocate

This course helps students learn about legal practice in the context of the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate at a United States military base. The OSJA handles a wide variety of types of legal work, including: providing legal advice to base commanders, staff, tenants, and partner organizations regarding administrative law matters; advising and assisting the commander in the administration of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and supervising the administration and prosecution of courts-martial, preparation of records of trial, and the victim-witness assistance program; and advising and assisting active duty service members and retirees, their dependents, and reservists with personal, civil, and legal matters. Students will receive a variety of assignments allowing multiple opportunities to perform lawyering skills. Many assignments will require research and written work product.

Energy and Environment Cabinet

This course allows students to learn about being a lawyer working for a government agency. Students will receive a variety of assignments allowing multiple opportunities to perform lawyering skills. Most assignments will require research or analysis and will result in written work product. Assignments generally will arise from work requests from attorneys or persons with policy making authority within the Energy and Environment Cabinet. The work will involve integration of doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics.

Louisville Metro Council

Places students in the office of a Council member. Students will assist with legislative research and drafting and tracking land use matters before zoning boards or other agencies. Work will include developing research memos, drafting legislation, communicating orally and in writing with legislators, government officers, and others, and assisting at administrative hearings. May be exposed to legal issues related to land use, planning and zoning law, administrative law, and real property rights.

Kentucky Commission on Human Rights

This course allows students to learn about being a lawyer working for a government agency. More importantly, it affords students the opportunity to exhibit their legal reasoning skills in a meaningful way. Students will attend staff meetings and individual consultations with their site supervisor where they will be expected to offer their legal opinions. Most formal drafting assignments will require research and analysis and will result in written work product. Assignments generally will arise from a site supervisor’s existing caseload. The work will involve integration of civil rights law, administrative law, employment law, and other areas.

Legal Aid Society (Louisville) Clinics

  • Family Law Clinic
    Students represent clients in family law matters, primarily divorce and child custody cases. Clinic work includes meeting with clients, gathering information, drafting correspondence, drafting pleadings and proposed orders, and handling negotiations and court appearances.
  • Consumer/Bankruptcy Clinic
    Students will work on federal bankruptcy and state consumer debt cases. Students meet with clients, gather debt information, and draft correspondence and pleadings. In bankruptcy cases, students also draft bankruptcy petitions and attend creditor meetings with the Bankruptcy Trustee. In consumer cases, students also investigate allegations, engage discovery, and work to resolve the cases through negotiation and litigation.

Kentucky Equal Justice Center

Kentucky Equal Justice Center is a statewide nonprofit law firm that pursues impact litigation, lobbies, and organizes on behalf of Kentucky’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities. KEJC works closely with the four LSC-funded legal aid organizations, serving as a kind of “training and education” hub. KEJC’s primary areas of work include: public benefits, housing, consumer law, workers’ rights, family law and immigration (through the immigration law clinic in Lexington, Maxwell Street Legal Clinic).


Criminal Justice Externships

Kentucky Innocence Project

Field Work: Students will use investigative skills and knowledge taught in bi-weekly class sessions to review, inventory, and supplement case files for clients of the Kentucky Innocence Project. Students will work in teams in a search for exculpatory evidence that might lead to attempts to overturn wrongful convictions or other possible avenues for post-conviction relief. The work will involve multiple opportunities for performance of lawyering skills, and integration of doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics.

Advanced Kentucky Innocence Project

Students continue investigative work on cases started in the first year of KIP, but also will have opportunities to engage in post-conviction motion practice. The course teaches students the essentials of motion and briefing practice in Kentucky and introduces students to resources available to the legal defense community. Students also will assist in drafting motions requesting forensic testing when appropriate. There also will be an emphasis on policy issues, such as how policy increases the likelihood of wrongful conviction, policy reform efforts, and the concept of the "wrongful conviction movement." When offered in the fall semester, students will work with the KIP instructor and support staff to deploy a project on wrongful conviction day within the community (usually in October).

Louisville Metro Public Defender: Litigation Practice Externship

In the context of a vibrant and busy public defender’s office that emphasizes professionalism and high performance standards, this course is designed to help students learn about the criminal defense function in the adversary legal system and develop the trial preparation and practice skills necessary to effectively represent a defendant charged with a criminal offense. The fall semester is primarily a trial practice simulation course and regular class sessions are held throughout the semester. Classes take place in a courtroom and include lecture and demonstration by trial attorneys, followed by practice exercises that conclude with self-evaluation and critical feedback and constructive coaching by instructors and/or supervising attorney(s).

Department of Public Advocacy: Rural Public Defense Externship

This course is designed to help students learn about legal practice in the context of a rural public defender’s office that emphasizes professionalism and high performance standards. The course will focus on the criminal defense function in the adversary legal system and help students develop the practice skills used in post-conviction criminal defense litigation. Students will receive a variety of assignments allowing multiple opportunities to perform lawyering skills. The work will involve integration of doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics.

Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney: Prosecution Clinic

The Commonwealth’s Attorney is responsible for felony prosecution in circuit courts in Jefferson County (Louisville). The Clinic provides a structured educational experience focused on criminal law and procedure, and prosecuting criminal cases. Students develop practical lawyering skills and professional identity, gain a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system, and learn effective litigation strategies. Students also explore the realities of law practice and work-life balance realities that characterize day-to-day legal practice. Clinic work includes assisting supervising attorneys, but students also are responsible for their own cases. There is a classroom component to the course.

US Attorney’s Office

This course helps students learn about legal practice in the context of prosecuting federal crimes and defending the United States in civil law suits. Students will receive a variety of assignments allowing multiple opportunities to perform lawyering skills. Most assignments will require research and written work product. Assignments arise from work requests from attorneys within the U.S. Attorney’s Office and relate to the attorneys’ cases. Projects are assigned by and returned to the site supervisor, but students will have opportunities to discuss assignments with the attorney who requested the work. The work will involve integration of doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics. There will be some limited opportunities to observe courtroom proceedings some semesters, including appellate oral arguments.


In-House Counsel Externships

UofL Office of the General Counsel

Field Work: This practice setting allows students to experience legal practice in a higher education in-house counsel environment. The volume and variety of work at the University General Counsel’s Office is expansive. Students will receive a variety of assignments allowing multiple opportunities to perform lawyering skills, including research, drafting legal memoranda, reviewing contracts, attending various meetings, preparing discovery, and analysis of complicated, multi-faceted issues. Students may also have additional opportunities to assist with employee grievances. Students may have the opportunity to observe and/or assist with depositions, mediations, hearings, trials, and appellate arguments. The work will involve integration of doctrine, theory, practice skills, and legal ethics.

UofL Clinical Contracts Division

This course allows students to experience work in the University of Louisville’s Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation (EVPRI) Office of Sponsored Programs Administration (OSPA), Nonfinancial Agreements (NFA) Core. The OSPA provides support services to faculty and staff conducting extramurally funded research and analytical activities. The NFA Core negotiates nonfinancial agreements on behalf of the OSPA - these primarily include nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) and data use and transfer agreements (DUAs/DTAs). The EVPRI Contracts Externship will offer students opportunities to have a significant role in negotiating NDAs (with DUAs/DTAs being a ‘reach’ goal for the externs/Site Supervisors to work towards). Students will shepherd an NDA docket from incoming submission to post-execution processing. Students also will be exposed to and assist with drafting of other research related documents, primarily different types of clinical trial agreements but also agreements that contain federal acquisition regulations. Students may have opportunities to review funding proposals and assist in assessing a proposal’s compliance with federal/agency funding criteria. There likely also will be opportunities for research and policy-development, e.g., in areas such as uses of indemnification clauses in clinical trial agreements, litigation trends related to clinical research, and regulatory compliance.

UofL Office of Technology Transfer

This course allows students to experience legal field work in the Commercialization EPI-Center, formerly the Tech Transfer office. University Tech transfer handles the commercialization of University IP as well as providing support for faculty and staff in their research efforts. Students will be exposed to negotiating contracts such as MTAs, NDAs, and other research support agreements. In these agreements, students will be exposed to both federal and state regulations concerning research, privacy, and intellectual property. In addition, students who are interested can assist in review of university technologies as well as IP research projects.

Signature Healthcare (Transaction/Litigation/Compliance)

  • Transaction Team
    This course allows students to experience legal practice in a corporate in-house counsel environment. Students will receive a variety of assignments allowing multiple opportunities to perform lawyering skills, including being involved in the intake, review, and negotiation of corporate business and real estate contracts for all the entities under the Signature umbrella. Students may also have opportunities to assist with preparatory work for possible joint ventures, acquisitions, and other corporate transactions. Student will assist with research related to healthcare compliance issues and emerging legal issues in healthcare and long-term care. The work will involve integration of doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics.
  • Litigation Team
    This course allows students to experience legal practice in a corporate in-house counsel environment. Students will support Signature’s Litigation/Risk Department in its provision of legal advice and counsel to internal business and functional clients concerning the legal rights, obligations, privileges, risks of Signature and its affiliates. Students will receive a variety of assignments allowing multiple opportunities to perform lawyering skills, including being involved in the intake, review, and negotiation of labor and employment complaints, regulatory matters, and professional liability and general liability claims for all the entities under the Signature umbrella. Students will be involved in interviewing and investigating claims, preparing discovery requests, and drafting/reviewing pleadings and other legal correspondence. Students may also have the opportunity to assist with mediation and settlement negotiations. Students may also have opportunities to assist with preparatory work for assignment of certain claims and complaints to outside counsel. Student will assist with research related to healthcare compliance issues and emerging legal issues in healthcare and long-term care in various jurisdictions that are applicable to Signature and its affiliates. The work will involve integration of doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics.
  • Compliance Team
    This course allows students to experience legal practice in the compliance department of a vibrant healthcare corporation. Students will receive a variety of assignments allowing multiple opportunities to perform lawyering skills. Students may be involved with HIPAA-related work (e.g., assisting with investigations and notifications, or analyzing uses of protected health information), Stark Law-related work (e.g., analysis and application, tracking and reporting), or state licensure-related work (e.g., researching requirements for entities and professionals) and may have opportunities to assist in compliance policy development, implementation, education, and monitoring. The work will involve integration of doctrine, theory, skills, and legal ethics.


Other Externships

Judicial

Places students in the courtroom setting under the supervision of one or more judges and their staff attorneys. Experiences vary, but students have opportunities to observe and learn about the legal system and litigation strategy from the perspective of the judge, and multiple opportunities to perform a variety of lawyering skills. Students may select trial or appellate courts, depending on availability.

ACLU of Kentucky

Students are assigned to legal matters under the supervision of an ACLU-KY attorney. Students develop lawyering skills and knowledge related to all phases of civil rights litigation and advocacy, which may include investigation of potential civil rights violations and participation in litigation. May also be exposed to advocacy strategies related to proposed state legislation, lobbying related to civil rights and liberties efforts, and freedom of information requests. May include representing the ACLU in litigation matters.

Immigration

Students are assigned to Catholic Charities, Kentucky Refugee Ministries, La Casita, or another agency/organization, and work on real immigration cases under the supervision of a practicing attorney. Students participate in immigration matters relating to refugees, such as lawful permanent resident petitions, citizenship petitions, and applications for employment authorization; as well as immigration matters for other noncitizens, including all aspects of deportation defense and applications for asylum. Students may have the opportunity to represent clients before an immigration adjudication officer or before an immigration judge.

Tax

Students are afforded an opportunity to work with the local office of the Internal Revenue Service. They will draft pleadings for filing with the United States Tax Court and the United States Bankruptcy Court, attend Tax Court trials and hearings in the Bankruptcy Court, draft correspondence to the Department of Justice concerning civil and criminal matters, draft letters to taxpayers' counsel, attend settlement conferences and other meetings with taxpayers and their representatives, and do tax research and draft memoranda. Includes an overview of tax procedure and instruction in computer assisted tax research.